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Thread: Why are children expected to obey their parents

  1. #1
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    Why are children expected to obey their parents

    or even to 'respect' them (on the basis that they are their parents)? Children owe their parents nothing, they never asked to be created (which their parents did for their own selfish reasons). Parents aren't doing their children a favor by providing them with food, clothing, shelter etc., they are the reason why they need these things to begin with. I've never understood how parents can be angry with their child or resentful towads them as though they seriously did not know what they were getting into (or at least could have been getting into) when they chose to make a new person, nobody forced them to procreate. Unless there was a mutual and consensual agreement between parent and child for the child to be born, children are not morally obligated to recognize their parent's authority.

    If you create a sentient being, it is your moral obligation to satisfy their needs regardless of how old they are. You are responsible for their needs regardless of whether or not they are capable of satifying them themselves. It is not unjust to not take care of the children you create, for example, I don't think fathers should be forced to pay child support, but it is immoral. The attitude that children are supposed to be 'grateful' to their parents is bizarre. Life is not a gift as there would have to be a pre-existing person who wanted to be born for your having been born to be considered a benefit to you.
    Last edited by African_Love; 02-07-2010 at 03:14 PM.

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    Pirate! Katy North's Avatar
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    As an answer to your title question, children are expected to obey their parents because their parents (generally) have more life experience than their children. If I were to tell my two year old not to run out into the street, I would expect him to behave me (or be disciplined if he doesn't do as he's told), because I have experience he doesn't... I know that running in front of a car can get him killed. Of course, some parents can turn this into abuse, but generally, it works out in the child's interest.

    As to children being expected to be grateful to their parents, that is a different story that is entirely dependent on how well the parent does at... well, parenting. I agree that expecting children to be grateful for "being brought into this world" is pretty ridiculous... especially if this is used as some kind of guilt trip by the parents.

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    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Children are likened to untamed wild beasts when they are not trained r cultivated and of course parents condition and cultivate heir minds and help them behave rationally and sensibly or else they are more likely to be unruly and boisterous

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

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    You're touching on two entirely different topics for me here. The expectation of obedience and respect are entirely different. One can be demanded, but the other can only be earned.

    I do have an expectation that my children obey me, and I will for some time. At 6 and 3 years of age, they have much to learn before they are fully capable of making their own decisions based on life experiences. That being said, even when they're teenagers they'll have much to learn. I talk from experience because I'm just not that far removed from teen years. Perhaps it gives me a better perspective, and I only hope that I'll be as understanding still when it is my own children . Obeying the rules of my household is not an option that I give my kids. I have rules to ensure that they remain safe and they grow up to be well adjusted, independent, adults capable of meeting the demands of society and the world.

    This brings me to respect. I don't demand respect from my kids, and I'll likely never change on that. My kids are allowed to disagree, they're even allowed to argue and have their own opinions. I do demand that they remain respectful while they voice them. I would not tolerate one of them telling me to go to hell or something equally inflammatory, but then I would not tolerate that disrespect to anyone be it another adult or child. I do not demand respect on the basis that I'm their parent. I will demand that they treat everyone with a certain measure of respect my husband and I included. I can only hope that by being the best mom I can that by the time they're old enough to really think about it I'll have earned that respect.

  5. #5
    Skol'er of Thinkery The Comedian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkhockenberry View Post
    You're touching on two entirely different topics for me here. The expectation of obedience and respect are entirely different. One can be demanded, but the other can only be earned.

    I do have an expectation that my children obey me, and I will for some time. At 6 and 3 years of age, they have much to learn before they are fully capable of making their own decisions based on life experiences. That being said, even when they're teenagers they'll have much to learn. I talk from experience because I'm just not that far removed from teen years. Perhaps it gives me a better perspective, and I only hope that I'll be as understanding still when it is my own children . Obeying the rules of my household is not an option that I give my kids. I have rules to ensure that they remain safe and they grow up to be well adjusted, independent, adults capable of meeting the demands of society and the world.

    This brings me to respect. I don't demand respect from my kids, and I'll likely never change on that. My kids are allowed to disagree, they're even allowed to argue and have their own opinions. I do demand that they remain respectful while they voice them. I would not tolerate one of them telling me to go to hell or something equally inflammatory, but then I would not tolerate that disrespect to anyone be it another adult or child. I do not demand respect on the basis that I'm their parent. I will demand that they treat everyone with a certain measure of respect my husband and I included. I can only hope that by being the best mom I can that by the time they're old enough to really think about it I'll have earned that respect.
    Well said Meg.

    I teach my kids to respect their parents because it's good manners to respect people who are helping you along. If you don't respect the love and care and help of those around you then, you quickly become a donkey's rear-end. And it's in both the partents and the kids' best interest to prevent that from happening.

    As for "obey" -- sheesh! If my kids didn't "obey" me, they'd eat straight from the sugar bowl, pee on the carpet, watch Dora for 18 hours, get hit by a car, stick matches in their ears, spit out their medicine, etc. . . .

    And my kids are good kids; but they're kids; they're sorta dumb. They need to "obey" their parents because their parents know, more or less, how to get along in this world. And they don't.
    Last edited by The Comedian; 02-09-2010 at 12:27 PM.
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  6. #6
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Because I say so - that's why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Comedian View Post
    And my kids are good kids; but they're kids; they're sorta dumb. They need to "obey" their parents because their parents know, more or less, how to get along in this world. And they don't.
    That is exactly what I was thinking I really hate to admit it, but even when they're teens (and trust me I remember knowing everything) they'll still be far less experienced and seeming a bit dumb. Heck, I still ask my Mum for advice from time to time. I've two kids of my own, and I still don't know everything. Who do you think it is I called when my son got colicky or when my youngest (now three) split her head open on a coffee table and needed stitches.

  8. #8
    As a serious response I think I will try Point by Point here.


    Why are children expected to obey their parents
    or even to 'respect' them (on the basis that they are their parents)?
    As stated these are two very different things, in that you can force obedience, but you cannot force respect.

    I will cover Obedience here because that is the bigger issue.

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    Children owe their parents nothing, they never asked to be created (which their parents did for their own selfish reasons).
    On the contrary I would argue that eventually parents are driven to fulfill at the very least a biological need for reproduction or else our species would die out. This is a reason gays are driven to adopt children, or have "test tube" babies born. As Intelligent People we are driven to provide Intelligent reasons for doing something. this might be where you derive the selfishness idea. regardless of what justification they give it, there are deeper reasons.

    Parents aren't doing their children a favor by providing them with food, clothing, shelter etc., they are the reason why they need these things to begin with.
    Your right! And if they are the reason as to why they need it then they are doing the right thing by providing such Neh?

    I've never understood how parents can be angry with their child or resentful towads them as though they seriously did not know what they were getting into (or at least could have been getting into) when they chose to make a new person, nobody forced them to procreate.
    Of course you don't understand, because that feeling is in the low minority. And people who feel that way are not intelligent enough to understand cause and effect and therefore should not have been allowed to procreate in the first place.

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    Unless there was a mutual and consensual agreement between parent and child for the child to be born, children are not morally obligated to recognize their parent's authority.
    Ludicrous. you threw this in here to make a facetious remark.

    If you create a sentient being, it is your moral obligation to satisfy their needs regardless of how old they are. You are responsible for their needs regardless of whether or not they are capable of satifying them themselves.
    Of course it is. This is why in the 21st century we no longer get our children apprenticed at the age of 14. we now pay to send them through college until they are 24. that is the difference 4 century's make, in that a parent must support a child 10 years longer with no return.

    It is not unjust to not take care of the children you create, for example, I don't think fathers should be forced to pay child support, but it is immoral.
    It sounds like you wish you were born to crocodiles. are you sure you weren't one in a past life?

    The attitude that children are supposed to be 'grateful' to their parents is bizarre. Life is not a gift as there would have to be a pre-existing person who wanted to be born for your having been born to be considered a benefit to you.
    So in other words life is this terrible burden forced on you against your will, you hate your parents for it, and feel you owe them nothing. not Respect nor Obedience.

    Ser, Far be it for me to make assumptions, but I would Assume your age anywhere from 14-19 and it sounds to me like your an Emo kid. I would prescribe a good dose of a girlfriend, followed by a nice part time job.

    If you are a 40 something millionaire author, I apologize for my assumption.



    Anyways, In response to the topic as a whole. Children owe their parents Obedience from the ripe age of 2 (the age of communication) to the age of when the parent stops supporting them. Reasons being that why ever the child was brought into the world, the parent has the child's best interests at heart. From this age on the parent is the one who's responsibility it is to teach the child how to interact with other's of his kind and the world around him. The parent is responsible to make sure the child is socially equipped to go to school, and then to make sure the child succeeds in school. The parent must teach the child how to talk, eat, walk, sleep, shower. everything it must know to survive in this world. this comes at the cost of the child's free will in regards to the parent's commands.
    Last edited by JonathanLockely; 02-10-2010 at 04:36 AM. Reason: Didn't quote a portion

  9. #9
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanLockely View Post
    Ser, Far be it for me to make assumptions, but I would Assume your age anywhere from 14-19 and it sounds to me like your an Emo kid. I would prescribe a good dose of a girlfriend, followed by a nice part time job.

    If you are a 40 something millionaire author, I apologize for my assumption.

    I don't know AfricanLove's age or background either, but I have some pretty definite ideas about JonathanLockely, though I wouldn't be so presumptuous or condescending as to express them in a conversation like this.

    Incidentally if I were to say, as the father of three kids and - apparently more relevantly - a fifty-something author of fairly comfortable means, that I thought AfricanLove's basic thesis is mostly supportable, would my age and financial position make that thesis any more credible?

    Because if they wouldn't, then the speculation about AfricanLove's circumstances was beside the point, wasn't it?

    And if they would, then can you let us know what age and level of income a person needs to achieve before you'll be less dismissive of their opinions?
    Last edited by MarkBastable; 02-10-2010 at 10:07 AM.

  10. #10
    Pirate! Katy North's Avatar
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    Agreed. There is also a good chance that African_Love has abusive parents, in which case a good dose of counselor and/or psychologist should be recommended instead.

  11. #11
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katy North View Post
    Agreed. There is also a good chance that African_Love has abusive parents, in which case a good dose of counselor and/or psychologist should be recommended instead.
    I do hope that was irony.

  12. #12
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by African_Love View Post
    or even to 'respect' them (on the basis that they are their parents)? Children owe their parents nothing, they never asked to be created (which their parents did for their own selfish reasons). Parents aren't doing their children a favor by providing them with food, clothing, shelter etc., they are the reason why they need these things to begin with. I've never understood how parents can be angry with their child or resentful towads them as though they seriously did not know what they were getting into (or at least could have been getting into) when they chose to make a new person, nobody forced them to procreate. Unless there was a mutual and consensual agreement between parent and child for the child to be born, children are not morally obligated to recognize their parent's authority.

    If you create a sentient being, it is your moral obligation to satisfy their needs regardless of how old they are. You are responsible for their needs regardless of whether or not they are capable of satifying them themselves. It is not unjust to not take care of the children you create, for example, I don't think fathers should be forced to pay child support, but it is immoral. The attitude that children are supposed to be 'grateful' to their parents is bizarre. Life is not a gift as there would have to be a pre-existing person who wanted to be born for your having been born to be considered a benefit to you.
    You contradict yourself in this argument. You start by arguing that it is the parents' choice to have children and so they should naturally take care of the child (fair enough) and then you go on to say that you don't think fathers should have to pay child support. It is unjust to neglect your children because as you say, the parents were the one who created them.

    So this is rather a silly argument, no?

  13. #13
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelby_lake View Post
    You contradict yourself in this argument. You start by arguing that it is the parents' choice to have children and so they should naturally take care of the child (fair enough) and then you go on to say that you don't think fathers should have to pay child support. It is unjust to neglect your children because as you say, the parents were the one who created them.

    So this is rather a silly argument, no?
    I think it was badly phrased: I read it as, Men should take responsibility for their kids, but they shouldn't be forced to - though not paying up is immoral..

    I might be wrong about that, but that's the way I took it because, as you say, it wouldn't make sense otherwise.
    Last edited by MarkBastable; 02-11-2010 at 03:12 AM.

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    :) Stephweet :) stephofthenight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable View Post
    Because I say so - that's why.
    Ah yes my favorite one... But see when they ask something, they don't appreciate when you say, because I said so. me and my parents have constant arguments about this. they expect a long drawn out explnation from me, but they can just say because I said so. / Annoys the hell out of me. So generaly when the exscuse because I said so is given, I tended to do it anyway, and just say well I wasnt clear. Thankfully in college, its not as bad.

    I thank parents often get children thinking of them as pets.
    baby=puppy cute, tend to be annoying occasionaly but still sweet and follows you around everywhere. teenager=old dog who refuses to fetch or listen.

    I also think parents know what they are getting into when they decide to have children, unplaned? I think we all knows what causes kids... You know as babys they sleep, poop, eat, and cry. toddlers, eat, sleep, poop, cry, follow you around, stick things in ears, mouths ect. kids-follow you, you cant move without them teenagers-eat, sleep, run your bills up, break every rule, and act exactly like the parents ded when they where teenagers. than they go to college and basicly do what they want... in a nutshell thats what you get.

    also t he words slave/servent come to mind...hmm I feel lazy, child take out trash, child go get this from the car for me, child go tell your mum/dad this, child go get this...child go fix me something to drink..yesssss that is my thoughs
    Last edited by stephofthenight; 02-10-2010 at 07:09 PM.

    "Be careful of quotes you find on the internet, they may not always be true" -Abraham Lincon-

  15. #15
    I don't know AfricanLove's age or background either, but I have some pretty definite ideas about JonathanLockely, though I wouldn't be so presumptuous or condescending as to express them in a conversation like this.

    Incidentally if I were to say, as the father of three kids and - apparently more relevantly - a fifty-something author of fairly comfortable means, that I thought AfricanLove's basic thesis is mostly supportable, would my age and financial position make that thesis any more credible?

    Because if they wouldn't, then the speculation about AfricanLove's circumstances was beside the point, wasn't it?

    And if they would, then can you let us know what age and level of income a person needs to achieve before you'll be less dismissive of their opinions?
    Your right and I do apologize. your age and income does have nothing to do with the strength of an argument, or the intelligence behind it. That said I will say that I posted the comment because I personally am 20 years old, and I hear this sort of I don't love my life quite often with people I know of in my generation. And it resonates as bad with me as those in my generation who are all like "Anarchy FTW dude!!!11! Down with the system!"

    If you are a 40 something millionaire author, I apologize for my assumption.
    I was mostly apologizing for insulting him with the above statement if this is so. It was rude of me and I should have left this out entirely.

    That said I stand by my argument.
    Last edited by JonathanLockely; 02-11-2010 at 04:10 AM.

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