There's no official guidebook to parenting and everyone makes mistakes, but some people carry the scars for life and promise to do better with their own kids. The challenge is not turning into your parents, when you become a parent.
keep-thinking-bud asked: [Serious] What did your parents do to you that you vowed to never do to your children?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Snoop through their stuff. My mom would do it any time she had a suspicion I was hiding something or lying to her, which wound up being pretty often, because I never told her anything about my life knowing she would do things like that either way.
There were so many times I'd wake up in the middle of the night and hear my mom digging through my backpack or flipping through notebooks. Nothing pissed me off more than getting interrogated at 2 AM over why I had a hall pass from my math teacher on the 23rd crumpled at the bottom of my bag, or why I had an assignment with half the answers blank.
I was a good kid that didn't do anything besides go to school and come home, so I don't know why she had it in her head that I was hiding so much stuff.
She did it once when I was still living with my parents during college; I left my back pack at home on a day I didn't have class and was going to work, and she found some things she wasn't thrilled about while I was gone. It ended with our whole household not speaking to each other for close to a month.
9. Negative reenforcement.
My parents, up until I graduated high school, would call me a "disappointment," and compare me to others, even though I got into a good college and didn't misbehave. If I were to have kids, there's no way in hell I'd be calling them a disappointment and comparing them to other kids. That sh*t can be damaging.
Edit: I'm realizing majority who have this issue are Asian. I thought every kid raised by immigrant parents went through this oof. I'm guessing my Latina ass just got lucky with having strict ass parents.
Same, until I got into a good class at high school my mum would compare me to my friends about how they we're better at math. this did push me but still, I felt like a piece of crap whenever she compared me. I know how it feels.
My father often told me that if I were his only child he'd have killed himself a long time ago because I regularly brought home average grades no lower than a C.
He wonders why I'm not fond of him.
8. Abusive, tbh.
Feed them garbage food nonstop. Being the fat kid was the worst but I didn't know better when I was young.
My mother did that too. Her defense now is that feeding me horrible food was her way of showing she loved me. Whoever I showed concern for my weight I'd hear, you're just about to hit a growth spurt! Now I'm still chubby but in better shape but have a hard as f**k time with over eating.
7. Imagine my parents' surprise...
Tease them for talking to girls.
My parents would give me so much sh*t for every girl I talked to.
"Aww, you have a little girlfriend. That's so cute. Here let me tell everyone I know."
Yep. Same here. Like what the f**k. You look through my phone and see I'm talking to a girl, then you tease me endlessly. It really just made me super shy about meeting people, it made me have a hard time trusting people because it just felt like I was being patronized for talking to a girl.
I mean I'm fine now except the trusting thing but it's still something I wouldn't ever ever ever do to my children.
I still don't tell my parents about a new girl I am dating until she mentions its weird she hasn't met them. They have met 2 out of like 12 and I am only 23.
6. Shouldn't have been born, chief.
My dad used to tell us all the dreams and big things he had planned in life but couldn't accomplish because he had kids, idk if he realized what he was doing but made us feel guilty of ...well being born.
Yeah my Father did that too. Would say stuff like "why did we have 3 kids."
"should have cut my balls off."
I'm the last of the 3.
I mean, yeah, it's TRUE kids ruin lives, but you don't tell them that because it was your choice to have them, not the kiddos.
5. Teach respect.
Growing up, my parents always had all the answers: there were right ways and wrong ways. The right way earns approval, the wrong way earns scorn, or (even worse) �condescension.� This works! It instills work ethic, discipline, and sense of purpose - until it suddenly doesn't, because a child has been raised on the how, but not on the why. �Slaving away at goals becomes meaningless when you don't know how to set your own goals.
I try to listen to my children, to have them formulate what they want, and to guide them in how to achieve that. And, on occassion, to throw down and say 'no' when they want something particularly stupid - and to explain them why.
Wish me luck.
Good luck. It seems like having that awareness is key. You want your kids to look up to you and I suspect it's difficult to admit when you are wrong or don't know the answer. I'm finishing my PhD and have been able to teach a few classes and the hardest thing to lean is that people will ask you a question you don't know the answer to and saying that out loud.
4. How to instill panic attacks 101.
My parents used to scream at me when I was in trouble. It's made me terrified to be in even the slightest bit of trouble with any authority figure.
This broke me 100% t the point that the first thing that crosses my mind to this DAY when I have a life problem, is what will i tell them? My mother one day asked me why I lie to her, and I ripped into her and told her the truth, that I would rather take the chance and save face than have to deal with their petty bullsh*t. The screaming, the drama, and the over-analysis of everything in said event would be questioned and then, when a fault was found, it would be chastised.
There was one day that taught me that habit. I was volunteering at a hospital to pad my resume and my college application. They had assigned me on the front desk, so I was responsible for directing where patients went to. Should be pretty simple, something a 17 year old could easily do. One day a lady who spoke some broken English came in and told me her water broke. I, knowing limited Spanish, asked her again, and she confirmed it, so i sent her to the maternity ward. A doctor came, yelled at me for a moment, and stormed off. I was unsure what to even make of it. The next day I came in and was fired.
From a volunteer position. I had the bad luck of going on vacation for the next four days with my family after i was a done with my four hour shift. I called early, admitted what had happened. They yelled at me and went nuclear on my @ss for four hours, calling me every name in the book, telling me I was a failure, I was lazy, I was entitled, I was an unemployable loser and that I was expected to demand my job back (spoiler alert, didn't even get a response).
And they apologized later, but they'd never f*cking change, and did it again and again throughout my life. I've learned to seek others for advice.
3. Not picking favorites.
They had favorites.
The firstborn were a pair of twins, a boy and a girl. They were the favorites.
Three boys born after that were also-ran. Parents would give them second hand clothes, second hand toys (bikes etc.)
I asked my father why and he said that with children, the first born was special and used to inherit everything. (Primogeniture?) The others would have to go join the church or the army.
So at birthday time boy 1 would be given brand new presents. Other boys would be given second hand ones.
I remember on his birthday (12) oldest boy got a brand new dragster bike. Cost more than $100 at the time.
Youngest boy was given a second hand girls bike. (cost $10; we found out later.)
When youngest boy woke up and ran outside to see his "bike" he was unable to ride it because it had two flat tyres. On asking dad if he could fix he was sworn at and told not to be in such a hurry. Dad was very busy drinking coffee and reading the paper. He didn't fix it till the afternoon.
My sister was treated specially by mum because she was also first born, and the only girl. In fact she she was the "imelda marcos" of the family because she had a bedroom of her own (ok, she was the only girl) but also cabinets full of clothes and shoes - I counted 17 pairs at a time when us boys (even the eldest) had two pairs each - one for school and one for play (And sometimes we just had one for school.) I asked mum why and she said when she was a little girl she lived on a farm and the boys were given horses and gifts of money while the girls just got to help with the household. So she said she was going to make up for it with her own daughter. I said "that's not fair" and she said "I don't care".
I was the only one in the family that won scholastic prizes, and i won several - even cash ones. One time I used the cash to buy a train set I saw advertised in the paper. My dad drove me over and back.
Once we got back he insisted I give him the brand new transformer that came with the set I had bought, so he could give it to my older brother. "I drove you there so now you have to do something for me" he said. He took my new transformer that I bought with my own prize money and gave it to oldest brother, and gave me his sh!tty old one.
You know, dad, I was your son, and the only one that ever won prize money; maybe as I was your son you could have just done it for me anyway, instead of trying to cheat me out of something?
It hurt so much I buried it for years and didn't remember till a couple of decades later.
As a kid I knew our parents weren't popular with other parents on our street, and I also knew they weren't even popular with their own relatives. When I got older I started to see why.
I vowed to treat all my kids equally -boys and girls - and I have.
Mostly I use my parents as examples of what NOT to do to my children. Ah well. At least progress has been made.
2. Not actually answering questions.
Not explaining ANYTHING. I am a very literal, curious person that likes to apply things across the board where applicable. So, when my mother would say "because I said so" or anything else dismissive like that, I wouldn't clearly understand and I would do almost the exact same thing because I wasn't allowed to make the connection. I thought "be quiet" meant "make quiet noises" and was different from "shut up" and got in so much trouble one day for whispering after being told to be quiet.
Really, is it that hard to learn your children or are people just lazy when they demand respect from you for your age?
My kid's probably in here saying he won't over-explain things. "I ask my dad one question and 3 hours later we're still reading Wikipedia and watching youtube videos explaining <thing>"
1. Blaming the victim.
My sister (f26) and I (f22) did not get along at all growing up. She was both physically abusive and mentally. It got to the point where I modeled my entire life to be the opposite of hers because I wanted literally nothing to do with her. How my parents handled it was to tell us not to fight. That was it. I spent most Christmases in my bedroom crying and have permanent scars from her nails digging into me and all my parents ever did was tell me "Can you please just try to get along with your sister?" or "Why do you always let her get to you? You know she's just teasing you". My parents were wonderful to me in every other way but how they handled conflict between kids was terrible. If my child is crying at Christmas or wants absolutely nothing to do with their siblings I'm going to have a hard look at why and I'm going to actually listen when they tell me there's a problem.
Oh god that sounds like my mom. My older brother physically took things from me, and my younger brother had the rule "if it shuts him up just let him have it" which she enforced. I grew up needing to put a padlock on my room because they would steal my stuff and give it away.
My mom's response was always the same: "if you don't like it don't play with them". Like god damn he stole my PlayStation and all my games while I was out of the house.
What did you parents do to you that you vow to never do to your own kids?
The key to any successful relationship is communication.
The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.
But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.
Curious to hear examples of what those might be, Redditor FamiliarFarmer8356 asked:
"What's something you wish you could tell your partner without upsetting them?"
If there is conflict, there is a way to discuss and address the issue in a civil and respectful manner.
Things Just Happen
"Every bad thing that happens doesn't require someone to be blamed for it. And that someone doesn't always have to be me."
A Cornerstone Of A Successful Union
"One of the cornerstones of a good marriage, is knowing how to argue. I’d actually say that before a couple get married, they should check how their potential partner behaves in an argument. What are they like when they get angry. It’s important because no two individuals are going to agree all the time. And on those occasions, it’s important to remember not to belittle the other. Deal with the issue at hand. And especially, don’t argue in front of the kids. You have no idea how much lasting damage this causes."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership."
It's Not That Deep
"please stop complaining about everything."
"If you keep seeking out reasons to be miserable, you will find them."
"I'm tired of being dragged down with you."
There's no need to get defensive when there's something to discuss.
It's Not About You
"That some days I’m just tired from class and work and just want some me time, it’s not that I hate you my social battery is just running out."
"Her first reaction to something adverse doesn't have to be anger."
In The Words Of A Pirate
"In the wise words of captain Jack Sparrow sometimes:"
'the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem.'
It Takes Two To Tango
"That I wish she’d be more independent so she didn’t need my help for everything outside the house."
"That it’s a little disturbing how aggressively he drives when he’s grumpy… heavy on both gas and brakes, zooming in and out of traffic, swearing at people who make mistakes… very unlike him."
Sometimes the truth hurts when talking about members of the family.
A Real Assessment
"That her mother is not a good person."
"I told my husband that it's not that his family is nosy and overbearing, it's that I hate watching him cave and negotiate as if they have a right to behave like this, and I really hate when I'm the bad guy for wanting reasonable limits."
"It got worse, then it got better, FYI."
"His parents are greedy, selfish people and treat him like an atm."
There's definitely a fine line between withholding your thoughts to protect the person you love and being brutally honest.
If coming clean isn't going to resolve an issue, then it might be better to suck it up and deal with whatever frustrations you have about the other person.
It's up to you, but make sure the delivery doesn't come from a place of rage if you do decided to be totally transparent about your negative thoughts.
Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.
What is a "black sheep" anyway?
It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.
Redditor Frozen_yoghurt123 asked:
"Who is the 'black sheep' of your family?"
I'm the black sheep or at least I'd like to think so.
"Probably my dad's cousin, who went to prison for murdering his lover's husband."
DW_555Oh My Wow GIFGiphy
"My Dad. He is the only one of 6 siblings who wasn't a huge f**k up. And yet, before my Grandma died she stated that he was her 'biggest disappointment.' He is estranged from his surviving siblings... not by his choice. It honestly blows my mind."
"Toxicity is often a group mindset thing; people don't want you to leave because they are dysfunctionally co-dependent on each other and need each other to justify their own shortcomings in life. A lot of the 'family loyalty' stuff is typically shouted loudest by those who are the least good idea to stay loyal towards."
"My great uncle who stole my great grandfathers identity, stole a couple million dollars, and ran off. No one even knew he was alive until my great grandfathers funeral in 2009. No one has seen him since. My grandma started to cry because she honestly thought he was dead."
"Everyone else just kind of nodded on his direction and went on with the rest of the funeral. I just remember being very confused because I was 9 and I had never met this guy who my dad pulled me aside and told me he was my great uncle. It was a few years later that I got the full story."
"According to my mean aunt, the 'matriarch' in her own mind, it's my twin brother because "he doesn't care about family now that he's a doctor." (He's a resident. Chief resident. He works ridiculous hours and spends the rest of the time recovering from work.)"
"According to my ex-MIL (who still counts because she's Son's grandma), it's me, for divorcing her son."
"According to everyone else, it's Mean Aunt. The rest of us are warm and caring and compassionate. We have our moments; all of us have been accidentally thoughtless or done something selfish once in a while, but we're not deliberately mean and snarky all the time."
"My immediate family are the black sheep of the entire family."
DarthDreganJohn Stamos Cheers GIF by GrandfatheredGiphy
Sounds like everyone has a little black sheep in them.
"By now, my brother for cutting off everyone because he prefers his rude, selfish, paranoid, narcissist wife over all of us."
"My wife is the black sheep of her family in the sense that she's the only one who isn't a rude, selfish, paranoid narcissist."
Lvcivs2311Joe Dirt Brother GIFGiphy
"Me. My granddaddy told me 'I’ve only had the sheriff knock on my door two times in my 80 years, and both times he was looking for you! 'I did some dumb sh*t, caused a little trouble, burned a few bridges but always managed to stay out of jail. Partly because my sister has kept an attorney on retainer for me since I was 16."
"My younger brother (2nd of 4) is a compulsive liar and it got him in a lot of little trouble as a teen, then he told his wife he graduated a big college when we're not even sure if he got his GED because he failed to graduate HS, went to some GED school and eventually just stopped going."
"IF he graduated college, he never mentioned he was going in the 4+ years it takes nor mention graduation or have a diploma. He's not a bad dude, but now family time is super awkward when he and his wife are talking about 'their' college team."
The NOT good girl...
"My aunt's daughter. She’s been in jail for drugs, stolen money from my aunt and other family members to use on drugs and physically abused my aunt. My aunt has tried getting her help, but nothing has worked. She’s just not a good person, and everyone in my family, except my aunt, doesn’t want anything to do with her. I haven’t seen her in 8 years now, and I’m happy about that."
"A former nun - my great aunt - left the religious life and got married. She called herself 'the black sheep of the family' because her habit was black."
Back2BachExcited Julie Andrews GIF by The Rodgers & Hammerstein OrganizationGiphy
Well the black sheep sound like the most interesting family members.
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
FloatingRelaxed Exit Strategy GIF by Hannah Bronfman Giphy
"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
The ItchScratching Feel Good GIF by 60 Second DocsGiphy
"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
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"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
A Good Restdog puppy GIFGiphy
"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
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"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
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"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
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"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
'contamination'Disgusted Season 6 GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy
"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.