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Hundreds of books on parenting are available for those seeking guidance and recognition for their efforts in successfully raising a child.


Yet, despite all the research available in helping a first-time parent – or even an experienced one – all parents slip up at one time or another before they becoming empty nesters.

But there are those slip-ups that end up having traumatic consequences a child will never forget long into adulthood.

Curious to hear about the residual effects of bad parenting, Redditor FernK21 asked:

"What was your parent's biggest mistake in raising you?"

Kids subjected to yelling and violence made for a traumatic upbringing.

The Unwilling Messenger

"The way they used to communicate through me because they wouldn't speak to each other after they seperated. when I had to deliver a message from one parent that the other one didn't like, I was the one who was yelled at, and both of them asked me to side with them instead of the other. there was no way to win, because I always either made mummy sad or daddy sad. good times."

thingstooverthink

Berating

"Violently screaming at me for bad grades or poor performance in sports."

"I think it had the opposite effect where I became afraid of making any mistakes, which would lead to more mistakes. Feel like if your kid is underperforming in any way, there's a way to talk to them without making them feel stupid for f'king up. There are better ways to motivate them."

theMAJdragon

The Silent And Complicit Mother

"My mom never stood up for herself or us, and let our father scream at us and take his anger out on us. She's still with him and won't apologize for letting him mistreat us."

edgyusername123

Physical Abuse

"Spanking is up there at the top of the list. My parents weren't just spankers though, they would get physical objects and beat the living f'k out of us with it. My father almost always used his thick leather belt (a few times I caught the buckle and got cuts from it.) My mother preferred to use stuff like wooden spoons and those old vintage Tupperware spatulas and a soup ladle. She told us that she couldn't hit us hard enough with her hands to do any good. My brother and I got these beatings for every minor thing we did. Yelling too loudly while playing games, arguing, talking back, having a messy room, forgetting your homework at school, getting an F. It was the go-to punishment."

"A few years ago when my daughter was 2, she was having a tantrum over something or other while my mother was around and she started going on about how I needed to introduce spankings to control her and that if I didn't, my daughter would soon be walking all over me because she wasn't afraid of the consequences. My daughter is disabled by the way. My mother wanted me to beat my disabled child because she was upset about something. When I told her I didn't parent that way, she got really upset and started her bullsh*t 'OH I'm just the worst mother ever, you had it so bad, you were abused, cry me a river' and I had to tell her to leave my house."

imnotacrazyperson

Normazling Beatings

"beatings were totally normal for me. Being slapped in the face, on the head, one of my worst memories is the time my dad took that stuffed heating teddy bear (one of those you microwave that stay warm), and slapped me enough to rip off the leg, then made me clean up my room, since now the content of said teddy bear were thrown across the floor."

"The worst of all on that memory: he was angry because the vacuum cleaner in the hallway fell over, and they thought I did it. I was actually asleep."

GuyFromDeathValley

Some parents seem to have a difficult time setting positive examples for their kids.

Neglecting Trauma

"They let their fear of dealing with their own trauma turn into causing and ignoring mine."

ViridianBella

"So true. And due to that fear they pretended that they had dealt with their trauma which made it even harder to have any kind of meaningful conversations about it."

dzogchenism

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Self-Doubt

"Never admitting that they did something wrong. An example is that when I was in second grade my mom would literally yell and scold me because she thought that HAVE was spelled HAV, and that also confused me with the word HAD. Even though at school the teachers and everyone else spelled HAVE, when I got home she would scold me for spelling it correctly until I told her that that's how everyone else spelled it. She just looked at the paper and never said a word about it again."

"So now I always think that whatever I'm doing is wrong or if something did go wrong and was clearly out of my control I still get nervous."

NotBorris

Not Present

"Complete apathy."

"My parents basically never got involved in me or my siblings lives. Never attended things like school plays or parents evenings, never cared about how things were going or what was going on. So long as we didn't get into trouble and didn't cause them problems they didn't care and took no interest. 'Anything for peace and quiet' as my mother frequently said."

"As such, because they never tried to be a part of my life, they effectively aren't a part of my life anymore. We only speak out of obligation, and not very often at that."

Nambot

Not Knowing How To Be Independent

"Never teaching me to be independent. My guardian was obsessed with keeping me way too close and I was always sheltered and now I'm alone and don't know how to function."

22poppills

The Latchkey Kid

"My parents worked all the time so I understand why they did what they did, but I was left alone way too much as a kid. I think they thought I would pick up a lot of things by myself, and I sort of did, but there was a lot of other things that I think they could've personally taught or exposed me to (not having a car until I was in college, I was pretty limited on what I could really do by myself in my teens and I didn't want to keep calling in favors and stuff)."

chewytime

Some parents were over-protective, while others were completely neglectful.

Living In A Bubble

"Wayyyyy too sheltered. I will definitely shelter my kids to an extent and raise them right but my parents took it to the extreme. I was only allowed to play with religious children and wasn't allowed to watch movies besides basically Disney movies until I was in High School. This led to a pretty rebellious phase when I was around 15 that I think could have been avoided if my parents weren't so strict."

CrispyCrunchyPoptart

Overly Protected

"Sheltering, trying to protect us from everything so once we got older we had to learn how to communicate and have relationships with people who already knew how to do all those things. Really messed my brother and I up mentally and I feel guilty for resenting my parents.."

emetrn

Developing A Phobia

"My mom was always warning me to be careful whenever I'd pick up something sharp. Scissors, a knife, a razor, whatever. That's sensible, but she'd have this tone of voice that she was sure I would cut myself to the bone, every time. And she'd give those short sharp gasps whenever she actually saw me use something sharp. As a result I have a mild phobia of sharp things."

"Also, my parents did their best to steer me away from a career as any sort of artist, because not very many artists make enough to live on. Which is, again, true, but the way they said it kept me from learning how to draw, or from taking my music lessons seriously. I mean, if I'm not going to make a career of it, why bother? But now I want to draw or pain, and have no idea how, and who knows, maybe I'd have been one of the few that could make a living at it."

Coygon

Poor Diet

"Taught me nothing about nutrition, let me eat junk, and made excuses for my obesity. Took me 10 years as an adult to finally take responsibility for myself and shed the weight."

rawbface

Laziness

"Spoiling us and always doing the chores. We ended up being lazy mfers. I'm currently procrastinating writing this."

kazemaru04

There is no doubt raising a child comes with a unique set of challenges, and even a well-reviewed self-help book can't offer a definitive method in overcoming those obstacles.

Extreme examples in this subReddit reflected a parent who was either woefully ignorant or constantly prone to anger.

But for the parent who has nothing but the best intentions for their child's well-being and aim to constantly try to do better, I tip my hat.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

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