Bill Cosby has sometimes been called “America’s dad,” having transformed himself from a riotous young comedian, to put-upon TV father Cliff Huxtable, and on to an outspoken if not occasionally hectoring voice on raising children.
But in a Father’s Day reddit AMA Sunday, Cosby admitted that at the end of the day, there’s only so much parents can do. Here’s his response to a question from user “lneutral” about whether he felt optimistic about young people in 2014.
…One of the most interesting situations in parenting is to give instructions to your child that you feel are very very important, pertaining to behaviour, manners, pertaining to having work finished before time so you can go back over, believing in the importance of learning and hopefully not being afraid of maths, science, etcetera, and then to visit a teacher and have the teacher describe your child in a way that you will say to the teacher “That can’t be my child. I didn’t bring him or her up that way.” Well, with a smile , I say – this is True! for the parent. You probably have given instructions counter to the problem the teacher is showing about the behaviour of your child. But we must all remember the time when we were children, and mother or father would give us instructions – how to behave- and we wouldn’t tell them the truth. So even as an adult, you do your best job, you think, there’s always that counter-behaviour. So that when you say to the teacher “That’s not my child, I didn’t bring them up that way” you have to remember that there’s also a possibility after that kid leaves the house, the kid’s on their own. And we’ve all done things similar to that.
Who are we, when our parents are not around?
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