Posted by: Anna | 2004/10/15

Is this abuse?

My daughter is an au-pair to an 11 year old boy. He came home with his report one day his total avarage was 82%. My daughter praised him, saying his marks are so good. He took his report to his mother, all she said was why did you not get 90%?! My daughter said she nearly cried, she was so shocked.

Are parents allowed to treat their children this way? Is this not a form of abuse? Will the mother's attitude not detroy that boy's confidence? I am a mother too and I was shocked to hear this story. I think this is wrong, what do others out there think?

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Our expert says:
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I'm sure it's allowed in law, and wouldn't count as abuse. But of course it is highly stupid for any parent to behave so foolishly and cruelly.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anna | 2004/10/18

Thanks everyone for your interesting replies. It is good to read other people's views.

Carol, yes she was serious, as my daughter has to work an hour longer each day with the boy. Good for my daughter as she will get paid more.

Reply to Anna
Posted by: carol | 2004/10/15

Was she serious ?? I ask this because my 20 yr old daughter and i have a standing joke since primary school .. she seldom if ever gets lower than 85 % even now she is at tech ... i find it ahrd to tell her well done all the time .. how much more can u say to a kid like this .. so now i scowl and say ..Not good enough my girl lets see 100 .. but as I say that is our joke .

Reply to carol
Posted by: JM | 2004/10/15


I am not a mother myself but when I was still little my mom used to tell everyone that she does not worry about me cause I do everything well. When in high school I decided not to study coz my mom still thought I am doing well. I actually longed so much for that question why did you not do so well? I wanted that extra push to do better but she never thought that I need to do better.

Perhaps this boys mother was brought up in an environment where your best is just not enough. Perhaps it is a method to encourage the lad to try harder, I don't know. All that I know if my mom did that to me I would've passed Matric with straight A's.

Reply to JM
Posted by: andy | 2004/10/15

It could be a sign of verbal abuse. Your daughter is not with them 24/7 so there is no way that you will be able tell if she is abusive towards him.
Some parents have grown up in homes where there were no expression of feelings. For instance there parents never praised them or said "I love you". Therefor they are unable to show or relate their feelings to their children because they never learnt how.
So maybe this child's mother is one of those parents and not abusive at all.

Reply to andy

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