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Most would agree being a parent is a thankless job with the only notable reward being you get to be a parent. With no other visible benefits, it can be hard to do what's best for your child without knowing the long term ramifications. That being said, the following entries showcase a few simple truths any parent can follow to not screw up their kids.

Reddit user, u/goldlattes, wanted to know what NOT to do when they asked:

What do a lot of parents do that screws up their kid?

Let Them Be Kids


Not respecting a child/teens privacy.

Yes, kids will do things wrong but not every secret they keep is doing something negative. Treating every thing a child keeps from an adult as something bad will bring on trust issues later in life. Personal growth is something that is learned and it takes mistakes to accomplish this.


They're Not Always Gonna Do What You Expect

Punish them for doing something good.

For example if the kid is in his/her room for a long time while guests are over, and when he/she comes out of their room the parent says "look who came out of their cave". This highlights the fact that they were in their room and will worsen social anxiety in the future.


Never Let It Go Unsaid

The silent treatment:

Not saying a word to their kids for hours or days at a time, and never explaining why the parent is mad or upset. The child is left alone, trying to figure out what's going on in their parent's head.


Never Shame Them For Sharing

Mocking them.


I was teased relentlessly by my family, parents and extended, anytime they found out that I liked a girl. "Baketoven's got a girrrrl friend" song. From godam adults!

What it taught me: Never, under any circumstances, let people know personal things. It helped me get through adolescence, but was murder on personal relationships.


"You're Just Teaching Your Kid How To Lie And Hide Things From You."

Being over protective and strict, you're just teaching your kid how to lie and hide things from you, you aren't making them a better person.


My father was too strict on a well-behaved child like me. He also thought I was always lying. So then he took it into his head that whenever I seemed nervous after he asked me a question, it must have meant I was lying, while in fact I was just nervous because I thought he might think I am lying. Plus he always claimed to be good at reading people, which he obviously wasn't.


Never Be Afraid To Apologize

Take their anger out on their kids and never apologize for it


I've had a couple of times where I can feel myself getting unnecessarily angry at my kids so I generally say something like "I'm going to go sit in my room for 5 minutes to cool down because I'm getting too angry, I will talk to you when I come back out". Then when I come back out, I generally say "I'm very sorry for yelling and getting so angry. You're still in trouble because what you did wasn't good but that was no excuse for me to yell like I did, so I am very sorry for that" and often they use that as their segue into apologising for what they did wrong. Then hugging.

It may not be the right way to go about it but my mother refused to apologise and would double down instead and I'm determined not to be like her.


Let Them See The Ending

Arguing in front of each other, as well as with other people constantly.


Also, if they argue, not showing how the arguments are resolved.


Never Not Give The Answers

Discouraging questions and curiosity, i.e. answering with "because I said so" or otherwise belittling inquisitiveness. I think this impedes critical thinking later on in life.


Each Sibling Is Unique

Compare them to their siblings. As the middle child & only daughter, my dad raised me like my brothers & thought it was the same thing. As I got older I had more issues: depression, anxiety/social anxiety, being introverted, suicidal & just being different over all. My dad would constantly compare me to my older & younger brother whenever I messed up

"FMJ, why can't you be like your older brother? He never had problems with ____" Older brother didn't struggle with ADD & wasn't cutting himself "You're failing math?? Your younger brother is in 8th grade math & his grades are better than yours!" Younger brother was actually talked to if he had problems, you just assumed I'm 'moody' & 'lazy'


This Is How You Get Brats

Only having one child and babying them to no ends.


They Are Not Your Second Chance

Live out their own dissapointments through their kid and compensating for them by forcing the unfullfiled goals onto the child. Basically forcing them to be someone they are not.

Expecting success at all costs.

Not taking child's mental health into consideration and behave aggressively or even being abusive.


They Have Problems, Too

Disregard any problems or feelings their kid may have. When I came out as bi-sexual my mum told me it was just a phase and that I'd get over it soon. When I told her I got panic attacks at school she said that I was just being silly and that her problems are worse then mine. It's given me a lot of trust issues and I find it really hard to open up to people.


Grades Are The Least Important Part Of School

Children growing up aren't just letters on a report card. My parents defined all of of their perceptions of me based on how well I was doing in school. I'd have an off year every other year where I was struggling, and my life didn't seem to get better until summer came around. By the next school year, things were great before I failed a test or bombed an assignment. Then, it became the same stupid cycle of psychological abuse. I'm still getting micro-managed by them even though I'm now in university.

Children are more than a sheet of f-cking paper with some arbitrary ass letters on them.


Never Be Afraid To Say, "I'm Sorry"

When parents don't apologize to their kids.

My mom never did and it really led to some respect issues between us that aren't completely resolved, even to this day.



Use gemstones, essential oils, and not vaccines. I call it "The Karen Pack".


For A Change Of Pace

On the opposite end of some of these, being too 'lax' with your parenting. My parents taught me that consequences will bite me in the ass hard, but never made an attempt to take me out to be with other people my age, and I was at just the perfect age to be born between generations. All my older cousins thought they were too old to hang out with some kid, all my younger cousins were just too young for me to understand.

I ended up relentlessly bullied because I didn't know how to interact with people my age and still don't. Now that I'm an adult it's easier, but I wish my parents had realised a mature seeming kid still needs to talk to people, especially people their age.


Just Be Up Front About Your Interests

Lie about the fact that they're seeing someone when we obviously know that they are. That sh-t hurts. Because no matter how much you love your parents, you just can't get over the fact that they aren't telling you the truth. Both my parents are divorced by the way.

And it's both of them too.

Before they had gotten a divorce, they also had a lot of quarrels which had seriously messed me up because of how heated it went.

I don't care if I don't like them, if you tell me that you're seeing someone then tell me. There's something called changing for someone so that they can be happy.


Focus On Your Own Kid

Compare them to other "better" kids.


Food Is Food


Setting them up to have an unhealthy relationship with food.


Never Make A Promise You Can't Keep

Make promises they don't keep.

Good or bad -- it is as bad to not give a punishment that should have happened as it is to not do that trip to Disneyland you said you would. You become unpredictable.


So much this. A taste of honey is worse than none at all.


Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

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