Parenting is tough, and there is no such thing as a perfect parent.
Adults will always make honest mistakes when it comes to raising their children. Unfortunately, some of their misled beliefs about child raising can have lasting negative affects into their kid's adulthoods.
Redditor u/AlexDescendsIntoHell asked people to open up about how their parents unintentionally hurt them, by asking... "What is a seemingly harmless parenting mistake that will mess up a child later in life?"
20. Not letting children be emotional"Telling them to 'suck it up' because it give kids the thought that their feelings don't matter to anyone else and nobody will care for them if they tell people about their feelings. It gives children the thought that if they cry or even express their emotions, they're weak and nobody will care."
19. Parents acting like friends"Being a friend instead of being a parent, or otherwise blurring those lines."
18. Pushing gender roles
"Being told that I couldn't have GI Joe's because 'I was a girl', or being referred to as a 'tomboy', because I didnt want to wear MAKEUP at the age of NINE... God forbid."
17. Ignoring a child's health issues
"I used to get routine stomach aches after bedtime, my parents thought I was crying wolf- I now have health anxiety and OCD issues stemmed from it"
16. Statements like these
"'Because I told you so.'"
"Saying anything to the effect of 'Do as I say, not as I do'"
15. Yelling at them for the little things
"Yelling at them for common mistakes. I once got yelled at off failing one class, and from that day on I would hide any sort of bad school grade. Yelling at your children only teaches them to hid mistakes, or stop making them."
14. Exaggerating how smart they are
"Saying 'You're so smart!' rather than 'You figured it out!' when they solve a problem or complete a task. Doing the latter praises the process of learning over their innate intelligence."
It really isn't good for kids."
13. Trying to control their futures
"Trying to engineer your child. Parent's are meant to guide their children. You don't get to decide who they are going to be."
12. Gossiping about your childrenGiphy
"Using your kids secrets as gossip matterial. My mom did this with my aunt, both behind my back and right in front of me. Literally giggling and laughing about it with my aunt in front of our families.
Now she wonderes why i have issues trusting people and why i dont tell her very personal things or secrets anymore."
11. Forcing your opinion on them
"Not letting your children form their own opinions. It can absolutely hurt them mentally as you risk them going to a radical end of the political spectrum or end up turning psychotic in other instances."
10. Discouraging them from being curious.
"Discouraging them from asking questions. Yes it can be annoying to keep hearing "but why daddy/mummy?" but I've met far too many adults who admit they stopped asking questions because as a kid their parents would shut them up or be like "there he/she goes asking questions again." inquisitive minds need that fostered."
9. Telling them that cruelty is still love.
"Telling them that the family members who are mean to them or neglect them, love them."
"This is how it is in my house. My mother is the best mom i could have asked for but she refuses to see that my dad is mentally abusing and mocking all of his kids because he is always nice to her."
8. Lying about the fate of a pet.
"When I was four my parents adopted a kitten.
Of course I had never seen anything quite so delightful before and I could barely keep my hands off the little fur ball.
So about two or three days passed, I get up in the morning and walk out and ask "where is the kitten"? And my parents told me that he died - implying that my roughhousing had killed it. I was terrified to touch an animal for several years thereafter.
In fact they had simply given the kitten back to the people they got it from."
7. Not giving them responsibilities.Giphy
"Not having them do chores.
My parents pushed me to be academic - so doted on me hand and foot as a kid to make more room for study. When you're too young and stupid to know any better you think it's a blessing.
When I moved out to uni I didn't really know how to clean, when to clean, what to clean with, how to wash clothes, how to get them dry etc. The only thing I could do is cook and binge drink."
6. Telling kids about "adult" problems.
"Getting them involved in problems they have no control over. My parents felt the need to keep me in the loop regarding our pending foreclosure and argue in front of me over which one was to blame when I was ten. What possible reason is there to share that with a kid? I barely slept for months. I was convinced the cops were gonna bust in at midnight and throw us all outside."
5. Children will remember how you made them feel.
"The belief that they won't remember because they're young. I remember."
"I don't quite remember all the words my mom said to me, or all the specific things she did to me when I was younger, but I remember how she made me feel. That doesn't go away."
4. Not respecting a child's personal space.
"Not stopping when your child says "stop." Whether it's teasing, or tickling, or wresting. Kids who have parents that don't respect their boundries always seem to end up being the biggest bullies because they've learned they don't have to respect other people's feelings."
3. Never saying "sorry" for your mistakes.
"Never telling your child that you were wrong and that you're sorry. Just never once occurred. My father never once said I'm sorry to me. He was human , there were plenty of times he should have. My kids have heard from me plenty."
2. Breaking a promise is like telling a lie.
"Not following through with your promises. If you told your child you were buying ice cream tomorrow in the hopes that they'd forget and the next day when they ask you tell them no they'll see you as unreliable. (Ice cream is just the first thing that came to my mind, I'm sure someone else can explain better what I'm trying to say here without sounding so ridiculous)"
I taught my children at very young ages that outside of extreme circumstances failing to keep a promise made is the same as telling a lie.
1. Keeping a child from experiencing failures.Giphy
"Telling your kid they are always a winner. We love our kids and want them to feel special, but it's setting them up to be disappointed later in life when they find out not everyone can win. Let them feel the disappointments early on, and teach them it's ok. They'll grow up better able to handle the stresses of life."
Parenting is definitely not an easy task.
Parents are responsible for the wellbeing of a tiny human from the time they're born until they grow up and move out on their own.
They're bound to make a few mistakes along the way.
Some mistakes are definitely more hurtful than others, though.
Reddit user amklair asked:
"What are some of the worst parenting mistakes your 'well meaning parents' made while raising you?"
Getting mad at me for saying "bad" words. Getting mad at me for swearing I can understand, but my dad once flipped out on me because he thought I said "penis." (I said pianist) But even if I had said penis, getting angry with a child for using the correct anatomical term for the male reproductive organ is f**king ridiculous.
They were pushing me to be "perfect". By "perfection" they meant the girl that:
never raises her voice, always does as she is told to, (is everyone's pushover)
has the best grades at school but never gets higher education or a job and goes straight to becoming a stay-at-home mom, (is smart but not feminist)
doesn't wear make up, doesn't go out with friends, (only women that don't care about their family do these)
spends all her life with her family as close as possible. (has social skills but only limited to relatives)
My parents made a lot of mistakes but I think the one that really fits here is praising me for being really smart. As long as I could show that I was smart, I got praised.
Working hard didn't matter. Barely working at all didn't matter.
Once I got older and actually started to struggle with a few things, it was like someone took a hammer to a bottle inside me labeled "self worth."
My identity was based around being smart and just instantly understanding everything.
When that went wrong, I struggled. Working to understand something was an entirely foreign concept to me and just wasn't something I found myself capable of doing.
If I couldn't instantly get or do something, I dropped it. I also felt like crud.
I learned it was easier to just not try because trying and failing hurt a lot while not trying and failing didn't. I also managed to succeed in most things with barely any effort.
I dunno. It's stupid and hard to explain. Sorry.
On my 4-year birthday, my parents decided to baptize my brother. They had a big party with everyone from my family and stuff, and no one wished me a happy birthday.
I know they didn't think about it at all, but it's something I remember very clearly, I cried myself to sleep that night...
Holy crap was I sheltered. I was super sheltered to the point where when I got to the "real world", I had no idea what to do.
Hell, I'm 28 & STILL don't know anything.
I never got to hang with friends thus affecting my social skills, my mom would constantly degrade me if I couldn't figure out a problem even she couldn't do (for example, one of her favorite insults was "C'mon Chad, we're not re-inventing the wheel!" & yes, I am a Chad I might as well say.
Everything that we would do, always had to revolve around what my mom liked. It makes me feel like my hobbies are garbage & aren't worth the light of day.
She constantly interrupts me when speaking just to talk to someone else, which makes my words feel like they're worthless, like something that holds no value.
It's made me feel......empty & to be honest, I hate talking about my feelings because I feel like I don't know how to describe them without sounding like an emo 16 year old.
The clean plate rule and super strict diet. Now finish everything on my plate with compulsive relentlessness and have a really hard time moderating snacks.
A neighbor once felt so sorry for me that she gave me a small bag of chips for my birthday. I hid under my bed and ate them.
This does not lead to a healthy relationship with food.
Never explaining their decisions and reasoning. "I'm the mom, that's why."
Never apologizing when they made mistakes.
Showing love with material things.
Teaching me to be so polite that I couldn't say no to anything or stand up for myself.
This. My mom's favorite was "because I'm the parent and you're the child". I swear I heard it at least once a day.
All it did was make me rebel more/ probably do more dangerous things than I normally would've because I thought she was saying no just to be mean instead of explaining that certain actions could hurt me.
Telling me I was a good writer, then when I asked her to read things I wrote, being told "that has plot holes big enough to sail an aircraft carrier through". No further detail, no help, no identification of what exactly the hole was.
Fifth grade writing contest, I had been writing ongoing stories in a world I had created. Was gonna write up a new bit or recycle an old one in that world.
Mom decided she'd write her own story in my world with my characters and make me turn that in. I didn't make it past the first round.
Gave her a story I wrote later on for her to look over. She gave it back, having rewritten it.
All my complex sentences were reduced to subject verb object. The flow was gone, the tone was gone, just choppy words left.
I hate everything I write now, but everybody tells me to keep doing it because I'm "good" at it.
My grandparents had the philosophy that if one kid misbehaved, all the kids got the same punishment.
My mom has stories of coming home from some after school activity, having done absolutely nothing wrong, and getting spanked the minute she walked in the door, then sent to bed without dinner because her brother had done something that was completely unrelated to her.
How screwed up is that?
At best, it pits your children against each other and causes them to act out toward one another to avoid being punished.
Is that really what you want as a parent? A seven year old beating on his five year old brother to avoid having his own ass beaten?
Constantly upping the bar if I made B's then A's became the minimum. I watched my siblings once, oh then I got to watch them every week.
Nothing was ever good enough. I workout oh well your doing it wrong (I hated running).
I try to pray and be active in my faith, I'm "too into it." (Really wasn't they just didn't like anything that told them no).
All of this was to supposedly push me to achieve more and be stronger and instead I just gave up on trying because what's the point if getting B's which was really hard with my ADD wasn't good enough why bother trying for A's.
My internal monologue: "why bother doing the best for a lot of effort, when I can do decently with a lot less effort, and get yelled at the exact same no matter the result?"
Bottle It Up
Sometimes a kid just needs to be upset and have a parent listen and sympathize/empathize instead of approaching feeling negative emotions like a problem that needs to be fixed.
My brother and I were never allowed to be upset or angry or sad without being just hounded to death about needing to just let things go and think positively.
I was one of those "model gorgeous" kids and my parents basically made my worth about my looks.
I now have an eating disorder and really low self esteem because I was taught my accomplishments didn't matter as long as I looked pretty.
As we grow older we tend to realize that parents we thought had all the answers were just figuring out as they went.
There are some things we can give a pass... but some we will have to discuss in therapy for years.
Maybe even group therapy.
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Former child here. Parenting is hard, but being a kid is even harder. Everything parents do affects children for life, and little things like constant criticism add up.
itallwenttitsup asked: What's the worst thing you've seen a parent do that will f*ck their child up for life?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.