Who’s to Blame When Kids Make Mistakes?

All of the news coverage of Sarah Palin’s daughter’s teen pregnancy is making me cringe.

First, in the interest of full disclosure—I am mostly (though not always) a liberal Democrat. But I’m looking this through a very different lens right now. A parental lens.

Does the fact that her teen daughter had sex, something went wrong, and she got pregnant say anything about Governor’s Palin’s parenting skills or the type of person she is or the leader she would be? Honestly, I don’t know. But I hope not.

Yet, I’ve heard Republican and Democrat women suggest that it does. On NPR’s Day to Day , a woman identifying herself as a 20 year-old Republican criticized Governor Palin’s ability to properly parent her daughter.

While little in life is guaranteed, I feel pretty confident in saying that my children will make mistakes. Will it be fair to judge me by those mistakes? Can my character be questioned as a result of my children’s mistakes? I know I made plenty as a teen—most of which, thankfully, my parents are still unaware of. It’s part of growing up.

It seems to me there are enough critical issues facing the country right now that speculating over who may or not be to blame for a teen’s actions is a grave disservice to all of us.



Filed under parenting

2 responses to “Who’s to Blame When Kids Make Mistakes?

  1. Leslie

    While I agree with you about not judging the parent for the child’s mistakes (and I’m declaring myself a Yellow Dog Democrat here) I think it does say something about Sarah Palin’s parenting that she feels that this is an easy or manageable thing to work through while being VP. I think THAT speaks to her judgement….(or lack thereof in my opinion) and lack of judgement of Mc Cain’s part in choosing her – assuming he knew about it (or conversely assuming he didn’t know about it..he should have).

    As if having your own infant, who incidentally has Down’s, isn’t a hard enough thing to deal with (I have a good friend who deals with this on a daily basis) and needs 100% of your time already, parenting a child who becomes a parent herself is also time consuming and attention consuming. Put both of those together and it’s overwhelming…throw in a high profile job like….say… being a heartbeat away from the presidency….and I don’t think this is good judgement or a good idea.

    So the fact that Bristol got pregnant…could happen to almost anyone…no birth control (had it been used) is even 100% – not even surgical sterilization! However the judgement that has been used in selcting her, in her agreeing to accept the nomination DOES come into question for me, not her judgement as parent.

    As a parent I’m far more concerned with her trying to have had books banned from the library in her little hamlet of 7,000 people and her abstinence only education….

  2. I agree with Leslie. I don’t think she should be judged by what her daughter has gotten herself into but to think that she can handle the vice presidency with that many kids who have SO many needs is foolish.

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