Even though there are literally thousands of published works about how to effectively parent, once you're in the thick of it you'd be surprised how fast all that information goes out the mental window. Fortunately, a solid method for guiding your parent path is remembering the mistakes your parents might have made before you.

Reddit user, u/wetbreadstick, wanted to know:

What is something that your parents did that you swore never to repeat to your own kids?

Give Them Pure Energy


Really poor food choices


Same, I was raised on hot pockets and those instant lunch cups.


Every Child Is Their Own Entity

Never blame them for the fears or insecurities of their siblings. It causes deeper insecurities in the children when you do that. If my child is extremely paranoid I should be there to help them not tell my other children it is their fault.


Let Them Mess Up

I'm definitely going to let my kids make mistakes. Growing up my parents always told me "Don't do this because [this will happen]" which in some cases is a fine way of parenting, but if the consequence will have a greater impact on my decision making after said incident than my parents' word, let me do it! It's true what they say... pain is an excellent teacher


Tell then you didn't want them.

My parents never planned on having kids, I was an accident, and they had my sister so that I wouldn't be an only child (I had an older cousin who was and my mom's sister told her that we would be able to keep each other company and they wouldn't have to pay as much attention to us. Dad was a massive asshole, Mom had a ton of mental issues). She told me at a young age that she wanted to get an abortion but my grandma wouldn't let her. They got a lot happier and their marriage improved after my sister and I moved out, but they used to use us as a pawn in their petty games. My dad never came to events because he didn't care about us and my mom blames us for ruining her life, but then puts a ton of pressure on us to be perfect so that maybe he'll start loving us... it was awful and I still can't stand being around my parents.


Party Ovah Here!

Not allow their friends over because kids are too loud..... I now have 5 kids and an open door policy. You want to invite Jack the Ripper over to play, and the 8 kids from next door, and your friends horse? no problem. Everyone is always welcome whenever.


Children Are A Gift, Not A Burden

Repeatedly telling my children how much I sacrificed for them.

My mum gave up her life in Myanmar to come to the UK so that my sisters and I could get a better education. She likes to remind me every time she gets upset (which is often) and though I really do appreciate what she's done for me, I wasn't the one who made that choice. I love her so much but it makes me feel really guilty whenever she reminds me and feel like I disappoint her if I don't do too well in school. I never want my children to feel like they burdened my life so if I ever make a decision like that, I'm keeping it to myself as much as I can.


You Learn And Gather From Their Mistakes

Something that I once said I wouldn't do but have now 180'd on. Dad was military, mom was a paramedic and volunteered a lot. Lots of moving, lots of extended periods of time with only one parent in the house. Swore to myself that I'd get a stable job that had had lots of free time. Although painful as a child, I eventually realized most of the qualities I like about myself were probably thanks in no small part to that type of childhood. No kids yet but I think I'll focus more on being a good example and quality of time spent rather than quantity.


Let It Fit The Crime

Using reasonable punishments and sticking to them. I remember i got in trouble for something as a kid, and my parents took away my PlayStation for 6 months (or so they threatened anyways) i can't remember what i did, but it wasn't that bad. They only stuck to their guns for about two weeks and honestly that didn't teach me all that much.

I really think having a private discussion with your SO before deciding on a punishment (or even in some cases letting them off without one, maybe a warning) is the logical and most beneficial course of action when trying to correct misbehavior. Also insuring clear boundaries helps a lot, too. If it's clear beforehand that missing curfew means you can't go out for a week afterwards, then they can learn more about the consequences of their actions.


Shots Shots Shots Shots Sh-Shots!

My parents refuse to vaccinate me. I'll say now, being unvaccinated hasn't caused me too much trouble, and I hope that trend continues until I'm old enough to get immunized, but if I ever even think of having kids I'm going to make sure that they'll have the security of knowing they won't get polio or the measles.


Always Be Allowed To Help


When I was little, when my dad was doing anything out in the yard my brother and I would ask if we could help.

The answer was always "You can help by staying out of the way."

My kids are always allowed to help, and so feel they can contribute, grow a sense of self worth, and an appreciation of group effort.


This has been the hardest thing for me as a parent, but I'm working on it. My four year old wants to help me do absolutely everything, but sometimes I just don't have the time to spend doing something in 30 minutes that should have taken 5. He loves helping with the laundry and dishes though, I'm just leery about cooking.


It's All Important

Minimize anything they pursue.


My mother would absolutely burn down any dream I had as a kid. Singer? Well, that's nice, but it will never happen." Gymnast? "We can't afford that." (But she never went without beer, weed, or smokes.)

I was 12, of course it wasn't gonna happen, but jesus woman, a little support!


Give Them Their Personal Space

Not spy on them cuz I don't like the friends they hang out with. Because of this it made me wanna pick sides and a chose my friends because they liked me for who I was, while my parents wanted me to be something I wasn't.

I feel like most of these (that aren't physical or sexual abuse related) are similar. Maybe our parents generation jus did things this way, it's cool to think we can change this and our children's generation can be better then we are :)


On And On And On


My mom could go on for hours for even small misbehaviors. Somehow, it usually looped around to how I didn't keep my room clean, even though the rest of the house was just as much of a mess or worse.

When I need to have a stern or serious discussion with my kids, I force myself to make my point in five minutes or less. I've even said stuff like, "Look, this is taking way too long, just don't do [disallowed thing] again, okay?"

I also apologize if I yell, as soon as I am emotionally able to after an angry outburst. I don't remember Mom ever doing that.


Stepping Over Your Work

Redo things they've done because it's not the exact way I would have done it.

My mom would re-fold the laundry or remake my bed. Drove me nuts and made me feel like why even bother trying?


I sometimes wonder if I was affected by this same kind of thing. Not exactly the same, but essentially, when I was a kid, my mom would tell me to clean my room and make my bed. I'd do exactly that to the best of my ability, then I'd go get her so she could tell me if I was done. It almost never failed, she'd tell me that my room wasn't clean enough and my bed wasn't made enough. Then I was left to try to figure out what I was missing. I would try straightening things more, then get her again, and she'd tell me the room still wasn't clean enough and the bed not made enough.

I would just feel baffled because I had no idea what more I could do before it was enough. I felt like there was some invisible mess that she could see but somehow I couldn't. I couldn't understand what I was missing and it would never be explained to me exactly what still needed to be straightened up, or what part of my bed still needed to be made.

So now as an adult, in just about any context, I often have this underlying self doubt that I am missing something, somehow, and I can't trust myself to know when I've done enough.


Put The Shoe On The Other Foot

Constantly comparing myself to other people's kids and belittling my own achievements


That's just the equivalent of comparing your parent's wages, house or job with other kid's parents


my parents always did this to me and then got really offended if i tried to do it to them. like if i dared mention a friend going on vacation they'd be super offended at the "comparison" when it wasn't even that. it really sucked :(


Come To Me With Everything

Be unapproachable.

Come talk to me any time about anything. Everything can be fixed.


My son hides things from his mom and waits until he can tell me because she won't respond appropriately. He lost a video game, and was lying to her about having lost it, but was so scared that she would find out he was lying. He told me in the car when I picked him up, and I told her I needed to look for something of his that he wanted. All he ended up doing was having it wedged in his game case where he couldn't see it. My six year old was giving himself anxiety because of a stupid Nintendo switch game because his mom would have belittled and spanked him instead of helping look for it. It breaks my heart.


Never Be Afraid To Admit


Refuse to admit I was wrong.


The only semblance of an apology I've ever received from my mother was, "I'm sorry you feel that way."

I don't think she's ever actually apologized or taken blame for her actions in my 30-odd conscious years.


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