Even Great Parents Get Children Who Disappoint

By Markowitz, Jack | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 24, 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Even Great Parents Get Children Who Disappoint


Markowitz, Jack, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Successful parents, disappointing children -- is there a more common heartache for people in business or any active walk of life?

Think of it. Father and mother both hard workers, putting in long hours, yet enjoying the challenge and having something to show for it, a nice home, social standing, a retirement plan. But those kids ... or maybe just one of the kids.

Somehow the work ethic didn't take. A boy with everything going for him, brains, good looks, yet he flunks out of school. Or gets into drugs. Or maybe it's a daughter, with all sorts of opportunities open to women these days, yet she comes home tattooed and body pierced if she comes home at all. Where did Mom and Dad go wrong?

Such worries surely cloud the days of some of the best performers in the U.S. economy, from store and factory floor to executive suite. There's even a business downside -- productivity suffers! It's tempting to blame it all on the movies, television, "bad influences" and the sleaze of popular culture.

But a little historical perspective is in order, too. A surprise in a recent biography of John and Abigail Adams is that they had a lot of grief as parents.

John (1735-1826) was the second president of the United States, a key mover of the Revolution and the Constitution; Abigail his loving wife, knowledgeable on the issues, supportive, the anchor of the home during her man's long absences on public business. They wrote each other (and saved) 1,200 letters that became historical treasures.

And yet, those kids ...

Historian Joseph J. Ellis makes parental frustration a sub-plot in "First Family" (Alfred A.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Even Great Parents Get Children Who Disappoint
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?