There is not a single parent out there that is perfect because we all make mistakes. You can't teach someone to be a parent you have to learn by doing. These parenting methods you might think are fine but in the mind of a child they're not, and can greatly affect who they grow up to be.
"I remember the day I stopped trying at school, in high school I came first in my class at a biology test. It was a big win for me cause I wasn't particularly talented at anything else and I had some real competition in that class. I went home and told my mum about it and she just asked 'why didn't you get one hundred percent?'. Took all enjoyment out of my victory, and instead of motivating me as she intended it made me wonder why I should even bother as nothing I do will ever be good enough so why waste my time."
"Doing everything for them and not allowing them to learn from experience. It goes from creating sheltered kids to incapable teens who don't have any street smarts, initiative, or sense of responsibility for themselves. I have teenage relations who still have to ask their parents if they're allowed dessert after dinner, leave perishables open and out after using them, and think watching the news on tv is too grown up for them. I could give so many more examples but I'll leave it at that for now."
"Not letting kids ever say no. Obviously, there are certain things parents should make their kids do (eating some fruits and vegetables, going to school, getting vaccinations, etc), but when you never let them say no - particularly to things like hugging an older relative, don't be surprised to find a teenager and an adult who has a really hard time saying no to things they don't want to do."
"Holding children to a higher standard than the adults in the household. My dad could scream, throw things (sometimes at us), break things (sometimes our things), etc. It would usually be 'our fault' or he would laugh it off as normal dad behavior, but if one of us acted that way there was hell to pay. He basically got to throw tantrums like a child because it was his house and he was entitled but if we the children did that we would be punished, sometimes physically threatened, ridiculed, etc."
"My family (immediate and extended) used to have a habit of always teasing us kids about 'love' interests (people we liked). It annoyed/embarrassed me so much that I would never talk to anyone in my family about people I liked, and even in high school I never told anyone in my family about the girl I was dating. I eventually started making a conscious effort to include my family in my personal life (they only meant well the whole time), but I'm still a little bit messed up from that mindset of being embarrassed to openly show personal affection for someone or talk about it."
"I don't recommend my parents' method, the good old Head in the Sand: 'If we don't bring up a topic, we'll never have to deal with it.' This was particularly true about sex, but also dating, making new friends away from home, becoming financially independent and a whole bunch of other issues that they didn't want to talk about because if you talk about it, then the thing is real. Of course, I eventually learned about all these things from other sources, but as adults, we have a very strained relationship, in part because they refused to talk with me about anything. The rare times they brought up topics, they were never interested in my opinion or experience, just getting their point across and getting out."
"Fussing over them too much. Every time they sneeze it's all like 'the poor dear has the flu'. Or you see a kid fall over and you can tell it wasn't hard enough to hurt them, but they've got their parents sussed and so make a huge scene so the parents come running to their rescue. When parents do that they are just creating kids who will become neurotic and needy adults. However, I think my parents went a bit too far the other way. I fell hard on my arm at the park once and my mum was like 'you're fine, go to school'. The school ended up having to call her and make her take me to the hospital because I was in so much pain. Turns out I'd broken my arm. So yeah, something in between those two is probably the right amount."
"Dropping your young kids on your older kids. I've got friends my age (early 20s) who watch their younger brother who is 5 now. The mom has done almost no parenting at all, and while somebody in their 20s is perfectly capable of raising a child (In theory), this kid is totally f--ked because he's been exposed to way too much mature sh-t too early, without the proper context to understand any of it. Why have another kid if you're not interested in raising one? Makes absolutely no f--king sense to me."
"Parents always texting/worrying where you are constantly. The stress of the impending doom of getting that call from my parents ruined a lot of fun times. Also, my parents always used to brag about how they had no cell phones growing up and could go out all day without talking to their parents, yet, they still were helicopter parents to me. Very frustrating"
"Telling them not to use profanity because they're 'bad words'. Just encourages them to be more profane when the parents are not around, so that they'll look 'rebellious' and 'cool'. Children don't want to look stupid. They want to be smart like grown ups. If you tell them that only grown ups can use words like that, they'll want to use them even more. When my 4 yo cousin asked me about swear words, I just told her that they're bad words because she sounds stupid when she says them. That made her go real quiet."
"Not allowing the children to think and choose for themselves. Forcing religion/their choices/fighting their battles/doing their work for them, etc. Not preparing a child for the world is a disservice to them, over protecting children and making them think everything will be done for them in my opinion is morally wrong. Too many kids out there that are being raised by parents afraid to not give them absolutely everything, that trend needs to stop and the kids need to learn to be adults the way our parents did."
"The whole 'staying together for the kids' thing.. One of two things is going to happen, either the kids won't see anything wrong, making their idea of what relationships should be based on a lie. Or they do see something wrong, in which case you've accomplished nothing but potentially lose their respect, and also potentially robbing them of growing up witnessing what actual happiness can look like. Full disclosure: there might be more outcomes than that since familial and relationship dynamics are vastly varied and complex."
"Shout out to my Asians- putting so much importance on schoolwork and grades. It's important, yes, but I think more important to develop a true sense of well-roundedness (not just joining multiple honors clubs and one sport and one instrument to put on your college application.) It's why so many young Asian kids have totally stellar grades in high school and college and you think they're going to become senators and doctors, but then half of them fizzle out and disappear by age 22 and you wonder what ever happened to Enoch Kim and Joy Chang.. because they never learned how to develop dreams or ambition beyond their grade point average."
"Parents who never give their kids space or trust them at all. I had a teacher who would say how she'd monitor her kid's cell phone and keep him on a pretty tight leash (albeit in a few years, the kid is currently 4). I don't think I would have grown up to love my parents and be a respectful functioning adult if my parents didn't trust me and give me a little bit of space."
"When parents talk about their kids right in front of them about how they are 'bad' or 'don't listen' or 'like to give you a hard time' - this gives the child a story about themself that they are a bad child. This leads to more negative behavior because you are giving the child permission to behave that way... It's who they are now. Also, when parents complain that their child is giving them a hard time... What they should say is that 'my child is HAVING a hard time'. Everyone gets frustrated being a parent, but this type of reaction is self-sabotaging."
"Not giving a child boundaries. I've never physically punished my four children, but they had boundaries that they crossed at their peril. They are now four happy, healthy, respectful, generous and kind adults. They had their moments, but compared to some kids, they didn't cause us that much grief. We're proud of them."
"Teaching kids that they can be a doctor or lawyer because they're smart without explaining to them the value of hard work and it's necessity for being successful. I've seen too many entitled high school students and shellshocked college sophomores."
"The 'what's good for the goose is good for the gander' Method when it comes to discipline. It can cause a lot of resentment among siblings. I'm the oldest out of 5 and if one of us got in trouble then all of us got in trouble. My parents believed that by doing this we would try harder to stay out of trouble so we wouldn't get our siblings punished also. It caused a lot of resentment among us especially towards my middle brother who had ADHD. He tried so hard to stay out of trouble but he was almost consistently doing something stupid. There was a month where we didn't talk to him because he got our Nintendo 64 taken away. I ended it when he started to cry one night because he believed we didn't love him anymore."
"I'm 26 and my mother STILL does this. She's a teacher with a martyr complex so she has the hardest, most unappreciated job ever. I stopped trying to voice frustration with my own job, because don't I know how hard teachers have it?? SHE DOESN'T GET A RAISE EITHER!! Sometimes you just wanna talk to your mom as an adult and bond about how sh-tty workplaces can be sometimes without it turning into a pissing match. Arrrgh."
"I worked at a daycare and there was a little boy who told us how he used to play underneath the deck, and once he walked out of his house and to the ice cream shop... across a busy 6 lane road. He was so sweet but didn't quite know how to interact with anyone, because he was just alone at home. I have a baby now and I get so sad if I leave him to pay by himself for more than five minutes. I couldn't imagine that little boy not knowing what that kind of love is like. I left that job before anything was done , but a girl i became friends with there said eventually CPS was called. I hope he gets to be the kid he deserves to be. ETA: A lot of people are saying kids entertaining themselves is also a good thing, and I definitely agree. By ignoring, I don't mean giving them space to play alone, I mean neglecting them. Overlooking their wants and needs because you couldn't be bothered."
"Telling your child that nothing is wrong with them, their problems are all in their head, and to suck it up. This is how mental health issues go undiagnosed. I spent over twenty years thinking that it was normal to feel the way I felt and that I just needed to suck it up until my wife started prying into my issues and helped me realize that what I was experiencing was not normal whatsoever. There are situations where the child may be over dramatic or embellishing things, but if they are persistent about an issue or exhibit odd behavior on a consistent basis, it cannot be ignored."
"The 'oh just let kids be kids and have fun' approach. Assign your kids a few chores around the house and reward them appropriately for the work. I'm not saying parents need to treat their children as indentured servants but placing a little bit of responsibility on them to accomplish tasks can be character building."
"Avoiding opportunities to show their kids that they are human and especially so when they themselves were kids. Every time I give my kids a rule or guideline, I explain to them why it exists and give them examples from my childhood and what I learned from it as the rationale. We have a working understanding that my goal in parenting is to do everything I can to help them succeed more and fail less by being honest about my own successes and failures when I was in their shoes."
"I can't stand those parents who shout and scream at their kids: the ones who are always moaning their kids are naughty, but they never punish them. They just shout. Shouting does nothing. Ground them, dock their pocket money, confiscate their phone... You need to actually do something. Shouting about it is useless."
"Letting your children do anything they like. Letting them run around restaurants. Not addressing at bad behavior at home or at school. Not expressing any emotion to the children. Not encouraging or discouraging them. Having little interest in how the child is performing at school or their social lives. Essentially neglecting the child."