Raising children is one of the hardest jobs out there. And while it’s impossible to ‘perfect’ the skill, there are definite dos and don’ts. Redditors recently put their heads together to figure out just what those were! Therefore, we’ve put together a list of parenting blunders that should be avoided at all costs.
Children will naturally run into difficulties as they grow. As a result, parents may run into problems of their own in responding. Nevertheless, there are ways around the pitfalls of parenting; hopefully, this list will make that clear!
Which parenting techniques help children? Which ones are less-foolproof? And what things are totally unacceptable for a parent to do? This list carries words of advice from parents, teachers, and people whose own parents should’ve taken a different approach to parenting. After all, nothing is more telling than personal experience!
Check out this list of Reddit’s worst parenting methods that you should never use!
Olympians carry a torch…not children.
“My kid’s an extension of myself”
Fortunately, my parents made it very clear that I was expected to find my own identity in life, but some parents get bizarrely attached to the idea of their kid carrying torches for them. –Rancerle
A kid I knew in school had parents who were obsessed with him becoming a pro athlete. I only met him a few times because he was in band with my bro while I never did band, but the way he regarded his musical aspirations almost like watching somebody guard their fanfiction or their sleazy sketches. The guy can play like all the instruments as an adult, and he owns a music store and does recording and composer work, but his parents call him a failure because he never went on to play pro basketball. –762Rifleman
Protection does not equal perfection.
The idea that if you “protect” them from everything and treat them like a child forever, they will suddenly sprout into this full-grown well-adjusted adult at 18 and you can just kick them out and expect them to “make it.” –ExactAd9
Just because they’re still growing, doesn’t mean the feelings aren’t real.
Treating kids like they aren’t human beings with complex emotions and feelings. Not realizing that kids (especially toddlers and preschoolers) feel every emotion that adults do but don’t have 30 years of experience learning how to regulate those emotions to prevent disaster. And then punishing them for their lack of self-regulation. Like, screaming at them for something they can’t control because that part of their brain is literally incapable of doing so is just sh*tty parenting. –little_calico
Don’t encourage tantrums.
My son is 2 so he has tantrums. It’s just part of the toddler experience. But what I’ve been doing is praising him for being able to calm down and get a hold of himself because I want him to learn self-regulation.
Now when he has tantrums he sometimes says “calming down” and he takes a minute to quiet down, breathe and center himself. And then he’s back to normal. I’m amazed every time he can turn off a tantrum all on his own and I think, wow, I taught him that. How you talk to kids really makes a difference. –LampGrass
Parenting can feel like riding in a helicopter. Fasten your seat belts and read up on that, and more faux-pas on the next page.
Faith can be a beautiful thing…but blind faith can be dangerous.
My aunt and uncle homeschooled my cousins and moved around a lot so they didn’t make any friends. Pretty much told their whole lives that the world is an amazing place and that Jesus would always protect them. When they turned 18 they were into missionary work. The oldest went to Africa and the other went to El Salvador…minds were blown.
Oldest almost died twice.
Youngest got the sh*t beat out of him by a bunch of dudes. –P3ccavi
I can hear the helicopter rotors turning already.
Trying to protect their kid from all the dangers in the world.
I understand where it comes from. For a few years you are literally the only thing keeping this tiny human alive. Feeding it, changing it, doing everything. Now, all of a sudden it’s 16 and wants to play hockey and your brain flips out because all it can think of is potential harm.
It’s sad because this mindset ultimately comes from a place of love and concern. But in practice, it robs children of so many of best aspects of childhood. It also does a terrible job of preparing them for the real world, where few people will be willing to hold their hand as you have. –JohnyUtah_
Failure is a learning experience.
I’ve been reading up on it (parent of young children here) and the biggest mistake is that parents do not let their kids fail at anything. They won’t let their kids make choices because those choices might be bad ones. The problem is that kids don’t learn about consequences at a young age where a mistake results in a skinned knee, a couple of tears, or a cat running away. So when the kids are finally old enough (teenagers) to stop listening to everything their parents say, it’s the first time that they get to actually experience the consequences of making bad decisions. The problem is, consequences at that age are more likely to include pregnancy, jail time, expensive repairs, or death. –lukamu
Let’s not spread selfishness.
My friend recently went to her friend’s son’s birthday party. when she arrived, she was asked why she was asked why she only brought one gift. Apparently, the other child, who is younger, gets sad if she doesn’t get a birthday gift too even though it isn’t her birthday. So when it’s one child’s birthday, the other child also has to get a gift or they feel left out.
No. Sorry. I grew up with a sister. When it was her birthday, it was her day, not mine. That thought never crossed my mind. That is something the parents have taught them, and it’s just going to set that kid up for so much disappointment in the future. –cancercuressmoking
Don’t make kids pay rent…unless they’re adults and still at home.
Thinking that your kids owe you something. When you take on the responsibility of having a kid, you make a choice. It’s your job to house, clothe, feed them, etc. They don’t owe you anything in return. Know too many parents that are abusive and hateful towards their kids and gaslight them and think they should put up with the abuse because “I raised you and provided for you.” Nope.
I was not referring to respecting your parents. Of course, you should respect them. (If they don’t treat you like sh*t.) I’m referring to the parents that abuse their kids or treat them badly but hold the fact that they have given them basic rights over their head. Just because you feed your kid doesn’t mean you can treat them like crap. You are not indebted to your parents financially or otherwise because they raised you. –milliekitty
The reasons why ignorance isn’t so blissful when it comes to parenting, on the next page!
“My daughter’s not looking at boys until she’s 40!”
Or the idea that your kids will never have sex.
They are going to have sex. How did you even make the kid?
My son is going to have sex when he’s older (if that’s not his thing then fair enough.) He’s going to be taught safe sex, boundaries, consent and all that stuff. I have no qualms about discussing sex with him at all, and would rather he feel comfortable and safe. –dontwantanaccount
Filling every spare minute of the kid’s time with activities and lessons. It makes it impossible for the child to find their own hobbies and passions, and keeps them from forming friendships and learning social skills. –RemarkableCollar
Having children and time-travel are different things.
“This is my second chance to live the life I wanted.”
No, it’s your child’s only chance to live the life they want. –DestroyerTerraria
No one life is identical to any other!
There’s also the variation of, “I achieved all the milestones in order and on time, and my child needs to do the same. Never mind that I came of age during the GI bill, a robustly expanding economy, and relative lack of political schism. Never mind that housing and education costs are preposterously out of scale today. I did it and I don’t know why you don’t. Now get out of my house that I bought for 79 cents back in 1973.” –sirdigbykittencaesar
Parent > friendship (this is a good idea).
- Be their parent.
- Be their friend.
Your first and foremost duty is to prepare them for adult life. They will dislike some of the things you have to do in order to get them ready. They will pull the “I Hate you!”. Tough sh*t.
When I got my first job at 14 my dad started charging me rent. I hated it. It was bullsh*t. It was MY money. But looking back it taught me to be responsible. That I had to pay my bills first. Taught me to budget. And is a large part of why I am very financially stable.
Also, he didn’t keep the money. He put it into investment accounts and gave it back to me (with all the growth) when I graduated HS. –AlphaTangoFoxtrt
Read why cherishing childhood (and proper babysitters/activities) are important, on the next page!
Ownership doesn’t apply to kids.
Anything that involves treating the child as essentially your property instead of a tiny person that is forming their own needs/wants. Just because you gave birth to them/provide for them/support them does not mean you own them. Parenting should be an effort to make that tiny person into someone who will be a good adult (i.e kind, responsible, empathetic, maybe with a dash of critical thinking skills). –WaryKit
Television isn’t a substitute babysitter.
I have a Facebook friend like this. Her son is 2 or 3, and all he does is sit in his high chair and watch movies. She thinks it’s so cute and funny, but it’s sad. She posts pictures of him in his diaper, just staring at the screen, and usually covered in spaghetti sauce. He has no motor skills and he doesn’t talk. Oh, but he has a favorite anime. –ihatemandymoore
Believing that fear = respect. If a kid is afraid to speak their mind in front of you, you aren’t doing a good job, you’re shutting down any hopes of an open and honest relationship. When your kids “talk back” to you, respond to them in a civil way, teach them how to have a proper discussion. If you just yell at them, not only will they NOT talk to you, they’ll start yelling at other people who say things they don’t agree with. –midnightfish21
Pushing your kids to do things most kids aren’t doing until next year. Like being the first kid to get the cell phone, new pop artist album, jewelry, bra, pocket knife, bloody video game – whatever …. just cool it with trying to “get an edge” by selling your kids’ childhood short. –pathego
“We’re not vaccinating.”
I want to hit people like this in the face with a chair. –slice_of_pi
On the next page, the observations of someone whose job it is to care for your kids, for nine months out of the year!
Teachers are around many kids all day, every day; they’ve got good perspective on this.
3 that never work in my experience as a teacher:
- My kid is an angel and any problems he has are because of you or other kids. That one leads to bad places real fast.
- Having rules for your kid that you can’t follow for yourself. Kids are always watching and consciously or not they will model what you do. You can’t tell your kid to act respectfully towards the other kids if that’s not how you treat the other adults in your life.
- Trying to create a mini you. Your kid will take after you in a lot of ways but will be their own person. Love them for who they are, don’t force them to be what you want. That leads to a lot of shame on the part of the kid and is much more likely to result in them lying to you than in them becoming who you want them to be. –Iamnotarobotchicken
The view is awfully different from up here…
Putting them on a pedestal.
I know so many girls who have been brought up to believe they’re princesses and now as adults, they think the same thing, that how dare anyone ever be rude to them, they can talk to people however they want, they can get everything they want in life without actually doing anything.
Bringing a kid up like that is never going to end well. –hgotsparkle
Parenting isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ type of deal.
I think a big mistake can be assuming that one parenting approach will work for every child. In my experience, children have strong personalities from birth. There are some general rules that you should follow for every child, but it’s best to tailor your approach to meet each child’s individual needs. –Waitingforadragon
Don’t be rigid in your approach.
Standing by whatever parenting philosophy you had before you had children. We have good friends who have always believed in permissive, experience-based parenting, but they had a kid who is basically Calvin from the comic strip without any of the good stuff. (“Oh, he’s exploring his environment!” “No, he’s breaking my stuff.”)
That style works with some kids, but you need to match your style to the kid you have, not the kid you wanted to have. –withgreatpower
Loss of temper helps nobody.
We were picking up my brother in law – he was like 7 at the time – and told him to pack a jacket. He asked why he needed a jacket and before we could say “It’s going to be cold later.” his mother basically shouted, “Do it because they told you to.”
Um, no, lady. There is a real reason for him needing a jacket and it’s important for him to understand how the world works – i.e. pack a jacket when it might be cold. Questioning things is how you learn, blindly following orders is how you… well… go blind. –themoderngafa
Keep reading for our final five parenting dos and don’ts!
Chasing perfection is itself a flawed journey.
I read a study a while back that said kids with super crazy strict “get A+ or get beat, no going outside, no friends” types of childhoods usually go insane during college when they have freedom because they aren’t used it, it winds up being overwhelming. –Meih_Notyou
The world is your oyster…if you put in the work. It’s unrealistic to say:
My kid has shown potential, therefore they deserve the entire world served to them on a plate. –raddlesnake
It’s important to look out for number one, and know that number one is your child.
“I have a boyfriend/girlfriend now and I choose them over you.”
Unfortunately, this happens way too much. I’ve even seen it get to the point where the state tells the parent “this person is not safe for your child to live with, get rid of them or lose your child,” and they choose the partner. Yeah, let your kid get bounced around in the foster system because you don’t want to be single. –SnittersMind
That your kids have to follow the same political or religious ideologies that you do. –bloatedkat
The do as I say, not as I do mentality. You can insist all day long you’re superior and the rules don’t apply to you (you’re wrong), but if your kids see you acting that way, they’ll do it. Set the example you want them to emulate. –llcucf80