Do parents respect bad kids more?

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Aspie1
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13 Dec 2018, 7:15 am

To start out, let me clarify: I'm talking about RESPECT. Not love, not caring, not approval; with "caring" often being used as a veneer for power/control, but I digress. I'm talking specifically about respect, the way NTs adults respect people, like a rarely-seen coworker or a stranger on the street.

Anyway, while I was growing up, I saw parents, both my own and other kids', treat bad kids with more respect than they treated me or other good kids. They talked to bad kids in a nicer tone, gave them more leeway with rules, and allowed them to have more candy and such. They may have outwardly scolded them, but it almost sounded like they didn't mean it. The bad kids, in turn, were far from model citizens. They talked back, they didn't obey rules, they were cruel to other kids (myself including) and to animals, and they engaged in defiant behaviors.

I, on the other hand, considered myself to be the Kindest Child Ever Lived; I even hoped to be beatified as a saint one day. (I'm not Catholic.) I was willing to give the shirt off my back, food off my plate, and money out my pocket. (My toys were the only exception: I was ready to kill or die to protect them.) I did everything my parents told me. I was kind to people and to animals. And yet, nothing I did was good enough. I had to follow very strict rules, and I got scolded with so much vitriol and anger, it sounded like I killed off an endangered species.

So, it seems like parents respect bad kids more than they respect good kids, even when outwardly saying they want a kid to be good. (Not unlike the nice guy/jerk dichotomy in the dating world.) Perhaps the good kid behaviors over a certain amount start to look like weakness. And weakness triggers a predatory instinct in people, with the instinct being so strong, that not even parenthood can overcome it. Hence, the lack of respect compared to bad kids. Which makes sense: I was very meek and docile. Which made me an "easy" child, but didn't get me much respect. (Not unlike a boss respecting a mildly defiant employee more than he'd respect a good little worker bee.)

Well, that's one theory. But why else?



magz
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13 Dec 2018, 8:34 am

What do you mean by "good" and "bad" kids?
I guess by your standards I was a "bad" kid for I talked back to elders, didn't obey the rules and had my own ideas all the time. I never intentionally hurt others, humans and animals alike, but the other parts of your description of a bad kid fit me.
Was I respected? Yes. Were my "nicer" and less defiant siblings respected? Yes. It may just be less visible when adults respect a kid that doesn't cause much trouble.
So maybe it's just the problem with your parents not respecting you?

One more thought: I once had a friend who did everything for others and never asked for anything for himself... you have no idea how frustrated he was. He expected something in reward but he never asked for it... so other people had no idea that he wasn't content the way it was. And his ideas of morality made him adamant about sticking to his frustrating ways. It was so hard to explain to him that even the most loving others didn't know what he needed when he didn't show it in any way.
We knew each other at high school. Years later I was extremely happy to learn he at least partially grew out of it.

But thinking of him and what you wrote - maybe the kids who talk back simply give more information about what kind of respect they want?


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Aspie1
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14 Dec 2018, 12:45 am

magz wrote:
So maybe it's just the problem with your parents not respecting you?
It wasn't just my parents. My extended family, my friends' parents, and my parents' friends didn't seem to respect me very much, either. Although they, for the most part, appreciated my "goodness" a little more.

magz wrote:
One more thought: I once had a friend who did everything for others and never asked for anything for himself... you have no idea how frustrated he was. He expected something in reward but he never asked for it... so other people had no idea that he wasn't content the way it was. And his ideas of morality made him adamant about sticking to his frustrating ways. It was so hard to explain to him that even the most loving others didn't know what he needed when he didn't show it in any way.
I was pretty clear about asking my parents and other adults for what I wanted. More often than not, it was brushed off with "No, you were whining!" or "No, because we care about you!" The former was a politically correct dog whistle, and the latter was a veneer for a power trip. I knew that because bad kids never got brushed off like that. With that said, my ways of asking for what I wanted amounted more to supplicating for it and trying to bribe adults by being "good", rather than by overtly fighting for it like "bad" kids do. Which made me look weak in the adults' eyes. Which is the anathema for commanding respect, and it triggered their predatory instincts against me (and other good/weak kids). All of which explains why authority figures respect the bad kids more than the good kids.

A parallelism can be drawn to my work. In the past, I was a good little worker bee, who went the extra mile and stayed late to finish the job. Not only did it fail to get bosses to respect me, it landed me in a hospital due to health problems it caused! Today, I slack off within reason, I say "it's 5:00, I'm heading out, I gotta get to the gym in time", and I tell people "I understand, but no can do, how about tomorrow?" (While brown-nosing a little with upper management and external clients, in a respectfully distant "I'm here to help, but I'm not your friend and I know the labor laws" kind of way.) On the rare occasions I did stay late or go the extra mile, it looked like a special favor, rather than something to be taken for granted. (Much like bad kids being good.) And the person returned the favor by looking the other way when I messed up later. Bosses outwardly _itch and moan about it, but I can feel their respect toward me in how they communicate with me. More than my bosses from 10 years ago could ever have respected me.



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14 Dec 2018, 1:28 am

Your definition of good and bad kids is outright nonsense.

And no. Adults will either respect kids or not. They don't tend to see "Bad kids" as more or often less worthy of respect. In fact some adults can make a defiant kid's life a living hell.


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magz
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14 Dec 2018, 3:45 am

Aspie1 wrote:
magz wrote:
So maybe it's just the problem with your parents not respecting you?
It wasn't just my parents. My extended family, my friends' parents, and my parents' friends didn't seem to respect me very much, either. Although they, for the most part, appreciated my "goodness" a little more.

That's part of social thinking of NTs: they unconciously copy attitudes they see. Both the extended family and your parents' friends knew your parents before you.

Aspie1 wrote:
magz wrote:
One more thought: I once had a friend who did everything for others and never asked for anything for himself... you have no idea how frustrated he was. He expected something in reward but he never asked for it... so other people had no idea that he wasn't content the way it was. And his ideas of morality made him adamant about sticking to his frustrating ways. It was so hard to explain to him that even the most loving others didn't know what he needed when he didn't show it in any way.
I was pretty clear about asking my parents and other adults for what I wanted. More often than not, it was brushed off with "No, you were whining!" or "No, because we care about you!" The former was a politically correct dog whistle, and the latter was a veneer for a power trip. I knew that because bad kids never got brushed off like that. With that said, my ways of asking for what I wanted amounted more to supplicating for it and trying to bribe adults by being "good", rather than by overtly fighting for it like "bad" kids do. Which made me look weak in the adults' eyes. Which is the anathema for commanding respect, and it triggered their predatory instincts against me (and other good/weak kids). All of which explains why authority figures respect the bad kids more than the good kids.

A parallelism can be drawn to my work. In the past, I was a good little worker bee, who went the extra mile and stayed late to finish the job. Not only did it fail to get bosses to respect me, it landed me in a hospital due to health problems it caused! Today, I slack off within reason, I say "it's 5:00, I'm heading out, I gotta get to the gym in time", and I tell people "I understand, but no can do, how about tomorrow?" (While brown-nosing a little with upper management and external clients, in a respectfully distant "I'm here to help, but I'm not your friend and I know the labor laws" kind of way.) On the rare occasions I did stay late or go the extra mile, it looked like a special favor, rather than something to be taken for granted. (Much like bad kids being good.) And the person returned the favor by looking the other way when I messed up later. Bosses outwardly _itch and moan about it, but I can feel their respect toward me in how they communicate with me. More than my bosses from 10 years ago could ever have respected me.

Seems just the strategy of bribing with niceness does not work.
Which is actually true.


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14 Dec 2018, 7:29 am

Arganger wrote:
And no. Adults will either respect kids or not. They don't tend to see "Bad kids" as more or often less worthy of respect. In fact some adults can make a defiant kid's life a living hell.
Considering how I hated my life since I was 5, and had some sort of suicide plans since I was 8, I'd say they succeeded. Even though I was anything but defiant. All while the truly defiant kids were respected by their families, even though I heard parents complain about them.

magz wrote:
That's part of social thinking of NTs: they unconciously copy attitudes they see. Both the extended family and your parents' friends knew your parents before you.
You're spot-on. While those adults were outwardly nicer to me than my parents were, if I look past the niceness on the surface, their lack of respect toward me was glaringly obvious. For example, when they came over and my parents would yell at me over some perceived slight, or even a fabricated reason, those adults would break into a collective belly laugh. Which was doubly hurtful, to have the people I thought I could trust enjoy watching my misfortune.

Aspie1 wrote:
Seems just the strategy of bribing with niceness does not work.
Which is actually true.
Yeah. This is basically the NiceGuys(TM) dynamic, carried over into parent/child relationships. It almost seems like parents look down on meek, docile kids, even though they claim to want such behavior. :? Correct me if I'm wrong.



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16 Dec 2018, 12:50 pm

no, at least not from my experience



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16 Dec 2018, 3:25 pm

I suppose they know that "good" kids are, in virtue of their obedience, easier to control.



Aspie1
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17 Dec 2018, 12:26 am

Prometheus18 wrote:
I suppose they know that "good" kids are, in virtue of their obedience, easier to control.
Yes, it's true. But it's interesting---and sad---how parents don't respect a docile kid as much as they respect a mildly defiant kid. Not an out-of-control brat---far from it---just someone who pushes back and shows low-level resistance often enough. Perhaps total obedience is equivalent to weakness, and nothing kills respect quicker in NTs' minds than weakness. Even when it's one's own child who's acting weak. It's all subconscious and beyond many people's control, except with very strong mental effort and extensive self-knowledge.

So, parents may love their "good" (read: docile) child, but their respect toward him/her is very, very questionable.



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23 Dec 2018, 5:56 pm

Rebellion only leads to trouble in the long run. However, as Aspie1 has stated, not saying anything at all isn't good, either. I think a person is respected if they think before they speak, without being nasty or argumentative. One needs to know what they are talking about before they speak up.



Aspie1
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24 Dec 2018, 9:59 am

IstominFan wrote:
However, as Aspie1 has stated, not saying anything at all isn't good, either. I think a person is respected if they think before they speak, without being nasty or argumentative. One needs to know what they are talking about before they speak up.

When I was little, my family constantly accused me of thinking or acting without thinking. But after it happened enough times, I realized the accusations were false, and that my family was doing what I now call "gaslighting", maybe even unintentionally. Like not believing me when I told them I was thirsty while asking for a glass of water. Why? Probably to make me even more docile than I already was. Sadly, I was smart enough to know I was being gaslighted, but too weak to actually fight back against it.

Like anything else, my family's actions had side effects. A docile child may be "convenient" to raise, but he/she doesn't command the parents' respect. Because docile = weak, and no one respects a weak person in the NT world. Therefore, my family always controlled me and yelled at me, in the guise of "caring". And their friends belly-laughed at me while I was getting yelled at.

None of this would have happened if I were a "bad" child, like a few neighborhood kids I knew, and had the skills to argue and push back. There was one kid living in the same condominium building as me. He was an aggressive kid, and occasionally gave me crap. Nothing horrible, just similar to Binky or Tough Customers from "Arthur". But when my parents talked about him, I could see the deep glow of respect in their eyes, even when they criticized him. By contrast, when I got an A on a test or behaved perfectly all day, my parents praised me exuberantly, but they lacked that deep glow of respect. It's eerie how I picked up on all this, like the distinction between love/approval and actual respect, despite being two-thirds the emotional age of NT kids.



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24 Dec 2018, 10:16 am

This was certainly true with teachers. I was a docile child and saw how the "problem children" who misbehaved and angered the teacher in the short-term still commanded more respect from the teacher in the long run.

But I still felt a strong conviction that I was "right." I lost respect for the teachers who respected the bad kids.

Then again, I wonder what sort of people the teachers were as kids. As adults running the class, they didn't appreciate the bad kid's behavior, but they fully understood it and approved of it as normal. Perhaps the NTs elders fully understood the NT young-ens. But we didn't understand either NT age group. Oh, we observed what was going on, but didn't fully understand the reason for this disproportional treatment from teachers in the bad kid's favor.

I'm pretty sure that nearly all of my teachers were neurotypical, like most of the kids in class.



Last edited by ezbzbfcg2 on 24 Dec 2018, 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

ezbzbfcg2
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24 Dec 2018, 10:29 am

IstominFan wrote:
Rebellion only leads to trouble in the long run. However, as Aspie1 has stated, not saying anything at all isn't good, either. I think a person is respected if they think before they speak, without being nasty or argumentative. One needs to know what they are talking about before they speak up.


While I agree with you, I don't think that's the point the OP was making.

I've noticed with many NTs, what is being said is secondary to who is saying it. A well-respected person shouting his lungs out commands more respect than a quiet fellow that no one likes, even if the quiet fellow is speaking the truth and the shouter is blathering off b.s.



ezbzbfcg2
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24 Dec 2018, 11:04 am

One other thing, I just read this on another post and it (unknowingly) ties in with this concept of respect for those misbehaving:

TUF wrote:
I have a cat who is like an NT human. Very social, a bit manipulative, doesn't like to be alone but can gear any social situation to his advantage. I think he isn't an NT cat. Most cats are a bit aspie by human standards. We have two other cats and they're very blunt, can't hide their emotions or mask them, prefer to be left alone, don't want a lot of attention. They're regular cats. So is he a neurodiverse cat?

(Everyone human loves this cat even though he's horrible to the other cats. He knows where power lies and uses it to his advantage)



Aspie1
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24 Dec 2018, 11:18 am

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
I've noticed with many NTs, what is being said is secondary to who is saying it. A well-respected person shouting his lungs out commands more respect than a quiet fellow that no one likes, even if the quiet fellow is speaking the truth and the shouter is blathering off b.s.
That's exactly what I was trying to say.

Consider the following scenario. It's 85 degrees on a cloudless day in July. A family went hiking in a forest preserve. There's a long treeless stretch under a blazing sun. After walking under the hot sun for about half hour, the child says: "I'm thirsty, do you have some water?" The parents didn't bring any.
1) A run-of-the-mill back-talking "bad" child would engage in a little-bit of semi-manipulative back-and-forth, and eventually persuade his parents to stop at a 7-11 on the way home to get a Big Gulp, thus making his time being thirsty worth it. The hike turns out to be mostly OK.
2) An obedient, docile aspie child would meekly ask his parents for water, by saying that he's thirsty and wants something to drink. He'd be immediately shot down, accused of "whining" :roll:, and punished for trying to verbalize his wishes. The hike ends up in tense, awkward silence.

Why my parents never brought water along? They bought into this belief that either I was drinking too much water or too much water was bad for you, or both. So they limited my water consumption every way they could, including not bringing it on a hour-long hike. At home, I could sneak into the bathroom and chug water out of the faucet, even though my city's water tasted bad. On a hike, I had no such option, and the water in the pumps wasn't potable.