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to think that when a child goes off the rails it isn't always the parents' fault

(25 Posts)
maryz Fri 19-Jun-09 22:08:36

This follows on a few threads I have seen recently, where people have judged children and blamed the parents. I have a vested interest in this because I have a teenager who has gone seriously off the rails, and have to put up daily with other parents avoiding me, condemning my other children, and generally being quite superior about this.

My question is quite simple. When a teenager goes off the rails, do you blame the parents?

VinegarTits Fri 19-Jun-09 22:12:16

I dont think the parents are always to blame, peer pressure has a lot to do with it

Doodle2u Fri 19-Jun-09 22:12:41

Honestly and in RL - yes.

With my MN head on.....no!!!

With specific regard to teenagers, when I see the destruction and hear the language (esp. around my own two younger children) and the threatening feeling that comes over me when a group walk passed etc....it's always during the evenings and I always think - why don't the parent's know where they are!

RumourOfAHurricane Fri 19-Jun-09 22:13:48

Message withdrawn

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Fri 19-Jun-09 22:14:44

No, it's no ones fault. The teenage years are so hard for everyone, all those hormones etc. It can be hard for parents, they can see their child self destruct and their child doesn't listen to them. I'm not looking forwards to ds's teenage years.

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Fri 19-Jun-09 22:18:23

maryz - sorry that things are tough.

I don't believe it's ever one person's fault. It's easier to blame the parents than look around and realise that society as a whole has to shoulder some of the blame.

On the flip side I'd like to think that mine turning out OK so far <touch wood> is all down to me, but realistically I think it's been more luck than judgement.

Doodle2u Fri 19-Jun-09 22:19:04

Just had a thought - with regard to older teenagers, did you see Custardo's thread from a few weeks back - she had to tell her son to leave it got so bad....it was heart-breaking thread but bless, once she'd slung him out, he came good, found a place to live and got himself sorted. If she hadn't done a good job bringing him up, he wouldn't have had the wits or the balls to deal with his new situation.

maryz Fri 19-Jun-09 22:22:03

Doodle, I don't know where my 15 year old is. When I ground him he gets out the window, when my dh tries to ground him, he hits him, his friends seem to be allowed out at all times, but our choices are let him out or have him run away.

Many of ds's friends parents don't talk to me any more. These are people I have known for over 10 years, since the children were toddlers.

2shoes Fri 19-Jun-09 22:22:14

I do agree but sometimes it is.
we have been tormented by 3 teens for nearly 3 years, I do blame their carers as they could have stopped it.
but ds's mate is going of the rails, his mum and dad are lovely and do all they can, sometimes it just happens.

maryz Fri 19-Jun-09 22:23:36

saggars, I love to hear the "more luck than judgement". I get so sad when people blame me. I have two children are ok - I feel I am lucky. I have one who is awful. I hope that is bad luck.

Doodle2u Fri 19-Jun-09 22:27:24

<<puts head back round the door & whispers...>>

I used to escape over our flat garage roof and be out til all hours when I was 15, so you do realise that whilst I judge the parents now...my own father was perfect and it was all down to me...you get that right!? blushgrin

ReginaldBosanquet Fri 19-Jun-09 22:32:14

I'm one of 4. Two older ones - absolutely terrible teenagers, two younger ones - well behaved teenagers. All brought up the same. Two older siblings still trouble although they are now in their 50s.

2shoes Fri 19-Jun-09 22:34:22

maryz you might find the awful one is the one you can most depend on in the future, this happened to someone I know

mumeeee Fri 19-Jun-09 22:34:40

I don't think you should always blame the parents.I know some very caring parents that have always been suportive of thier children but have a serious problem with one of thier teenagers.

Rollergirl1 Fri 19-Jun-09 22:35:26

I am sure you are doing a good job. But it's not as simple as that. I was 7 and my brother was 5 when my mum and dad split up. It didn't affect me atall but it did my brother. He is still messed up now. That is through nothing that my mother did because i think we had, despite the divorce, a fairly healthy up-bringing. But he (my brother) is quite damaged. And I am not. I don't know why.

Sorry, not sure i've put minds at rest. You are who you are. You are not to blame.

alurkerspeaks Fri 19-Jun-09 22:37:46

I know a whole pile of people who were a complete nightmare as teenagers (kicked out of school, climbing out of windows, getting pissed all the time, drugs etc.).

Many are now pillars of the community.....

saintlydamemrsturnip Fri 19-Jun-09 22:41:23

I don't blame the parents. I have 3 very different children - they are their own people. We don't have as much influence as we like to think as parents.

midlandsmumof4 Fri 19-Jun-09 22:49:13

Maryz-I agreee with Vinegar,its not your fault. You have two who are OK-there is hope for the 3rd. He may turn out OK. My BIL did. He was the youngest of 7 and the absolute nightmare teen, you wouldn't believe sad. He now has a good job and a lovely family. Don't give upon him. As for other parents avoiding you? They should be ashamed.

maryz Fri 19-Jun-09 23:00:02

Thanks for your support here. I just feel if I can get someone to not automatically blame the parents, then I am doing some good.

It is just really hard when I collect dd or ds2 from school, and some parents turn their backs and ignore us.

We have really tried with ds1. He is the most unhappy child I have ever met, and I feel so sorry for him (when I am not furious with him). I hope he isn't causing trouble for other people (apart from socialising with their children). I don't think he is smashing windows, etc., but he is certainly among the drinking in the woods, hanging around street corners, looking dangerous crowd.

I never thought I would be where I am now. It's very sad.

midlandsmumof4 Fri 19-Jun-09 23:20:24

Ok, so I'm going to ask the obvious. Do you know why is he so unhappy? Probably not-teenagers are notoriously uncommuniactive and they can't always give a reason.

hercules1 Fri 19-Jun-09 23:21:41

I know lots of fab parents with teenagers who are horrendous.

maryz Fri 19-Jun-09 23:37:31

Yes I know why he is unhappy. He is adopted, so he hates his birth parents for dumping him, and us for not being his real parents, he has a diagnosis of Aspergers (or high-functioning autism) so everything in his life is black and white, and he sees cannabis as self-medication for anxiety and depression, he is very depressed and his best friend committed suicide, which he rather envies, because he would quite like the attention and sympathy that would bring.

We are fucked, really, aren't we! Sorry dh has taken him away for the weekend so I have had a few glasses of wine which doesn't help. I just wish I could do something which would make him want to do something with his life. He could be such a great person, but he seems so set of self-destruction.

midlandsmumof4 Sat 20-Jun-09 00:02:56

Oh, Maryz-I know this doesn't help one jot. Am so sorry, I didn't realise things were so bad. In your situation I would probably have had more than a few glasses-more like a bottle sad. Cannabis is not the answer for him-it ultimately suppresses the underlying problems (which you probably already know). You need some seriously professional help girl-although you know that don't you?

Ivykaty44 Sat 20-Jun-09 00:09:05

No the parents are not to blame. 95% of teenagers actions are set by their peers and there is no getting away from that.

The nicer your teenagers peers are the more and more likely your own teenager will also be pleasant.

Unfortunatley you can not pick your tennagers friends much as we would like to it just doesn't happen that way.

Appart from that our teenagers are their own people and the more we have supressed them over time as an entire groupp, getting them to stay on at school longer and longer and not pushing them out inot he world to work and fend for themselves the worse teenagers have gotten.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Sat 20-Jun-09 00:23:44

Half the time people just don't like teenagers merely for being teenagers. The assumption is that if they're out and about and wearing hoodies (don't all kids wear them nowadays?) they're up to no good.

The aim of good parenting is surely to prepare children to go out and function in the real world independently of us -but some people seem to view the very existence of teenagers as a threat - they'd rather they were invisibly tucked up at home (I did that throughout my teens - I wish I'd had the courage to break out a bit.)

I hope you can get some help for this sad boy, and for yourselves.

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