Parenting is a pretty subjective thing. What works for one family might be something another family finds ridiculous. Generally, we're all out here just trying to keep our kids alive and as happy and healthy as we can.
There are some parents who absolutely do NOT fit that mold. Whether it's malicious or not, there are about a zillion examples of trash parenting out there. One Reddit user asked:
What's the worst case of bad parenting you've ever witnessed?
The responses were heartbreaking and infuriating - mostly because there were just so many of them. We gathered a few replies for you here. You read these while we go hug as many kids as we can (with consent, of course. It would be weird otherwise.) Heads up, some of these may be hard to read or triggering for some people. Proceed with caution.
"She Still Came Out..."
When my mom was still living at home with my grandparents they had neighbors who had three kids. An older daughter who was slow/had some mental issues, a son, and another daughter. When she was pregnant with her son she was sitting on the porch downing a beer when another neighbor asked her if that was ok for the baby.
Her response was: "Well, I quit drinking with the first one and she still came out ret*rded".
The whole family pretty much excluded the oldest girl from everything they did
Home Town Hot Mess
I used to know a girl, we will call her Brittany. She had a bad habit of smoking, drinking, and using drugs during her pregnancy but our issues started before that.
Let's go back to before anyone knew she was pregnant.
I used to hang out with her crowd quite a bit. Brittany was being really pushy to people all night at one particular New Year's Eve party. I was pretty drunk and just trying to avoid her.... She kept telling me how tough she was and could take a punch to the gut from anyone. She kept pushing me and telling me she wasn't going to stop until I punched her. She kept cornering me, pushing me, hitting me.
I was weak. After a long time, I caved and hit her in the gut. Not very hard, but hard enough.. I'm still not proud of it, I should have left her alone.
She buckled and ended up crying on the couch. I was already mortified that I had broken down and actually hit her. I should have withstood her constant goading and regretted it immediately. I tried to comfort her and that's when she says.
What. The. F*ck. So this chick knew she was pregnant and kept cornering people to get them to punch her in the stomach!?!?
I talked to her for a bit after I hit her, trying to comfort her. Despite the rage boiling up in me, I calmed her down and sent her back up to the party. I left and walked home. It was several miles, but worth walking to get away from her.
Now fast forward 1 year from the New Years Eve incident. I haven't spoken to her since. But she posted on Facebook that her (almost year old) baby hasn't been developing normally after going to the doctors.
She wrote on Facebook: "I hope the guy that beat me while I was pregnant can live with himself."
Are you kidding me? I'm sure it had nothing to do with you drinking, smoking cigs and weed? Also, people said they had seen her on acid, but I can't confirm that.
I blocked her on Facebook.
Then fast forward about 2 weeks. It's a small town, things spread. I feel like everywhere I go I am getting weird looks. I ignore it. Then, I go to a bar and she is there. I decide to ignore her and go sit by best friend who is by the bar.
The people she is with come over to me, I am honestly confused as hell at this point. They tell me I need to go. The conversation goes something like this:
Me - "uhhh... what?"
Them - "You need to get out of here now."
Me - "Why?"
Them - "You f*cking get out now before I take you outside and make you bite that damn curb."
To make this story short, this girl turned a large portion of the town against me.
I moved, went back to college, got engaged, got a good job. Am doing fine now. But I HATE going back to my hometown. Absolutely hate it. I take my fiance back and she doesn't understand why I never want to go to any of the bars there.
That girl messed me up with her crazy weirdo bad parenting.
A Firefighter's Tale
I've been a Firefighter for almost 20 years, so I've seen a lot of bad stuff happen to a lot of innocent people - but the bad parent that comes to mind wasn't one that was trying to be a bad parent, they just made a really dumb decision and it ended up killing their child.
It was summer, late afternoon, and we were sent for a "person struck by a vehicle." When we arrived, the patient, a 24-ish year old male, was on the ground in the middle of a large apartment complex access road, and he was being restrained by the ambulance crew.
He had an altered level of consciousness (only responded to painful stimuli), his pupils were blown (or one was dilated and the other pinpoint, I can't remember), and he was combative as hell. He also had blood coming out of both ears, and when we used a 4 X 4 bandage to collect the blood, it showed it contained cerebral spinal fluid.
NOT GOOD SIGNS AT ALL.
As we jumped in to help the ambulance crew, I checked the car nearby for damage and found none. There was an older lady, maybe late 40's, standing next to the vehicle while she was being questioned by a police officer on the scene. Long story short, the patient started crashing fast. He was rushed to the hospital where we later learned he died.
The police officer came over as we were cleaning up the scene and asked "Did you hear what happened?"
Apparently the patient was the woman's son. She was leaving to go to the liquor store and had refused to buy her son beer. He got upset and jumped on her car, laughing, and said something like:
"You're taking me there even if I have to ride out here."
Then, according to her statement, she took off, gradually building up speed. He managed to climb from the hood to the roof where he was laying on his belly, screaming for her to stop, while holding on to the front windshield. She estimated she was going 30 to 40 mph when she slammed on the brakes, shooting him headfirst into the road, killing her son. She apparently couldn't understand that slamming on the breaks like that would stop the car, but not stop him
Ditching The Daughter
We offered to rent a room to a buddy of ours while he was going through his divorce. I walked into the kitchen to find his daughter (7 years old) asking me to feed her because she's hungry. I was the only other person home, so I fed her and called him to see where the hell he was at. He was at the bar... He left his daughter at home, told no one.
The divorce was due to adultery, they've both caught each other a few times and I guess they finally decided to end it. I didn't know the kind of guy he really was, I always had the impression that it was his wife who was holding his family back but it turns out it takes two to tango. He wasn't at the bar getting drunk. He was there chasing the bartender who he later moved into the house without even asking - while jobless and living rent free. The guy was a real POS, and the list of things could just go on and on.
While I do not believe their daughters physical well-being is in jeopardy, she is not being raised in a structured environment and her education is very much on their back burner. Unfortunately giving your child little to no hope for their future is not a crime and there's nothing we can do about that.
Lots of Snow, No Patience
Couple of weeks ago during a huge snowstorm in Montreal I heard a kid crying, probably 9 at night. Look through the window and there's a toddler in a snowsuit trying to trudge through the snow and bawling while his dad was yelling at him to hurry up, then said all his Christmas presents were going in the garbage.
The dad just walked away and left the kid standing there sobbing before coming back and hauling him over his shoulder. Bleh.
I rented a room from a family when I was at college. They were always really harsh with their teenage daughter and super adoring with her older brother.
I had to ask the dad to get rid of the signal jammer they had secretly installed to stop the daughter from being on her phone because I couldn't use my computer or phone (it randomly would kill the wifi signal). What really took the cake was the several hours (3+) that the mother spent yelling at the daughter one day.
It was like she was going through a book of "sh*t not to say to your teenage daughter" and said every thing in there. "You look like a hooker the way you put on your makeup", "you'll never amount to anything", "why can't you be more like your brother", you are fat, stupid, useless, ugly etc. Mom was just totally laying on her. The mother would yell and complain about pretty much anything the daughter did but that was really too far.
This was over ten years ago. I looked for her on Facebook and she's married with a kid and seems happy. It's worth noting she's not connected to her parents on social media.
Tied Up Like A Dog
When working in a box store about 10 years ago, a customer reported to me that they found a kid tied to a clothing rack. The mother had used her child leash to tie up her kid in an isolated corner while she shopped. We untied the kid, took him to my manager, and promptly called the cops.
I was going to pickup take out food around after school time. There was a lady and a small boy around 5-6 standing by the parking lot. The boy was drinking a Coke, when then he turned and tossed it about 15 ft over by a tree. He looked at me, so I said:
"Are you just going to leave that there?"
His mother whipped around and asked me if I was talking to her son. I replied that I was asking him if it was his intention to leave his litter by the tree. She went off about not talking to her child. There was a back and forth for about 15 seconds. Meanwhile the boy realizing he was wrong went to go pick up the can. The mom firmly told him no, but he said it's OK and walked over picked up the can and walked back to his mom.
She snatched it out of his hand and promptly threw it back by the tree. Stared me down and dragged the boy across the street.
Even the kid knew his mother was in the wrong.
Knew a guy in high school whose mom f*cked one of his friends after getting too drunk one night. She also taught him that: "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission."
He would have to pick her up from bars from the age of 13 because she was too smashed to drive herself home. Back then I thought she was the coolest, looking back I realized that she was just a terrible mother and a pretty horrible person overall.
She Deserves A Real Adult
Last night I spent two hours in the hospital with a 14 year old girl that tried to kill herself because I know both of her parents are f*ck-ups and couldn't be there for one sh*tty reason or another. But I was there, because she needed someone.
Her mom is a drunk 24/7 and works second shift, hasn't been there as a parent in years, the Dad is on the run from the law and not allowed in the state she lives in. She is one of the smartest and coolest kids ever, it shouldn't have to come to this for her. She deserves a real adult, an actual functioning person in her life.
I think Daddy needs to feel the leather.
I mean, I saw the autopsy report of a 4 year old who was beaten to death with a belt by his father... I'd say that ranks up there.
Humanity is dead!
This young kid (8) would turn up to school with obvious signs of abuse. One day he turned up and his tongue was sticking out of his mouth and his head shaking/bobbing back and forth from brain injury from the beating he got at home and the school just thought he was wrongly medicated. He would always have bruises all over him and lumps on his skull and no one questioned it!! It was a case of severe negligence, not only by his parents, but by the school and everyone who saw the boy. Someone apparently took him to hospital a few times (was it his grandmother or something?) and the hospital staff just brushed it off as "boys will be boys," play type bruises and said maybe he was wrongly medicated (for ADHD). The boy always said "he didn't remember" when people asked him how he hurt himself, turning up with new bruises and cuts every day.
Everyone just said he was clumsy because of ADHD. When he was at his worst - when his head was bobbing back and forth, bruises all over his body, the step father filmed him and showed his colleagues a video of the kid laughing and saying "look at what a wanker he is!!"
Two days later the kid could not even talk and was vomiting all over the place. He fell asleep that night and according to the step father, he went to check on him and he apparently died in his arms or some crap...
The ambulance came and found the kid strangled to death, with bits of paper shoved up his nose. The step father had also waited two hours or something to call the ambulance after he dies. But still claimed to be innocent. When asked about all the bruises everyone just said they didn't know.. Such a f**ked case.
The mother also denied everything and protected her boyfriend. After the step father was convicted, he trashed the grave/burial site of the kid and kicked the tomb stone over etc. This happened EVERY time he got out on parole while waiting for prison time. He denied trashing the grave and denied killing him, but the evidence was overwhelming. The grave just suddenly gets trashed the ONE day you have parole? He also said "the little boy is still f**king up our lives even after he's dead."
How much of an a**hole can you possibly be? 8 years old and neglected by the world. The worst part (perhaps) is that they have two new kids together today. Like ...... cringe. The mother has been interviewed after the case and even in the interviews, she's more pissed at her boyfriend having to be in prison then about the son she lost.
Some parents need a hard smack.
Wife's friend has two kids and a milquetoast husband. Went to the diner where the kids were allowed to climb on furniture, run around and eat as much as they wanted. The boy proceeded to vomit all over the floor a few tables away and ruined some other couple's meal. The parents ignored all of this. Made no effort to correct the kid or even clean up the mess. So much rage. I held it in and calmly informed the wife later that I would not subject myself to their company again. The next time they came to visit my wife, I made damn sure I was working.
Haven't seen them since.
You're a winner lady! Not in the good way!
I know a mother that lets her son basically walk all over her. He yells at her, swears at her, calls her a b**ch to her face, and she always just says yes to him. It is really kinda sad.
My previous downstairs neighbor was a large family, and the youngest kid was like 6 or 7, and 24/7 would be running around stomping his feet, screaming at the top of his lungs, the parents never did anything. What really set it off, is when at about 2am, he turned on the gas on the stove, and then went to bed. I woke up, smelled the gas, and had called the fire department, grabbed my most important stuff (safe of important papers, and my case with my rackmount audio gear, laptop, and studio monitors inn it) and ran outside. After everything is all over with, about 5:30 am, I had class at 8 am, and the mother comes to me yelling at me about calling the fire department.
I have seen a lot of bad parents, but that takes the cake in my opinion.
Kids are not pawns...
Heroine addicts begging at the traffic signal carrying their infants would pinch the child to make it cry louder and tell stories of how they haven't eaten in days and lots of people pay them. They earn enough to keep themselves alive and score their next fix. People have started handing them food instead of money to counter such practices but they still manage to earn enough for their drug expenditure.
You maybe out too early...
I used to work in Gamestation (now known as part of Game in the UK) and I had two scummy parents were at the counter buying a 2nd hand PS2. They had a cute little girl with them maybe 6yrs old or so?
Anyway while they were paying for the console the little girl was tugging on the father's coat because she's picked up some crappy kids game and wants it. After some persistent tugging the dad turns to the kid and yells, "FFS, I'M JUST OUT THE JAIL CAN I NOT HAVE ANYTHING FOR MYSELF?" and shoves the kid out the way.
I was amazed.
My wife's friend had twins the same time as we had our son. They are all 3 years old, 4 in a few months, but you'd think her twins are autistic. They can barely say their names whilst all the other parents in the community can have full conversations with their 3 year olds.
We had a chat with them because they were feeling down about how much more advanced other children were.
Long story short, we find out that they refuse to teach their kids anything. They figure since they pay for daycare that it's day cares job to raise and teach their children. They strongly refuse too. The father said "I'm not teaching my children f**k all, what are those daycare workers paid for. Lazy f**ks!"
On top of that he's a huge pot smoker and smokes a pack a day. We went to their place to find out "he only smokes in the bathroom," the entire place smelt of dope and cigarette and was smoggy.
He genuinely thought he was a good human being for only doing it in the bathroom lol, sigh. Those poor kids.
HOW IS BREEDING LEGAL FOR EVERYONE?!!
My boyfriend's cousin once went on about how nice his 5 year old daughter's a** was.
A** not butt or bum or anything like that, even though that would still be borderline not ok.
He had her young and is obsessed with "getting pu**y." His number one concern when looking for a future girlfriend is that she's as good looking as him.
Dad to the rescue.
I went to go drop my three year old off with her mom. Her mom was in a hurry so she asked me to put our daughter directly into her carseat in her car. When I did I noticed that the car seat was just resting on the seat. Literally not buckled in at all.
I calmly tell her that the seat isn't hooked up. She says it's too hard for her to buckle up. Okay... no biggie. They can be a pain to tighten properly. So I buckle it up like it is supposed to be. After a few minutes I have it nice and tight but it is ever so slightly canted because her seat is old and worn.
This whole time she is getting frustrated because it is taking too long. When I finish she sees that it is slightly crooked and gets pissed because "people will think she's a bad mom" and proceeds to push me out of the way and unbuckle it. Then she loads our daughter into it and speeds away with the car seat literally just resting on the seat.
I guess to some people appearances matter more than safety. I followed her and called the police. Then she tried to say I was stalking her to the police... who saw right through her bull.
Edit: A lot of people are asking if I tried to take custody from her after this. No I didn't- custody was already settled with each of us having her for half of the week. Truth be told she's not a bad mom- she was just really bad in this moment. looking at the bigger picture it wouldn't have been in my daughter's best interest to try and take custody because of this one misjudgment. The ticket, embarrassment and understanding that this is not acceptable behavior was enough.
Who did your homework?
I'm a teacher. There's a very subtle "bad parenting technique" that I see on a daily basis. It's parents covering for their student's mistakes. I have parents email me regularly to find out what the homework is. I have parents literally come to the school and turn in work for their students. I've had parents schedule meetings with the administration to dispute a student's exam grade (on a multiple choice test). While this may help a student's grade for a week, it cripples any future that he or she might have. Many of my students cannot rely on themselves or their own faculties to complete an assignment. They absolutely must have parental support. It makes me very worried for their college-career-life readiness.