Every parent thinks they're raising their kid the right way. And while there is no perfect, fool-proof way to raise children, there are certain parenting strategies that are less effective than others. From never letting children fail to popular hypocritical phrases, these parents share what annoys them the most about how other people raise their kids.
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#1 Doing Everything
Doing EVERY single thing for their child, instead of the child doing it themselves. You are doing them no favors, and they'll struggle to adjust as they get older. Self-reliance is key at any age.
#2 Letting Them Climb
Not caring what they do in public, specifically my gym. Our apartments have a really nice gym and parents will bring their kid or kids in there, let them climb over all the shit that I want to use. One of them almost broke the new stair climber and I actually told the kid he needed to get off of it or else he might get hurt. Obviously they don't know any better but the mom can literally see what they're doing and didn't say anything.
#3 Encouraging Poor Behavior
When they laugh at (thereby encourage) poor behavior. For example, laughing at a kid being rude to a waitress. Little Susie is so spunky, no she’s mean, and she’s gonna grow up to be mean.
#4 Being Mean
When they are downright mean to their kids. And I'm not talking about strict, I'm talking mom dyed the girl's hair so dad shaves it off. I'm talking about when a kid is proud or excited and the adult just crushes them. I'm talking about saying things like no one loves you and they don't like you because you're stupid. Stuff like that makes me want to fight, but what good comes from such an act?
#5 Helicopter Parenting
Helicopter parenting and the related habit of blaming anything or anyone but their child for things going wrong. Getting them involved in so many activities that their days are scheduled down to the minute— not letting them have time to wander, be bored, get creative.
#6 Being Best Friends
People who expect their children to be surrogate life partners or best friends. No, it's not normal to order your son to use his allowance to take you on "date nights" so he doesn't grow up to be like his loser father. It's not okay to hand your younger kids off to your older kids to be raised while you and your spouse ignore them (I mean obviously having the older kids babysit now and then is normal; I'm talking about it being the norm).
It's downright weird to say that your husband is the first man in your daughter's life, or that your son is "Mommy's true love." It's hugely inappropriate to heap all your stresses and problems onto your child like they're your peers. Let your kids be kids, and don't form a pseudo-romantic attachment to them. It's creepy.
#7 Treating Them Like Property
Not recognizing that they are individuals, not property.
#8 Not Enforcing Punishment
The way they don’t raise them. I was once in Walmart, trying to buy shampoo and this lady’s little boy was kicking every bottle of shampoo on the bottom shelf so I said, “Excuse me ma’am, could you get your son please?” She was facing away from him, leaning on her shopping cart and talking on the phone. She then turned around and said “stop” and the turned back around and continued the phone call.
The little boy then proceeded to pick up a bottle of shampoo, open it and turned it upside down and just dumped it on the floor. So again, I said “ma’am, your son?” she turned around and said “stop, let’s go” and just walked away without punishing him or even looking twice at the fact that her son just dumped out a full bottle of shampoo on the floor. I was flabbergasted.
#9 Not Raising Them
The way they don't raise them.
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#10 Using Children as Tools
A year or so ago, my son got in trouble for causing a disturbance on his school bus. We sat him down to get his side of the story. Turns out there's a girl on the bus whose father had taught her that it was "her job to get more souls for Christ," so she was trying to heckle my son into listening to bible verses over and over.
He told her he didn't want to listen, she kept at him; eventually, he shouted at her "I DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF IT!", which made her panic about losing a soul and/or being too close to a horrifying monstrous atheist. I hate parents who do that. treat their child as a tool (or worse, a weapon) they can use to achieve their own ends. She's a child, not a tool; by all means, teach her what you believe, but don't try to put that kind of load on a child's shoulders, that's just cruel.
#11 Defending When They're Wrong
Parents who defend their kids and blame others even when their child is wrong. For example, blaming a teacher for their child's bad grade instead of telling your child to study more. These parents are the worst.
#12 Making it About Them
When they make their children pose with them on social media, usually with the hashtag #momlife. A girl I know made her son reenact the Mary Jane and Spiderman kiss. She somehow hung him upside down and everything and captioned it with something like, "His first love." No mommy, don't. Your son's life and development are not about you. I'm expecting a son in August and told my husband to taze me if I ever do something like that.
#13 Bringing Kids to Adult-Only Spaces
Thinking their kids belong everywhere and we all just get to deal. I have kids. I love my kids. They don't belong in fancy restaurants, infants don't belong in movie theaters, etc. Adult-only spaces are not just okay, they're essential for a parent's mental well being.
#14 "Because I Said So"
Always starting at a 10 when it comes to yelling at/scolding their children. I know a parent couple like this, I see it often in public. Parents who instantly go to yelling at their kids not to do something, never explain why, it's just a "because I said so and I'm the adult!" sort of snap responses. Not only is it no doubt unhealthy for a child to be yelled at constantly: If you scream at your kid because they ate a cookie before dinner, when you scream at them for setting the house on fire, it will have the same level of impact on them.
#15 Lack of Manners
Entitlement and lack of manners. Kids who are so used to getting whatever they want at all times that they can barely function in school. Oh, and the parent who looked at me and said their kid doesn't have to say please to him. Good luck man.
#16 Not Letting Go
Not letting them grow up. When you're raising a kid, if they aren't taught something, chances are they're not going to figure things out on their own very easily. My aunt totally babies her middle child, she's nine and curls up behind her mom like a toddler when we try to talk to her, she literally sounds like a three-year-old when she speaks, she doesn't shower by herself, her coordination is still way off for her age, she literally has the persona of a toddler because she's so sheltered. It's not a disability thing, it's because her mom won't let go of her. It's hard to watch.
#17 Not Respecting Animals
Not teaching their kids to respect animals. Was at the dog park once and some little brat was running around trying to pull the dog's tails. I made sure to watch so that if a dog defended themselves I would 100 percent support/defend the owner and the dog.
#18 Ignoring Them
Ignoring their kid's questions. For example, I was on a bus one time and a woman was ignoring her (I would estimate four-year-old) little girl. The mom was head in a phone and the little girl was just asking what things are outside. She just ignored her, didn't look up and the little girl ended up sitting looking really sad.
I get it she might have been actually busy with what she was doing but it seemed like it was a usual thing. Yes, I did end up talking to them both and cheered the wee girl up. But yeah stop and take time to answer your kids silly questions they need to learn don't teach them not to ask.
#19 Being Rude
Raising them to be rude to other people who they deem inferior to them.
#20 Calming With an iPad
What really bugs me is the parents who just bring their kid to a restaurant (worse if its fancy) and the just plop them down on a chair with an iPad cranked up at FULL VOLUME so everyone in the restaurant gets to listen to Doc McStuffins. Then the kid starts screaming because they want their food or some other dumb thing and the parent doesn't do ANYTHING, they just let their kids scream creating chaos, with the kid throwing stuff around (rice, utensils, ice cubes) while screaming, while Doc is doing her high pitched voice thing and its just crazy.
#21 "Boys Will Be Boys"
"Boys will be boys." I grew up with a lot of brothers and they were all kind, decent humans. Having a son doesn't mean allowing them to be crazy little demons that punch everything in sight.
When the kid sneezes all over other people. My dad had me sneezing into my elbow by preschool. Don’t tell me you can teach a kid to poo on a toilet by age three but at age five he’s still sneezing all over everyone sharing a waiting room/bus/train/Uber/whatever. You’re just lazy.
#23 Pointing the Finger
Always pointing their finger at someone else even though their kid was clearly in the wrong.
#24 "Do What I Say, Not What I Do"
"Do what I say, not what I do." A great example to set for your children that not only do you KNOW what's right, you just CHOOSE not to do it. Hypocrisy makes me lose respect for anyone, much less a person imparting life long lessons on a child. Most kids idolize their parents so if they see them doing something, chances are they are going to emulate it.
If you throw garbage out of the window of your moving car, your kid is probably going to litter, whether or not you told them not to. However, doing AMAZING things in front of your children like stopping to help someone stranded on the side of the road (personal experience) can have a massive effect on how a child sees the world.
#25 No Rules
How their kids rule the house.
#26 Not Teaching Them About Their Bodies
Not teaching their kids about their own bodies. Parents who are too scared or "grossed out" to teach their daughter about her vagina or their son about his penis are doing their children a massive disservice and perpetuating the idea that kids (and people in general) should be ashamed about their bodies because it's just something you don't talk about.
#27 No Follow Through
When they threaten punishment and never follow through. The kid just keeps acting out and has no respect for authority.
#28 Not Letting Them Fail
Not letting them fall on their own face and take responsibility for themselves. And now they are in high school and ask mommy to email me about their bad grades instead of talking to me first. God, I love those students who take action into their own hands and make plans with me before or after school to talk about their grades and how they can improve them.
Then they do said actions to improve their grades and we get along just fine. And I never hear from their parents, except during open house and they want to talk about my teaching philosophies and not scream at my face telling me that I suck at my job.
#29 Giving In
Telling their kids they can’t do something, but giving in once they start throwing a tantrum... Yeah, they’re definitely going to be a pleasant member of society one day...
#30 Being Disrespectful
Parents that let their kids do whatever they want and get away with it. I just babysat a kid this weekend, he cried when I wiped up the milk he spilt on the floor or when I swept up cereal he kept throwing. Every time he dumped his cereal on the couch or coffee table I made him pick it up or I threw it away. One of the dogs we had was scared of the kid, I wondered why. I found out once he went from just giving her (the dog) a hug to straight-up laying on her.
High sugar diets.
#32 Not Respecting Kids
When parents don’t respect their kids it annoys me. I see it all the time when a parent’s pride gets in the way of them acting like human beings. Parents that are too good to apologize. Ones that disrespect their kids and expect respect back. Yes, I get that you’re an authority figure but respecting your kids and treating them as human beings is not that hard.
#33 Telling Other People What to Do
The way the parents tell me to raise my kids. Little human beings are very different. Just because something you did made your precious angel perfect doesn't mean it will work for my kid.
#34 Giving Too Much
I used to work in an ice cream store. On occasion, a parent would come in with their child, and the parent would be fat, but the kid would still be skinny, right? And the kid would order a small ice cream (as is reasonable) and the parent would insist that the kid get a large. Always bugged me.
#35 Encouraging Pickiness
"He/she won't eat that." Referring to almost everything. I don't remember this being a thing when I was growing up. Food was put on the table, and we ate it. I have three young cousins (all in different families) whose diets mostly consist of chicken tenders, french fries, and pizza.
#36 Giving Them Everything
I hate it when they give them everything. I knew a guy in high school whose parents were quite wealthy and he would always ask his parents for things and they would just give it to him like buying him a $10,000 PC and then he complains to them about more stuff and they bought him a car when he turned 18 and every time I would talk to him it would be him telling me how much stuff he has. He thought money could solve anything so he tried to pay his teachers to give him good grades. Coming from a family that wasn't that wealthy it really upset me when he would complain about his "problems."
#37 Not Shushing Them
They don't shush them. I see kids screeching at the top of their lungs and the parents just let it happen, they don't even flinch. Kids will be loud, sure, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't make attempts to quiet them in public.
#38 Letting Them Bully
People who have no discipline for their kids or their pets is what annoys me the most. If a kid comes into a store and starts throwing things around and the parent just lets them or if they say something rude or punch somebody for example and then they just chuckle and let it go or let them be little bullies, that's when I have an issue.
#39 Giving Them iPads
How they lazily give them an iPad for every situation.
#40 Pretending Like the World is Child Proof
I was in a Michael Kors store when a boy was running around and ran his head into one of the shelf edges (not even that bad) and started crying. The mom started yelling at the staff about why they don’t have child guards on shelf edges. YOU CANT CHILD PROOF THE WORLD, especially not when you let them run around unattended just because you wanted to shop for purses. The worse part was the staff apologized. I was furious.
#41 Being Shy
When they are afraid to have teaching moments in front of other people.
#42 Keeping them Inside
Keeping them inside all the time on tablets/watching TV. Kids are meant to be outside exploring and digging in the dirt! I was a pre-K teacher for eight years and it made me sad that so many of my students were completely disconnected from nature.
#43 Toxic Thoughts
I hate when moms always complain “Ugh, I’m so fat” in front of their young daughters. Like if your body image sucks so much why the hell would you spread those toxic thoughts to your children? Don’t you want your daughters to feel beautiful?
#44 Not Accepting Fault
Parents who don’t accept fault for something they should’ve taught their kid growing up.
#45 Having Kids When They Shouldn't
I work in a group home for teens. My answer, stop having kids if you don't want the responsibility. Kids are the most fragile things and it's our job to do the absolute best in making them decent human beings who treat others with dignity and respect. That's my short answer.