Mother says "kids don't owe their parents anything" and it's "manipulative" to expect otherwise

Mother says "kids don't owe their parents anything" and it's "manipulative" to expect otherwise

She explained that it's a parent's "job" to take care of their kids' physical and financial needs. "That's like the bare minimum."

"Kids don't owe their parents anything," declared Lisa Pontius, who created quite the storm on social media for sharing her opinions. The stay-at-home mother said that parents doing parent-things does not make them entitled to special rewards. 

It all started with Lisa telling her social media followers that it was necessary for her to set boundaries with her own mother. But 33-year-old Lisa received criticism for her video and saw people telling her that she should be "grateful" for everything her mother has done, according to Twenty Two Words.

"Like setting boundaries with someone means you don't love or appreciate what they've done for you," Lisa clapped back and said.


"Children don't owe their parents a certain kind of relationship, and depending on the parent, they might not owe them respect, either, because that sh*t is reciprocal," said the mother from Charleston, South Carolina. "There is definitely a different dynamic between an adult parent and a child who is still a child."

Every adult may not rise "to the occasion," but Lisa said it's "a parent's job to provide for their children."

"It's a responsibility... That's like the bare minimum, taking care of your kid's physical and financial needs," she said. "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."


With a final bang, Lisa concluded her video by saying children are "people" and that they "don't owe you sh*t because you took care of them."

Her video was soon seen millions of times, and like almost everything on the internet, it received a variety of comments. Many agreed with her, but there were also others who vehemently disagreed with her.

"If their parents helped raise them, got them to where they are today, then they owe everything to their parents that explains why they were successful then as they are now," said one comment.

"What happens when your child/children don't clean up after themselves? Well, they owe you anything so I guess let them be little turds!" said another.


Later, Lisa spoke to BuzzFeed and said that she and her husband love parenting their children together. She also clarified that her kids "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," she added.


Lisa addressed the negative comments she received and said: "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."

"You don't get a participation trophy for housing your child or keeping your child clean," Lisa added. "The whole 'roof over your head' argument is manipulative because in theory, wouldn't you have had a place to live for yourself regardless of if you had children? A kid isn't a freeloading roommate, they're your dependent and your responsibility."


As Lisa shows parts of her life on TikTok, Instagram, as well as her blog, the mother shared that she has one particular hope for parents.

"I hope parents, especially parents of youtnger kids, take away how delicate this relationship is that they are building with their children," she said. "That they will one day be adults and get to decide if they want you around, and hopefully you've given them a reason to want to."

Cover image source: Lisa Pontius/Instagram

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