@risa_lozano and @yvettebest In listening you your responses, I definitely should have done a better job of clarifying the difference between "curfew" vs. "mutually agreed action," like to me there is a big difference between a parent-imposed standard (be home at 11 no matter what) and a discussion around what one is doing. To me, anything that's mutually agreed is not "imposed." I didn't view it like my co-worker and I were giving the teens we hosted a "curfew" but more like we just trusted them to do what they agreed to, which on some nights was coming back at 6, on some mornings meant being ready to leave at 8am, etc. Thank you for the feedback!
Nice debate @joshuatreeretreat. Your a great opponent and this was a solid round with a lot of relevant discussion about how parenting should be done. Nice work and good luck!
@metant3 thanks! I tried to comment earlier but I guess it didn't load. I didn't address this in the debate because I felt it would be slightly off-topic, but for what it's worth I actually can't think of a "rule" that I've seen work with families I've worked with or my own kids (Rule meaning: punishment for not following it is imposed by parents). For example, I've seen families adopt a habit of "homework gets done after sports practice" but if the child doesn't do it, there's no parent-imposed punishment, the student just has to make adjustments to his time to get it done. I know that this can seem like entering the Matrix for some people. Like, OMG kids will just be so WILD and it will be eat, sleep, rave, repeat! Honestly though, this has never happened in any case that I've witnessed. We forget that kids are people too, and have an interest in a thriving, loving relationship with their families and parents when they feel respected as people. Plenty of teens make good decisions. In fact, there's less binge/drunk driving in places where responsible drinking is taught (I didn't bring this up in the debate because it seems obvious that a 17 year old going out in Paris will probably be taking public transport, anyway). I can already see the benefits to this approach with my toddlers. I've never used any "punishment" with them (like timeouts or spanks or whatever) and find the "terrible two" and "threenager" stereotypes baffling. This isn't to say I'm World's Greatest Mom or even anything close to it, just that I see merit in a relational approach at my (earlier) end and how that pays huge dividends once the kids are older (in my professional experience).
Fascinating! This debate made me think and consider more than most I've watched, not so much on who scored what points (though that's there) but on the issue of parenting as a whole. We have two competing philosophies here.Both debaters, well deserving of semi-finals, are respectful, measured and composed. I like focused and fairly simple topics like this that allow deeper conversation on single points. It makes them interesting to listen to.@metant3 gives us a good opening case and criteria. Keep kids safe! And then he has some good citations that there are dangers at night and that curfews can help curtail the dangers. And at least one citation specifically mentions Teen crime. It's pretty good evidence, at least on the surface. It was a bit hard to tell which parts were quoted and which were descriptive of the citations. Anyhow, good case and starts out with a winning position for me.@joshuatreeretreat has a nice curveball for us with an alternate standard for parenting that is antithetical to hard and fast rules like curfews. It accepts the standard for judging of keeping kids safe and claims to do a better job of it. She has first-hand testimony, but no real citations that tell us this has shown to make kids safer. She does offer counter-evidence against Pro's claim saying curfews don't lead to less crime. But is it teen crime or victimization, the evidence didn't say. This was not brought up by Pro, but I found that lack of specificity a problem when compared to Pro's citations. Pro spends a good bit of time trying to find out the boundaries of this parenting method. Con does a good job explaining the idea behind it but doesn't really give the answers Pro is looking for. THe argument of "are all rules bad" never managed to go anywhere. In a way, ignoring it worked well for Con since it kept Pro from ever telling us why it's a problem if all rules are bad. That seems to be the implicit answer from Con. Pro probably should have just run with that assumption and made what he could of it, thus putting the burden on Con to refute it.Con takes some stabs at Pro's citations but I never felt like any of the questions or critiques were quite enough to knock those out of this debate. And its not really a question whether kids out at night is dangerous, it is. So the question is, what can we do about that? Build relationships, or have curfews.Con doesn't quite articulate it directly, but I gather that any kind of rule set is against this parenting system. The whole notion is to get kids to make their own rules and decisions that are wise. Seems like a great idea. Pro's strongest counter for me, was to say, Look, not all kids are going to make good decisions. Some will make terrible ones, what do we do then? Con assures us kids can be amazing, and they can, but they can also be very foolish.I really want to vote Pro here. I love the idea of this type of parenting. It is very optimistic and I think an idea of how good parenting should or more specifically could work. But I think life is more complicated and some kids and some parents aren't up to this challenge. I can ignore the parents here because this is about should's not could. But for kids, we can look at could.Ultimately parents need to do something to get their kids to be safe. If they can get their kids to agree to reasonable times, and the kids follow those agreements, great! But if they don't then parents have to try setting rules and enforcing them. This notion, coupled with Pro's stronger evidence, and Con's lack of support for the effectiveness of this parenting style beyond her own experience and my hopefulness leans me in Pro's direction. Had Pro had some citations about the successes this method has had in keeping kids safe, I could well vote for her side of the resolution, but I just don't have the confidence, so I fall back on the parents keeping their kids indoors by hook or crook because it can be dangerous out there and because Pros citations say it has been effective.
@sigfried if you are ever up to debate about this I would like to! My main idea, which perhaps got lost toward the end, was that keeping kids indoors by threat of punishment doesn't equal big picture safety for them, because then they are thrust into the world at 18 lacking decision making skills and life experience. As I asked the Pro side, I'm still wondering "safe from what?" The majority of the time was spent on "safe from car accidents" which he's right, everyone is likelier to get in a car accident at night. But most teens the world over do not drive, so to rest the whole case on car accidents seems unwise. I also feel like the "bad calls" made by teens in order to be home on time (prioritizing the wrong thing) was significantly overlooked. Anecdotally this seems to be a contributor to sexual assault (accepting a ride home alone with someone- why would you do that unless you had some other motivation to get home soon and couldn't call your parents to get you?) and drunk driving (parents will be mad if late, so drive home anyway). I have known/seen both of these situations play out and imagine they are not uncommon. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about teens; it's one reason I was enthusiastic to debate this topic. In my observation, the teens best prepared for the "real" world are those given the most autonomy, respect, and trust. They really do rise to meet expectations, even when they have made mistakes in the past. I am reminded of a time where a teenage boy helped me lift my heavy stroller over some steps and smiled to calm my startled babies as he did it. I thanked him and said something like "I hope these two turn out to be as thoughtful as you!" and he said sadly, "tell that to my mom, she'll never believe it." This makes me so sad! His parents are missing out on knowing what an awesome kid he is, and he is missing out on having their respect and esteem. I'm glad to hear that people are into a respectful, positive style of parenting; I really feel like it will change the world for the better.
@joshuatreeretreat I'd be happy to do a debate with you on this topic, though more one to explore it than argue against it on my part. Also un-moderated so you have more time to go into elaborate on your ideas.I think I share your general view, just not quite as wholeheartedly and I'm not as confident in it. Whenever you argue against accepted cultural wisdom, you have a steep hill to climb in persuading others. That is tough in a debate where you have equal time with someone who only needs defend what most people already think. I'm always impressed when people take on that challenge.I mentioned that it would help to have some "expert witnesses" to back you up here, but as I thought about it, I think there is a bit more you could do.I think the foremost question, and we only got to it towards the end of this round, is what do you do when your teen either consistently fails to meet their own agreements, or when they choose very unreasonable boundaries in the first place.Another is how you get to this place with teens. Younger children obviously need some rules, they don't know enough to make a number of decisions. So when and how do you make this transition? At what age do all the "training wheels" come off so to speak?Pro struggled to try and wrap his head around this and I think that's probably true of the audience as well. I can think of my own answers, but we really want to hear yours.--When I was a young adult, one of my cousins, just a bit younger had recently married. She and her husband were over at our home and discussing plans for raising children. Her husband insisted that kids needed strict discipline, firm rules and boundaries. I recall trying to persuade him that kids with nothing but rules to guide them, would become lost when those rules were no longer there. What they needed was to learn how to make good choices for themselves using their own reasoning. He pretty much dismissed that out of hand.Years later, I had a chance to speak with them. They have raised many children by now. They have changed their views remarkably since then. I mentioned the incident and he laughed. "Well, you were right." was what he said. (golden words for any debater) Mind you as I've grown older and encountered a wider range of people, I've come to see that discipline in its own right has some advantages. It's not my strong point but I rather wish it was sometimes. Clever fellow that I am I can rationalize my way into nearly any decision for better and sometimes worse.I don't have kids, but if I did, I'm pretty sure I'd practice the kind of parenting you advocate. But I think I'd also have some lines which I would not allow my kids to cross (to the best of my abilities) if they tried to cross them. I think you need a good answer to this instinct to trule bring the doubtful into your point of view.
@metant3 @sigfried the bibliography/end notes/books mentioned here are great resources re: respectful parenting. The "Unconditional Parenting" book is especially good. I feel like the fist line of the article sums things up nicely too: "Harsh limits may temporarily control behavior, but they don’t help a child learn to self-regulate. Instead, harsh limits trigger a resistance to taking responsibility for themselves." http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/strict-parenting
@yvettesbest Thank you for recording twice:) I should have been more clear that I was confused by how a study on parenting curfews would even be done? Like, if it was a survey, how could that show a causal relationship? I'm imagining something where they send parents a sheet with "do you enforce a curfew?" and then "has your teen been in an auto accident?" or just asking teens who had been in auto accidents if they had a curfew, and all the possibilities for error with that (parents not knowing about the accidents, small, city-specific data sets, no curfews enforced because parents were absentee, etc.) Thank you again for the feedback.
Great job both of you! I'm going pro this round because I think @metant3 was really good at making the round come down to mostly "My view says rules and relationship, your view says relationship but no rules" which went very much unresponded to. @joshuatreeretreat , you obviously made your side more about how the relationship between the teen and the parent was a better way to teach because the actual relationship and character-development would be more prominent, but again, @metant3 was very strong in (correctly) pointing out how you were arguing against rules in general.Again, it was a good round. Hope to see more from you two!