There has been ongoing debate whether it is the parents’ “fault” or not when a child misbehaves or commits a crime. You raise your child and he or she makes decisions that may reflect on you – is that fair? Is it accurate? I don’t know. I told you I’m not an expert on anything. It’s on my mind though as parents of a school shooter are being brought up on charges.
In the case of the shooter, it seems that the parents might have some responsibility in that they bought a 14 year old a weapon, did not keep the ammunition separate from the weapon and the weapon was not locked up. So for those things if there is a law that applies and it was broken, it seems they should be held responsible and pay the fine or serve the time that was deemed fair by a jury or a judge. But what about the actual murders? If they did not order him to do it, if they did not train him to do it, if they did not dare him to do it then how is it the parents’ fault? Were they GOOD parents? Probably not, but if I give birth to a serial killer, should I go to jail for his crimes? It is a conundrum. I don’t understand all the nuances of these laws to say either way.
I also do not think parents should take credit when they are GOOD or do something amazing. Yes, I taught my kids to read and draw but they continued and progressed while going to school and chose to read and do the hard work. So if they write a Pulitzer Prize winning book, I would not claim it was because of me. To me, I started the process but it was their own hard work that got them to that level. I will beam with pride for sure though.
I am not saying we do not have ANY responsibilities when it comes to their behavior. If I let my kid stomp and scream every time she is told no and she repeats that at school – well duh! that is a direct correlation. I just don’t think one should just ASSUME the parent did something wrong. I have a friend who devotes so much time to her son but he is still not interested in school and is not doing well no matter what she does to help. I know it’s different than someone murdering people but there is a connection.
I was a reserved, shy, awkward child who tried not to make much noise and ran from attention. I thought it was because my mother was abusive. So when I finally decided to have kids, I figured they would fart rainbows and dance on clouds because I was not a terrible mother. Nope. Turns out I got a kid who is also reserved, shy and awkward. LOL It is true that compared to me she is leaps and bounds healthier than I was but now I know that there is a lot of nature and not just nurture that shapes people. On the other end of the spectrum I got another kid who LOVES life, is always on the go and so dang bubbly! See? Some things are not dictated by the parent – some of it is JUST WHO THEY ARE.