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#1 of 21 Old 01-23-2014, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, this was a post I stumbled upon on a different forum. It was a 17 year old girl saying she had a big argument with her father because she is a vegetarian, and refuse to cook meals with meat in them for her family (but is perfectly willing to cook vegetarian dishes for them). Her father apparently even told her she should move out if she didn’t respect the rules in their home. Now, I understand that teenagers often remember the situation differently than what it really was like, but if what she says is true, I’m kind of horrified by this father. However, what surprised me the most was the responses she got.

 

She got a lot of responses, all of which told her she was acting unreasonable and should obey and respect her father. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve always felt that respect between parent and child should be mutual. I know I would never ask my daughter to cook meat if she became vegetarian. Of course I’m not afraid of vegetarian meals. I’m practically pescetarian anyway.

 

What are your thoughts on this subject?

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#2 of 21 Old 01-23-2014, 05:41 AM
 
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So is cooking every meal in the house the job of the 17-year-old? That seems potentially unreasonable to me. If not, like if she cooks twice a week, he can eat vegetarian food twice a week and be thankful someone is cooking for him, IMO.

I think a truly disrespectful child would be unlikely to cook the family's meals. I do feel like I'd need more information about this situation to really understand it though.
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#3 of 21 Old 01-23-2014, 06:03 AM
 
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I second mamazee, plus, I know a couple of people who are not vegetarians but cannot handle raw meat, and therefor won't cook it. (except like these frozen thingies that you just throw in an oven)

 

I'd say, fair enough if someone won't handle meat. There would be like a million of options how to work that out together, if the father would be willing. 

I would try to work it out, being pretty thankful that my 17 year old would cook at all. (I hope they will, but we'll see ... :) ) 


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#4 of 21 Old 01-23-2014, 06:12 AM
 
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My initial reaction...if she is the main cook in the house she should have say. I don't care if she is the child of the house. I mean think about it..as parents we always say "you will eat what I cook or don't eat at all" Well talk about a do as I say not as I do which let's face it hardly works. The kids always either end up copying our actions or do everything they possibly can to be nothing like us. 

 

BUT sadly that advice would not hold over well since she is the child and doesn't run the household. I would like to think the father and daughter can come to SOME agreement.

 

But to say she is unreasonable seems very unfair. Teens and kids are people too


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#5 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 02:40 AM
 
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I'm with you; respect should be mutual no matter what age. Around here if someone else is cooking I'll eat it without complaint! And my younger is 5.5....she's served me some, ahem, original creations. wink1.gif
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#6 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 08:57 AM
 
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It's hard to say what's all going on. Sometimes, as parents, we react as much to our children changing and growing away from us as we do their specific actions. I guess I'm hoping that this was just a reaction from Dad. Vegetarianism scares some people not only because of health but because some connect it with a liberal agenda. Dad could be reacting as much to that as to the actual notion of not getting to eat the meals he wants. While *I* think he's being unreasonable, there are many communities with very conservative or traditional viewpoints that would not appreciate what they might see as this child trying to control the family values.

 

I've been a vegetarian since I was 9. My children have been raised vegetarian from day 1. If my daughter came home and said she wanted to be a meat eater I admit, I'd be thrown. Certainly, outside the house, she could eat anything she wanted but I admit, I'd be drawing the line at her cooking it in the house. Is that disrespectful to her? Well, maybe but I don't expect the world to cater to our choices. I just want a home where I don't have to worry about what pan I use or have to see a slab of raw meat next to my strawberries. KWIM? Of course, that does seem a sort of different situation. It's not as big a deal for a meat eater to eat and cook vegetarian as it is for a vegetarian to eat and cook meat. The meat eater is compromising a preference not a moral. 

 

I'd be curious as to the situation. Is there a mom? Is mom healthy? Does mom work? What are mom and dad's working hours? How young are the siblings? There maybe a valid reason this 17-year-old is taking on the nightly cooking. Perhaps it's time to bring in a sibling to help with the meat portion. There are many meals for which the meat can be cooked separately and added later by a different party. It would be a compromise at least.

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#7 of 21 Old 01-25-2014, 08:45 PM
 
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My dd isn't this age yet but I don't think it is unreasonable to get to a point where your child is pushing so hard for independence that you tell them it might be time for them to move out. I seriously doubt it is just this one thing that drove the dad to make this statement and since this is a normal thing in my family I don't see moving out early as a bad thing.

Even if they are just putting their foot down about what needs to be included in a meal when it is your chore to cook it I don't know that this is unreasonable. It really depends on the needs and resources of the family and the types of dishes she is wanting to cook. I've known a few young vegetarians and their meals were far from healthy and that isn't something I would support.
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#8 of 21 Old 01-26-2014, 09:09 AM
 
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My dd isn't this age yet but I don't think it is unreasonable to get to a point where your child is pushing so hard for independence that you tell them it might be time for them to move out.

 

 

My kids are this age, and I can't imagine telling them that they HAD to move out. I don't think that is a healthy transition, and having been an attachment parent, used gentle discipline, etc., I feel that strongly that it does not flow with the style of parenting supported on mothering.

 

The situation in the OP is too far removed for me to have much of an opinion. It's here-say, and neither the teen nor the father are here to clarify the situation. Some parents are completely unreasonable and controlling (mine were). Some teens seem to do things simply to annoy their parents. Mutual respect is best, but in many, many families, neither the parent or the teen respect each other.

 

In our family, we support our teens becoming increasingly independent. We scaffold it. So much so that we are really not mainstream at all. I think that part of the usual conflict between parents and teens is that the parents don't want their offspring to grow up, develop their own opinions, and lead their own lives. They don't understand that all humans have free will, and therefor they have trouble sorting out what is an appropriate, polite way for their offspring to be independent, and what is just rude.

 

I also think it is normal for teens to be a bit "in your face" about being different from their parents. It isn't pleasant. :o Helping them develop ways to be different while being polite is one of our jobs during these transitional years. Getting all bent out of shape over it, rather than seeing it as an age appropriate behavior that they need our guidance to move past, just makes things worse.

 

In our house, we feel that the rules should work for all the members of the family, that we should be working together. Both of my teens have one night a week that they make dinner. They are required to consider the preferences of the whole family because that's part of the deal. It hasn't been a big deal for us -- they have plenty of opportunities to make food that only they like. And its just one night each -- figuring how to do what you want while keeping others happy is a life skill (as is cooking).

 

The teen years are about independence and life skills.


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#9 of 21 Old 01-26-2014, 09:42 AM
 
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Well if father is willing to kick teen out because of her cooking choices he really doesn't need her to cook anyway. So maybe he could just appreciate her meal and then make himself a deli sandwich if he thinks he needs meat every night.

I'm sure kicking her out will not turn her into an omnivore or get her to cook for the family more. Duh.
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#10 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 10:32 AM
 
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When I was in my late teens, I did almost all the indoor chores, including cooking, for my family (initially due to a family emergency when I was 15, but continuing past the need for it). I'm a vegetarian and prefer spicy food, but I cooked the bland meat demanded by my family. I didn't like the situation, but I was ok until I began college and wanted to share chores with other people in the house so that I'd have time to study. In high school, I'd done my hour or so of homework per night while standing at the stove cooking dinner and spent my "free time" cleaning  the house, but college doesn't work like that, so I had to stop. My mom threw a fit about me wanting to cook 4 nights a week instead of seven and continued to whine about me not helping enough all through that year and continuing into me eventually moving out and switching schools so that I could focus on my studies. I'm graduated from college and in my twenties now, but I still feel like my memory (and journal entries from the time) are accurate and I feel like respect HAS to go both ways if it's going to work. If not, if only one person's perspective and needs are considered valid in the relationship, it's abusive on some level. The same parents who will produce (possibly fake, certainly narcissistic) tears when their child in college doesn't have time to balance the family budget, cook dinner for four, scrub the whole house over, AND get straight A's are likely to also gaslight, mock, manipulate, and endanger their children.

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#11 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 12:26 PM
 
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When I was in my late teens, I did almost all the indoor chores, including cooking, for my family (initially due to a family emergency when I was 15, but continuing past the need for it). I'm a vegetarian and prefer spicy food, but I cooked the bland meat demanded by my family. I didn't like the situation, but I was ok until I began college and wanted to share chores with other people in the house so that I'd have time to study. In high school, I'd done my hour or so of homework per night while standing at the stove cooking dinner and spent my "free time" cleaning  the house, but college doesn't work like that, so I had to stop. My mom threw a fit about me wanting to cook 4 nights a week instead of seven and continued to whine about me not helping enough all through that year and continuing into me eventually moving out and switching schools so that I could focus on my studies. I'm graduated from college and in my twenties now, but I still feel like my memory (and journal entries from the time) are accurate and I feel like respect HAS to go both ways if it's going to work. If not, if only one person's perspective and needs are considered valid in the relationship, it's abusive on some level. The same parents who will produce (possibly fake, certainly narcissistic) tears when their child in college doesn't have time to balance the family budget, cook dinner for four, scrub the whole house over, AND get straight A's are likely to also gaslight, mock, manipulate, and endanger their children.

I think that is a little extreme.  I did a lot of those same tasks when living at home with a family of four when I moved back in as a single mom and they weren't time consuming or unreasonable even when I was working on top of that.  I don't think it is asking too much of a seventeen year old to cook dinner every night even if they do take an hour to make.  At seventeen many kids either have jobs or are about to get them and move out.  I would absolutely love a situation in which I just had to go to college, cook, clean, and balance a budget so I have a hard time seeing that as manipulative or wrong.   

 

There are definitely extremes to be avoided.  If a parent is requiring the child to cook elaborate meals daily then scour the house that is asking too much but asking the child to cook, load the dishwasher, wipe the counters down, and straighten up a bit is not over extending and asking.  Expecting an adult living in the home off family money to do more than that is also not asking too much. There should always be open communication and agreement between parents and children about how they will contribute if they continue to live at home while going to college.  But to say that the parents are abusive and endangering their children just by expecting their child to contribute to the household in age appropriate ways is ridiculous.

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#12 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 01:25 PM
 
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One person, regardless of their age, should not be in charge of 90% of the chores in a family of four. All I was asking for when I began college was to split the chores between myself and my mother who considered herself a homemaker, did not work outside the home, and took credit for all of the housework being completed. I was still willing to do over half the work, I just needed some time to study. I did not have time to study (except for moments while cooking) during high school and knew that continuing that way would cause me to drop out of college. What was manipulative in this case was the overreaction (tantrums, shouting, tears) over me trying to come to a fair arrangement through rational and calm discussion.

 

The endangering was when they repeatedly felt that I needed to spend time with a man who on more than one occasion threatened to rape me (and they knew of this situation and I was just a teenager). While this situation with the housework was the first time I felt both misused and not to blame, my relationship with my parents did get worse over the years due to other negative behaviors on their parts. I'm not saying it's abusive to have children be responsible for chores (I think chores are great for kids), but I do think that having one child be responsible for looking after the whole house and family is a red flag that other things may be wrong.

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#13 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 04:54 PM
 
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One person, regardless of their age, should not be in charge of 90% of the chores in a family of four.

 

 

I completely agree. I also think it is different to do nearly everything when you are the mother and you are taking care of YOUR young children who can't really help much, and when a teen is expected to take over because neither parent can be bothered to care for the younger children. Teens shouldn't be required to raise their parents' children. Its really inappropriate.


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#14 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 06:19 PM
 
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I don't think cooking and cleaning up a bit counts as raising children or as doing most of the chores. I'm surprised so many people expect so little from their children. Maybe it comes from being raised by a mostly single mom and being a single mom myself though. In my family we all pitch in and it I don't see this as abuse. I'll just chalk this up to the difference between married parents and single parents and thank my lucky stars that I'm single.
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#15 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 07:40 PM
 
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Respect... yea, it's a 2 way street. 


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#16 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 11:08 PM
 
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I don't think cooking and cleaning up a bit counts as raising children or as doing most of the chores. I'm surprised so many people expect so little from their children. Maybe it comes from being raised by a mostly single mom and being a single mom myself though. In my family we all pitch in and it I don't see this as abuse. I'll just chalk this up to the difference between married parents and single parents and thank my lucky stars that I'm single.

 

Really? The assumption is that married parents have low expectations of their kids in the home? I agree that our current parenting culture has moved away from children being responsible in the home but it's not a "married parent" problem. Heck, I just moved a single mom friend for the second time and her 3 girls watched TV while my two were packing up their rooms (even the 10 and 16-year-olds rooms.) The whole post has been on extremes. Extreme response from dad on girl going vegetarian. Extreme story shared of a teen being unusually burdened with household duties and child-rearing. Now we are going to the extreme that married parents don't expect their kids to contribute to the home? Like my being married means I've got hours and hours of free time to do it all for them? Geesh. Tell you what, if that's what you think, come on by in the Spring when we have a rural acre to weed for fire protection. I'm sure your kids will be soooo much better at it than mine. 

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#17 of 21 Old 01-29-2014, 05:50 PM
 
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I don't think cooking and cleaning up a bit counts as raising children or as doing most of the chores. I'm surprised so many people expect so little from their children. Maybe it comes from being raised by a mostly single mom and being a single mom myself though. In my family we all pitch in and it I don't see this as abuse. I'll just chalk this up to the difference between married parents and single parents and thank my lucky stars that I'm single.

 

 

I don't think it has anything to do with marital status. Both my teens to pitch in, however, there is a massive difference between "pitching in" and having the responsibility for doing all of something. If cooking and cleaning aren't a big deal, then why aren't the parents also doing part of it? That is pitching in. Expecting a teen to cook 7 nights a week is just lazy on a parents part.

 

I'm really lost on how this has ANYTHING to do with marital status. I'm married, but my husband travels a lot with his job. I work full-time and am also in school. None the less, each of my teens just cooks for the whole family 1 night a week. That is how much I feel is appropriate. 

 

 


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#18 of 21 Old 01-29-2014, 09:03 PM
 
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I could see asking a teen to cook 7 nights a week if we were financially to the point that I would ask a teen to work to help with family bills.
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#19 of 21 Old 01-29-2014, 10:28 PM
 
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I could see asking a teen to cook 7 nights a week if we were financially to the point that I would ask a teen to work to help with family bills.

 

... or if behaviour and family relationships had deteriorated to the extent that continuing to house the teen under the parental roof had out of necessity taken on a contractual nature. eg. "We will not insist you move out, nor charge you rent or nor insist that you attend school provided you keep looking for a job, and until you have one you agree to cook for the family and do a thorough weekly cleaning of the common areas." That sort of thing.

 

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#20 of 21 Old 01-29-2014, 10:56 PM
 
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Well I hope we never have that relationship deterioration. My oldest is 6 so I can't quite wrap my head around that. I could see him eating me out of house and home though. If he would cook so I could work more (presuming that I could make more $ than a teenager) and we weren't getting take out or eating out that would help the budget tremendously. Much healthier too so that helps the budget again.

Somehow charging rent has a whole different feel to me than helping out with the bills too.
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#21 of 21 Old 01-30-2014, 08:11 AM
 
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I could see asking a teen to cook 7 nights a week if we were financially to the point that I would ask a teen to work to help with family bills.

 

I think there are valid and understandable reasons for all sorts of family set-ups. I don't think most reasonable people would doubt that. 


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