#DallasChat Daily: Were J.R. and Sue Ellen Good Parents?

John Ross Ewing, Josh Henderson, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Sue Ellen Ewing, TNT

J.R. and Sue Ellen’s marriage had its ups and downs, but how would you describe the way they raised their son, John Ross?

Consider: J.R. devoted much of his life to building a legacy for John Ross, although he wasn’t exactly a moral role model for the boy, was he? Meanwhile, Sue Ellen drank throughout her pregnancy and struggled to bond with John Ross when he was a baby, although after her divorce from J.R., she allowed the child to stay at Southfork because she believed it was best for him. On balance, did the couple do right by John Ross?

Your #DallasChat Daily question: Were J.R. and Sue Ellen good parents?

Share your comments below and join other #DallasChat Daily discussions.


  1. Dan in WI says:

    On the whole? No way. John Ross was constantly a pawn to be fought over in divorce/custody battles because neither could stand to let the other have him.

  2. Jennifer Irons says:

    I think they really wanted to be good parents and probably thought they were, but I don’t think they were that good, given how John Ross turned out to be almost exactly as bad, if not worse, than JR! And the fact that Sue Ellen allowed John Ross to yell at her “I AM NOT MY FATHER” without yelling back at him proves to me she is not exactly Mother of the Year! However, I do think JR and Sue Ellen loved John Ross, they just were not good role models for him!

  3. Sue Ellen took John Ross away from Southfork, which is something a good parent would do. The problem is that Sue Ellen needs to take care of herself before she could be a good parent to John Ross. J.R. and Sue Ellen did agree to have as smooth first divorce, so that was sort of considerate. The things J.R. and Sue Ellen value are not consistent with good parenting. Thier emotional skill set is not consistent with good parenting.

  4. Garnet McGee says:

    I have only watched up to season 7 of the original. Ever since she recovered from her post partum depression she has been pretty good if sometimes neglectful. She was a bad mother when she drank during her pregnancy. Depression and alcoholism affected her parenting of the infant John Ross. The drinking and self loathing were the result of being abused by her husband. JR was a terrible father. He doted on and adored his young son but was unable to see what was best for a young boy. He sees John Ross as heir to his legacy buy not as a fragile young boy that would rather have a dad that can play with him than a dad who blathers on about ewing oil. What little boy could give a toss about such stuff? He uses John Ross to get information on Sue Ellen. He sabotaged John Ross’ home life by his constant adultery.
    On Dallas TNT both are guilty of bad parenting. JR uses his son and knowingly puts him in harm’s way when he tells Marta John Ross is cheating on her. Sue Ellen does not have appropriate boundaries with her son.

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