Even the best and most well intentioned parents can pass along bad or detrimental habits to their children. This can often confuse people who otherwise love their parents––why do they act the way they act or feel the way they do? And what about parents who don't necessarily have the best interest of their children at heart?
After Redditor FriendlySkyChild asked the online community, "Mental Health professionals, what "small" things do parents do that gives their kids mental health issues later in life?" people weighed in with their insights.
"The biggest one I see..."
The biggest one I see is parents who refuse to take accountability for their mistakes. Honestly, it's not a huge deal if a parent f**ks up-- no one's perfect. It becomes a big deal when they refuse to admit they did something wrong and then blame their kid as a way of covering up their mistakes.
"Coming in and out of their lives..."
-Choosing when to give love to your child or making them "earn" it.
-Coming in and out of their lives on a whim.
-Constantly bringing up body image issues especially theirs (but then buy them junk food).
"Being in and out of their life..."
Mental health professional here.
- Being in and out of their life, causing them to feel depressed and question their self-worth because their own parent doesn't want to be with them. Just be all the way in or all the way out. What I'm referring to are parents that show up when it's convenient here and there. Obviously divorced parents with split custody can only do so much.
- Punishing them for making honest mistakes, causing anxiety if they aren't perfect. Additionally, never giving them consequences for anything at all, creating a sense of entitlement.
- Doing everything for them and never allowing them to make their own decisions, which teaches them no responsibility or problem solving skills.
- Enabling them to continue to make poor choices by defending them all the time. More entitlement and narcissism as they get older.
- Only acknowledging when they do something wrong, and rarely praising them. Again, more anxiety about not being perfect. Additionally, only praising their efforts in things you like, rather than praising all their efforts.
- Being aware of abuse and not only allowing it to continue, but to do nothing to advocate for your child, or trying to sweep it under the rug. Or being the one perpetrating the abuse. PTSD and all its components come into play here.
- Sharing your adult problems with them. More anxiety when they feel like they have to fix your problems. There is such a thing as "adult conversations." To clarify, I don't believe there is a golden age to talk with your kids about mature topics. All kids handle this differently. Some like to help and be part of the family decisions, and some cannot handle when they can't help. It's one thing to talk about financials with teens so they understand money doesn't grow on trees. It's another thing to talk to a 6 year old about how you can't pay rent and might end up homeless.
- Projecting your hopes and dreams on them. Maybe little Johnny doesn't want to be a lawyer. Let's not riddle him with depression because he hates his life because you forced him to live out your dream instead of his own.
- Not apologizing when you're wrong. This leads to the child thinking that everything is their fault anytime something goes wrong.
Even if they don't end up with a mental health diagnosis, we don't want them being maladjusted adults when they're older.
Also, just because you've experienced these things, it doesn't automatically mean you are/will be damaged. How we behave as adults is purely our responsibility. If you're experiencing poor mental health as a result of these things, or anything else for that matter, seek professional help. If you feel like you've adjusted fine even with having these experiences, that's great!
"My parents have never once in my life..."
Admit your own mistakes. My parents have never once in my life told me "I'm sorry I did that" and my GOD is every single conversation we have a fu**ing battle because they just refuse. To. Apologise. Seriously, teach your kids some humility.
"There are so many things..."
Family therapist/program manager for multiple OP sites.
There are so many things - but I'm into my second gin and tonic and I'm going to angry vent about the ones that piss me off the most:
- Don't punish your child for the behavior you asked them for. For example, if you want your kid to talk to you more don't yell at them when they share things that are scary and uncomfortable. If you want your child to spend more time with the family don't make sh!tty comments about them when they come down.
- Don't parentify your child. Don't tell them about your bills, relationships. What their A**hole parent did. Don't use them as an outlet - it is not their job to support you.
- Don't withdraw your affection as punishment. Love from a parent is a right, not a privilege. Doesn't matter how much trouble they get into - you can discipline and love a child at the same time.
There are more - but the bottom line is that your kids should know you like them. You think they are fun and interesting. You can sit through difficult and uncomfortable moments with them. You can respond to their crisis without becoming the crisis.
I adore the kids we serve. And the parents for the most part. But sometimes it feels like you're watching a death by a million cuts when parents continue to hurt their children in these little ways all the time.
"The amount of kids..."
I worked in a level 3 lock down facility for kids to rehabilitate for a few months. The amount of kids shipped off in the middle of the night simply because their parents didn't want to deal with it was unreal. And then you find out this is what the parents did with everything. Any time the kids had any kind of problem, no matter how small, the parents would avoid dealing with and wonder how their 15 year old got hooked on meth.
If your kid has a problem, talk to them. Let them vent, let them be sad, or upset or confused. Ask your kids how they're doing and actually mean it, open up those lines of communication because I saw too many kids say, "its not like anyone cares what I do anyway" and it's so sad to hear.
"If there are a lot of problem behaviors..."
Credentials: I am a therapist specializing in treating traumatized children. I also see children who aren't traumatized and adults.
Answer: Characterizing behavior as bratty, manipulative, or attention-seeking, especially out loud where your kids can hear you. Kids want one, single, goddamn thing on this earth, and that's to please their caregivers. If they knew how to do it reliably with good behavior, THEY WOULD. If there are a lot of problem behaviors, there's a lot of problem parenting.
"Projecting your own anxieties..."
Counselor here. A few thoughts:
- Not setting appropriate boundaries (too many, too few, too rigid, or overly permissive)
- Inappropriate disclosure (kids shouldn't know about their parents marital conflict, money problems, etc. No emotional dumping)
- Someone kind of already said this, but negative views about oneself (diet culture/negative body image, negative self talk)
- Not helping a kid identify their feelings related to their behaviors. Related, not allowing kids to appropriately express full range of emotions. Invalidation.
- Age inappropriate expectations
- Not apologizing
- Stigmatizing mental health
- Projecting your own anxieties onto them/not being able to manage own anxieties.
"It's so simple..."
I am a licensed play therapist. It's so simple, but just acknowledging your child's feelings. "I can see you're feeling sad." "You're angry at me right now." "You're scared." It helps children so, so, so much with mental health in the future, because they grow into adults who understand and can express their emotions. It gives children a foundation of empathy and understanding from which to build healthy relationships with other people in the future. It's critical and only takes a minute.
"Pressure to perform."
- Not allowing 'negative' emotions like anger, jealousy, etc. Teach them those are normal, and what to do with your emotions.
- Pressure to perform. Don't try and make your kids something they're not, especially if it's what you wished you were.
- Never letting them find the consequences of their mistakes. You might want to protect them, but you're stopping them from learning how to avoid mistakes, and how to recover from them, and how to deal if other people make mistakes.
- Not dealing with and owning your own sh!t. We've all got problems, best to deal with it rather than perpetuate cycles. Find a therapist for yourself, and be open with your kid that you know, and you're trying your best. It gives them space to learn grace and how to deal with their issues.
"Using your children..."
Using your children as an emotional punching bag.
Comparing your childhood to theirs.
Hitting the roof over a tiny mistake.
Blaming them for your mistakes.
"Don't ever tell a kid..."
Don't ever tell a kid they are fake cryong when they are upset. My mum thought I was some master manipulator as a child and would always hit me with the "you don't deserve to cry, I should be crying."
It messes you up.
"When a closeted kid..."
When a closeted kid hears homophobic comments from their parents. That hurts.
"Parents should uplift their kids..."
Emotional abuse. Parents should uplift their kids instead of looking down on them and telling them that they'll never going to succeed.
"If your kids can't talk to you..."
Freaking out over everything. If your kids can't talk to you, can't admit their mistakes to you, can't seek out your help without you screeching and throwing a fit, you're not giving them a healthy environment to live in.
"It's usually the small deficiencies and traits..."
It's usually the small deficiencies and traits: Adults that lack communicative and expressive skills and overly defensive behaviour creates insecure children that inherit said traits and often depressive tendencies.
"Saying one thing today..."
Psychologist here. One word; inconsistency.
Saying one thing today and the next day something else makes it impossible for a child to properly learn how to attach themself to others. Plus, for a child its insafe and it will go in "worst case scenario"-mode (high in arousal). When not learned, people can develop nasty coping strategies to deal with unstable childhood.
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The Mandela effect is when multiple people share the same, incorrect memory.
Its name stems from when paranormal researcher Fiona Broome falsely believed that the future president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, died in prison in the 1980s.
A false memory she shared with a number of others.
Our memories have been known to deceive us, as we might frequently forget someone's name or one of our numerous online passwords.
But when we share a memory that turns out to be false with many others, convincing ourselves it wasn't the truth can be a very difficult ordeal indeed.
Redditor Mysterious_Boat_1701 was curious to hear people's most unsettling experiences with the Mandela Effect, leading them to ask:
"Which Mandela effect freaks you out the most and why?"
A mysterious gym
"Just had one personally."
"Went to a mall where there was supposedly a gym, asked around and nobody that worked at the mall knew what I was talking about."
"Looked around and couldn't find it."
"Come back a few months later and it’s right there in front of my face, you'd have to be strung out to not notice it."
"idk how or when it just appeared but it freaked me out."- prex320278
A "fruit"ful logo.
"That the fruit of the loom logo never had a cornucopia."
"What’s crazy about that one is that someone emailed the creator of the logo about it and he said even he remembers it having one."- mrcock2·
Less well intentioned than they thought.
"I Mandela effected my whole family once."
"Years ago there was a football player on a rival team that always did a dumb celebration after he got a sack and my family and I always hated it."
"One night after he did it my family started trashing the celebration and I said as a joke 'we are all going to feel terrible when we find out he is doing that celebration as a request from a make-a-wish kid'."
"Fast forward to years later and our team is playing that team again."
"The player got a sack and did the celebration."
"I rolled my eyes and said 'I hate that celebration so much' my mom instantly turned and said 'don't say that, he is doing it for a sick kid'."
"'I actually like it."
"So I was like 'what?'"
"'No there is no sick kid', my whole family then proceeded to argue with me'."
"They all vividly remembered reading articles about it, seeing special report segments before games about it, and other information."
"Some of them even thought they knew the disease the kid had and even extra details about why the kid chose that specific celebration."
"They all had these shared memories that they were sure were true."
"I was floored by all this and insisted none of that was true."
"So we looked it up.'
'No kid like that ever existed.'
"They still have trouble wrapping their heads around this one."
"Turned out human memory is not near as reliable as we think"
"It was American Football and the player was Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings and his cattle roping sack celebration."
"This was maybe 10 years ago."- AUSpartan37College Football Win GIF by Michigan State FootballGiphy
His eyesight was better than we thought.
"Mr. Monopoly's monocle."- Additional_Day9903
It's not easy being green.
"I have a personal one that to this day a decade later still destroys my mind."
"I had an old(ish) 2001 dodge neon."
"With BLACK SEATS.'
"I drove this car for years and years, like 80,000 miles.'
'All through college."
"I took work breaks in my car, commuted hours every day total, to college and then the opposite direction to work and back."
"I even lived out of this thing on several occasions.'
'The day I go and trade it in, I'm pulling misc things out of the car at the dealer."
'And the seats are GREEN."
"Not even a little."
'Like very unmistakably GREEN."
"In my black Neon, with black interior, that ALWAYS HAD BLACK SEATS."
"My girlfriend then, wife now, goes oh they've always been green."
"EXCEPT THEY F*CKING WEREN'T DON'T LIE TO ME."
"This is still upsetting to this day..... life is a lie and nothing is real."- ZakuLegionWinona Ryder Omg GIFGiphy
An urban legend was born.
"Not a global one, just a family thing."
"Back in 2002 my grandma had her 60th birthday, my father took us home at 10.00pm, ready for bed."
"We, me and brother, were 12 and 14 at this time."
'All went well."
"Over the years, a story was made up that we went missing after visiting the local playground after dinner at said grandma's birthday party."
"Some neighbors help to search us, the whole train of 'missing children in a smal village'-thing."
"Fun fact: we never went missing."
"Dad brought us home, put on 'Toy Story' on tv and left."
"My brother and I heard first about this in 2015.'
"From different people on different occasions."
"'Ah your one of the missing boys'."
"I first thought they were mocking me for a different event.'
"I got lost, but it was 2013, alcohol inflicted, different story."
"But then they ALL tell us the same story about us going missing."
'And the stories are damn close to 'true' in every story my mum is driving around the same neighbors to different locations to search, old wine yard, old mill etc."
"Sometimes I think I got lost on the most brutal way."
"I was lost and changed this plane of existence with another one."
"It sometimes made me think about my whole life."- tjorben123missing kenny mccormick GIF by South Park Giphy
Memories are a fascinating thing.
They can be changed or altered with even the tiniest suggestion.
And making the truth seem less believable than lies.
One last time. One last meal.
How do you chose a last meal?
Let's hope we never have to find out.
People on death row get that option.
Do they deserve it?
Whose to say?
But they have it.
A steak. A pizza... Burger King.
The food world is their oyster.
Oyster. Also an option.
The menu is endless...
Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 wanted to know what our menu choices would be if we faced the end. They asked:
"You're on a death row, you have one hour left, they ask for your final meal - what is it?"
I'd want 2 hours in a Golden Coral with a bar. Covers it all.
Masailor moon cooking GIFGiphy
"Everything my mom has ever made."
"I want a nice filet mignon, medium rare, a baked potato with everything on it, and a nice Cabernet from a good year - I'm thinking 2135."
"'Sorry, we couldn't get the Cabernet from 2135. So instead of what could have been a great wine request from a more plausible period of time, you get this crappy stuff we sourced from Wal-Mart. Enjoy your meal, I hope that maintaining your sense of humor was worth it."'
"Something badly cooked so I will be sick and want to die sooner and have diarrhea so bad it will be a last revenge!"
"Taco bell it is!"
"If Taco Bell makes you poop a lot, it's a sign that you probably need more fiber in your diet."
The Yuck Factor
"A huge bowl of baked beans, a bowl of shredded wheat, a six egg omelette, and a gallon of apple cider. I'm gonna make it awful for everyone."
"Save yourself the hassle of eating all that, just ask for one pack of sugar free Haribo gummy bears. Should make for an interesting time for the folks watching you die."
"You void your bowels when you die too so that should be lovely."
PerfectFried Chicken Scandal GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Fried chicken with some Fanta."
Fried chicken is on the top of everyone's list!
DetailsInterested GIF by Nick CannonGiphy
"150mg of MDMA. I’m dying happy."
"This should absolutely be allowed. If our leaders insist on the practice of capital punishment then the condemned should be able to ingest any substance they damn please."
"McFlurry. Those machine are always broken. I just bought myself some time."
"Is this like an American thing? I worked at a McDonald's in Denmark once and our machine was never once broken when i was there."
"I saw a video about this once. I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I think it has something to do with the contract that was signed in America. Only one company is allowed to do maintenance on the machines and they basically lock out if it's cleaned incorrectly. It's a crap system."
"Cabbage!! Add some cabbage. I don’t know if an hour if enough to take effect but there was an old coworker on a cabbage diet. Omg she smelled, like it was coming out of her pores. She knew she smelled and kept apologizing and reminding us of the diet."
The OG Always
"Olive Garden. Unlimited soup and breadsticks."
"I saw a sketch once, can't remember who it 2qs from. But a an inmate ordered the all you can eat buffet and had been eating for like 8 years. He's constantly on the toilet and takes micro-naps between bites."
"Unlimited for 1 hour. Cool."
How GoldenGolden Girls Dorothy GIF by HULUGiphy
"If my grandma is still alive her potato soup and cheesecake. Hopefully I'd be able to cook said meal with her one last time."
Let's hope none of us has to make this decision.
Most people have friends they've been close to for most of their lives.
But at the same time, friends evolve, and everyone finds themselves losing touch with any number of people they at one point considered their friends over time.
Most of the time, this isn't intentional, but just simply happens.
On rare occasions though, people might realize that their friends were not exactly who they thought they were, and didn't like who they revealed themselves to be.
Redditor One-Refrigerator69 was curious to hear stories of people who realized their friends were not exactly the nicest people to be around, leading them to ask:
"When was the moment you realized that your friends are assholes?"
Compared to others...
"When I started hanging out with better people."- Darklink326
All it took was getting my life together
"When I quit drinking ‘cos it was killing me."
"There were people I literally saw every single day who just disappeared as if by magic."
"12 years ago this week, as it happens."
"I’m not anti-drink, far from it."
"Some people, me included, just can’t enjoy it without it becoming a problem."
"Everyone is different."- bigdaftgeordie
A little perspective goes a long way.
"After I realized that other people don't sh*t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle."
"And that it isn't right when a 'friend' uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to."- ViscousPlatemanThe Simpsons GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Lack of respect for other people's things
"I let my friend borrow my ps2 when I went to boot camp."
"When I came back, he said he sold it and gave me $50 I think?"
"This was in 2006."- madmike-86
Lack of mutual respect
"When he does sh*t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, then I do the same back and he gets offended."- Primary-Maybe-2749·
Constantly being taken advantage of.
"They only bothered with me when it suited them."
"I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."- zombi33mjhappy eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
When they literally revealed themselves to be criminals
"When they robbed me at gunpoint."- Ok_Student8032
When they stopped liking them after a change of situation
"Fourth grade, when my parents economical situation went downhill and suddenly no one invited me to their birthday party."
"Until Seven years later no one had never invited me to their birthday, or to anything at all actually."- Justalittletoserious
Not being able to get a word in...
"When they tell me to shut up when I say anything."- the_golden_cheesela respuesta GIF by Becky GGiphy
Violently playing with emotions
"She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her."
"Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions, telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc, and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more."
"All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly."
"One night I was crying on the phone cause I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bullsh*t reason and telling me to try again."
"The next day they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call, because I didn't get it and I was so upset."
"I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point."- Juliemj
It's always sad when our friends disappoint us.
But when our friends proved to be completely different people than we thought they were, it can be devastating.
As the saying goes, one never truly knows who their friends are.
When visiting any foreign country, one should always be familiar with the laws and customs of the land.
After all, what might be generally accepted on your home turf, might be frowned upon, if not illegal, elsewhere.
For that matter, even locals might need a refresher course on what they can and can't do while at home.
A recent Redditor was curious to hear what tourists and locals alike should avoid doing in the USA, leading them to ask:
"In the United States, what should you never do?"
Stay out of the skies!
"Don't fly a drone in Washington, DC."
"The whole D.C. Area is a no fly zone."
"It's a federal offense."
"Just don't do it."- PeytonCarrK
Cops can't be bribed.
"Don't try to bribe cops when you get pulled over."
"I had some Argentinian friends immediately pull out their wallets and start pooling their cash when they got pulled over once.'
"Fortunately someone in the car noticed and told them to put it away immediately."- PeytonCarrK
"Don't pay off the police."
"My dad has friends from several third-world nations where it is common practice to give the police some cash when you are pulled over."
"However, if you try to bribe a police officer here, you'll get into a lot of trouble."- JohnASmiley
Know your rights.
"Everyone, including foreigners, has the right to be silent and have a lawyer when being questioned."
"Don’t say anything."
"Also, even if you speak English fairly well, ask for an interpreter."- WickedLilThing
Enjoy all that nature has to offer... carefully!
"Don't wander off in the national parks."
"It's very real wilderness and you can get lost and die out there."
"This includes going over railings you aren't supposed to, or off trails."
"People have died accidentally falling into a steam geyser that looked like normal water, mauled by animals or left to the elements."- AlphaOhmeganational parks GIF by Visit The USAGiphy
Allow plenty of time!
"Expect consistency at TSA in airports."- WickedLilThing
Some terminology doesn't translate...
"If you’re from England, they’re called cigarettes here."- Yung_Onions
Make sure your license is up to date.
"If you come from a walkable country don’t come here expecting the same."
"There are some areas with good public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian friendly streets but for the most part, especially outside of cities, the areas are designed to accommodate cars more than anything else."
"The reason a lot of Americans drive everywhere is because, depending on where you live, we have no choice."- The_Cars93Dog Driving GIFGiphy
Wait for instructions.
"Get out of your car and approach the cop when being stopped by a cop unless told to."- hildrash
Whether your'e waling down a street in a foreign country, or the street you've lived on for your entire life, it's always wise to be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Not to mention, obey the law.