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As much as adults regularly hammer home the importance of honesty with their children, parents are responsible for a significant amount of white lies and bent truth.

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Image by Madalin Calita from Pixabay

At some point in our innocent lives, we've had wild imaginations in which we've conjured up companions to play with.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It can be easy to presume that parents and their children get along automatically.

But unfortunately, that is so far from the truth. There are SO many fraught, toxic, and already-destroyed relationships between children and their parents.

Of course, no parent sets off hoping it gets to that point. But sometimes the external circumstances, the other adults in the child's life, or the internal tendencies of that person--who is an autonomous individual--simply drive a wedge that, for parents, is impossible to surmount.

Some Redditors who are involved in a toxic parent-child relationship shared how it got there.

TheHeyHeyMan asked, "Parents who dislike their own children; why?"

People Explain The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them On Their Birthday

A common thread was the negative response that many parents have to their children reliving their own flaws and struggles.

Many parents evidently treat child-rearing as a chance to perfect all the things that went wrong in their own lives. And when that doesn't happen, the all-too familiar person can be difficult to accept.

Churning Out Duplicates

"Probably because they're too much like me. I like to think that as a parent part of my job is to eliminate my foibles by helping my children be better than me. My failure as a parent instead has been to create copies; what I dislike about them is also what I hate about myself."

"Sometimes the harder you try the bigger you fail."

"P.S. I love my children."

-- Canadabigjack

 A Flawed Approach

"Because after his mom died , I stopped disciplining him. I thought if I gave him everything I never had ; coolest clothes , shoes, toys , dirt bikes, game consoles etc would make me a good parent. I was wrong."

"He's about to turn 18 and i can't even stand to be in the same room as him. He's manipulative, mean, arrogant and condescending. And it's all my fault."

-- dakipsta

Projecting Onto a Clone 

"I am not a parent, but a child who is not loved. Everything is quite ordinary, I just resemble my father, both in appearance and character, so my mother considered this a great reason for physical violence and discrimination among other 'right' children."

"As a result, my mother and I do not communicate, she abandoned me at the age of 12. The last thing I heard was, 'you should be grateful that I put up with you until you were a teenager.' Thank you for doing your job. Thank you, you disgusting person."

-- Siberia_Veronika

The Last Person He Wanted Recreated

"I hate my daughter bc she has all the bad characteristics of her mother and none of the good ones."

"She's mean, aggressive, demanding, she hits her classmates, gets violent when she doesn't get what she wants, yells loudly to overpower anyone around her when she can't use physical violence. She breaks things that aren't hers. She actually looks down on everyone around her; it's crazy, you can actually see it. She's six."

"....obviously, I am not the one who raises her. She's got a hard life ahead of her. Poor girl."

-- FBreath

Others were more puzzled by the person their child turned out to be. These parents could not understand how, given the upbringing they provided, their child could ultimately be so unkind.

Choosing a Different Version of Community 

"He has no conscience. He has brutalized people over rumors, you could watch him steal something, catch him with it, and he would lie. He ended up shooting someone."

"He grew up with an upper middle class suburban family that no one had ever even been arrested. My wife and I come from good families, he had so many aunts uncles, grandparents, cousins who all supported and loved him. He could have gone to college for whatever he wanted."

"He chose to join a gang. Then we found out he tells everyone he turned out this way because his mother beat him and I was always passed out drunk (neither are at all true.)."

"I can't deal anymore. It put me in the mental hospital multiple times."

"I just had to write him out of my life."

"His brother had a great childhood and is pursuing his Doctorate."

-- middleagethreat

Too Late to Turn it Around?

"I'm not a parent but my uncle and aunt really hate their son because he's accomplished nothing in life and is a complete failure but still has an ego higher than the Mount Everest."

"He's always mean to everyone."

-- 6Butcher6

A Whirlwind Debacle

"He did terrible in school, became a drug dealer, squatted in a house owned by the family, decided it'd be a good idea to start a METH LAB in the basement of said house, and then hired a crappy tv lawyer to blackmail us into selling the house back to him!"

-- WesternAd9143

Others discussed the ways external circumstances--particularly around the birth of the child--that played into growing dislike as they grew up.

Cannot Accept What Happened 

​"my mother wanted a boy, had one before me but it was a miscarriage, i was conceived a year after, i was an early delivery, she was in coma for 2 weeks and after that she did not take me or touch me or look at me or even fed me for days."

"my dad took care of me and looked after me. she still curses me and wishes it was a boy"

-- Powerful-Slice-9

The Product of Infidelity 

"My father was sober for 18 years before I was born, then only started drinking again once my mom got pregnant with me. This eventually led to my father cheating, and my parents getting divorced. Since my birth was technically to blame for this, both of my parents despise me."

"I'm not old enough to move out of my mom's house yet, so I'm spending just about every day hiding in my room, making as little noise as possible, and trying to bother as few people as I can."

-- HexagonPenis

Arm's Length 

"My mother does not like me because she never got attached to me at birth. A year before my twin sister and I were born, our parents had triplets who all died after a few days. Untreated trauma followed. I was born nearly suffocated and poorly, so my mother, wanting to protect herself from more trauma, never attached to me. She did however to my twin sister who was born healthy and thrived."

"Years went by and this initial lack of attached turned into resentment or dislike during my childhood because by the time we were eight years old, our parents were divorced, and I physically resembled my dead-beat father. This only worsened during my teenage years as I was beginning to act up years of neglect and became depressed. She disliked the signs of her own doing neglectful parenting and lack of love in me. I remind her of that."

"Ever since we have pretended to get along, but the relationship is never really there. I am a mother of two myself now and have taken all of this on board trying to do better. I am also trying to understand her. That ultimately this was not her fault."

-- TiinaWithTwoEyes


There's no question about it, this was a very depressing list to read through. But hopefully there are some lessons we can glean from these posts.

Maybe you surmised a way to make sure you don't do the same thing if you already have or plan to have kids.

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Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

I used to be super freakin' gullible. It's easy to blindly trust people sometimes, until you learn otherwise. Because there are people out there that lie for fun, for some reason. I don't get it.

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Image by 👀 Mabel Amber 👀, Messianic Mystery Guest from Pixabay

In a perfect world, each child's parents have the time, energy, and emotional bandwidth to offer their undivided attention whenever it's asked for.

These utopian parents could take an extended time to answer strange questions, more compassionately persuade children to improve behavior, and even give honest, age-appropriate answers about all things birds and bees.

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