General Question

Mexicanamerican's avatar

What would make you disown your son/daughter?

Asked by Mexicanamerican (1957points) April 24th, 2009
44 responses
“Great Question” (1points)
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ragingloli's avatar

trying to kill or at least harm me unprovoked.

Mexicanamerican's avatar

Or what would your child have to do for you to disown them..

tigran's avatar

I heard that in Uganda, the kid soldiers are taken to the forest, where they are brainwashed, and told to kill their families. That’s pretty bad, but the fact that they are brainwashed changes things. What does it mean to disown a child anyway? You don’t talk to them anymore?

chyna's avatar

Probably if they murdered their own child for their own selfish reason of being free to party more.

Mexicanamerican's avatar

Yeah, basically cut all contact with them..

augustlan's avatar

Probably nothing.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

It’d have to be something so dispicable that there ws no turning back. My girls are too precious to me to even think of that happening.

Mexicanamerican's avatar

@augustian & jbfletcherfan.. This topic came up at work and that was the most popular answer..the only other answer we got that was somewhat logical was if a son were to beat up his mother..

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Mexicanamerican yes…that’d definately make me think twice, that’s for sure. When your personal safety is on the line, that makes a difference.

chyna's avatar

@Mexicanamerican My answer differs because I am not a mother, so I don’t know the kind of bond mothers have for their children.

Jeruba's avatar

I can’t imagine anything that would cause me to treat them as if they were not mine or did not exist. I can’t imagine what the act of disowning could be. Even if they committed the most heinous crimes imaginable, they would still be my children and I would not deny it, however profoundly I might hate and despise what they had done. That is what “unconditional” means.

If my son were ever to beat me, then I would be the mother of a son who beats his mother. That is not acceptance or submission or approval. That is a simple biological fact.

jonsblond's avatar

@Jeruba I agree.

If my child did something terrible, I would want to help them somehow. I don’t think I could ever disown them.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@jonsblond great point.

cak's avatar

I cannot think of a reason to disown them – if they were to do something horrible – I’m talking on grand scale like say, Hilter, probably then, yes. I don’t know. I really don’t. I love my children with ever fiber of my being, I cannot image ever having that thought in my mind.

cak (15863points)“Great Answer” (1points)
cdwccrn's avatar

Nothing. I will always love them.

casheroo's avatar

I will always love my son. That does not mean I always have to respect his actions, or the person he becomes. I don’t think I could ever disown him.

Qingu's avatar

If they looked at me funny.

russellsouza's avatar

I’m not a parent but the only thing I could imagine making me consider disowning my child would be if they were a proven sociopath who took pleasure in hurting innocent people.

goose756's avatar

it would have to be something pretty intense.. any kind of life choice they decide to make is their own, as long as they don’t inflict harm on any part of their family.

3or4monsters's avatar

This is of course theoretical, as I have not birthed any children yet. This answer could change. That said…

Rape. Premeditated murder. Child molestation. I would turn the world inside-out and beggar myself to get them rehabilitated, but I could never be close to them again, trust them again, or be able to look myself in the mirror.

Jack79's avatar

Coming home with a swastika tattoed on her forehead. And even then I’d think about it.

Triiiple's avatar

I didnt graduate college on time and now my father doesnt talk to me anymore, this happened about 2–3 months ago.

Id consider myself disowned yeah, at 21.

chyna's avatar

@Triiiple It seems a bit extreme for such a small thing in the grand scheme of things. I hope he re-thinks his actions.

Triiiple's avatar

@chyna He’s beyond the point of re-thinking actions, he said somethings im sure he regrets saying and if he doesnt regret saying them then hes more heartless then i thought.

casheroo's avatar

@Triiiple that’s awful :(

augustlan's avatar

@Triiiple Wow… I’m sorry to hear that. :(

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m not a parent, but I would disown my child (or anyone, for that matter) for rape, murder or molesting a child. Completely unforgivable. I’m different than most people when it comes to “unconditional love” – I don’t believe in practicing it.

Triiiple's avatar

I dont think its awful or anything i just accept it for what it is. I think if a parent is gonna disown a child then its just time for that child to move into his own identity and forget about that parent. Some people arent suited to be parents at all.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I would make a wonderful parent – despite the fact that I would disown my child for certain things, thank you very much, Triiiple.

casheroo's avatar

I think we need to all be on the same page as to what “disown” means

Triiiple's avatar

I was thinking never talk to again.

Jeruba's avatar

I take it to mean to repudiate, put away from oneself and deny all relationship with (never mind disinherit if that comes into it); to act as though I had never had such a child and there were no connection whatsoever. To say, in effect, “I have no son.”

No matter what my child did, I would not deny that he was mine or disavow my relationship to him. I hold some responsibility for what he is, and that would be true even if he did things I could never do, whether bad or good.


–verb (used with object)
to refuse to acknowledge as belonging or pertaining to oneself; deny the ownership of or responsibility for; repudiate; renounce: to disown one’s heirs; to disown a published statement.

emperorofcali's avatar

I wasn’t aware that it was considered a necessity for a parent to want to “own” their children. I might be wrong, but my outlook on parenting is to encourage independence – which of course includes independence from my beliefs/ideas/desires/programming. That really includes anything. This has nothing to do with ownership. A child is not “mine” anymore than a sister is “mine”. I merely have a relationship, and a function within that relationship. Maybe the child will grow up and move away and never see me again. That’s not for me to say. If I’ve gotten him/her to the point to where he/she can make their own decisions and live with the consequences, I’ve done my job. If either one of us feels like we “belong” to the other, I’ve messed up. So, yeah. The answer here would be “nothing”. They don’t own me anything – least of all some expectation or burden put on them to act a certain way. Society will do a good enough job trying to force its views on them. If I’ve done things right, I don’t care what they wind up doing, as long as they do it without feeling like they own someone something. If they feel they “owe” me or anyone else an explanation, I’ve screwed up. My job is to let them be free. And that includes “of me”.

Jeruba's avatar

“Possession” is only one sense of the word and not the sense that is invoked by “disown.” When you sell something, you revoke ownership, but you don’t “disown” it; that’s not what the word means. Nobody here is talking about “owning” children in the sense of possession.


–verb (used with object)
3. to have or hold as one’s own; possess: They own several homes.
4. to acknowledge or admit: to own a fault.
5. to acknowledge as one’s own; recognize as having full claim, authority, power, dominion, etc.: He owned his child before the entire assembly. They owned the king as their lord.

emperorofcali's avatar

Actually, the word own does mean “possess”, literally and etymologically, from the Anglo-Saxon agan “to possess”. The fact that its contemporary use came to signify a familial “association” is just a reflection of parents taking it for granted that their offspring are expected to uphold the same moral values as the rest of the clan. When they don’t, they are “disowned”, i.e., kicked out of the pack. This relationship is still based on ownership: children to a large extent are “owned” by their parents ideologically and morally. The use of “disown” implies a default ownership, in the etymological sense of the word, that, if violated, is punished by alienation by the owner, i.e., the parent. Think “slave owner” and you’ll begin to understand the real mentality behind the concept of “disowning” ones child.

kaledia's avatar

I considered my Dad disowned me, we stop talking since my parents divorced when I was 14 simply because he thinks dat im siding with my Mom. When I was younger, my results from school wasn’t very appealing to him and I had to do one more year in college. He practically stopped talking to me for one full year and we lived in the same house!

Now Im 31, im trying to mend things up but he is avoiding me all the time. I live with my mom by the way.

Triiiple's avatar

I wonder if its only the fathers that do this, i mean if my mother disowned me or stopped talking to me like my father did i honestly would have killed myself. But with my father it hurts but i can get over it.

bellaminky's avatar

My daughter just gave birth to my 2nd grandson on 5/1. I have another that will be 5 in July. We have always had a stained relationship, but this time she has crossed the line and I am truly disowning her. She has not let me she my grandson since he was born. I was not allowed at the hospital when she had him & she doesn’t want me there now. WHY? Over a dumb ass email that was sent to her, defending myself from her lashing out at me due to her having a crappy pregnancy. Hey you knew you were high risk! I didn’t get you pregnant! Don’t take it out on me.. Sorry but I am human and I can just take so much before I open my mouth and tell the truth about how 1 acts towards her own mother. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it back. Anyway the day he was born my son in law calls to give me the info & visiting hrs. WHY! She doesn’t want me there.
Then my son calls today to tell me shes asking her father where I am?(I am divorced from him & her & my son all live in the same big house with Daddys sister & husband & Daddy & Daddys other daugher from another marriage & daddys girlfriend, seperate apartments & Mom lives alone with NO FAMILY because they are all dead… 45 mins away)Am I bitter? Hell yes. He got custody of my 2 kids due to not paying child support & I got evicted from where I lived, but he had his home with his sister. Anyway I digress, She says.. Am I coming?” I think Great, she finally became human again. Wrong! I call the hospital & the nurse wont put my call through due to my daughters instructions. And then continues to tell me I can come between such & such time to see him through the glass. Are you joking me. I’m going to drive almost 45 mins to go she a baby through a pc of glass & not talk to my daughter while I am there (mean while I can hardly walk). I DON’T THINK SO!!! Whats wrong with this picture? She is useing my grandson to hurt me over an email that all started with her being a nasty, sorry to say, BITCH. This is the most hurtful, self centered, vengeful thing she has done to me and I will not allow her to hurt me anymore. I will truly miss my grandsons (even though I never met 1) but I WILL NOT MISS HER. Sign me…Can’t Take The Pain Any Longer.

cak's avatar

@bellaminky I know you don’t know me, but I had a falling out with my mother while I was pregnant the first time. Hormones – during and after – as I’m sure you know, are a royal pain in the rear. My mother said something particularly hurtful to me, when I told her I was pregnant. I didn’t talk to her for several months – my dad (poor man) dealt with both of us. It passed, though. Many years later, I got pregnant, again, and she was extremely concerned because of my first pregnancy. It was very high risk and my second one proved to be the same. I was irritated that she said something, again; however, we worked things out.

There was a time when I vowed to not speak to my mother. I felt that she wasn’t there for me during the darkest time of my life. (the incident was before my pregnancy) She pulled away from me and basically waited for me to approach her. We are two very stubborn women, it took some time before we started talking again; and certainly, the struggles during my pregnancy didn’t help. It was a big step backwards, but we worked it out.

It seems like there is more going on and it’s not a war of the wills, between the two of you. Are you really okay with disowning her? Whether or not what you said was true, was it really necessary to say, during a high risk pregnancy? I know when my mother suggested that I terminate my first pregnancy, because of the risks and she basically told me how stupid I was for ever getting pregnant. The way I said it, well – it’s the nice version.

My mom and daughter (1st born) are very close. My mom and my son (2nd)- best buddies.

Don’t let this get in-between you two. Send her a letter, tell her you are giving her space and time to move past things – you do the same. But to disown your daughter? Really, you might want to really thing of the damage this will do. It sounds like (the way you describe the whole living arrangements and the tone about “daddy”) that there is a lot more to this, there seems to be a lot of anger mixed in those words. Maybe it’s time to let go of the past and let go of that anger. Then try again, with your daughter and her two sons.

cak (15863points)“Great Answer” (5points)
augustlan's avatar

@bellaminky Listen to cak… she is wise. I would suggest counseling to help you deal with the anger and bitterness you are feeling. I wish you peace.

kaledia's avatar

Blood is thicker than water.

Consolamentum's avatar

Absolutely nothing. Blood is indeed thicker than water.

anomisme's avatar

I disown my son because eveytime I went to see him his wife would give me a hard time making faces, telling me off, not letting me see the grandchildren, and he never said anything, So I stop coming around there house. It has been 3 yrs now, and he has never tryed to call me or his two sisters to see if we are dead or alive. It has been 3 yrs now.He has 6 children and told his father if I speak to my mother or sisters my wife will leave me. she feels we are below her, Not like her high class family.

mpippin's avatar

My mother recently, as in 2 days ago, disowned me because I decided to take my husband back and work on our marital problems after he he hit me. She said “dont come to her for help, that her door was locked.” She said she is ashamed to call me her daughter. I am 37 – old enough to make my own decisions AND live with them.

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