Is "I Don't Know" an acceptable answer?
05/12/2010 at 05:26 AM

My daughter and her stepmom had a rough spot last night. D is 7 and she has one of the fill in the blank diaries. She filled in several of the blanks with the word "sleep", as in that is what she would rather be doing at any given time of the day. She was showing this to her stepmom and then she was asked why she put that answer in the blanks. Her response was "I don't know".

In our home, that has never really been an acceptable answer. The more her stepmom asked why she wrote it, the more withdrawn D became. If I disagree with her stepmom, I am told that I create a "both of you against me" atmosphere. She and her stepmopm normally have a wonderful relationship, however, she has no tolerance for dishonesty. By D saying that she did not know, she is automatically told she is lying and gets in even more trouble.

I need to find some advice that would help me deal with the issue without making it even worse.

So, Why is "I don't know" unacceptable as an answer in your home?"

cid
20761

I remember when I was growing up, it was not acceptable. When I gave that answer I was usually told to sit in my room until I could state the reason. Neither of us feels that it is acceptable now. The issue I have is that stepmom translates that statement into lying. That would equate to lying. She is convinced that when D gives that answer, she is hiding the real reason.

cid
20766

So the reason is "Because it was not acceptable to my parents." Can you ask them why they did not find the response, "I don't know," to be an acceptable answer?

My point is--YOU DON'T KNOW why this is not acceptable.

Up to Middle school, children are in the stage that Piaget identified as "Concrete operational." You ask a kid "Why?" about something, and if they cannot see a physical, mechanical cause (that is to say, a concrete cause,)they cannot identify a cause. You ask most adults why they did something, and they can't identify their motivation, either.

When your child has had formal training in geometry and/or psychology, it is OK to ask them why they did stuff. Until then, it just isn't fair.

cid
20769

P.S.

I would guess that the reason D put that she wanted to sleep is because she is tired.

And I mis-identified the stage, which is "Pre Formal Operational" in later elementary school. Your daughter is in the Concrete Operational stage, as described.

cid
20771

For reasons already pointed out, I think you are being sort of harsh on your child. If your wife is very stubborn on this issue, I would suggest counseling for her. It almost seems like she has a fixation on this.

I think if you constantly give your child such grief over not being able to articulate justifications for insignificant actions (like writing "sleep" in a diary)... you could end up doing some psychological damage.

cid
20772

I would like to think that we were not being too harsh. Part of the problem is that on the weekends she is with her BM and there is no accountability for anything. They stay up late, have no rules and she is never questioned by her mom when she does something wrong. What we are trying to instill in her is a little bit of personal responsibility. We want her to understand that there is a consequence for every action. We want her to understand that she cannot play dumb and expect the world to forgive her. Yes, she is only 7, but if we wait too long to try and counter what she learns there, will the effects be harder to counter? She gets none of that from her mom. Her mom enjoys playing the system and others around her to get what she wants. D sees that. Maybe we are trying too hard to counter the possible effects of her learning from her mom.

As far as Piaget's theory of The Concrete Operational Stage, how would cognative thought processes relating to shapes and physical masses translate into her not being able to understand why she did or did not do something. I have spent the last hour or so reading what I could find about this theory. I think I have an idea of what you were getting at, but I would like you to clarify a little bit to see if we are on the same page.

cid
20776

I can't speak for the theory, but I think that knowing "why" you did something is sort of an abstract concept. Seven year-olds do not have the ability to reason like adults.

I understand that some kids might play dumb and/or lie about certain things: like "where is your homework?" or "did you clean up your room?" etc. And then it would be wrong for them to play dumb and respond "I didn't know I was supposed to."

But what you are talking about is a totally different animal. First, I don't get why you are grilling your child over writing that she wants to "sleep" in her diary. Is there a reason her writing this bothers you? It just seems so insignificant...

And even for argument's sake, if writing "sleep" in the diary is a disciplinary issue, it may be hard for her to explain why she did it.

An adult, or older child might lash out on someone, physically hit someone, etc. and be able to say "I did this because I was stressed out" or "I let my feelings overcome me."

I don't think a 7-year-old has that capacity for reflection and self-analysis. I think it is the job of parents to help our children process, recognize, and understand their feelings.

I do things all the time- like doodling on a piece of paper, writing a silly e-mails to friends, sometimes I say things without thinking about them first... I guess I could really analyze it and tell you "why" I did it... I could probably even make something up on the fly about "why" I did it. But I'm an adult. And, more importantly, what would be the point?

I know that you want to counter-balance what is going on in her mother's house, but it seems like you may be overdoing it.

cid
20777

"As far as Piaget's theory of The Concrete Operational Stage, how would cognative thought processes relating to shapes and physical masses translate into her not being able to understand why she did or did not do something."

Read the sentence above only leave out "not".

"As far as Piaget's theory of The Concrete Operational Stage, how would cognative thought processes relating to shapes and physical masses translate into her being able to understand why she did or did not do something?"

The point is, she is able to figure out how objects affect each other, because they are physical. She is not able to figure out her motivations. She can't see them, touch them, or manipulate them. To her, they are imaginary, and she could more readily predict the behavior of a unicorn or dragon than discuss her own motivation.

I remember learning parts of speech in about 4th grade. I couldn't figure out how "idea" could be a noun. I didn't know what it was, but it wasn't a noun! The teacher kept reciting, "A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea." You can see and touch persons, places, and things. What the heck was 'idea' doing in that list?

cid
20784

As far as your point Sister, we are not really giving her a hard time about her choice of the word sleep, we are just trying to figure out her motivation. She had just returned from another late night weekend with her mom and when she got home from school on Monday, there was a note from her teacher that she fell asleep in class during a math test. The teacher stated that this had taken place once before but she did not write it in her planner because she thought it was a one time thing. Her stepmom and I realize that the subject of sleep was heavy on everyone's mind that day. Maybe we were just pushing too hard for her to recognize that. We wanted to her to acknowledge that sleep was on her mind when she was writing.

We try to teach her that it is ok to sleep when she is tired, that she doesn't have to stay up and keep everyone company. First, she is a kid, and what kid does not try to stay awake. Secondly her personality type is that of a "pleaser". She will go out of her way to accomodate her mother's every whim, even if it means she goes without sleep.

Mayamay, thanks for the thought. That is exactly what I was thinking. From what I could gather, she is still learning how to differentiate different thought processes. She does have a firm grasp of physical things and of ideas that are very new in her mind. Once those thoughts are more than 5 minutes old, she begins to forget about them. According to the theory, it will be when she is between 10-12 before she actually begins to remember and form accurate thoughts about ideas and not things.

cid
20788

All this over a 7 yo child writing the word “sleep”? Why was her diary being read by the step mother? As you point out that there are consequences to every action; understand that there will be consequences to giving your child the 3rd degree over something so trivial. How many children of her own does this step mother have, and are they held to such standards?

Also, why is it so important to know the reason why she wrote the word?

cid
20798

I am a divorced Mom of 3 and they have a stepmother and father. It's hard for everyone, you just have to stand by your wife and her decisions and explain to your daughter why her stepmother feels this way about her explanation. As long as you play a I understand both sides it should mellow out.
My oldest is 13 and she is the one who had trouble with the whole step parent role. She is much better now, I think it's just a I'm confused and jealous stage for her.

cid
20800

I think you are missing the point. We are not giving her the 3rd degree over the word sleep. What we are trying to teach her is that the phrase "I don't know" is not really a good answer to a question. Thanks to some of the helpful answers I have recieved from others on this forum, I now know that what we are dealing with is an actual stage that she is going through and this will better prepare us to deal with how she approaches things.

The diary was being read because D does not yet understand the concept that a diary is private. She came out and showed us. She enjoys sharing what she writes and at this point we are trying to teach her that sometimes she can look back at her diary and use it to make good changes in her life.

We hold her to a little bit of a higher standard simply because her mom has none. She lets this child wake up on weekends and feed herself breakfast. Sometimes she can reach the frozen waffles. Sometimes she can reach the coke and whip cream. She is 7 and she needs some positive direction and help to understand why she makes choices. I'm not perfect either. that is why I came here for advice. I did not get full custody of D by luck. It was obvious that the ex has no concept of right and wrong and has no intent on teaching D that. She has a blatant disregard for the legal system and even told a judge that she really did not care what he said, she would do what she wants until she gets caught.

cid
20803

If your daughter is not being properly supervised or provided for nutritionally when with your ex, that situation needs to be brought to the attention of someone who can help with those issues. By you accepting your child being neglected by your ex during her visitation, you are teaching your daughter that her safety and well being is not important. The most "positive direction" you can give your daughter is to let her know she can count on you to make sure she is safe and well cared for at all times.

Holding your daughter to "a little bit higher standard simply because her mom has none" will very possibly backfire on you and your current wife. My ex husband and I did that with his daughters which eventually caused them to gravitate toward their mother who regained custody of them when they were old enough to say with whom they wanted to live. Think about the long term consequences of the choices you are making regarding your child.

cid
20821

2xstepmom makes a very good point. It is not your 7 year-old child's job to stand up to her mom and insist that she get proper care. It is your job. Have the teachers document that she is fatigued after visitation with her mom. "CAUGHT"

cid
20822

We have the teachers documenting. She is extremely healthy and active here. We were told by counsel that unless she is in physical danger or being malnourished there was not a whole lot we can do. If we critisize, we are treated very hostile and told to mind our own business. My attorney said that the little bit that we have currently is not quite enough to go on. So, we continue to document until we get more. She will hang herself eventually.

Her mom provides her with all of what she considers necessities- shopping, traveling, manicures and lessons on how to be "fabulous". We on the other hand teach her the boring things- how to save money, eat properly, be self sufficient and to be active in her community through sports and friendships. So far we are doing a much better job. D has a wonderful garden where she grows her own vegetables and plays softball on a local team. We can't go anywhere without seeing someone she has made friends with. Hem mom and I just have different opinions of what is important.

Back to the original issue, I guess it was just troubling that the word sleep to be so prevalent in her writing was unusual. she is up at the crack of dawn and hates to nap. She always wants to stay up with her stepmom and loves to play. Seeing her write that after spending a weekend watching her mom sleep and not being able to say why she thought about it troubled us. We know why she wrote it, she was exposed to a mom who slept a majority of the weekend. We just wanted her to connect the dots and realize it. We will just be a little more patient and understanding in the future with her responses.

As far as her eventually wanting to live there, I hope not. As it is now she is dreading going up there for her month in the summer. She knows that she is shuffled from sitter to sitter and when she is home, her mom is involved with the boyfriend instead of her. She does not get that from us. She has a steady and predictable life. We are involved and when she asks us to do things with her, we most always accomodate- within reason.

cid
20833

you guys are crazzzzzzy dang you guys need to out law asking why did you do that why did you do this and just get that stepmom of that lil girlz back it her diar ry let her have an opinion dang... what are you going to do when she becomes a teenager are you gunna make her read that diary to you every night after she rights in it thats why its called a diary not a public book of feelings i would kill anybody that even attempted to read my diary if i were that lil girl i would be afraid to keep a diary... thats messed up of that stepmom to question her about something like that its her life let her live it and i would ditch the step mom... just sayin...

cid
20836

Tampa dad, I did not miss the point, in fact I understood completely what you were doing, but thought the lesson was bringing undue stress on the child. The questions I asked were mostly rhetorical. I started to reply yesterday, but thought I would wait and see how this played itself out. As I had suspected, you already had a very good idea of why the word was written. In situations like this it may be difficult for adults to articulate the reasons behind any particular action.
As I have stated several times, we as parents are the guides for our children in this life. If I went on a hike with a guide, I wouldn’t expect him to run off and leave me in the middle of nowhere; I would expect him to help me navigate my way out of the situation. As parents we can help our children navigate their way through many lessons and in giving them suggestions based on what we already know, we help them find the correct words, and give them an example to go by for the future.
When I get the dreaded “I don’t know” I usually reply with “Well I think I know why”. I then give the reasoning behind my theory, and wait for a reply. Whether I am right or wrong I still get feedback that helps us come to a more informed conclusion.
I can’t help but think that your daughter may have felt as if she had done something wrong and was afraid to answer. At her age she more than likely lacks the insight to come to a conclusion as to why she did it.
The reason I asked if the step mother had children of her own is that I get the impression that this is her idea and not yours. This way of dealing with your daughter does not feel right to you, which is why you came here to get the opinions of others. Trust your instinct, if it does not feel right the simple conclusion is that it is not right for you and your daughter.

cid
20838

Thanks for the help SnglDad. I understand where you are coming from, however I stop just short of giving her my reasoning first. She has such an impressionable mind, that if I give her my thoughts, she is more than like to build on those rather than her own. Maybe it is too early to hope for her to put her own thoughts together just yet.

As far as the stpemom having her own kids....not yet. We are working on that and I feel it might help her understand where I am coming from. She has a firm idea that with a child everything is black and white. I found out long ago, that there are far more gray areas than there are black and white. Yes we disagree on some things. I guess the biggest obstacle we face is how she approaches some things. I tell her repeatedly that I have no issue with what she wants D to learn and which life lessons are important to emphasize. What I do have issue with is sometimes how she chooses to teach those lessons. She is a very quiet person and does not let her emotions show very often. To some this translates as she is without feeling. The truth is, she cares more than most people I know. She just expresses it differently.

Quite a few women, when hearing that I was a single dad with a slightly loony ex, ran away quickly. This one was different. She and her whole family embraced D and I and were never made to feel any different. D is treated just like the natural born grandchildren. She has helped me through the custody minefield and has given me a voice of reason when all my instincts told me to just yell back and play nasty with the ex. She has a moral compass that is, without a doubt one of the truest I have ever known. She is for the most part a much better mother to D than her own mom. I feel that once we have our own, she will understand the rest of the puzzle and unlock her true potential as a mom.

Thanks again for the understanding and help. Most of the comments were constructive and some were just plain wrong. Maybe the wrong comments were from folks who just don't understand what parenting is all about these days.

cid
20931

Do you hesitate to tell a child "Thunder is caused by lightening?" One of the things children need is for parents to frame their experience. This fear of "indoctrinating" children is one of the aspects of modern parenting that is troubling to me. By all means, when the child is in the formal operational stage, teach her to think critically, to question all authority including yours. But now, while she is in this concrete stage, give her the benefit of your understanding about the world.

The very structure of a child's brain changes as she matures. Teach her all you can about the world, both by providing experiences and by framing those experiences with your own words. About age 13 or 14, they stop listening. That is the time to let her develop her own thoughts instead of build on yours.

cid
20933

I didn't get to read all the responses here, so I apologize if I'm repeating anything anyone's said already. Here's my opinion on this matter:

First and foremost, why is your daughter's stepmom disciplining her? You shld be the one doing the disciplining since she's your daughter. Your wife shld be following your lead so that you both are working as a team.

Second, I immediately thought of Bill Cosby's stand up routine, Bill Cosby Himself, where the comedian talks freely about raising his children. His child wants a cookie, and he says no. A few mins later he catches the child climbing on the counter trying to get the cookie. He asks the child, "What are you doing?" The response is, "I don't know." He says you were trying to get a cookie. Again, "I don't know." Later when Mr. Cosby left the room, the child got back on the counter, got a cookie, and quicky stuffed it into his mouth. When dad returned, he said, "Did you eat a cookie?" The child said, "I don't know."
So what I'm saying is, maybe your daughter is afraid to give you an answer b/c she's afraid she's going to get in trouble. You say "I don't know" has always been unacceptable in your house and when you were growing up. And now your wife feels your daughter is lying when she responds this way. In my opinion, she probably isn't telling you something. The problem, though, is that you created such a negative association w/ the response, "I don't know," that your daughter is afraid to tell you how she really feels. Take that negativity away, and maybe she will be more open w/ you. You and your wife have to build a trust w/ your daughter if you want her to communicate w/ you. The hard part now is not so much easing up on your daughter, but getting her to open up now that you have set a negative tone. The process may be gradual, but I bet if you back off a bit and communicate more openly and more regularly w/ your daughter, she will feel more comfortable and eventually open up to you.
I believe strongly in honesty and setting consequences for dishonestly. But in the case you're describing, YOU don't really know for sure what is going on, so instead of automatically assuming your daughter is lying, encourage her to talk to you, otherwise she will shut herself down like she has already.
This is just my opinion, but I was a kid once too, and my parents were always strict w/ me. It was hard for me to tell them things b/c I always thought I'd get in trouble. Children will lie, but it's our job as parents to keep the communication lines open and not be so judgemental all the time. Hope this helps!

cid
20997

As long as we're on the subject of "why", how about "why" did you ever marry someone that you now describe in such vicious terms? Seems like a far more heinous action to recklessly father a child with someone you despise and create a broken home for a child than merely writing the word "sleep". I'm saying this not with an unkind spirit but because, quite frankly, it needs to be said.

Also, why is "I don't know" unacceptable? Forget about Piaget and all this abstract nonsense about childhood stages for a minute. Do you never say "I don't know" in your adult life? Maybe we're just different, as to me, if I had to answer every question then I would have to lie at some point because there ARE things that I simply do not know.

cid
22988

Boy did you come out of left field. Why does anyone marry someone? Hmmmm, the image they were projecting was not totally accurate. I was warned by her parents that she had a thing for lying. I always tried to see the good and thought people were being overly critical of her. I waited until I was 38 to , as you put it, to "recklessly father a child and create a broken home" with someone I really thought was a good person. I was literally blinded by my love for her. To show you how blind, I returned from helping a relative who just lost everything in a hurricane to a very calm and ice-like person. After putting our daughter to sleep, she handed me a list of things she did not like and said it's over. No warning, no discussion....that's it. She said she knew she did not want to be with me from the day we were married. She said she got pregnant because she thought it would change the way she felt. I wanted to be a dad for an entirely different reason. Silly me for trying to see the good in people. She told me I could move out and send her her check and she would let me know when I could see my daughter. Yep, you are right, it looks like I created the broken home. What bitter pill did you swallow? Sorry, I did not have a child to fix things or to be a "part time dad". I went nowhere and this inflamed her. She repeatedly tells her family that it is simply not fair that I moved on with my life and I am happy.

She then informed me that she had been cheating on me as early as a year prior to our wedding. Silly me actually trusted her when she said she was working late. She did have a job that required after work functions, so I trusted her. So yes, maybe I am a little bitter and I worry that some of the traits she has, she will pass down. My current wife and I are not harsh on my daughter. We are strict about certain things and always fair. We both believe in holding kids accountable. We read what people write when I post on these boards and take a little bit from each to help us decide if a different approach is needed.

As far as me describing my ex in vicious terms, I don't know where that came from. I am fairly certain if I wanted to use vicious terms, I could have thought of more than a few. How would most women describe men who did those things? I only tried to focus on things that have an effect on her becoming a better person. She moved out of state to get away from creditors. She is in trouble with the IRS. She has judgements against her for not paying her bills. She hasn't paid child support in two years, yet she buys 3 round trip tickets to fly here every month to see her daughter. She rents sports cars with a suspended license. She says she has no money and no job. She collects unemployment in two states but owns a business in another. All of this is currently being investigated. She has done nothing to physically endanger our daughter so I do not stop her from seeing her. So yes, maybe I worry about some of her habits being learned by a 7 year old. She does not believe in personal accountability and will not teach it. Pardon me if I get a little bothered when my daughter says "mommy took me shopping and she is teaching me how to have a fabulous life".

If holding her accountable and trying to teach her that it is ok to express herself instead of saying "I don't know", is wrong, then so be it. What you said makes a little sense. If someone asked me about quantum physics, I can honestly say I don't know. If I was asked why I did something, that same response is not acceptable. When that response is given it is usually because a child does not yet understand how to express themselves or because an adult is usually too ashamed to admit the truth. I could sit here and tell you that I don't know why I married her, but that would not be accurate. it would be the easy way out of it. I did it because I loved her. I did it because I always try to see the good in people. I always give someone the benefit of the doubt until such time that I am proven that I shouldn't have.

My current wife and I took some of the advice on the board and actually applied some it. We are working with with her to express herself. She knows that by writing that word, she did nothing wrong. We are helping her to learn how to express her feelings and actually explain herself. That was the ulitmate goal. Her mother lives and dies by telling lies and hiding her feelings. We want to help our daughter to not fall into that same trap. Her mom is not going to teach her how to avoid it, she is teaching her how to be better at it than she was.

cid
22990

Look TampaDad, I apologize. While it is true that I did not say any of that with a mean spirit, quite honestly, I don't know you well enough to be making such judgments.. and, it really has as much to do with MY OWN personal issues as with anything else.

I.. find it very upsetting that SOME parents (not saying you for sure) have children with people when they know that that person (and probably they themselves) are not in a good position to do so, mentally, emotionally, whatever.

It just bothers me because now here you have an innocent child that is bondaged for LIFE to a mother that is a wackjob (as described by her own father). It is terrible, terrible, terrible for a child to have to live life with at least 1 parent like that, let alone potentially two...

..and I think it kinda troubled me that there was this big issue being made of a 7 year old who did, let's be honest, NOTHING wrong...

You have to admit, when you compare the two: which is worse: having a dysfunctional mother/family OR saying "I don't know" to a question when you're 7? I think the answer is blatantly obvious.

On the "I don't know" thing, I'm still lost as to what you mean. I'm not just talking about quantam physics. I'm talking about anything. Haven't you ever been unsure as to why you did something? If not, I'm jealous of you because that is A LOT of clarity of mind. A lot of times I have to think, to dig deeper, as to why I did something... sometimes honestly I just don't know. It's not all the time, but it does happen. And remember, just because you give an answer doesn't mean you really DO know. Sometimes you just don't, and you need to think about it.

Anyway, if you've forgiven me enough from before then allow me to be blunt again. This is the hugest non-issue in child rearing I've ever heard. Like my original response was more about me than you, maybe your reaction to "I don't know" is more about YOU than your child. Just consider it.

cid
22992

If anything, I appreciate your honesty. You are right that in the overall scheme of things it is a non issue. Part of it probably is me. I want her to grow and to at least be able to verbalize her feelings, whether they are right or not. I don't want her growing up to play dumb and smile and to simply say "I don't know". I realize that is probably a standard answer for many kids, but it is one that in her case, she needs to learn it is not always a safe answer. To me, I would feel like I failed her if I simply allowed her to grow up and think it was accepatable to hide behind that answer. Quite a few of our friends and even members of my ex's family understand and agree that we do need to be a little bit more aggressive in some areas.

Believe me, my daughter actually likes that we are a little strict. She is almost done with her summer vacation out of state and on occasion she calls us when her mom is not in the room. She is like night and day when she calls. When her mom is with her, she sounds almost robotic in her description of what she did ithat day. She has been told by her mother not to ask to speak to her step mom because it upsets her. When her mom is not in the room, she will talk to her step mom and then in a quiet voice so her mom can't hear, she will say that she is in fact having fun, but it isn't home. That's when we know we aren't doing so bad.

Again, thanks for the honesty and I didn't mean to judge you in any way. I do hope that whatever demons you have had to deal with in the past eventually leave you. I am working on exercising mine. I will not however stop trying to see the good in people. Thanks again.

cid
22995

Appreciate that we were able to find some agreement and best of luck, best wishes to you and your daughter as well.

cid
22997

Stepmom wasnt reading the diary according to the original post...the diary was being shown to the stepmom by the stepdaughter. My opinion on this whole "I dont know" is to try to teach children that as life goes on, that answer will not be acceptable. How would a boss respond to that answer? How would a spouse respond to that answer from the other spouse? Bottom line here, is as a child gets older, that answer should not be acceptable. It will only lead to an "i dont know" adult life.
A small child shouldnt be punished for that answer but it shoud be explained (in a way that they understand) that they need to figure out "why" and as the grow into teens and then young adults, that answer shoud be less and less acceptable.

cid
23032

Are you the stepmom in question? I'm having trouble believing there's yet another person who has this belief about the words "I don't know."

Seriously: what is the issue?

What about the phrase "I don't know" makes it "unacceptable"? The words "I don't know" exist for a reason and that reason is that the phrase communicates an idea, and the idea is that you do not know something.

If we were to follow this logic to its inevitable conclusion, you would have no basis to ever ask anyone a question about anything! How silly does that sound to you?

Think about it: why do we ask questions? Because we do not know! But, in your view, it is "unacceptable" to not know! Therefore, if you were to live consistently, you should never have any basis to ask anyone a question.

The two relationships you mention specifically are spouse, and employer-employee. So let's try some real life examples.

Employer: Mary, how do you do such-and-such?

What if you don't know how to do such-and-such? Do you simply lie? How is that MORE acceptable than saying "I don't know"?

Employer: Bob, why do you think product X isn't selling?

What if you really don't know? What're you just supposed to feed the boss some B.S. answer?

Spouse: do you think we should go to Florida for vacation this year?

What if you haven't given thought to the question, why do you have to decide immediately? "I don't know" is a perfectly reasonable answer.

Spouse: why are you upset?

What if you REALLY DON'T KNOW WHY YOU'RE UPSET? I mean, give me a break this list can go on and on and on....

"I don't know" is not necessarily deceitful, disrespectful, etc. It is merely "I don't know". The person may be hiding the truth, yes, or... they may genuinely NOT KNOW. What's the problem here?

Here's the most important question: what happened to you when you were a kid and you said the words "I don't know" to your parents? How did they respond? I'd think about that FIRST before I would focus attention on the child, because I'm betting the real problem here is with the way you were parented, not with the child in question.

cid
23042

No, Im not the stepmom. Thanks for your opinion. I gave mine. Geeze...why do some people think their OPINIONS are the fact of the matter or the law?

cid
23175

People become passionate when it comes to their children. When they read the story that started this thread, in their mind they see their own child in that position. Very few are able to understand this without having children of their own.

cid
23304

I don't have a child of my own. But, I'd still like to know what is "unacceptable" about "I don't know".

Yes, it's your opinion. That's fine. But, surely you must have REASONS to have the opinion, and I've been trying to pry them loose from you without luck.

If you don't know why you're teaching kids this, and many of us have the "opinion" that it is worrisome, then I'd say that's a bad sign. If, on the other hand, you had REASONS that you could mention for having this belief that would provide a degree of comfort.

I think I have demonstrated why this is a ridiculous and absurd position, and why it is harmful to a child. If you have nothing to say in defense of it, then I say you have the right to your opinion, but you're WRONG.

cid
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