Family camping
Photo by Tegan Mierle on Unsplash

No two people have the same style when it comes to parenting.

Some people have a more nurturing approach, who never force anything on their children, and allow them to develop certain skills, from using the potty to riding a bicycle, in their own time.

Others have a more "tough love" approach.

The sort of people who, as the saying goes, throw their children head first in the deep end and let them figure out how to swim.

No doubt, such a technique will teach their children resilience and determination.

Even though, the chances of some of these situations backfiring is extremely likely.

As are the chances of lasting trauma for the children.


Redditor MynameMB was curious to hear people's firsthand horror stories of when their parents threw them head first in the deep end, leading them to ask:
"What's your worst story from the "throw him in the pool, he'll learn how to swim" parenting style?"

Becoming One With Nature

"I had never gone camping before I was 11, I really wanted to go with my ten-year-old cousin."

"My parents took me to the woods, and handed us the tent and a half-full bag of ranch Doritios , and like a pack of bratwursts, and my seven-year-old sister."

"Then they pulled off, leaving us to camp for the first time alone in the woods with a seven-year-old."

"Not a fun weekend."

"I never went camping again, but it was apparently fine because that's how my dad and uncle learned."

"I'm just grateful for the lack of serial killers, and black bears."- UrDadTxtMe

Out On The Open Road

"My dad, when he decided to give me driving lessons when I was a teenager, which turned out to be a driving lessON, singular."

"He took me to the parking lot across the street from our house, and had me tool around to get used to the steering and pedals for about 15 minutes."

"Then, annoyed that I wasn't catching on fast enough for his taste, he decided we should go on the actual road and I'd learn faster in a more challenging environment."

"Cue him barking orders to 'speed up, slow down, HIT THE BRAKES!' in an increasingly frustrated voice as I tooled along, terrified I was going to hit someone."

"The culmination of our lesson came when he noticed we were low on gas, and told me to pull into the gas station."

"Keep in mind- my sum total of driving experience at this point was about 25 minutes, which did not include parallel parking."

"I pulled into the gas station and came at the pump at something like a 30-degree angle."

"He grabbed the steering wheel to correct and actually yelled at me, 'JESUS CHRIST!! DON'T YOU KNOW HOW TO DRIVE?!'"

"To which I said, 'NO!!! I DON'T!! YOU'RE TEACHING ME, REMEMBER?!'"

"He drove back home silently."

"That was the end of Dad's driving lessons. I signed up with a driving school after that."- SigourneyReaver

Tough Love At It's Toughest

"I got stung by a bee and my mother was convinced I was faking."

"At the point I started to struggle to breathe, she finally irritatingly relented and made me walk to the hospital pushing my baby brother's stroller the entire way."

"When I got there, the staff were horrified, rushed me in to give me an epinephrine shot, and luckily that did the trick."

"Many months later, a bee got into my bedroom, and my father called me a pu**y for coming and getting him to deal with it, instead of dealing with it myself."

"'You have to learn how to deal with these things sometime!'"

"Or, like, you know, I could just ask someone not allergic to bees to come and safely deal with the bee instead of risking hospitalization?"

"My parents were terrible, and abusive for for more than just this one single incident."

"I have been NC for about twenty years because of the way they treated me as a child."

"I have countless incidents like this from both of them, this one just stood out at the time I was replying to this."- ShofieMahowyn

The Only Way To Teach Children How To Swim is by TEACHING THEM HOW TO SWIM!

"Not my story, but my mom's."

"She developed a phobia after she was thrown into a pool to learn how to swim."

"At the age of 70, she still doesn't know how to."

"She's terrified of being on the water, even in a safety vest."

"And then, some fake clairvoyant told her she would die by drowning."

"So we spent our summers in the mountains as far away from being on water."- myuniquenameonreddi

"I was scared of the deep end so my dad threw me in."

"My cousin parked an inflatable mattress in the corner I was in immediately."

"My parents supposedly yelled at him to move, he didn't."

"I don't know how long I was was under the mattress for, but I was spitting up water/choking when I came back up."

"I was maybe 6 at the time?"- Gone_cognito

Some People Really Are That Stubborn...

"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."

"He did not stop climbing, he just got better ways to get off the roof."- idontdigdinosaurs

A Baby? Seriously?!?!

"My father in law decided when his first child was born that they, he and his wife, would NOT go to the baby when he started crying in the middle of the night."

"In order to teach him that crying doesn’t get you anything in this world."

"Turns out, newborns need to be fed every two hours."

"So it’s a good thing my mother in law ignored him and went to their newborn son, otherwise he might have died."- ApolloStaples

Surprising As It May Seem, Some Children Do Tell The Truth

"Hurt my arm playing football during morning break at school, was sent home by the school nurse."

"My dad said it was fine, bandaged it and sent me to school the next day only for them to send me home again within an hour."

"My mum made my dad take me to hospital and my arm was broken."

"My wrist had spilt lengthways, it was in casts for 9 months."

"I was secretly buzzing to be honest because, well, that showed him the knob."-Reddit

Everyone needs a little tough love every now and again.

Of course, the important element of tough love is the love, not the toughness.

And one can't help but wonder if parents putting their children in potentially deadly situations are actually acts of love?