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"You suck at parenting" - Is it always true?


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Hi there,

that sentence there is my mind now for a bit and I was thinking about it.

I am not a parent nor a father. I just would like to know if its always parents fault if kids are having a gaming addiction. Taking me here as an example.

So, when I was young my stepfather limited the internet time. That means I could only play (or use the internet at all) for a specific amount of time per day. This pissed me off after a while, so I went out more often, went to friends (sometimes for a whole weekend) to play games there.
When I was deeper into gaming and was at an amateur (ESL league - if someone still remembers it) at counter strike it pissed me even more off to go to friends to play.
Then I was looking for ways to hack the internet (lol), after researching a lot of stuff (resources where so limited back then..) I finally found a way: Sniffing.
But first I needed to figure out how my internet was limited, because it was for specific PC/Laptop and if its possible to block access on the 'hardware side', then I figured it can be limited in the router. Now the hardest part was to get the password. Sniffing alone didnt bring me anywhere, so I needed to 'Social Engineer' my stepfather to login into the router while I sniffed our whole local network. Voila - Router password sniffed. And there it was: A setting to limit the internet access for my MAC address. The problem: My stepfather wasnt an idiot (and still isnt - still love him though) so I needed to make it look original every evening, because he might check it now and then.
So, yeah.. that was the time when my 'carrer' basically began ? . And he never noticed anything until I told him about it when I had my own apartment.. he was pretty shocked lol.

But to get back to the "You suck at parenting": Is it always parents fault at all? We have 2018, the internet is full of resources, informations, tutorials, guides for basically ANY topic, then we have schools where kids talking about topics, etc. If kids are clever or smart, they might find a way. Is it still the parents fault?
Yes, you don't need to buy your kid the new console (or any console at all), or buy them the new game.. but again, they might have friends with a console and we have piracy (which is a lot easier than like 17-18 years back..but also a lot riskier!).

So, what is your opinion about it guys?

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I share your disclaimer, just for transparency's sake.

Yes, I believe it is. You can't really control what your kids do at a friend's house or school, but you can absolutely influence their values. It needs to start at a very early age though. You need to teach them good values and principles. Once they reach an age where you can communicate with them verbally, I believe the process of teaching them those values and principles needs to begin. Before they have anything to compare what you're teaching them to. In my mind, that will greatly increase the chances that when they confront something that conflicts with those values, they will either reject it, or at least ask you about it.

The key for me is that if your child does do something you don't want them to do, to not get upset at them for it. After all, they are a kid. It is your job as a parent to talk to them about that thing and see if you can help them understand why doing that thing isn't beneficial for them. This goes for everything, not just video games.

The biggest thing is that this needs to start early. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to teach them the things you want them to learn, as they will eventually learn to do things a certain way on their own, whether you want them to or not.

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  • 1 month later...


I think that parents do not have full responsibility when it comes to their kids being addicted, but they always are partly responsible for the behaviour of the child.

In my case specifically, they underestimated at first in how I was drawn to games and they had a hard time reaching out to me in my teens when I spent most of my days hiding away in my room. (To be fair, I wasn't easy to reach out to - however, most teens aren't) The thing is: the values they taught me ended up in my detox programs. Good an honest work, valuing relationships and decent education are just some of them.

Parenting is a pretty hard job and every parent does make some mistakes. Question is: Did they do it intentionally? Are they trying to make up for them? Are they reaching out? etc.

I think dealing in absolutes is a harsh treatment and a child being addicted to substances or services which are designed to be addictive shouldn't lead to the assumption that the parents "suck at parenting", but these are just my two cents.



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Powerful topic @stablish and one I reflect on a lot with my son and trying to set him up for the most success.

I think we do have an element of influence on our children - and that is why you see cycles of poverty or success - trailer park rednecks having trailer park redneck kids and nobel prize winning laurets having phD earning kids. There is a large element of their own doing as well - you see the trailer park kid who succeeds in life as a doctor or the child of a billionaire that smokes pot all day.

I have tried to take the approach of he is going to do what he is going to do, but it is my job to maximise his opportunities, or simply, creating the environment for him to succeed. Whether he grasps that environment or the opportunity is over to him, that's his job.

In your case - your father set the environment of limited internet. You perhaps saw this as a different opportunity than he expected ?

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  • 2 months later...

Every parent has 0 hours experience on the day their first child comes home.  Parenting is a job of teaching and gradually letting go.  Parents are not supposed to be like a police state.  Failing to notice bad behaviors is not bad parenting.

Think of parenting in terms of shipbuilding.  18 years of work all culminating in that day the ship slides out of dry dock and sails the sea on its own.

Over time, children learn that there are consequences to their choices, and there has not been a human yet that has not made some bad choices.  Teach them when they are young.  But let them make their own mistakes too.

As for our parents, they were as imperfect as we are.  Unless they are actively hateful to you, they are probably good parents.  Children are frustrating, and they know how to find what lights a parent up.  Cut your ancestors some slack, appreciate all they have sacrificed for you.

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