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The Contender
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should parents be responsible for their children actions

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,050 times Debate No: 46170
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)




No, parents shouldn't be responsible for their childrens crimes. parenents jobs is to raise their kids, teach them right for wrong, and provide for them. you can try to teach your child to be the best person, but you are not the only person that influence that child. they have influences from school, society, and media. sometimes kids get curious and wont to experiment that may lead to them ge4tting in trouble or commiting a crime so how is that the parents fault. you can teach your child but who says they will go by what you say when they have other negative influence


I accept the debate and will proceed with the position that: Yes, parents should be responsible for their children's actions.

First, some definitions:

Parent: a person who is a father or mother : a person who has a child.

Responsible: 1) having the job or duty of dealing with or taking care of something or someone.
2) able to be trusted to do what is right or to do the things that are expected or required.
3) involving important duties, decisions, etc., that you are trusted to do.

Child: a son or daughter.

I believe parents should be responsible for their children's actions for several reasons:

I. Being responsible for that which you created.

Anyone can argue that we were born alone and will die alone, but the truth of the matter is that we are sentient beings which were created through a physical act carried out by our parents. This act was that of two humans having intercourse and as a result - started the mechanisms for creating a new human, i.e.- the process of conception and birth. Sadly, there are many cases where irresponsible parents conceive a child without knowing the full ramifications or responsibilities that having a child comes with. Nonetheless, in this world, it is a human characteristic to care for the young, especially the young that came from oneself which is the role that fathers and mothers either willingly or mistakenly sign up for when having a child. Even lesser beings known as animals show signs of caring for their young. This is nothing more than an intrinsic value or emotional tool that we seem to have been born with or that comes rather instinctively from within.

It is common knowledge that it is the parents responsibility to care for that child, which came from them, and to teach that child the important values that reflect their societies moral compass as they are growing up and developing in their new world. Without the care of a mother, the child would starve to death from a lack of nutrition normally received during breast-milk feeding as an infant. We are not creatures that can survive on our own from birth, fact. Thus the age-old tradition (caring for the young) has formed out of necessity to care for the infants and young that would naturally die off otherwise. This trait that has naturally developed out of necessity carries over into the later years of childhood development when the infant now has the ability to conceptualize and introduce order into their perceived reality.

As an animal with a natural herd mentality, humans have developed a system of learning how to organize and structure their perceived world by watching and following the instructions of those who are older than themselves. Roles such as instructors, teachers, and masters have formed to be a common part of our own society now in these modern times from such ancient traditions of passing knowledge down from one generation to the next. This is also how we have been able to continue with forward progress, by building on the foundations layed before us. The same ideology can and is applied to parents who have chosen to bring forth a new life into the world and now carry the burden of passing down their knowledge to their next generation.

II. The outcomes of passing knowledge to the next generation

When a man or woman assumes the role of parent, creating a foundation of understanding for the offspring is a necessity. Due to the intrinsic nature of our herd mentality, the child will look for instruction from those who are closest to it, which more often than not - are its parents. As I have stated earlier, knowing that the man and woman themselves learned from their parents, it is more likely than not that they themselves understand what they must do in order to secure the best life for their child - teach them to the best of their ability.

Although schools are responsible for educating the youth, one must realize that education is not all that is necessary for guaranteeing the best outcome possible when shaping your child for the adult world. More often that not, parents will tend to help their children on homework assignments, and the responsible ones would go so far as to ask what the child learned that day in school - followed by discussing the topics with the child and making sure that the child understands whatever lesson was taught that day. Without the assistance or positive reinforcement from the parents, the child might run the risk of falling behind in class or failing to understand the importance of education altogether. Without learning to appreciate the knowledge taught in school, or having the ability to reflect on what they were taught with an adult they trust, the risk of failure rises exponentially. Please see the link below for further verification of the claims I am making pertaining to the beneficial role of having active parents in the realm of schooling and education.

III. Kids just being kids

A common argument posed in such debates is that children sometimes just want to explore and experiment. That parents just don't have the control they are portrayed as having and that every kid goes through a phase of ignoring the parents. While this is true in most cases, it would be extremely foolish to believe that not once has a child actually listened to their parent. More often than not, if the child is rebelling, it is most likely due to either neglect from a parent or an undisclosed emotional issue that the child doesn't feel comfortable enough expressing. Sometimes, children are stricken with emotions that they themselves don't know how to express properly yet, which again, falls into the category of knowledge that should have been passed down from the parents. Remember, we are not arguing if parents are responsible themselves, but rather if they are responsible for their children. I would never claim that parents are perfect, and for the most part, a problem child often comes from a problem family. Regardless, until the child is at the legal age of adulthood recognised by the US government to be 18 - the parents could be held responsible.

There have been several cases where parents are charged with crimes that their children committed. More often than not, these cases included charges like the one listed below:

Failure to supervise:
Negligent Supervision Laws govern the liability of adults who have failed to exercise their duty of care when monitoring children. A person may become liable for negligent supervision if:

    • They know (or have reason to know) that the child must be controlled or protected, AND

    • They have failed to do so

Furthermore, with their being such a law as Child Neglect:

...It is hard to imagine why someone would ever think that it is alright to fail to recognize the responsibility placed on adults when children are involved. If the parent is going to be held responsible for harming a child, or failing to protect a child - then it is clear that parents most certainly bear a responsibility for their children's actions as well.

One simply cannot expect to be responsible over all aspects of a child's life, only to throw away all responsibility the moment a child commits a crime, which is what my opponent is trying to imply. I can only hope that the evidence I provided is enough to awaken within each and every once of us a sense of responsibility for when we ourselves have children and young lives depending on us to show them how to live.
Debate Round No. 1


kalithiah forfeited this round.


It seems my opponent has forfeited Round 2. In the spirit of debate I will continue to present my argument in the hopes of providing my audience with an adequate amount of evidence to support my position.

I. Parental Accountability Laws

When a social justice opinion gains the support of the collective, for the most part, it is made into law. This is exactly what happened when our society determined that parent's do, in fact, carry some level of responsibility whenever their child commits an illegal act.

Parental Accountability Lawsare laws that some states use to hold parents legally responsible for crimes committed by their children. These laws are based on a number of theories, including:
  • Parents have a legal duty to prevent their children from committing crimes
  • Parental accountability is an effective way to decrease juvenile crime rates.

A parent may be held liable for many types of criminal violations committed by their child. Specifically, newer violations have arisen in connection with youth and minors. Parents might be held liable for these newer crimes as well, which may include:

  • Internet access, hacking, and other computer crimes: These types of crimes are common among young people who frequently use technology. In particular, violations such as sexting and child pornography distributed over cell phones can result in heavy legal consequences. This is a new area of law, but parents might still be held liable depending on the circumstances.
  • Delinquent youth laws: Many states impose criminal liability on parents who allow their children to engage in delinquent behavior. Penalties may increase with repeat offenses and can even result in charges for negligent parenting
  • Firearm access: Some jurisdictions hold parents responsible if their child accesses a firearm owned or controlled by the parent.

There can be civil and criminal consequences for parents who are found guilty of violating Parental Accountability Laws. These consequences include:

  • Fines
  • Payment of court fees
  • Increased participation in juvenile proceedings
  • Restitution to victims
  • Payment of costs associated with the detention, treatment and supervision of their child
  • Participation in community service with their child
  • Jail time


So what is the point of sharing this?

The reason I am sharing this, is to reflect the serious nature of the responsibilities parents must take when deciding to bring a child into this world. As I stated in my original argument, one cannot simply expect to be responsible over all aspects of a child's life, only to shun that responsibility whenever it takes a turn for the worst. As a parent, making sure your child is heading down the right path is one of, if not, the most important duty of parenthood.

Debate Round No. 2


kalithiah forfeited this round.


Unfortunately, my opponent has once again forfeited the round.

I feel that I have successfully rebutted my opponents initial claims. With my opponent failing to provide any further argument, and failing to rebut any of my points, my argument stands unchallenged.

I would like to thank my opponent for starting this thought-provoking topic and look forward to any and all challenges in the future. I would also like to thank the audience for taking the time to review the arguments before voting.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by electricvibes 3 years ago
Yet, children are GREATLY influenced by their parents? The child has their own view of life and all that, but the parents should some what be held accountable for their little mistake. Parents are far from perfect, and they can set bad example for their children unknowingly.
Posted by ambivalentsoul 3 years ago
Spell check is there for a reason oh my god.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments eviscerated Con's. The structure of Con's arguments made the arguments easy to follow. 'Being responsible for what you've created' was a damning argument, one that would make the top debaters on this site think. 'Failure to supervise' tied in nicely to this point, and was well-sourced. The argument, that wasn't a point, that really sealed the debate, was that responsibility is not a black and white issue, that you can have partial responsibility. Pro has a serious argument.
Vote Placed by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Full Forfeit, good arguments Pro :)