Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cawfee Tawk

Today, I pose a question for you guys.

And I'll answer my own question, too. Just because I'm verbose like that. Plus? I don't want to post a 2 line blog. I think I'd feel like I was cheating.

Can a bad person be a good parent?


My answer? I don't really think so. I know you guys have all had some really diverse upbringings, so I'm terribly curious to get some opinions on this.

This came up in one of my classes recently (did I mention I'm precisely 2 weeks away from being done with my bachelors?) and the thought intrigued me.

I suppose one would need to define "bad person" before one could adequately answer the question. And even that? Is relative. What I think the criteria for "bad person" are? May be far different than what you think qualifies.

I think that a huge part of being a parent is setting an example for your kids. I am so not a "Do as I say not as I do" kind of parent. I always hated that as a kid.

I kind of have issues with hypocrisy. But that's another post.

I think if someone is a bad person, they would be setting a fundamentally bad example for their kids. I think they would be prone to making poorer parenting choices.

I think a bad person could really love their kids. I think a bad person could want the best for their kids. But if that person is fundamentally flawed in their thoughts and/or behavior? I'm not sure how that could translate into good parent.

I suppose it could be argued that said bad parent could be setting the example of what not to do. I know I learned a lot about what I didn't want my marriage to be based on my parents' relationship. So I could, perhaps, see that point. Perhaps.

I really am curious. If you disagree, I'm totally cool with that...as long as you explain yourself! Tell me...what do you think?


  1. a real asshole can produce an awesome person. My husband is a good example of this. His dad was basically silent, so much so that his mom thought he had cancer when he really wanted a divorce. His mom basically stopped parenting after the divorce and he lived on stuffing and ellios. so what defines a good parent? the ability to produce a good person? or a positive childhood experience? results or memories? again, sometimes the ugly is beautiful. without all my childhood bullcrap, I dont know how I would even be. given the choice, I dont even know if I would give it up. can "bad" be a changing condition, or if you are ever bad, you are bad all the way?...Ive answered nothing. Im tired. lol. but even good parents are sometimes bad people. so yes?

  2. True. You make a good point. My son's father is a POS, but he has also (knock on wood) had no part in the actual rearing of my son. My parents both had issues, but I'm not sure I would say I had a "good" childhood experience. I was very unhappy most of the time...but I didn't turn out badly...at least I don't think I did...LoL Hmm.

    You brought up an interesting point in that I should've defined "good parent" as well as "bad person." Perhaps "results" should be what makes a good parent? Hmm....

  3. My dad is a good person. But a terrible parent. If it can be that way, it can probably be the other way too. bad person, good parent.

  4. Hmm. I think you're probably right. See, this is why I wanted discussion. It was a question that stuck in my brain that I couldn't quite wrap an answer around. I appreciate your input! You have made me think & I like that! LoL :)

  5. Well, I kept bouncing off you on Kris s site so I just decided I had to venture over...
    how does one become an "accidental career woman" by the way?
    and also, congrats on your bachelors. thats really awesome...:)

  6. LoL Thanks! My blog? Not nearly as cool as Kris's. But I can live with that. :)

    Accidental career woman? Is because I never meant to have a career. I was raised with the old-fashioned/traditional idea that women get married & have kids while the dad works.

    My life? Didn't work out that way. And honestly? I think that's for the best, overall. But because it was an accident? The whole "what do I actually want to *do* for the rest of my life" part is still a little fuzzy...

  7. I kind of can't answer because I just keep thinking "Am I a good person? Oh, crap, maybe I wasn't ever meant to be a parent."

    I think I'm a good person. But lately I've realized: don't we all? Don't we all think what we're doing is right and justified? So how do you know if you're really the schmuck in the room?

    This has been keeping me up at night, it has. It's kind of like my age old dilemma: if you start hearing voices how do you know if you're nuts or if it actually IS divine intervention? Not to get all biblical on you, but really, how would you know?

  8. A person is not good or bad, what they choose to do with themselves and others is a good or bad thing.
    A person that chooses to live a flawed path can be a good parent dispite their own choices, for many reasons. Some include but not limited to.
    They want better for their child?
    They know what not to do? or what to watch for in their own child.
    they may even know the types of people that they should avoid for their own child.
    Having a child changes people, some choose to change for the better, some don't.I don't think there is any definite answer.

    Also how much of this is part of your Bachelors? final exam question?

  9. I don't think there is a definite answer, actually. It just came up in my last class & has stuck in my brain since.

    None of it is for a class, actually. Just a comment someone made during the course of the class.

  10. "So how do you know if you're really the schmuck in the room?"
    TOTALLY! personally I overanalyze until I want to puke looking for that answer...

  11. I'm agreeing with you on this one, as confusing and blurred as the topic may be.

    My husband's mother was the definition of a bad parent. Awful. Which to me, kind of makes her a bad person. And she's an even worse grandparent. He recognized that he did not want to be this type of person, this type of parent, and some how (eventually) rose above the level of disfunction in his home.

    When he looks back at his upbringing, you could say he learned "what not to do", but has zero respect for his mother. He may have turned out okay, but that's no thanks to her parenting. And he has zero respect for her because of it, and unfortunately, she's still no better of a person than she was.

  12. Like you said, there can be different definitions of 'bad', but in most cases, I agree with you. Children learn from example. And teaching a child using a 'bad' example, to me is not good parenting.