People Share Their Worst 'Throw Him In The Deep End, He'll Learn To Swim' Parenting Experiences

People Share Their Worst 'Throw Him In The Deep End, He'll Learn To Swim' Parenting Experiences
Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

It's fair to say that just because you're a parent doesn't mean you have proper teaching abilities.

Just ask any teacher what it's like to stand at the front of a classroom and teach a lesson. It takes days, sometimes weeks, to organize all the parts of a skill set, manage the flow of information, structure out lessons to build off one another, to finally reach the ultimate goal of skill mastery. That being said, some parents do know high-quality techniques to help their child on the path to becoming a better and wiser human being,

These are not those parents. These parents think making their child suffer is the best way to go.

Reddit user, u/MynameMB, wanted to hear about what misguided parenting looks like when they asked:

What's your worst story from the "throw him in the pool, he'll learn how to swim" parenting style?

Reddit Users Share Their Best 'It's A Small World After All' Experience

Let's Get The People Who Take This All A Bit Too Literally Out Of The Way...

...because seriously, don't throw your kids into a pool if they don't know how to swim.


Don't ACTUALLY Make Them Sink Or Swim!

I actually used to be a swim teacher in college teaching private lessons in people's backyards because of parents who had thrown their kids into the pool to sink or swim. It was usually Mom's calling me for help because they heard from a friend of a friend that I was able to teach their kid and get them to like the water again in about a month or less. One kid, he was 7, I had to sit with him on the pool deck the whole first lesson and bring buckets of water to him, his Dad had dunked him multiple times and insisted that his son would just figure it out eventually because "that's how he learned."

Needless to say he was never home when I was there. The Mom had me come while Dad was at work. Four weeks later she had me come later in the afternoon so he would come home towards the end of the lesson. His Dad saw his son swimming and cried happy tears. He had no idea I had been there three days a week for a month. My favorite student was a 70 year old man who wanted to do a triathlon but never learned to swim because his Dad threw him in as a child. It took about 3 months total, a lot of hand holding on the steps and shallow end, but he finally achieved his goal and I got to cheer him on at the finish line. I still remember how each of my students clung to my arms and clawed at my neck in their first lessons.

I never dunked or forced anyone out of their comfort zone. My lessons had to be customized for each student to keep it fun and relaxing. The trauma in their eyes was haunting though.


Skills That Are Probably Best Taught Instead Of Unsympathetically Learned

There are lots of time when parents think they're teaching their child some valuable life lesson. Skills or knowledge that could be passed down for generations to come, as if they're brilliant teachers instructing for the first time. Upon further look, some of these could probably be fixed in a day with some talking.

Could You Even Do This One By Yourself?

they didn't want to teach me to tie my shoes, because my mum said "I had to learn that myself, so should you!"


Shower? Or, Torture Chamber?

When I was younger (5 or 6), my mom really wanted me to learn how to take showers so she wouldn't have to deal with bath time anymore. The thing was I was terrified of the shower for some reason. We ended up going on a vacation and our hotel bathroom had an enclosed glass shower with a sliding door. My mom turned on the water, threw my in there fully clothed, and held the door closed so I couldn't get out.

It didn't help that I was already afraid of wet enclosed spaces since my much older sisters would throw my brother and I into our old dirty hot tub with a foot of swamp water, close and sit on the lid while we screamed inside.

I'm a new mom, and I vow never to let my daughter experience this kind of trauma- especially at home.


How Could You Know?

'Just walk it off!'

My dad, when I developed a big nasty cyst on my toe when my mom was away on a stressful trip. She was not pleased to come back and have to immediately drive me to the hospital. It got to the point where I took one step on it and almost passed out.

He apologized afterward. Got a sandwich from a really good sandwich place and I forgave him. Now I laugh about it.


Well, That's Just Bad Luck

I was always a picky eater growing up. One time my mom sat me down with a small bowl of almonds and told me I couldn't get up out of my seat until I finished it. I insisted that I hated them and they were making my mouth itch, she thought I was just being difficult. I just started to swallow the almonds like pills because my mouth was so itchy from chewing on them.

A couple years later I saw and allergist and discovered I was allergic to tree nuts.



My younger cousin (4 at the time) was a climber and always needed help getting down. His dad told his mom to leave him. He'll either learn how to get down himself or stop climbing. Cousin ended up climbing onto the roof, fell off and got impaled on a fence pole. One very expensive trip to the er and he now has a cool scar on his thigh.


When Your Livelihood And Futures Are Literally On The Line

Every parent can look at their "sink or swim" approach as a form of preparation. Giving your child a small taste of what the future might hold for them. However, in these last few instances, you could argue the parent went a bit too far in one direction, actually showing them a full sampling of how terrible the world can be.

There's No Mistaking Lice

My mom was always "logical consequence for your poor decision making" but also "don't bother me unless your bleeding". She wanted to make sure we were ready for the real world and all.

Well one summer when I was 13 I got lice. I knew it was lice because bugs shouldn't be crawling out of your scalp and you head shouldn't itch that much. I told my mother for three weeks that I had lice. She kept waving me off and calling me over dramatic.

I finally got so pissed I got on the family computer, printed out a picture of lice, took it to her, pulled one of those f-ckers off of my scalp and put it next to the picture for a comparison. They had grown large enough at this point to be able to see easily.

My "logical consequence" for correcting identifying lice? A shaved head because two lice killing kits were too expensive. And being quarantined in my room for a week while my family fumigated the house. I still got in trouble for them not taking me seriously! "As a soon-to-be adult you need to make your needs know."

Same with my broken arm. Same when I was getting bullied. Same with the asthma.

My parents were big of giving us our "independence" and letting us solve our own problems. But without giving us the resources to actually be independent.


Literal, Actual, Burning Fire

Burned my hand after sticking it in the campfire at the age of 3 and immediately began crying and screaming. My brothers (most of them elementary school age at the time) asked my Dad if we were taking me to the hospital. He said "No." and kinda shrugged it off, thinking I didn't need it. I kept screaming until it was morning again.

Thankful to say 1) My hand is fine now. No long term complications. 2) My dad has changed a lot in the past 18 years, becoming a very caring, introspective and humble man who'd probably slide-tackle someone for doing what he did that day.


You Should Have Started Saving Yesterday

2 days after I graduated high school I came home to an empty house, all my stuff in a Uhaul because my mom and stepdad moved without me. I have been financially independent ever since, but a heads up would've been nice.

My real dad was not involved in this situation he was on the other side of the country. I am still close with him but he is very low income so he could not help me in this. I went no contact with my mom for about a year but she weaseled her was back in. I think I see her in person once every 2 years and I do not acknowledge my stepfather exists. I have been considering going no contact with my mom again recently


Learning To Drive

My step dad would get hammered and make me drive him home. I was 14 and couldn't drive stick and he was like you'll figure it out. This happened Maybe 3 times.


Okay, Maybe Help Your Child?

7 years old. Had an asthma attack at our camp in the middle of the night. At that time, treatment for an attack was a nebulizer machine that required electricity, which we didn't have at our camp. My parents kept telling me that I just had to calm down and breathe better so the attack would go away on its own.

They only intervened hours later because they couldn't sleep because of all the noise I was making as I choked and gasped for air. We drove 3 hours back to our house, passing multiple hospitals along the way because they were embarrassed that I was in such bad shape and blamed me for just not breathing properly. Fun times.


Seriously. Don't Actually Make Them Sink Or Swim.

This happened the city I live. Two parents took their 4 year old to the local large pond, and chucked the kid in and began to walk to the other side to "encourage" them to swim.

Well kid almost drowned and had permanent brain damage. Parents showed no remorse and at the trial said 'I did that to our other kid and they swam'


Take it easy on your kid.

Remember. They're just a kid. Most of the world is new to them, and the don't possess all the abilities to handle it, so it's up to you to teach them, and not always let them struggle to the point of death.

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