# Parents too hard on kids?

This is working on being a hideously long post, I apologize in advance.

First, this is such a sad story, I don’t know if I can comment on the given question of the thread, but to say that there are so many combinations that I’ve seen happen in my life, you can never blame something like this on either the kid or the parent without knowing the situation better, as only Evo does. I’ve seen great parents raise horrible children, and I’ve seen horrible parents have great children.

The most personal story I have is a friend of mine who went to our church. Her mom was an alcoholic and never took care of her. When she was 13 her Mom got pregnant from a guy on a one night stand and had another kid, who she also didn’t take care of, leaving it to my friend to care for a baby while going through high school. She somehow managed it all, held a solid GPA, in high school, and when the mom found a boy friend who had some sense of responsibility, was able to find a job to work while still caring for the kid and being in school, and also volunteering at a hospital once a week. She was given the opportunity to go to a couple good colleges as an undergrad, with good grants, but decided to stay at the local college so that she could continue to watch her brother for the next four years until he is old enough to better fend for himself. It’s amazing what’s she’s gone through and how well she’s been able to work through it and still be a really good person herself.

ek said:
If you can give me a reason why the world is a better place with all the drug addicts alive I will be shocked.
Here are a couple:

1. We wouldn't be living in a society where millions lose all rights and are killed off mercilessly because of their decision to put a substance in their OWN body.

2. We wouldn't be living in a society where individuals are meaningless compared to the "society" whatever that is. That sort of rights abuse only leads to a slippery slope. We should put to death anybody who speeds, because they put everybody at a greater risk of dying in a car accident. We could find a way to prove how any one individuals life is a threat to society, and there is no reason not to eliminate that individual.

3. A person who puts a substance into their own body is doing nothing wrong. It is possible that drugs had a role in this situation, but it is also possible that an emotional breakdown, a hatred of her mother, or any other number of circumstances led to the death. Perhaps her mother had attacked her first upon learning about the drugs and it actually was self defense, we don't know yet.

However, that doesn't even matter. The only relevant question is, how am I violating anybody else's right to exist by putting a substance into my body? Violent crime should most definately be illegal, you are violating another's right to exist, but drugs involve nobody but the willing user, people have a right to do with their life as they please.

In fact, my (some would view as equally extreme) solution is to legalize drugs, or at the very least, end the war on drugs. Why are drug users responsible for violent crime? In some cases you could say that drugs + usually preexisting mental conditions led to a crime, but those situations are very rare compared to the thousands of cases where drug users commit crimes for one reason, money. Drugs are made extremely expensive by the war on drugs, and thus anybody who wants to use drugs must go to extreme circumstances to get them. In Chicago there was a situation a couple weeks ago where a guy was beaten to death over a pack of Cigarettes, I don't think you saw this behavior when cigarettes were $1 a pack, but now when they are$8 a pack and rising, this type of behavior is on the rise, I wonder why?

Furthermore, Drug Legalization will not increase drug use for a couple reasons. First off, teaching that drugs are bad works for the vast majority of people. Other people will always want to try something that is dangerous and rebelious, and having illegal drugs only fuels that fire, while doing little to prevent the actual use. Furthermore, many addictions to drugs are caused by spikes in drug usage which result from users using drugs that are of different purity. This is also the cause of most overdose deaths. The crack you by from the dealer one day, might have a purity level 2 or 3 times what you bought from him yesterday, you inject the same amount, and suddenly you die instead of getting high. Legalizing drugs allows the products to be made using processes that control quality, and prevent these deaths. Lastly, again looking at the monetary argument, the drugs won't relegate people to a life on the street trying to pay for the drugs, and if people can continue to get money a legal way, through a job, they will continue to do so, giving them a better reason to stop using drugs in the future, and to get back on the right track.

Next, legalization of drugs would greatly decrease inner city crime and gang related crime. Where do gangs get money from? Selling illegal drugs, what is the incentive to join gangs? Money. You get rid of the profit that can be made selling drugs, you get rid of the drug gangs, you get rid of inner city kids shooting each other over drug “territory.” You stop the exploitation of females forced to illegally carry drugs into this country on airplanes. When you get rid of all this crime against innocents, you will greatly decrease crime, even if some more people are killed by these mythical “psychopath druggies.” There it makes sense on consequentialist grounds if that is what you wish to consider.

Also, you free up millions of dollars of resources for police departments to go after the real bad guys. Some 90% of the criminals in the U.S. are in for drug crimes. We usually spend around \$30,000 a year to keep a guy incarcerated, plus lost productivity. We would save billions of dollars by releasing the hundreds of thousands of drug users currently in jail and free that money up to find the terrorists, the murderers, rapists and other violent criminals. We should enlongate their prison sentences. If a drug user commits a violent crime, throw him in jail as a violent criminal, not as a drug user.

In the end, the only thing that matters, is that people have a right to be left alone, to carry on with their lives as they wish. If they aren’t doing anything to harm others, than no harm should come to them simply because they inject a chemical into their body that the government has deemed inappropriate.

~Lyuokdea

Whenever something like this comes up, there's always a tendancy to find an external factor, such as drugs, video games, television or some other influence that caused it. People don't want to point the finger inward at the source- the parents. This girl had some major issues, and you can possibly ad drugs to the problem. When your child is rude, is it MTV's fault or yours? When they steal, or do drugs, is it peer pressure, or is it lack of parental pressure? The problem isn't today's kids, it's the views on parenting. If your child is acting out, you're not taking steps to curb it. If your child is having problems with friends or at school, why aren't you taking the time to acknowledge and deal with them? Sometimes a 5 minute talk makes all the difference. That presenation at work should take a back seat to your child, but many times it doesn't. Too many parents make excuses. And I say this as a parent. If you're not involved in your child's life you need to ask yourself why. The TV is NOT a babysitter. And I am saying all this as a parent. No I'm not trying to preach parenting, I just believe that parenting begins at home.

russ_watters
Mentor
Evo said:
Are parents putting too much pressure on kids? Are they demanding too much? Why do kids do drugs? I know some of you have admitted to taking drugs which to me is just nuts. Do you feel you're under too much pressure?
My parents (specifically, my mother) put more than a healthy amount of pressure on me. However, I never once did any drugs (though I do drink about once or twice a week- though I didn't in high school). My mother's response to one particularly bad failure of mine was: "you screwed me". I was old enough by then that this failure was entirely personal (not like I damaged their car or anything) and the only meaningful way it affected them was if people asked them about me.

See my parents were never really strict at all, and I still started experimenting with drugs. It's not two-dimensional, it doesn't matter how much pressure you put on a kid, it's how you do it that turns him/her into a good/bad person when he's growing up. And parents don't have complete control either, although good parents will find more than enough ways to help a child out.

Evo said:
I know some of you have admitted to taking drugs which to me is just nuts. Do you feel you're under too much pressure?
Drug use is not the problem. There are many many many people, myself included, who have taken and are still taking drugs without letting it inhibit our lives or the lives of others. In fact no one I haven't told has any inkling that I have a certain appreciation for hallucinogens.

Abuse is the problem. If you're the kind of person who is prone to abuse then you're going to abuse drugs. If its not drugs you will find another outlet.

Personally I do not use drugs because I feel any sort of "pressure" or as an outlet. Rather I think it is important to place onesself in different states of mind in order to think and see things about the world that one simply could NEVER see sober, or think in ways one could not think while sober.

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
ek said:
Anybody that looks like they do drugs and they do (Group 1).
Using drugs doesn't make one an addict, especially if you're using non-addictive substances, like most hallucinogens. It's the inability not to use that makes one an addict. And what difference should it make what the person looks like? Many non-users look like crap, and many users look great. Heck, the dean of the Yale Medical School in the early 20th century was addicted to morphine for most of his life. Of course, if you have an abundant pharmaceutical grade source, opiates will never present any problems for you. The problems people do have are usually that they use unpure cuts bought off of the black market and often go through terrible withdrawals when they can't get a fix. Even when they have a good source, they often run into financial troubles because of the exhorbitant costs of black-market drugs. It's the amphetamines and hallucinogens that really mess you up when you use them too often. And watch out for that crack cocaine!

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
MaxS said:
Drug use is not the problem. There are many many many people, myself included, who have taken and are still taking drugs without letting it inhibit our lives or the lives of others. In fact no one I haven't told has any inkling that I have a certain appreciation for hallucinogens.

Abuse is the problem. If you're the kind of person who is prone to abuse then you're going to abuse drugs. If its not drugs you will find another outlet.

Personally I do not use drugs because I feel any sort of "pressure" or as an outlet. Rather I think it is important to place onesself in different states of mind in order to think and see things about the world that one simply could NEVER see sober, or think in ways one could not think while sober.
I think it is pretty clear, at least from what we know given what Evo has told us, that this girl is not interested in consciousness expansion. She is self-medicating, which is never a good idea.

AKG
Homework Helper
Evo said:
Her parent's were insanely strict and hard on her. She was never "good enough".

You don't know what I know, these people wanted perfection, they were always praising his older sister and criticising him. One time they had him arrested for drugs, it was his sister's. Why do people automatically side with the parents and blame the kids?

I've seen kids vomiting and crying, afraid to go home because they got a "B" on a report card. Someome needs to slap some sense into those parents.
This makes a good point. There are huge pressures on some teens nowadays. Not only are there huge pressures at home to be "perfect" but pressures to be "perfect" amongst their peers, and this often means doing the opposite of what's "perfect" at home. For some kids, the demands made on them by their peers as well as the demands made on them at home are getting harder and harder, and moreover, these demands are diverging more and more from each other, so the role strain that some kids face nowadays is immense, it's little wonder that such kids go out of control.

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
AKG said:
This makes a good point. There are huge pressures on some teens nowadays. Not only are there huge pressures at home to be "perfect" but pressures to be "perfect" amongst their peers, and this often means doing the opposite of what's "perfect" at home. For some kids, the demands made on them by their peers as well as the demands made on them at home are getting harder and harder, and moreover, these demands are diverging more and more from each other, so the role strain that some kids face nowadays is immense, it's little wonder that such kids go out of control.
One of my friends in high school shot himself after receiving a bad grade in a class, because he was so terrified of what his father would do to him.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
loseyourname said:
One of my friends in high school shot himself after receiving a bad grade in a class, because he was so terrified of what his father would do to him.
Was his father actually abusive if he didn't get good grades? Aside from those who are clearly abused, I suspect there are also some kids who imagine the pressure from their parents to be worse than it is, perhaps due to low self-esteem or some other form of insecurity. They are really the ones who have too high of expectations for themselves...the worst kind of perfectionist...and then when their parents question them on their grades, they take it as much more critical than it was ever intended to be. Of course you would hope the parent would know their kid well enough to realize they're sort of the high strung type about stuff like that.

I don't think it's just the strictness though. My parents were always much stricter than my friends' parents when I was growing up (only one of my sister's friends had stricter parents...they were incredibly over-protective, but she turned out okay too). However, amidst the strictness was also always the message that they had stricter rules because they loved me enough to care about my safety and my education, etc. If I asked why I had to be home by 10 PM from a party instead of midnight like my other friends, the answer was never "because we're the parents and we said so," it was "because we love you and think midnight is too late for someone your age to be staying out at a party." Things like that make all the difference between listening to your parents' rules and rebelling against them.

In contrast, there were kids whose parents were very lax about rules, they could stay out as late as they wanted, go where they wanted, when they wanted, etc. Their parents wanted to be the "cool" parents, but in reality, the kids felt neglected and unloved. Those kids were the ones who got into all sorts of trouble. It doesn't mean they all turned out to be bad people, a lot turned themselves around when they got older and became independent, they just got there a lot slower than the kids who had parents who let them know they cared about them.

And, there's the other end where parents are just so unreasonably strict as to be abusive. When you force your kid to live practically in isolation, spank them or yell at them for every little thing they do wrong, never actually teach them the right thing to do or ever offer them praise, but instead only tell them what not to do. Those kids end up pretty messed up too.

So, level of strictness and parenting skill are not necessarily related, as moose pointed out earlier in the thread.

Mentor
Moonbear said:
In contrast, there were kids whose parents were very lax about rules, they could stay out as late as they wanted, go where they wanted, when they wanted, etc. Their parents wanted to be the "cool" parents, but in reality, the kids felt neglected and unloved. Those kids were the ones who got into all sorts of trouble. It doesn't mean they all turned out to be bad people, a lot turned themselves around when they got older and became independent, they just got there a lot slower than the kids who had parents who let them know they cared about them.
I had no rules and no restrictions growing up. I was the happiest, most loved kid of any I knew, made straight A's, never got into trouble. I raised both of my girls the same way and they are great.

I do see the parents of some of my daughter's friends as absolutely unreasonable tyrants that expect perfection from their kids, emotionally abusing them and giving them inferiority complexes. I try to help heal some of the damage their parents have inflicted upon them by recognizing their achievements and giving them positive reinforcement, something they don't get from their own parents.