After Watertown, Can We Blame the Parents?

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About JD Roberto

JD Roberto can be found 5 days a week as host of The Better Show, a nationally syndicated daytime talk show seen around the country. Game show fans known him from shows like The Price is Right and Shop 'Til You Drop, plus reality shows like Outback Jack, Are You Hot? and E! News Live. His writing has appeared in Parents Magazine, Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times and on Check out his parenting blog at The Hands On Dad and follow him on twitter @jdroberto.


  1. This idea is explored in an amazing book, We Have to Talk About Kevin and I think the movie is coming out soon. Crazy timing.

  2. I’ve also noticed that assimilation has become a negative concept. Back in the day, my Dad got smacked by his own father if he dared speak Italian. They had come to America for a better life and, dammit, they were gonna speak American! Funny that I speak Italian because I studied it and my father does not because he’s the immigrant son of Italians. But, obviously, thats not the way anymore. Asking someone to melt into the melting pot is, apparently, offensive.

  3. Tom Jenkins says:

    I think, also as a Father, I have 2 boys 12 and 7…and the only thing we can do is to raise to the best of our abilities and at that point, we can only hope that the example we gave them of how we act/behave, because our children ARE watching us…we can only hope that we do right by them.

    My Dad, was in the Navy, at a time when the women who were serving, could NOT serve on the ships. This meant for a stretch of 10+ years, I did NOT get to see my dad for 6 – 8 months of every year. These years from from my ages of 7 – 17, I was missing my Dad. However, the times he was in port, were at times frustrating, exasperating and also great. My Dad would leave for sea, and for him, time would be at a standstill, while my sister and I would be another half + year older and my Mom WOULD sometimes change the rules as you do with with growing children. This WOULD cause confusion and frustration on his part, because he felt left out and left behind. However, he still did the best with what he had, which was his upbringing in a strict Catholic household as well as a time in a Catholic orphanage while his parents went through a divorce. My dad was given discipline at times with a belt, a hand, and a fist. I was disciplined at times with a hand, a ruler, and a green plastic shoe horn. I however, do NOT use any of these items. At most I have pinched an ear lobe, and that only once. I try to impart on my boys some ideals given to me by my Dad on how men SHOULD behave.

    NEVER throw the first punch…but DO throw the last one.

    NEVER hit first…but DO hit back twice as hard.

    NEVER start anything you will not finish.

    ALWAYS treat girls/women as Ladies first…until they prove otherwise.

    NEVER LIE…too damn easy to stick with the truth.

    After we do what we can, all we can hope is that the time we spent with our children is enough. We CANNOT do any more than that. Will we second guess ourselves at times? YES! It IS human nature to do so…however, I realized at the age of 14, that what I choose to do, is NOT the fault of anyone else…it is MY choice. I will live and die based on MY choices and MINE alone. All my Dad could do was at times, shrug his shoulders, see what I was coming my way and blurt out in a near exasperated tone “Son, I could tell you what you SHOULD do, but you ARE too much like me…got to learn things the hard way…”. It was only in my 30′s that I fully realized how RIGHT my Dad was in most of the situations I found myself in…

    …now to end the ramble and back to the subject of JD’s post…My Dad did what he could. HE DID awesome. Based on what my Dad raised me with, my morals, my sense of right and wrong (and my Mom had a LOT to do with both as well…she raised us in a Japanese way…) I DO NOT do what I often think…in terms of violence when I feel I have been wronged. I DO have a temper…I call it a steam valve…I have almost NEVER really lost my temper. However, when I do, I do NOT THINK PLEASANT things. Do in part to my Martial Arts training, what I imagine is Awful violence upon who is pissing me off or challenging me…but due MAINLY to my Dad, I don’t do those things. Because I DO NOT want to disappoint myself or my Old Man.

    My Dad did Enough and more…I just have to hope that I do the same for my boys.

  4. Hey JD … just had a strange observation. Why it’s always the boys in these violent acts…thoughts?

    • That it is always males doing these acts is nature, not nurture.
      A few 100 thousand years ago due to nursing & sperm competition males went off hunting, protecting and seizing resources and humanity evolved this way. The people with penises didn’t hold a secret meet and decide to exclude the people with vaginas from cool stuff like hunting and warring- it was natural selection.

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