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People Are Sharing The Parenting Methods They Only Later Realized Were Bad (20 Posts)

Now that we’re adults, we can look back on some of the parenting choices our own parents made and wonder:

Guys, WT actual F?

I mean, yeah, our parents were young and probably totally winging it and sure there may not have been literature on some of the tactics they used (“clean plate” my ass), but boy. Some of the old stuff they did really, really misses the mark.

Redditor u/VastPurpleSky recently asked on Reddit:

“Now that you’ve grown up, what did your parents do that you now realize was bad parenting?”

Let’s take a look.

1. In debt

“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.” —tsagdiyev

2. Too much TV

“Letting the TV be a babysitter.” —ShroomerOfCatan

3. Yikes

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

4. Moving a lot

“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.” —saschaleib

5. Spanking

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

6. “Joking”

“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.” —beansff


“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.” —Odd-Astronaut-92 

8. I love you

“They never ever said, ‘I love you’ to me. Seriously, how fucked is that?” —United_Crew_4554

9. This one seems … stupid

“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.” —Timegoat

10. Ignoring a medical issue

“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.” —Dragime84

11. 20 bucks per tooth!?

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

12. Because I said so

“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.” —bland-soup

13. Wrong!

“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.” —FinnbarMcBride

14. Abusive

“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.” —Inevitable_Leek_1622

15. Show up!

“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.” —Windebieste_Ultima

16. Never allowed out

“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.” —horny_loki

17. No relationships

“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.” —dee615

18. Weight

“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.” —sephoraobsessed

19. Comparisons

“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.” —alimacallenotna

20. Bottled

“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.” —agentorange360