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Mom explains the harsh truth about why kids don't owe their parents anything

Lisa Pontius is a mom of two who took to TikTok and stated that parents should raise their children with minimal or no strings attached.

Mom explains the harsh truth about why kids don't owe their parents anything
Image Source: TikTok/Lisa P

Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 30, 2021. It has since been updated.

Parenting is not an easy task. Only those willing to take on the full responsibility of bringing up another human should probably take on that challenge. There is no one right way to bring your child up but one rule to follow is to love your kids unconditionally and respect them as individuals separate from yourself. There are many different opinions on parenting and what it entails. One mom on TikTok believes that parents should raise their children with minimal or no strings attached. Lisa Pontius shared this point-of-view on the video platform and got a lot of mixed reactions.

Source: TikTok/Lisa P

Pontius is a mother of two who worked as a former private chef in New York but later moved to South Carolina to become a stay-at-home parent. In the video, she explained how when she talked about setting boundaries with mothers a lot of older women rebuked her for being ungrateful. "Children don't owe their parents a certain kind of relationship," she said in a video titled "Kids Don't Owe Their Parents Anything." She went on to say that once the child becomes an adult, "Depending on the parent, they might not owe them respect, either because it's reciprocal."


When people say children should be grateful to their parents for everything they've done, Pontius disagrees and rightly points out, "It's a parent's job to provide for their children. It's a responsibility. Not everyone rises to the occasion, but that's like the bare minimum, taking care of your kid's physical and financial needs. The level above that is their emotional needs, which good parents do, but all of that is not a contingent relationship. You're not loving and providing for your children with the expectation that they will blindly obey and do whatever you say as adults." Parenting is not a business contract.


She went on to explain that parents who are emotionally mature would probably already know and understand this. "Honestly, if you're raising your kids well and you're an emotionally mature person, you don't want them to blindly just accept things that are not good for them," she added. Many people agreed with Pontius and one person said, Some parents have children and view them as an extension of themselves instead of as an individual person with thoughts and feelings. It's sad really. Another user commented I heard once that 'people who set boundaries are trying to maintain a relationship instead of walking away' and some parents need to understand this.


However, what she said did not sit well with some people. One person who seemed to have missed the point stated lol, good luck with your own children one day taking your advice. But many therapists commented on the video agreeing with her completely. According to Psychology Today, it is a natural course of response for parents to have expectations of their children. But these "parental expectations have a debilitating, shaming effect on children with emerging identities. And yet, parental expectations also have the benefit of encouraging children to develop their abilities."


In an interview with BuzzFeed Pontius said, "Some parents parent through fear and authoritarianism, and who in their adult life wants to maintain a close relationship with a dictator or someone who emotionally manipulates you? I kept seeing the same messages on my videos from members of the older generation that said children owe respect to their parents regardless of how the parent treated the child, and I think that's simply naive and unrealistic." Speaking about her own children she said, "They don't owe me anything once they're grown just because I birthed them. Hopefully, by that point, I will have earned their admiration and respect by the relationship we have built, but that's not a guarantee."


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