People Share Which Bad Parenting Tactics Are Sure To Screw A Kid Up


Save some money for those therapy bills!

Children don't come with instructions. As a parent you are inevitably going to screw your kids up in some way. You can't avoid it, you can only hope the damage is minimal and that the they find talented therapists to later. Though you can't always be perfect you can be vigilant with your actions and behaviors, remember, the children are always watching.

Redditor u/Tubu_ wanted parents out there to fess up to their and other's parenting issues gone awry by asking.... What is some bad parenting that messes the kid up?



Punishing emotions and the reaction instead of teaching emotional control and accountability for one's actions. Cursethewind


This messed me up for a loooong time. I was constantly getting punished for being upset. Sorry that screaming at me for crying and screaming never worked at getting me to handle my emotions better, folks.

I'm still trying to fix this, at age 30. Like, I'll get shaky and tear up over even minor conversations about conflict. It sucks. TheLoveliestKaren

The Forever Victim.... 

Playing the victim card whenever something goes wrong. The child will adopt a similar reaction to problems when they occur and no one will get anywhere productively. HyteMast

This hit pretty close to home. My mom would always play the victim when we argued, and it made me give in every time. One day I figured out what she was doing, so when she whipped out the victim card in this one argument I told her "you know, you are so good at playing the victim you should carry some body chalk" and no longer let it budge me from an argument.

Chaos Rules! 

Inconsistent rules. If you say "no X until you have finished Y" enforce it. If you don't mean it, don't say it. If you as a parent don't have the discipline to enforce the rules you make, how can you expect your child to learn anything positive about discipline or rules? DentedAnvil


Helicopter parenting. Mine was to the point of total isolation. I wasn't allowed to go to school (I got pulled out and home schooled), go in my backyard, or even visit friends without a parent present until I was 18. 10CloverfieldPain

It's hard being a non-helicopter parent in a community FULL of helicopter parents. I let my kinder son climb, run, jump, and practice independence when we're out in public. I'll get confronted by adults saying,

You know your son is doing x.

Yes I know I see him.

But he's doing x.

Yes he is.

Ok just letting you know.

Thank you. ghingly

Just Admit it! 


When losing an argument the parent doubles down and doesn't acknowledge they may be wrong. Like ever. Something- problem with authority figures -something. EndingTempest

A Diagnosis saves lives.... 

My mom would tell me to do chores, do all my homework, and read before I could play with friends. I'd regularly do everything, but about 50% of the time she'd change her mind and wouldn't let me go play at the end of doing everything she asked. I'd end up crying in my room because I was so confused with the instability. She went undiagnosed with bi-polar depression, until I was 14, but as a kid I didn't understand why she'd say one thing and do the opposite. I developed severe trust issues because of it and still have to work very hard to trust anyone today. volcom2096

No Laughing Matter! 

Using your kid as a joke. Like doing or saying something to get a reaction out of them for an audience. Redbronze1019

That is beyond bad parenting and into the area of mental abuse. poopellar

Happens a lot more often then you would think actually. Blue-Velvet_Cake

Hollow Love.... 

Empty threats/promises. willi3blaz3

This one is hard to watch. A family member was always like this she would yell at the kids to not do something, stop paying attention when they started doing it again and then completely ignore the behavior. She would then randomly use physical discipline because they didn't listen. PonderingWaterBridge

Shame on you mom and dad! 

Shaming the kids for mistakes they make such as bed wetting, spilling things, etc. people make mistakes and kids need to know it's okay to mess up sometimes. krys678

I totally agree. My mom would get so mad when I'd wet the bed. It started at 8 years old and continued until I was 12. At least 3 nights a week. It got to the point when I was about 9 that I would get up, change my mattress cover, sheets, and pajamas, wash and dry them myself and clean up without ever waking my mom because she was so upset every time. It became super shameful for me and I became a very secretive and introverted kid. I formed this unending desire to be perfect and would verbally abuse myself (talking in my head) whenever I made a mistake, especially bed wetting (I'd usually end up in tears every time), shattering my self-confidence. volcom2096

War of Words....


Berating them when they have different opinion than yours. This forces them to keep their thoughts to themselves. deria_martell

Let Love Be Love! 

Making fun of or teasing them for their romantic interests. Adolescents aren't confident. They already feel foolish. It's like kicking a pet. And it can have the effect of delaying and ruining their confidence with romantic interests. FalstaffsMind

Early Parenting... 

Definitely forcing the eldest to be like a third parent to the younger ones. I always feel so much responsibility for everyone, even my friends, all the time that can make it hard to unwind. rillamyrillablythe

Looking back this one is even more messed up than it seemed then... when i was 8 i used to take care of a 2 year old for days at a time, making baby food on the stove etc. every time my mother came back to my sis crying, i'd get smacked pretty hard. now when i see 8 year olds i cannot imagine putting them in the same situation. hieromance

More than one Side...


Never accepting your kid is right and that you are wrong sometimes. Never letting your kid gain confidence in their opinion. Sometimes, you owe your kid a big apology and don't get mad when your kid speaks back to you, it's called a debate. EMC1894

Be Perfect Always! 

Basing their entire worth on achievement. How many "smart kids" from elementary school do you know that have trash mental health now? Probably a lot. queenfool

Like A Virgin.... 

Acting as though your kid is never going to be an adult and experience adult things like sex.

Teach them about safe sex, protection and consent but don't act like they are never going to have it. It's not cute or funny to say your daughter will date when she's 30.

How do you think you made your kid? How do you think your parents made you? dontwantanaccount

Feel the Emotions... 

Not allowing your child to be angry. I see it so many times with friend's kids or relatives. Children get mad and react and the adult immediately says something along the lines of "fix your attitude." Children have emotions too and need to be taught to express and work through them in order to be a part of civilized society. emilita29

They're "Worth It!" 

Not supporting their interests, or only supporting what you view as "worth it." I tried a lot of different things as a kid, trying to find myself, as I'm sure most kids do. Parents stopped showing up to concerts because "well the band isn't very good," or soccer games when we had a losing record. I remember getting yelled at for wasting my time with sports if we weren't going to win. Was told going into college that theater wasn't worth pursuing because it isn't a "safe" career. The only real encouragement I got was when it came to academics (it will possibly not come as a surprise that my dad works in academia).

Now nearly a decade out of college, no real career after trying and burning out on two grad school programs, primarily from some heavy anxiety even completing assignments if they weren't going to be perfect. I wish I had pursued something I was passionate about, instead of dropping them one at a time because they weren't "worth it."

Give them Trust....

Teaching them to fear authority by policing their every move. Not allowing them to make some of their own decisions or have a say in what happens in their lives. Refusing to listen to their opinions and speaking over them, I think the most damaging thing my father has ever done to me was not allowing me to share my point of view or talk back to him in any way. It made me dangerously submissive and allowed me to get myself into situations that could have been avoided if I knew how to say "no." scomixio

Be Calm... 

Screaming at your child until they don't know right from left then being overtly kind to pull them in closer. Breeds all sorts of anger issues, trust issues and resentment.

Continually bragging about things your child is not proud of to other people. Cheapens the experience being shared, & the annoyance company inevitably feels makes you afraid of the limelight. The connection with the parent also feels more superficial.

Any kind of "being harder to make them hard" kind of treatment. I get saying "no" when necessary but teaching a child that the pain their own family inflicts on them is for the sake of growth will either make the child passive or feel like a martyr. dzyrider

One last bite....


Making them "finish their plate," every time, regardless. Shaming them for eating too much/too little. Best way to encourage an eating disorder at an early age. crsuperman34


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