It can be easy to presume that parents and their children get along automatically.
But unfortunately, that is so far from the truth. There are SO many fraught, toxic, and already-destroyed relationships between children and their parents.
Of course, no parent sets off hoping it gets to that point. But sometimes the external circumstances, the other adults in the child's life, or the internal tendencies of that person--who is an autonomous individual--simply drive a wedge that, for parents, is impossible to surmount.
Some Redditors who are involved in a toxic parent-child relationship shared how it got there.
TheHeyHeyMan asked, "Parents who dislike their own children; why?"
A common thread was the negative response that many parents have to their children reliving their own flaws and struggles.
Many parents evidently treat child-rearing as a chance to perfect all the things that went wrong in their own lives. And when that doesn't happen, the all-too familiar person can be difficult to accept.
Churning Out Duplicates
"Probably because they're too much like me. I like to think that as a parent part of my job is to eliminate my foibles by helping my children be better than me. My failure as a parent instead has been to create copies; what I dislike about them is also what I hate about myself."
"Sometimes the harder you try the bigger you fail."
"P.S. I love my children."
A Flawed Approach
"Because after his mom died , I stopped disciplining him. I thought if I gave him everything I never had ; coolest clothes , shoes, toys , dirt bikes, game consoles etc would make me a good parent. I was wrong."
"He's about to turn 18 and i can't even stand to be in the same room as him. He's manipulative, mean, arrogant and condescending. And it's all my fault."
Projecting Onto a Clone
"I am not a parent, but a child who is not loved. Everything is quite ordinary, I just resemble my father, both in appearance and character, so my mother considered this a great reason for physical violence and discrimination among other 'right' children."
"As a result, my mother and I do not communicate, she abandoned me at the age of 12. The last thing I heard was, 'you should be grateful that I put up with you until you were a teenager.' Thank you for doing your job. Thank you, you disgusting person."
The Last Person He Wanted Recreated
"I hate my daughter bc she has all the bad characteristics of her mother and none of the good ones."
"She's mean, aggressive, demanding, she hits her classmates, gets violent when she doesn't get what she wants, yells loudly to overpower anyone around her when she can't use physical violence. She breaks things that aren't hers. She actually looks down on everyone around her; it's crazy, you can actually see it. She's six."
"....obviously, I am not the one who raises her. She's got a hard life ahead of her. Poor girl."
People Explain The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them On Their Birthday
Others were more puzzled by the person their child turned out to be. These parents could not understand how, given the upbringing they provided, their child could ultimately be so unkind.
Choosing a Different Version of Community
"He has no conscience. He has brutalized people over rumors, you could watch him steal something, catch him with it, and he would lie. He ended up shooting someone."
"He grew up with an upper middle class suburban family that no one had ever even been arrested. My wife and I come from good families, he had so many aunts uncles, grandparents, cousins who all supported and loved him. He could have gone to college for whatever he wanted."
"He chose to join a gang. Then we found out he tells everyone he turned out this way because his mother beat him and I was always passed out drunk (neither are at all true.)."
"I can't deal anymore. It put me in the mental hospital multiple times."
"I just had to write him out of my life."
"His brother had a great childhood and is pursuing his Doctorate."
Too Late to Turn it Around?
"I'm not a parent but my uncle and aunt really hate their son because he's accomplished nothing in life and is a complete failure but still has an ego higher than the Mount Everest."
"He's always mean to everyone."
An Eternal Mystery
"My sister and I - who were well behaved and successful - never understood why we were borderline neglected while my piece of sh** brother was showered with praise and love."
"Oh well. I don't treat my kids that way."
A Whirlwind Debacle
"He did terrible in school, became a drug dealer, squatted in a house owned by the family, decided it'd be a good idea to start a METH LAB in the basement of said house, and then hired a crappy tv lawyer to blackmail us into selling the house back to him!"
"I can say there was a brief period in time where I disliked my youngest. I need to say I loved him and would have given up my life life for him but I did not like him. He was preteen and was trying to test the limits of our parenting and would question and/or resist EVERYTHING!"
"It was a trying time but now (17) he is probably my best friend and we enjoy being together and working on project around the house."
Others discussed the ways external circumstances--particularly around the birth of the child--that played into growing dislike as they grew up.
Cannot Accept What Happened
"my mother wanted a boy, had one before me but it was a miscarriage, i was conceived a year after, i was an early delivery, she was in coma for 2 weeks and after that she did not take me or touch me or look at me or even fed me for days."
"my dad took care of me and looked after me. she still curses me and wishes it was a boy"
The Product of Infidelity
"My father was sober for 18 years before I was born, then only started drinking again once my mom got pregnant with me. This eventually led to my father cheating, and my parents getting divorced. Since my birth was technically to blame for this, both of my parents despise me."
"I'm not old enough to move out of my mom's house yet, so I'm spending just about every day hiding in my room, making as little noise as possible, and trying to bother as few people as I can."
"My mother does not like me because she never got attached to me at birth. A year before my twin sister and I were born, our parents had triplets who all died after a few days. Untreated trauma followed. I was born nearly suffocated and poorly, so my mother, wanting to protect herself from more trauma, never attached to me. She did however to my twin sister who was born healthy and thrived."
"Years went by and this initial lack of attached turned into resentment or dislike during my childhood because by the time we were eight years old, our parents were divorced, and I physically resembled my dead-beat father. This only worsened during my teenage years as I was beginning to act up years of neglect and became depressed. She disliked the signs of her own doing neglectful parenting and lack of love in me. I remind her of that."
"Ever since we have pretended to get along, but the relationship is never really there. I am a mother of two myself now and have taken all of this on board trying to do better. I am also trying to understand her. That ultimately this was not her fault."
"My dad didn't like me for some reason. I asked him several times but never got an answer. He loved my older brother (the prodigal only boy), and he lavished on my two younger sisters. I need to add that my dad was married 3 times, and we have different mothers (my younger sisters are both from his 3rd marriage)."
"My mom said that he wanted her to have an abortion, my mom was the one that also initiated the divorce, whereas his 1st marriage he initiated, so my mom also thinks that she hit his ego pretty bad with that. I look like my mom, so that could be a factor too. He died March 2019, so I'll never know, but it affected me greatly."
"Parents, don't let your children know that you don't like them, it's a horrible feeling. The kids didn't ask to be here, you were the parent, their actions reflect your parenting (or lack there of)."
Others had some fun with the prompt.
"He's a vindictive and conniving prick, that's why. His first birthday is next week and I have scant hope that he'll change his ways."
Still Working Out the Kinks
"He is a 12 year old with no concern for personal hygiene and also manipulates me with the best hugs."
"Wash your feet you disgusting brat."
There's no question about it, this was a very depressing list to read through. But hopefully there are some lessons we can glean from these posts.
Maybe you surmised a way to make sure you don't do the same thing if you already have or plan to have kids.
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There are some things I just won't say no to. Food, for one. I just love to eat. Bonus points if we're going to go somewhere. Eating can be a very intimate and communal experience.
It's the best, okay? Chinese? Indian? Want a burger? Why don't we hit up a pub somewhere and sit down for a pint and see where our stomachs lead us?
Yeah, my wallet doesn't always like it, but you know what, food is what makes life worth living.
There are plenty of other things out there that people are equally as passionate about. We heard all about them after Redditor fistbump101 asked the online community,
"What is something you can never say NO to?"
"Well, I wouldn't say no to it, but I'd need some pretty darn concrete assurances that it was actually free. People rarely just give away money with no strings attached."
In our time of rampant economic inequality, there are countless people out there who would looove some free money.
"Food. I never say no when offered free food."
To be fair, I think I'd draw the line at a stranger offering me candy...
"Staying in over going out."
You know, even as someone who is pretty much an extrovert... the occasional moment when I've had plans get canceled is a level of joy that I really enjoy experiencing.
"In that order."
"Money, weed, ice cream, sexy times. In that order."
I'm pretty sure Lil Wayne has a song about that.
"Walking in the woods..."
"Walking in the woods when the weather is pristine."
A lovely feeling. Want to feel at peace? Take a nice stroll in the woods. Just make sure to stay on the path.
"My mother's Sunday roast."
"My mothers Sunday roast. And I mean a PROPER. English Sunday roast. With actual gravy, not the American stuff. Roast potatoes, roast leg of lamb, carrots, peas, Yorkshire puddings."
"Especially on a cold, wet, rainy Irish winter day after you’ve just come in from the cold and changed into sweatpants and a warm hoodie. Very particular but amazing."
Oh, you're definitely speaking my language. I love all of that and it's one of my favorite things whenever I'm in Ireland or the UK!
"The best I've done..."
"Buying a pet I want. The best I've done is wait three days but we went back and got the rats."
I hope those rats are doing well!
"Cinnamon rolls and almost anything from Taco Bell that doesn't have beans potatoes or gravy."
You had me until you got into all your Taco Bell stipulations! How dare you, sir or madam! How dare you!
"A big piece..."
"Cutting myself a big piece of chocolate cake."
You had me in the first half, I'm not going to lie.
"A new Xeno game..."
"A new Xeno game from Tetsuya Takahashi and his team."
Ah, I see that you, too, are a person of culture.
Admit it, you have weaknesses too! There is something out there that is your kryptonite!
Have some suggestions of your own to share? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Nothing is forever. It's a grim reality but no matter how hard we try and ignore it, our inevitable demise looms ahead on the horizon.
And while we individually have our unknown expiration dates, the fate of the human race is an unfathomable mystery that will continue to elude us.
Hopefully, the fateful event is thousands of years beyond our lifetime.
Curious to hear people's predictions, Redditor Nuggl3s7 asked:
"What will be the reason for human extinction?"
Redditors had their sci-fi theories.
Remember Pixar's WALL-E?
"Im gonna have to go with the WALL-E theory that we will turn our planet into a giant waste basket."
We Are Not Alone
"Something from space probably, there is some scary stuff in the void."
An AI Revolution
"We merge with AI end become a different species, thus ending homo sapiens."
It might take one huge impact.
We Would Never See This Coming
"Either a massive space object colliding with Earth, or Mother Nature finally gets tired of our sh*t and concocts a virus 10 times more contagious than COVID and several times more fatal than Ebola."
A Big Bang Theory
"A Coca-Cola truck hits a Mentos truck."
"Every human simultaneously stubs their toe at the same time. R.I.P."
Some speculate the big disaster will be one of our own making.
"Generous of you to assume it will be error. Right now there's a large percentage of the decision makers in the world operating by 'This will have catastrophic effects if everyone does it, but it will be profitable if I do it. So everyone else needs to stop, but I'm not going to, and also I'll be dead by the time the really bad consequences happen so f'k all y'all I guess.'"
"For realz tho…no big catastrophe….just a slow drip of f'k you gimme your money while I ruin the world and whattya gonna do about it brah? Nothing, that’s what. If you can’t stop me I’m gonna do it indefinitely. Big fish eat the little fish. Then eventually no little fish left and big fish go bye bye 👋"
There's A Sad Pattern
"Considering how poorly humanity as a whole dealt with this time's pandemic, and how much we overestimated their intelligence, yeah. 5 centuries is a generous amount of time, I give it 3 centuries."
"This, I think it will be our fault and only our fault."
Growing Lack Of Intelligence
"Gross stupidity. In less than 500 years max."
Many Redditors speculated our own shortcomings would inevitably be the end of us instead of a meteor shower or a hostile takeover of extra-terrestrials.
It says a lot about our lack of humanity, doncha think?
There is little more important than a good night's sleep.
But getting a good night's sleep isn't always easy to come by.
As a result, many people have an important ritual or method which helps them fall asleep easily and wake up feeling rejuvenated.
So much so, that if they attempt to sleep without this method or helping hand, they might find themselves staying awake all night.
Redditor AdministrativeFox784 was curious to hear the things which were necessary for people to have a peaceful night's sleep, leading them to ask:
"What is something you absolutely cannot fall asleep without?"
"Apparently hours of sleep deprivation."- RaphaelSoloTired Stewie Griffin GIF by Family GuyGiphy
Give Your Knees The Support They Need
A pillow between my legs."- frann_ie
A Cool Dark Room
"A fan running and complete darkness."- Dangerous_Effort3355
"My fan on, I'll wake up immediately if it turns off."- keznaa
"Darkness."- MekkoLStar Night GIF by TRTGiphy
"I started wearing them when my wife started snoring like a buzz saw."
"Now I can't sleep without em."
"It's almost become a Pavlovian thing where putting them in almost instantly helps me fall asleep."- fartswhenhappy
When Your Mind Is Racing, It Has To Wear Itself Out Eventually...
"An underlying sense of dread and impending existential crisis."- Bigby11
Soft, But Firm...
"A pillow."- NorthernGamer71pillow GIFGiphy
Keeping You Physically And Emotionally Warm...
"A blanket to hug."
"I curl it up and then hug it."
"I love it Soooooo much!"
"I think this is because I grew out of stuffed animals pretty quick, I was allergic to them, they made cough, and I needed something to replace those fuzzy creatures."- plop8624
Stirring The Imagination To Awaken The Dreams
"Either reading a book or watching a relaxing youtube video."- fh3131
It would be nice if we all had on/off buttons which allow us to sleep undisturbed.
But until we do, our own, personal rituals will have to do.
It's very easy to jump to conclusions about a small sniffle... or noticing what looks like the beginning of a rash.
Most of the time, It's easy enough to rub it off as just a cold, or an allergic reaction which might clear up with some lotion, and thus don't feel the need to alert their doctor about it.
Though others might worry that it could be the beginning of something more serious.
But even with that looming possibility, they still avoid seeing a doctor, perhaps afraid to learn that their fears turned out to be true.
Redditor Kith-Kath was curious to hear from people who refused to get confirmation from a doctor that they may be suffering from a specific illness or ailment, leading them to ask:
"What illness do you think you have but aren't willing to get it checked?"
"Probably depression."- Kho-yi-dwags
Hypothermia? Or Chronic Fever?
"I'm always stupid cold."
"Hands and feet especially."- SimplyJustKarma
"My family has a history of cancer."
"I've lately been having a lot of the same symptoms my dad had when he first got diagnosed."- nottherealneal
"I doubt it's full-on schizophrenia, but sometimes I hear things other people don't, or see distinctive things out of the corner of my eyes that aren't really there."
"Idk, one time I was at work and saw a customer in my peripheral, but when I turned to go take their order no one was there."
"Also, I was recently at a park on an overcast day."
"I was chilling on a bench with some friends, and I noticed the mulch moving weirdly."
"We all looked in the same spot at the same time, after I had mentioned it, they wanted to see, and although I saw it happen, they didn't."
"And it wasn't this subtle little movement."
"It looked like tiny little explosions in the mulch."
"At random spots, it would just go flying, like the smallest land mine just went off."
"It was f*cking impossible to miss."
"I have enough mental illnesses as it is, I don't want to lengthen the list." -Reddit
"I think I’m on the spectrum."- TheCanadianRedHood
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
"I already know for a fact I have OCD/Hoarding issues, but I don't have the money or time to deal with it, and honestly, it's not a huge problem."
"But I sh*t you not, watch the show 'Monk' and just imagine the main character is a Black guy in Detroit and you know me backwards and forwards."- ThatGamingAsshole
"OCD and maybe Dyslexia."- UnstableThought
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
"I think I have IBS but don't want to go to the doctor about it."- No-Understanding8583
"Some kind of bowel disease."
"Been having diarrhea chronically."- Reddit
Deafness Or Hearing Loss
"I think I'm going a bit deaf or have some kind of auditory processing disorder."
"My left ear rings and if I am going to understand someone I have to watch them talk to hear them if that makes sense?"
"I have been a bit worried because it has been getting worse."
"I hate having to ask someone to repeat themselves three times before I understand what they are saying."- sfoxx
As we are, hopefully, coming to the end of a global pandemic, it's understandable to jump to worrisome conclusions regarding our health.
But if you think something seems off, and doesn't seem to go away after a day or two, always check in with your doctor.
As it could be the beginning of something much more serious.