parenting

Does bad kid always = bad parents?

May 26, 2011 at 10:50 AM ET

When a kid acts up, who’s to blame? The kid, or the parents?

It’s a question as old as “why doesn’t he call?” and equally unanswerable. Or is it? TODAY experts Stacy Kaiser and Debra Shigley weigh in on kids behaving badly, and offer some tips.

Kaiser, a psychotherapist (and mom) from Los Angeles, contends that parents are responsible when their kids act like little monsters. Good parenting equals good kids, in other words.

New mom Shigley, author of “The Go-Getter Girl’s Guide,” thinks kiddo conduct is a nature/nurture sandwich. Parents can provide the tools for good behavior, but children spring forth with their own little personalities. (And some of them are demonic.) She does note that while many parents are quick to take credit for their child's good behavior, whether good grades or even something like a baby sleeping through the night, they're less hasty about claiming responsibility for bad grades and tantrums.

One thing to remember, Kathie Lee points out: "No matter what you think, no one has perfect children."

What do you think? Can a strong-willed (and bratty) kid override even the best parenting? Or is it always the parents’ fault if a kid behaves badly?  Vote in our poll, and weigh in with your comments.

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