21 Times Parents Completely Missed The Ball With Their Parenting Methods, According To Their Kids

On Monday, Reddit user u/VastPurpleSky asked, “Now that you’ve grown up, what did your parents do that you now realize was bad parenting?” And it didn’t take long for the comments to pour in!

A mom and daughter both holding cigarettes and glasses of wine.

Please be advised that some submissions have been edited due to length and/or clarity.

Jeangill / Getty Images

1.“Made us feel like they were doing us a favor by raising us. For a long time, I felt like I was indebted to my parents and that nothing I did would ever be enough.”


2.“Letting the TV be a babysitter.”


3.“My dad trauma-dumped all these really dark and twisted details of what he went through on me, as if I was his therapist.”


A dad speaking with his daughter.

Andy Sacks / Getty Images

4.“My parents moved house basically every other year. For them, it was for a new job and new opportunities, but for me, it meant regularly losing all my friends, transferring to a new school, etc. I never built up a circle of friends, and I still have problems doing so to this day.”


5.“They still think spanking is one of the best forms of punishment.”


6.“Laughing at me for various shit like music, my hobbies, girlfriends, and even my body, and then said they were ‘joking.’ It took a lot to get my confidence back, and they wonder why I don’t tell them anything about my life.”


Two parents fighting over their daughter.

Prostock-studio / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7.“Refusing to apply for Medicaid or food stamps because they weren’t ‘trashy’ people. They let me and my sister go sick/hungry because of their pride. This one makes me extra angry, because now as an adult, I know they qualified for it. Also, my maternal grandparents were well-off and could have helped, but my mother would’ve rather starved than accept their scrutiny.”


8.“They never ever said, ‘I love you’ to me. Seriously, how fucked is that?”


9.“It wasn’t good for my work ethic to be told how smart I was all the time. It definitely made me feel like I didn’t have to try very hard in school, extracurriculars, or at work.”


A child wincing and protecting themselves from getting hit.

Boris Jovanovic / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10.“Ignoring my autism diagnosis and acting as if I’d be fine in life if they treated me like everyone else. Turns out, a huge part of learning to navigate the world when you have autism involves learning coping strategies. I was pushed into situations that caused meltdowns without those strategies. I just became an anxious and depressed mess.”


11.“The tooth fairy gave me $20 per tooth, so I rushed to get a few out.”


12.“Responding with, ‘Do this because I said so.’ It seems harmless, right? It can teach stubborn kids respect and obedience. My mom would often use it, and I wasn’t allowed to question things or point out mistakes. Now as an adult, I developed an inferior mindset. I’m often extremely obedient when interacting with people. I find it hard to find my own voice.”


A mother kissing her son on the cheek while the father smiles and helps him hold up a trophy.

Karan Kapoor / Getty Images

13.“If I mentioned wanting to do anything, I was given a long list of how it could and would go wrong, to the point where I felt beaten down and didn’t want to do it anymore. Then I was accused of never sticking to anything.”


14.“My dad would always buy my brother and I whatever we wanted if he hit or yelled at us. Now that I’m older, I realized he only did it so we didn’t tell our mom.”


15.“I absolutely CANNOT stress enough how important it is to show up to your child’s extracurricular activities. I played tennis all four years of high school and did marching band as well, and I can count on one hand how many times they even bothered to show up. Your job is never going to remember you worked there, but your child will always remember you weren’t there.”


Two co-workers arguing.

Kazuma Seki / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16.“They didn’t allow me to go out with my friends at all. I was basically grounded by default. My weekend schedule was jam-packed with various lessons. As a result, I took longer to develop social skills.”


17.“Completely shut down any kind of relationship conversation. It was a blanket ‘no.’ It wasn’t up for debate. I grew up in a pretty conservative part of the world, but that’s not an excuse to treat having a boyfriend as sacrilegious.”


18.“All the weight comments. I was always a chunky kid and definitely needed/need to lose the weight, but I’ve never been able to shake the idea that I don’t deserve to be loved, because of those comments. I can always look down and see 50 extra reasons to hate myself.”


A little girl trying to get her dad's attention as he looks at the TV

Shapecharge / Getty Images

19.“Comparing my sister and I, then making us compete for their approval. ‘X, why can’t you be independent like Y?’ ‘Y, look at your sister’s grades. You should learn from her.’ It is so engraved in our brains that we compete naturally and subconsciously now, even as adults. Needless to say, our relationship isn’t the best.”


20.“Learning at an early age to bottle up emotions. No one can hurt you if you don’t feel. Growing up, I was constantly needled about my emotions. They’d basically bully and make fun of me until I either broke and cried, to which I’d be disciplined, or just go numb. Now, as an adult, I’m emotionally stunted and have a difficult time connecting with anyone in that way.”


21.“‘You need to try your best in school.’ This doesn’t sound bad, right? I would agree, but anytime I did bad on a test, I would get this long lecture about how I need to ‘try my best.’ It really made it feel like that my best was never enough. I’m pretty much over it now, but boy, the easiest way to get on my nerves now is to suggest that I’m not doing my best.”


A girl playing the trumpet while her mother covers her ears in the background.

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images

Did they miss any? Let me know in the comments!

Previous post Barclays Near Private Credit Partnership With AGL
Next post BAFTA Folds Children’s Awards Into Main Ceremonies After ‘Consistent Drop in Entries and Engagement’