The First Amendment - The Right to Free Speech and Freedom of Expression

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Ivan, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. Ivan

    Ivan New Member

    When I was growing up, I was punished for back-talking my parents. When I was 18, I told my parents that I should never be punished for back-talking because that violates my right to free speech and freedom of expression. My parents responded that with rights come responsibilities, that I can't just say what I want without being held responsible. Thus, by punishing me, my parents were holding me responsible for the disrespect. We also discussed how you can get in trouble in other situations for saying the wrong thing, e.g., being held in contempt of court for getting smart-alecky with the judge.

    I've read other forums about kids being disrespectful to their parents and they said that the parents' home is not a democracy to their children, it's a dictatorship. So, if a mother forbids her child to drive when there's snow and the child protests the prohibition by cussing, the mother has a right to ground the child because the mother is the dictator and the child has no right to show disrespect.

    I'm sure you guys teach your children that your home is not a democracy to them. Now, what if the parents' home were a democracy and not a dictatorship? Do you think the kids would be more happy, or do you think that they would be spoiled and not learn responsibility?
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Ivan, the mother has the responsibility to keep her child safe. Therefore, if she feels that her child is too inexperienced to drive in the snow she forbids it. It is the child's choice to be disrespectful at that point or accept a parent's decision.

    The consequence for disrespect is up to the parent. Having said that, if you are disrespectful to a boss - you tend to get fired. If you are disrespectful to a teacher you tend to get detention.

    Respect for others is taught in the home. As I matured I was allowed more "freedoms" as I took on more responsibility & showed more adult behaviors.

    Just my take on your question.
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I suppose it depends on the "right" the child and I are discussing... as well as their safety and how mature and to what degree my childs mental illness would affect his or her ability to make a safe informative choice.

    Even at the age of 5 we try to have open discussions on certain issues and on others i.e.: safety- there is no discussion.

    I don't think spoiled would be what would come of all children. When you look at how some of us were raised and how we came out, basically it throws all of the rules out the window. I had no rules thoughout my teens, none. Yet I still respected an adult figure. I have no idea why...

    I truly believe some people are going to be good no matter what you do to them or how they are raised and some are going to be horrible... Of course I wish everyone could be raised in a loving environment with smart caring people.

    Hmmm who knows...
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    My home IS run under a democratic rule. However since I am the only adult in the house with the power to work, pay the bills, buy the groceries, clothes and sundries, the 'house' elected me President. Therefore; even in a Democratic household should a child want to drive in the snow I can VETO that decision and all must hail to the chief.

    Like it or not - The Lone Ranger
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I like that Starb... I may have to use that one...husband and I can trade each year, who gets to be VP or President...Ha Ha!!!
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Well in my is JanetLAND. I make all the laws and if anyone doesnt like them they are free to find other living arrangements. My laws even overpower the laws over the There is no right to free speech in my house. If I dont like what you are saying, shut up or go somewhere I cant hear you.

    Of course, Im tired of kids and getting rather snarky in my old age.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Ivan, this assumes that the child and the parent are on equal standing in the family. This is not true.
    It is the assumption that the parents have the child's best interest and have a lot more life experiences. The child is still a work in process.
    I'm pretty flexible with my kids but there are rules of what happens in the house. They test the rules and get consequences. It's how they grow up. Best to do it under the watchful eye of the parent who loves them.
    I really don't think having rules stops your freedom of speech but that wonderful priveledge should not be used in such a frivolous manner. When you are in your own home you can say whatever you please. If it's my house it's my rules.
    I don't disrespect my children and I don't expect my children disrespect me by acting like louts.
    That's just my opinion.
  8. kris

    kris New Member

    <font color="brown">once my kids hit that age where they might be inclined to feel the need to cuss me out i told them that i understood it would happen. however, it would not happen in my presense. if the urge to cuss mom out was strong upon them they could remove their room, out the door...find a friend if they required an audience. they were not, however, to ever get in my face & spew garbage to me/about me. for the mostpart, this has worked well for us.

    i think that a child/young adult in the confines of their own room, esp if the door is closed, has a resonable epectation of privacy......that anything said with-in the confines of that room is not meant to be heard by anyone else. like i said....private.

    inevitably there are some things that are bound to be overheard...esp in the heat of an argument. if a kid is overheard to be saying nasty stuff about their parent i think it's okay to confront what's said, but in our home, said kid would not be punished for what was overheard ~~~~ especially if, when confronted, the kid was apologetic & showed remorse for hurting my feelings.

    i rule my house...and yes, i said a benevolent dictatorship lol. i listen, weigh their point of view & we hopefully come to a resonable decision. however, on points of safety my rule is law & it will not be bent.

    kris </font>
  9. kris

    kris New Member

    <font color="brown">oh, and the rules of how we treat each other still apply even tho my son will be 20 in about six weeks & my daughter 18 in about eight. my son has never stopped apprising me of his whereabouts & if he's not coming home. my daughter will continue to do the same. it's called courtesy to those you share a roof with.

    kris </font>
  10. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member


    in my humble opinion, you are comparing apples to oranges. Actually, you're comparing apples to junk food.

    Minors, or even adult children, living under their parents' roof do not have equal rights. Parents have the responsibility of insuring their child's safety, as well as having the authority to decide what can or can't happen in their home.

    Sorry, this debate doesn't have any merit. It has nothing to do with The First Amendment.

  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Deb...I kinda wondered why we were even talking about a democracy. The US is a republic so maybe you could say our homes were more like a republic with a bill of rights (rules to ensure safety of all).
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I guess I'll never know, Ivan. :wink:
  13. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    The First Amendment only guarentees that the government* cannot limit your right to free speech. Doesn't say squat about parents not being allowed to punish for speech that they deem inappropriate.

    *which has been extended to most entities supported by tax dollars.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911


    If you're writing a paper or something why not just come out and say that you need help/opinions of varying nature? What's up?
  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    kris ~ I use the term "benevolent dictatorship" also. Both at home and at school.

    My own children and my students are free to state their opinions respectfully but in the end it's me (or at home ~ husband and me) that makes the rules and enforces the consequences.

    I tell my daughters that they can make their own rules when the have their own home and I tell my students that they can make the rules when they have a college degree and get a teaching job. :biggrin:

    by the way, when did cussing a parent become free speech? To me, that is just immature, rude and disrespectful behavior.

  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Maybe Ivan is someones difficult child on the loose.