Quiz on raising children for the forum

Quiz for the forum. Please answer these questions in the comment section. No explanation necessary, just the answer.

In raising children is it more important that they be…

    1) Considerate or well behaved?

    2) Self Confident or obedient?

    3) Demonstrate curiosity or be well-mannered?

    4) Independent or respectful of elders?

Children should be all of these things and there are no wrong answers here. All answers are good. Let’s see what you think and then we will discuss.

When we get several responses I will explain why I am asking.

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21 Responses to Quiz on raising children for the forum

  1. Ben says:

    I choose A (the trait on the left) for all 4.

    Clearly I want all 8 but I value the left ones more.

  2. notamobster says:

    1 if they are considerate, they will be well behaved

    2 self confident

    3 curiosity killed the cat, but it also created every technological advancement in human history

    4 independent, though the two are not mutually exclusive. All of these traits can be achieved without detriment to any of the others.

  3. BrunDawg says:

    Considerate, Self Confident, Well-mannered, Respectful of elders. Most are a too close to call but three was coin toss.

  4. mr_bill says:


    (I’m dying to know where this is going)

  5. LJtheGiant says:

    I agree with everyone that all of them are desirable traits and its a tough call for each.

    I’m choosing the option on the right for all 4 questions. These seem to be the ones that are more dependent on the parents to teach, whereas the answers on the left would come more naturally. Plus my kids are still small so I prefer them to be well-mannered and obedient until they have more skills and knowledge to manage curiosity and confidence.

  6. rj says:

    none of these are mutually exclusive, if I had kids, I’d like to see all those traits.

    Kinda like me…. 🙂

  7. AZ-Cat says:

    Self confident

  8. van-a-gram says:

    Agree that these are not mutually exclusive. When I read the list, about 4 different people came to mind because I’ve seen these kinds of traits paired by parents in the context of an excuse:

    My daughter is not being disobedient, she is demonstrating self confidence! (“Can you please tell your very self confident daughter — for the fourth time– to stop hitting that cat.”)

    He’s not ill mannered, he’s just expressing his curiosity! (“Can you please ask your very curious son to stop dismantling my lawn mower.”)

    He/she is not a brooding psychopath, he/she is shy and sensitive….(“Why does he have a shoe box full of doll heads in the first place?)

  9. fasttimes says:

    mostly what LJ said, but….

    Self Confident
    Well mannered
    Respectful of elders

  10. R.D. Walker says:

    Here is why I asked…

    If you are polling people it is impossible to ask them this question and get a straight answer: “Do you lean toward authoritarianism or toward individual liberty.”

    Everyone responds that they lean toward individual liberty even if they don’t.

    Pollsters, therefore, ask the series of questions above. Answers on the left are more liberty leaning and answers on the right are more authoritarian leaning.

    It would seem that answers for #1 are fairly evenly matched for Democrats and Republicans. In questions #2, #3 and #4 obedient, well-mannered and respectful skew strongly toward Republicans.

    Thoughts? Is the methodology good or flawed? Clearly we generally lean toward liberty here but we are not Democrats. We are very libertarian, however.

    For the record, my answers were…


    Those are liberty leaning answers but not very Republican according to polling.


    • van-a-gram says:

      That’s because liberals are more disobedient, ill-mannered and disrespectful. 🙂

      Occupy Wall street v. Tea Party Rally for example.

      However, I would not necessarily connote “respectful” or
      “well mannered” with Authoritarian. Nor ‘considerate’ or ‘curious’ with individual liberty. Maybe I don’t get the survey. Which trait lines up with Anarchist? Expressive?

    • Ben says:

      I think one more context clue would eliminate most of the political skew.

      I think the “republican” assumption is traits in your child as a child. I think the “democrats” assume you mean in life. This may stem from the fact that democrats like to look a things more holistically adults are simply grown children no changes really take place.

      I think the republicans think a good child has a respect for their parents and authority, but as they become an adult they will develop and be a source of authority to their own families.

      Basically republicans answer what they want in their kids as kids and democrats answer what they want in people.

  11. C. L. says:

    I know I got to this late. I was thrust into fatherhood at a young age (OPKs x 2 sets). I leaned heavily to the right side on all the answers in the first go-round and part of the second. I have since come to the conclusion that I was wrong to do that, and I can’t figure out why my (step- and adopted) kids all like me more than they do their own birth mothers and/or fathers. Since becoming a grandfather, I have come to believe I was an authoritarian jerk as a Dad. Still, they love me, and they don’t “have to” – I am not blood. Go figure.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Here is the kicker: Trump voters in particular skew heavily toward well-behaved, well-mannered, obedient and respectful.

  12. van-a-gram says:

    And, of course, all of the traits can be defined in a very subjective manner along a very broad spectrum of meaning.

    You want your kids to be curious. Does that include bi-curious? Does obedient include submissive?

    I’m pretty sure that “cocky” falls somewhere along the self confident curve…but where? Where does ‘Independent’ cross over to under-socialized loner?

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I don’t think it was supposed to be all encompassing and comprehensive. Just a proxy for a skew toward liberty or authority. I don’t know if it works, but there are some correlations out there.

      That said, even radical libertarians probably don’t want ill-behaved, disobedient, ill-mannered and disrespectful children.

  13. notamobster says:

    I’m considerate, confident, curious, & independent.

    Never been very well behaved and obedience is not in my nature. The reason the thing tracks differently across party lines is perception.

    Democrats think they are being those things by patronizing others. They see themselves as liberators and saviors… When reality shows them to be authoritarians.

    Most of the behaviors we cherish lead to the outcomes we’re looking for. My Independence makes me respectful of others and so on.

    Democrats lean toward those behaviors because they think the state has to make people better, so it’s good to be obedient and so on. I’m in the middle of several things, so Hopefully my point is made.

  14. MadBrad says:

    1 – Being well behaved is being considerate
    2 – Self confident or obedient – Both but if I had to choose, obedience can lead to self confidence. Self confidence without any care for being obedient leads to trouble, as I have learned.
    3- Curious or well mannered? Good manners will safely open more doors than curiosity will. I would rather it be said of my child that they are well mannered more so than curious.
    4 – Independent or respectful of elders. Going with respectful of elders. Children who show their independence more than respect for elders will have to exercise their independence by finding their own place to live.

  15. John B. says:

    1 considerate 2 self-confident 3 curious 4 respectful of elders

  16. bwade says:

    all 8, as others have said these traits are NOT mutually exclusive.