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Is it okay for parents to badmouth authority figures in front of their children?

  1. bowlins profile image76
    bowlinsposted 19 months ago

    Is it okay for parents to badmouth authority figures in front of their children?

    From our President to our kids' teachers/coaches or even law enforcement? I see and hear so many people with such disrespectful attitudes towards authority being very vocal about it in front of their children (or their kids are friends with them on social media and they are writing about it).  I am not talking about disagreeing with the way someone does something, or even with what they stand for - I specifically mean parents who say things like our President is "an idiot", or cops are "dirty" or a coach is a "dumba**.

  2. WordCrafter09 profile image78
    WordCrafter09posted 19 months ago

    "Bad-mouthing" anyone serves no purpose for anyone, parents or otherwise.  Peace, but also hatred and anger, begin at home; and I don't care how old anyone's kids are; I think it's the role of parents not just to be an example, but also to increasingly present reasoning and logic and understanding to family members (and if not "present" it as kids grow up and gradually must process more and more information/facts about the world (their own, their family's, and the world-in-general), then to at least promote those things).

    It's one thing to say a child (again, regardless of how old he is) that you don't agree with someone (and then say why, and if it makes sense to your child  he can sort out his own ideas about the matter.  It's also one thing to state to a child (especially young ones) what is right and wrong, why you believe it is (and sometimes it may be wrong just because a child is too young, while other times may it may be just wrong in general or else may not be entirely black-and-white).  It's even sometimes a legitimate thing to tell a child (and I'm going to make up an example here) that you hate one individual and that the reason you hate that person is that he did "x" that harmed someone, or you.  Made up example:  "I  don't like so-and-so because I saw him abusing his child/pet."  Another example:  "The reason I won't go in that store is because I hate the guy who owns it.  I went shopping in there once and he made a really inappropriate move."

    Ideally, we want our kids to learn how to sort all this stuff out (through example and with reason and with a certain amount of objectivity when objectivity is required).  We want them to learn that experts and authority are not always right for one reason or another, but we want them to respect everyone (ideally).  I think it's even yet another thing to name-call another driver who almost causes you to be in an accident.  That person may be being an "idiot" at the time.  Kids understand anger at such a thing.

    Wild, out-of-control, "bad-mouthing" most often comes from lack of understanding or something else that we really shouldn't be modeling for our kids (again, no matter how old/young they are); because once kids are more out in the world and their own life they already "relate" to/see the larger world/life on their own terms; so encouraging peace/understanding then if often more about within the family.  Breeding aggression (even verbal) and lack of understanding/respect is destructive.

    1. bowlins profile image76
      bowlinsposted 19 months agoin reply to this

      I absolutely and totally agree with you. Most recently, with the upcoming election, I have been deeply bothered by some of the beliefs that are pushed onto children, by parents, as "facts".

  3. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image97
    Wesman Todd Shawposted 19 months ago

    Children should never be taught to question authority figures. Authority figures are far less likely to have a decent answer to any question than others.

    So it would be a waste of a child's time to question someone in authority.

    Questioning a cop or Hillary Clinton could get you killed rather quickly. And questioning Donald Trump will get you made fun of.

    Find someone intelligent to question, those persons won't be in a badge or politics.

  4. Michaela Osiecki profile image78
    Michaela Osieckiposted 19 months ago

    If one is badmouthing for the sake of badmouthing, that doesn't serve any purpose but to instill a negative view of that demographic in their children with no rational basis.

    It's another matter entirely to talk about the infallibility of certain groups and for children to be able to acknowledge that not all authority figures are perfect.