5/14/08 Parents Punished For Kids Behavior

Should a Parent be punished   49 votes

  1. 1. Should a Parent be punished when their child fails to follow the law?

    • Yes
      12
    • No
      4
    • depends on the crime
      33

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32 posts in this topic

Should a Parent be punished when their child fails to follow the law?

I was reading an artical about a Father being put in jail because his daughter failed to get her G.E.D . We have minors that do worse things than this but their parents are not held responsible for their kids actions. What age do you think a parent should no longer be punished for their child's misbehaving ways?

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Parents who are so lax that they're already taken to court and ordered to control their child..and then the child breaks the law again..the parent should be held responsible. The parent here in the story wasn't exactly punished because the child didn't pass her GED...I bet the REAL story is that he was punished because he was ordered to keep on top of it..and how could he do that when she was no longer living with him??

Yes, the child needs to bear some responsibility as well..but until the child is 18 and is still living under the parents roof, then BOTH child and parent should be held responsible.

But of course I'm not a parent. Probably a good thing, these days. I'd be held for child abuse because I "made" my child follow the rules.

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I voted "yes" - I have a 17 yr. old son and he all-in-all a good kid - (his mouth is his worst enemy :D ) but I think kids are way over-indulged today and if you haven't gotten the manners, right & wrong, and parental respect down by the age of 5, you will have an up-hill battle all the way, and in my mind that is the parents fault, not so much the child's. We should be held responsible up to the age of 18 in my mind...we are quick to take pride in their achievements, but we should deny everything when they take a wrong turn? :rofl:

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I think it depends on the crime, certainly, but also what kind of parent the adult is. A parent who doesn't give a hoot about what the kid does should more than likely at least share the punishment with the kid...but if the parent is one who believes in actual parenting, the situation may be different. It's one of those things that just isn't black and white, and I bet it could stir up some huge controversy....but I guess my thinking is if you let your kid run wild and do whatever he/she wants, and don't teach them discipline/responsibility, then it is partially your own fault if they break the law, but some parents do a great job with parenting, and the kid breaks the law, anyway. Maybe if the parent had to take a punishment along with the child, it would help both parties see that your actions affect more than just you, and might teach them the importance of responsibility. I also feel that the punishment should NOT be a monetary fine, but instead, something more along the lines of community service. That way, both parent and child could contribute to society, and possibly learn a lesson, instead of just writing a check and forgetting about it (I'm thinking of the extremely wealthy parents we all see in the news that bail their children out with money instead of making them take their lumps)

As for age...that's a hard call. I originally thought 18, as this is the age we are technically considered adults, but then I thought back to myself at 18...(disclaimer, every person is different, and I am only describing myself, so no offense meant to anyone!) and I was wicked immature, fairly naive and clueless, and very easily led astray. Was this because of my upbringing? Perhaps. If I had gotten in trouble, would it have been my mom's fault? Hard to say as I was in college and living two hours away. I guess my final answer would be when the child moves out of the parents' home, and is considered to be living on their own, then the responsibility ends, as far as the parent being punished for the kid's poor choices. However, I do believe that once a parent, you are a parent for life, and your responsibility as a parent never ends!

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I also think it depends on the crime and the circumstances. Kids, even kids that are well raised and held accountable for their action by their parents can do really stupid things. Parents who do not take responsibility or do what is needed to prevent a repeat event should be liable.

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When my son was nine years old, he was throwing some rocks and accidentally broke the rear window on a car. I told the owner that I would pay for the damages because I am responsible for my son. Fortunately her insurance covered it. Now, take this same story but mix it up a bit. Let's make the child 16 and it wasn't an accident. The child had been taught right from wrong and to respect other people's property. The parents, up to this point, has done their part. They taught the child. The child made his own decision to throw that rock and now the child must be held accountable. Turning the blender on again.... Let's say we have a couple of parents who don't teach by example. The neighbor came home late and his dog started barking. The parents were angered and tossed a few stones at the dog to make him quiet down. The child sees this. At 16, this child breaks that window, just because. Yes, the parents and the child need to be held accountable. I think that is one of the things wrong with this world. People are not held responsible for their actions. There is always some reason that they find to try and push it off on someone else. We as parents do our best to raise our children so that they will be happy, successful, well-mannered adults. But we cannot make all of their decisions for them. They have to learn that there are consequences, good and bad, for their actions. If I take the punishment for something my child does wrong, how will he learn?

Just my opinion...stepping off the soapbox now. :D

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I believe the parents of the child should be held accountable while the child is under the age of 18 and still in school.

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I think it depends on the crime. Obviously, we have too many kids these days trying to blame their wrongdoing on their parents. Adults as well. It's important for kids to realize that there are consequences for behavior...punishing the parents for the kids wrongdoing?...what message does that send except to reinforce that they don't have to be accountable for their own behavior..someone else will get the blame!!

This was a dumb case to begin with...the kid didn't even LIVE with her father!

Once again, our legal system and tax dollars at work!

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I think this story is also dumb because the child is no longer a child. She is 19 yrs old now. She is an adult.

I think it depends on the circumstances. If a parent does everything right and raises the child to be an upstanding citizen...it is harsh to punish a parent if the child does something criminal. There was a story about some girls that were taunting another child in school. The girls were punished by law. They apologized for what they did to the girl and they served time and community service. Then the parents of the victim decided to sue the parents of the girls who did the act. Both sets of parents are now having to face losing their homes to pay for court costs, and impending lawsuits. If the kids did THEIR time why should the parents suffer even further financially and emotionally. Some people are always looking to score some money!

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I also think it depends on the crime and the circumstances. Kids, even kids that are well raised and held accountable for their action by their parents can do really stupid things. Parents who do not take responsibility or do what is needed to prevent a repeat event should be liable.

I agree, sometimes no matter what example you set for your kids or the discipline you try, kids when with a group of their peers can and will do stupid things that they know full well is wrong. There are so many other influences in a child's life besides parents that help mold them. A parent can not be in all places at all times, especially as they get older. We were among the few parents who set rules, curfews, and also checked out not only their friends but the parents when our girls were going to spend the night over.

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Depends on crime and circumstances. I've seen things get way out of hand because of zero tolerance policies in schools. But I know that laws and rules are to protect everyone as a whole.

When my son is punished it is usually because he has done something that I know he knew he shouldn't do. I don't know how you can punish children when they don't know any better... because their parents don't know any better... etc. There has to be a break in the cycle somewhere. If you don't, you end with a cycle of jail time... father goes to jail... uncle goes to jail... son goes to jail... etc.

Maybe parents who know better should be held accountable because their children should have known better.

Tough subject.

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That actions have consequences for their parents but not themselves I doubt is going to help curb their behavior much.

Mostly, I think we have a tendency to see things through a very narrow scope, but it's important to be able to see the big picture. It's easy to pin the blame on a mother with a son at 17 who drops out of high school, punches holes through walls and getting drunk at friends houses... But if you take a look at the bigger picture: The mother was "raised" by an alcoholic parent and an absent father. So she raised her son with the parenting skills of a child, on top of that the boy is diagnosably bipolar - a condition which when untreated, results in all the behaviors listed above. Did you know most homeless people are diagnosable with personality disorders? I bet it can be traced back to dysfunctional upbringing.

It's easy to slap a sentence onto either the mother or the son, but it doesn't fix the root of the problem. I'm wondering if we should consider legal consequences for teens, and maybe even middlers. A combination of community service and mental health care services could better manage issues that aren't controllable in (or are excacerbated by) the home environment. The parents would only be held legally liable if they could not get the kids to their community service or appointments.

I read an article once about a school that required the children to clean the school buses every Friday afternoon. What a great idea! A perfect opportunity to teach kids consequences... litter and vandalize the bus, you get to clean it up... keep the bus clean all week, and you have less to do on Friday!

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Mmm this is a hard one. I think in some cases yes and in others no. I was talking to my friend about this subject the other day and she has been having trouble getting her child to eat her meals ever since taking her to nursery because the staff there don't make her finish her dinner and give her pudding instead against my friend's wishes. So there's a prime example of a parent trying their best to instill discipline into a child only to have the nursery staff ignore her and now my friend has been told that she spoils her child too much with food because her daughter is fussy :) when it is in fact the nursery who is to blame.

Now the child throws a wobbly whenever she can't get her own way at meal time so I would say that it depends where children spend most of their time and what kind of company they keep.

Another problem is that alot of children these days have immense pressure to fit in with the crowd and see their parents as old fuddy duddy's who are there to spoil the fun and if a child refuses to listen to a parent I don't see how a parent can be held responsible for all of their childs behaviour. Children who are over the age of 10 can make rational decisions and know right from wrong. The problem is that if a child is mixing with the wrong crowd, it is them they want to impress and not their parents.

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Kids, once they reach a certain age, tend to do what they want, and each kid is different when they start doing that. I answered "depends on the crime", but my real answer is this. If a child repeatedly gets in trouble and the parents do nothing about it, then go after the parents. If the parents are trying to correct the kid, i.e., grounding, removing privileges, even filing a juvenile petition on them, then it should fall on the child.

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I was taught right from wrong when I was a child and I am trying to instill wrong from right in my children. But it does depend on the crime. I believe my parents brought me up good, but when I was a young teenager I broke the law. I would not say that my parents were responsible for that. I was the one that stole from the store. I have to say that the child depending on age should be responsible. If my four year old steals something it is my fault that I didn't notice it, but if he is 14 and out with friends and he steals, that is his responsibility. I learned from my mistake and never stole anything again. I also learned that peer pressure is greater than anything a parent can say to their child. I don't know any teenager that thinks their parents are trying to help them in their life. I only know teenagers that think their parents are trying to hold them back. Parents do their best but the cild does need to learn from their own mistakes inlife by having to deal with the responsibility that comes with making the mistake.

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This is such a difficult poll! I said no at first, then changed my mind to Depends on the crime. Children who are not taught right from wrong grow up and they still don't know right from wrong. At least I see it that way lately. I tried to teach my children right from wrong. One day my son who was around 8 at the time and I were at the grocery store. I saw him stuffing candy into his shirt. I told the manager who brought two big burly police men and they took my son upstairs to the manager's office. They were gone for about 45 minutes. When my son came back down he literally had messed his pants - and never took anything that didn't belong to him again. My daughter on the other hand was very sneaky and would "shop lift" with her friends. She was lucky she was never caught. I drummed it into her head that stealing was wrong, but when kids get with their friends, they "forget" right from wrong and just want to be one of the gang - unfortunately. Was I wrong to turn my son in? I don't think so. He learned a valuable lesson and I never had to worry about his stealing again. The police didn't hurt him, they just talked to him about the consequences of what happens when you steal. He gave back the candy to the manager by the way and said he was sorry - very tearfully.

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once I decided I was independant (probably age 16), I accepted that my actions were based on my own choices, not my Mom's. I wasn't a bad kid, but I did plenty of unusual actions that Mom would have been horrified at... these mainly involved climbing to the roof top of the local Episc. church and sliding down the gutters, cave exploring below USC (SC) streets in the ...whatever those caves/tunnels/dangerous places are below the city streets.

Everyday at the library I see kids who have no limitations from the parent. Tiny kids back talk parents and run thrugh the building without being stopped. Today a small girl grabbed a noncirculating magazine and ripped a page out of it. One librarian took off to see what had happened but arrived after the mom who pronounced thank goodness it was a freebie info item and stuffed the magazine in to her purse. This was a little child who needed to hear the early lessons on responsibility and punishment for damage, but it didn't happen. Instead the parent chose to cheat, steal, and lie from a community place that is there for everyone's benefit. Tax payer money...pfffttt!

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When my 2nd son was about 14, he tried to shoplift a watch at a department store in the mall. He was supposed to meet me at a certain time at a certain spot in the mall; instead, a police officer met me and informed me what he'd done and that he was in the managers office.

After the manager had given him an appropriate lecture, he got another one from me, then he apologized and we left. He was very subdued on the drive home, and I let him know that I was extremely saddened and disappointed in his actions and that the fine of $75 was HIS responsibility. I also told him that I hoped he would NEVER do such a thing again, as he had been taught better.

He worked for the $75 fine and mailed it off. He never broke the law again and is now in Scotland getting his masters degree and is a very responsible adult.

Should I have been arrested for his behavior? I think NOT! He definitely knew better, and why he made a choice to do such a thing, I don't know. But he learned that his actions had consequences, and no one would face those consequences but HIM!

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I have been on both sides of this. One child was never in trouble and I did not have one bit of trouble with. Another one was in trouble constantly. Should I have been put in jail? (Well actually my husband - he was his) I don't think so. We did everything we could - doctors, counseling, reward points, punishments. I think if a child has commited a crime he/she should suffer the consequences. If the parents don't follow up with progressive actions, the next time they should have the consequences. If they have though, I don't think they should have to. However, I think the parents should be financially responsible for everything. If they want to make the child reimburse them - great. Some kids are very clever and sneaky and parents can't be awake and following their child every minute of every day. And this could be a wake up call for a lot of parents who always start with "my child would never..." It is almost always their child who did.

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One night I was in my room folding clothes and I smelled a peculiar smell. After a minute I realized what I was smelling was lit matches.

I discovered the smell was coming from Nat`s room. I think she was about 9-10 yrs old at the time. She got the box of wooden matches that I had stashed for emergencies and was lighting them, blowing them out and them tossing the discards into her trash can.

I never screamed so loud in my life. Do you understand what you are doing? You could burn the house down and we would be homeless! You could burn the house down and kill us all!

She was crying and I told her to stay in her room for the rest of the night!

The next morning I talked to her about it. She said she was curious about how to light matches. I told her that all she had to do was come to me or Fred and ask. We would have shown her how to but also the dangers, precautions, etc.

Fred asked her if she understood the magnitude of what she had done..She said yeah..I never saw Mom`s face get that red before..I will never do anything like that again!

In hindsight I shouldnt have yelled at her and I apologized for that. But She freaked me out man...Some of those matches were burnt down real close to the end.

My kids have a healthy fear of me...Mom may one day lose it and end my happy life (meaning no friends, no tv, no phone, no daylight, no ice cream man..etc..LOL)

Now if I had acted like it was no big deal...she would have continued with that behavior. If she did burn the house down it would be just as much my fault as it was hers.

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Heidiii, I don't think your response could have been MORE appropriate. My parents were very hands-off. Essentially, if we weren't endangering our lives, she let us suffer the consequences. I think playing with matches falls under that former category of "Endangering lives". Especially if you don't normally go ballistic... my dd's dad gets angry at the drop of a hat... consequently, it doesn't have much of an effect anymore on the tyke. I get mad, and the world stops. I think it's happened twice in her ten years. :p

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As the parents of a child born with bipolar disroder with psychotic features (whose case studyhelped to define the DSMIV definitions of pediatric bipolarity) we did our best to control his behaviors and fought tooth & nail through the judicial system to get him affordable psychiatric help instead of prison. The eldest one was just a rebellious PIA and the USMC worked it out of him. This middle one learned by example & didn't seem to need getting into trouble to define himself. Hold us responsible? No, that won't wash.

Where the parents have already been mandated by the courts to control their child's behavior & they make no effort, of course they're responsible; but this is such a case-by-case issue you cannot say one-siize-fits-all.

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I think the consensus has been reached that the parent should be responsible for teaching good behavior, responsibility, etc. If they have been responsible parents, then they are not at fault for the child's misbehavior, except in a very young child who has lessons yet to learn, and I don't mean they're at fault there either.

It's the one's who can't or more likely WON'T be responisble who should be punished WITH the child.

There's always grey areas in this topic. And I, like Holly have children with mental issues and I can tell you that I have tried my hardest to teach my children good behavior, but that there ARE children out there, like mine and Holly's who are not able to learn like other children.

Terri

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I believe that the parents must be responsible for the kid's re-incident behavior.

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I think the consensus has been reached that the parent should be responsible for teaching good behavior, responsibility, etc. If they have been responsible parents, then they are not at fault for the child's misbehavior, except in a very young child who has lessons yet to learn, and I don't mean they're at fault there either.

It's the one's who can't or more likely WON'T be responisble who should be punished WITH the child.

I'll second that!

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