"I taught you better than that!" moments

I suspect we (parents) have all had a few, or will when the kids get old enough. Things that you never thought your child would say or do because you taught them better than that.

Not long ago, when the whole issue of gay marriage was all over the news, my daughter opined that she hopes “they make it illegal”. When asked why, she said because it’s wrong (and icky, though I suppose that’s to be expected from a 10-year-old). I tried asking her how she’d feel if some group of people told her she wasn’t supposed to like boys because it was wrong and icky, and made laws that made it illegal for her to like them. Hopefully I got through…

Then there was the time she started complaining about the “freakin Puerto Ricans”. You know, they’re bad, they’re mean, etc. After a minute or so we clued her in to the fact that her favorite grandmother was full-blooded freakin Puerto Rican, her mother 1/2 freaking Puerto Rican (and extremely pissed off :smack: ), and she herself had a goodish portion of that freakin Puerto Rican blood in her. So all those people must be bad, too, right? Hijinks ensued…

I guess it just goes to show that kids pick up their attitudes from people around them other than family and neighbors. We don’t associate with anyone in the neighborhood who harbors any such views (at least, not that I’m aware of). I figure she must have picked it up from some one at school. Oh well, we deal with these challenges as they come.

OK - your turn! Share and enjoy! What are your “I taught you better than that!” moments?

I’d say
a) just because your parents taught you something doesn’t make it automatically 100% true.She’s learning to make her own decisions and opinions for herself.And I hope that by ‘getting through to her’ you don’t mean that you’ve persuaded her to change her opinion so it’s one that you agree with.
b) I’d say well done on having a kid that has learnt some traditional moral values in a time when a lot of them seem to be disappearing out of the window.I wouldn’t want to be changing that.

WTF??? You approve of somebody letting their kid become a bigot???

If you didn’t want this to go to GD or the PIT, you picked the wrong topics to cite in the original post.

My entire childhood is composed of “we taught you better than that” including my episode of urinating in public as a 12 y.o. . . oh, and then there was that whole gay puerto-rican bashing phase.

I would rather let my kids have their own opinions and views.If that’s their view then fine.I can point out what I think is wrong with it,annd as they grow up they may change their views.I’d rather have that than have them grow up only believing what I’ve told them to…‘You must think this because I say so’.

Well, lemon, I don’t know how old you are or marital / parenthood status. But I’ll tell you this: No matter how much we want our children to grow up be strong, independent people, we also want them to learn and hold the same values we believe are important. There may be parents who don’t fit that generalization, but what can you do. That’s me, anyway.

I do hope that I’ve persuaded her to change her opinion. I don’t hope that she did so because I said so - I hope she did so because she believes what I said to be true. If she continues to hold the same opinion, I will continue to disagree with it.

And I’m not sure which traditional moral values you’re referring to, but I try to teach my kids the traditional moral values as layed down in Matthew 7.

And heck, I didn’t intend to rant nor to debate - just to share moments among parents where the kid does something you don’t agree with and never thought they’d do. Personally, I don’t find fledgeling bigotry in a 10-year-old to be too serious, because they’re kids. They do stupid things that we might rant and rave about if an adult did them. But they’re just kids. They’re learning. They’re not (yet) rational intelligent beings.

It sounds to me that the OP is having a discussion with his daughter about how she came to her conclusions rather than shoving opinions down her throat as you assert.

That sounds to me like reasonable parenting.

In this case, I think the daughter’s new opinions were something she picked up at school. If I’d come home saying “ewww, gays shouldn’t get married,” I’d have been quickly sat down and involved in a discussion as to where I heard this, and why I think it, and why my family doesn’t. Bigotry doesn’t fly in my mom’s house. Pretty much the same thing you’re proposing here, actually.

Sorry about the hijack.

I long for the days of slavery, when women knew their place and couldn’t vote, and when people took religion seriously enough to put people on the rack if they weren’t Roman Catholic. Ah, the good ole days.

I had a few “I taught you better than that moments” when I was a kid.

The one that sticks out most in my mind was my assertion that “Jesus died for our sins” and “Christmas is a time of worship, worship of Jesus” when I was raised by atheist parents. Those two trips to sunday school with a friend apparently brainwashed me pretty good.

I don’t remember saying these things, but they were collected in one of those books of stuff kids wrote during elementary school (poetry, drawings, What America means to me, etc). Freaked me the hell out when I read it later because I emphatically don’t believe anything organized religion tries to tell me other than “be nice to people”.

Before anyone decides to flame me, I don’t care if you believe in Jesus, that’s your right and I’m not going to step on it. I didn’t like finding out that I had been so mindless about it.

My son had his first bit of sex ed last spring, just basics about what all the parts are called and what puberty’s about, nothing too heavy for sixth graders. I distinctly remember having several conversations with him that the information he’d be learning could be discussed freely at home, but not with the younger kids everywhere else. Our closest friends, who babysit him daily, have younger children who attend private school even, no mangled sex-ed info needs to be delivered there. We’ve had problems with the age difference and private vs public school issues before, he’ll try and gloat that he got to see a certain movie their parents won’t let them see, etc.

Sure enough, a few weeks later I go to pick him up after work and he’s all “Mom, c’mere, we need to talk!” Seeming very distressed, he told me I needed to have a talk with the eldest child (just turned 10) because “she doesn’t know what menstruation is Mom! And she’s been a real pain lately, so I’m pretty sure she’s going to start and she won’t even know, I mean, I tried to explain it to her and she wouldn’t listen or anything!!”

Of course, her mother had indeed had several talks preparing the girl, she was just predictably grossed out about talking to a boy about anything so personal. Thankfully, the Mom was pretty amused at my son’s logic leap of “she’s been a bitch, must need to start” because she’s been thinking the same thing about her daughter. The Dad’s a bit uptight, he’d have been all wigged out had he been around.

But did I not specifically tell the boy not to be running his mouth on this exact topic to that particular set of kids? :smack:

I recall my youngest daughter piping up into our conversation about abortion when she was in 1st or 2nd grade. “Abortion is when mommies kill their pre-born babies!”

Not the approach we were trying to instill in her. We’ve tended to shy away from such black and white absolutism.

I don’t really know if this moment made me feel good or bad.

My son came home from school a bit upset. He had fallen out with his best friend and was proclaiming his school as “stupid!”.

He said “its all just about groups and there are four main groups. The cool kids and they just hang about on the field being stupid. The card kids and they just sit outside the library playing Yugio and stuff. The…and mum you know I’m not racist…Polynesian kids and they just walk round hassling each other. And us normal kids and we just muck around. It’s so dumb why can’t everyone just play together”

Seemed like he had studied the lay of the land and it was a fairly typical pre-teen bunch (he’s 12) but bothered me he had decided everyone belonged “in a group”. The “I’m not racist” bit made me laugh becaus I know he has picked up that exact wording from my father and brother but since almost none of his friends are the same race I’m sure he meant it.

During a recent conversation about pets, my 12-year-old daughter let slip a comment along the lines of what kind of pet she’d have “if her husband let her.” I was horrified, especially after prying into it a bit more and being told that wives are supposed to do what their husbands tell them to do. I kept trying to come up with scenarios such as, “What if he told you to flush your head in the toilet,” but once she got defensive, she got stubborn about it and wouldn’t back down. She’s obviously been spending way too much time at Great Grandma’s house!

It sounds like he thinks everyone is “in a group” (High school is like that, cliques abound and if you’re not in one, you’re a complete outsider.) It sounds to me like he’s upset that everyone’s in a group and not just mingling with each other, hence “why can’t everyone just play together”.

A friend and I were going out somewhere, and her son (at the time, he was about four or five), was sitting in the back seat, and we started talking about the Steelers. Her son pipes up, “I don’t like the Steelers-they have too many black people!”

My friend was shocked and angry, and asked him where he learned that kind of nonsense. His father’s family (the kid’s father is a real loser), particularly his uncle. She was really upset about it, and planned to have a little chat with his father…

Both my parents smoked cigarettes heavily, both died young, in part from their habit, and I still miss them.
Husband and I raised our kids with a fairly anti-smoking indoctrination. (We don’t like cigarettes. We believe in smokers’ rights, but we also believe in the right to not smoke.)
Anyway, my now-21-year-old picked up the habit about a year and a half ago.
After the initial “we’re really disappointed, etc” talk we dropped it, except for the occasional clippings I send him. He certainly knows how we feel, doesn’t smoke around us.
I am hoping that he will later decide to quit, and then do so. This is how it went with my younger brother, who smoked all through college.

:slight_smile: Yes that’s what I thought too really. It just made me a bit sad.

While the situation is sad, your son’s perceptiveness and feelings about the situation should make you happy. Hopefully, he’ll grow up treating people based on who they are personally, and not simply on who they hang out with, where they live, what color their skin is, or any number of other book-cover reasons.

In high-school, I never belonged to any group(s). At the same time, however, I could hang out with any group - be it the “popular” kids, the “nerds”, the “stoners”, what have you. The people in these groups acknowledged my presence and never had any problem with me hanging out with them.

I loved this because, while not a very social person, I love people in general. I’m fascinated by how people think and feel and interact. As a “rogue agent”, while never truly belonging to any group, I was never ostracized. And I think this was because (besides being a fairly unassuming and benign person) I never treated people based on their friends.

And while I may not have had many close social friends due to my rogue status, most of the people that I did get to truly know are still great friends - true friends. If I had belonged to a certain group, I’m not sure how many from that group I’d still be in contact with today. And who knows how many people from outside the group I would have missed becoming great friends with.


Thanks Beauty Personified. I think my son is a lot like how you described yourself. I’m deeply paranoid and I think I sometimes expect he is too. I was always far to worried about what the “cool” kids thought. Though I went to a girls school and that is a bitch-o-rama :smiley:

He’s a bit chubby and I was worried he might get teased. I tried to subtly ask him if he was being hassled at all. His response was “mum, kids that hassle people just do it cause they like to see you get upset. I just look at them like they are nuts and walk away. When they know you are no fun to hassle they don’t bother”

His teacher told me (at parent-teacher conference) that he was very loyal to his friends but popular in the class. I must have done something right.

I still don’t like the way he divided the school into groups though but I suppose he didn’t invent the system.