Important Things That Parents Shouldn't Do While Raising Their Kids.
There are some things that parents do in the short term that fix a problem, but can long term be detrimental to their child.
Below are some things that parents generally shouldn't do while raising their kids. Check them out!
Refusing to admit when they're wrong. It's actually very hard to admit you're wrong and not trying to make excuses but it can have a negative impact on kids.
Making sex and sexual anatomy taboo. Parents who refuse to talk to their kids and write it off as "embarrassing" are doing their kids a huge disservice,
I actually just posted a PSA about it yesterday. My son woke up yesterday with extreme pain in his testicles. We ended up rushing to the hospital and found out his has testicular torsion. They were able to do surgery and he'll be as good as new shortly. The doctor told us that his last 3 cases of testicular torsion involved having to remove the testicle because the person waited to long. All three were teens around my son's age and all were too embarrassed to speak up sooner. Don't do that to your kids. It could cost them their ball(s).
Overprotectiveness. Of course there are always some things that need to be tightly watched around kids, but when you shield your child from every possible inconvenience they'll end up either spoiled or overly dependent.
Comparing them to other kids, especially siblings.
No kid likes to hear "Why can't you be more like so and so."
It's just so damaging. Your child is not so and so, they will never be so and so. Just help them along with being who they are.
No matter what achievements one makes, the parent relates it to a failure.
"Nice job making Eagle Scout. If only your grades were better."
"Good work mowing the lawn. But you couldn't do the dishes?"
"I can't believe you lasted this long living on your own driving a forklift."
Screw you, Mom. Last I checked I'm employed, not in debt, and going back to school while completely supporting myself. I'm doing pretty God damned well for someone my age.
Refuse to apologize or admit when they're wrong to their kids or to other people in front of their kids.
Your children will remember all the times you hurt their feelings and then tried to pretend like it never happened. They will remember the cashier you yelled at for a mistake that you made but wouldn't say sorry for. They'll either turn into a jerk or they'll overcompensate and feel responsible for everything that goes wrong because you set a horrible example.
Dishing out sarcasm and smartass answers but getting mad at your kid when they start dishing it back at you.
Making it really hard to tell them things. My mom always freaks out when I tell her anything, and then as a defense mechanism she makes fun of whatever it is that I've told her.
I switched my major to criminal justice and she freaked out saying well good thing you don't want to be a cop, you were always so sensitive, you'd look pretty dumb crying in the uniform when someone says something mean to you.
Using your kids as an emotional dumping ground. My mom has always told me everything bad in her life. She always tells me about her issues with my dad. It makes me super uncomfortable so I keep telling her to get professional help which she does for a while but doesn't stick to it.
Not appreciating their accomplishments. Some parents don't bother telling their 5-year-olds how good their drawings are. A kid's drawing might not be the most beautiful in the world, but it should be appreciated because these kids put a lot of effort in it.
Getting drunk. Being drunk in front of kids changes everything for the worse. Trust, respect, authority, even love - because drunk parent is not the same as sober parent.
Train their kids to be doormats.
Drop what you're doing and do whatever I or any adult you know tells you to is a reasonable rule for a 5 year-old, but tons of parents continue to enforce that upon teenagers because it's more convenient to them for their teenagers to be doormats, and then big shock, they grow up to be adult doormats, unable to stand up for themselves or even assert their own desires.
Give low-effort answers to questions. If you don't know, that's fine; teach the kid how to find out.
Give in when kid is being demanding or throwing a tantrum. And I don't mean giving in once in a while to keep the peace in a public place, I mean every time.
I found a dollar outside once when I was about 9, I was with my 4-5 year old neighbor who got really jealous and demanded I give it to her. I refused and she ran home to her mom upset and about to cry. Her mom tried to explain that I found it, so it was mine only one time before she solved the issue by grabbing a dollar from her purse and tossing it into the bushes while her daughters back was turned. "Hey look! There's another one! Now you found one too!"
That kid was a nightmare with a very warped definition of "fairness."
Besides the obvious abusive answers, invading the kid's privacy. My mom (along with many other parents) would read my texts sometimes and confront me about them. I never felt comfortable locking my door, it was always associated with being angry or spiteful. I didn't even realize knocking was normal.
It kind of messed up my idea of privacy in relationships. Didn't really think snooping was that wrong for a while.
Telling them that they're smart (as opposed to praising their hard work - I'm not advocating calling a kid stupid).
Emphasizing intelligence, interpreted as an innate trait, sets the kid up for failure when they come to a situation that's too hard. I.e. "I'm smart, but not smart enough for this."
Instead, recognize the effort and the thought process they put into figuring things out or doing schoolwork, so they're ready to take on increasing challenges.
Physically punishing and screaming at your kid for fessing up to an honest mistake.
I accidentally broke a window when I was 5 and told the truth about it. I was promptly spanked pretty vigorously and sent to my room and told to stay in there.
What did I take away from that? Lie if it prevents you from getting into any sort of trouble. I was a pretty dishonest kid for years after that.
Not teach them to cook food for themselves.
Crash course in College basically means that I look every new recipe up and flounder the first time I cook something. It has taken me 8 years of trying to cook for myself to feel confident about serving food to others.\
Making fun of your son whenever he happens to have a crush on someone.
This is one of the many ways you can turn an already shy kid into a miserable human being with no self-confidence. I should know, I was one! Thanks dad and assorted assholes from elementary/middle school. I've only found the courage to start dating at the ripe old age of 26... and I didn't even talk much to women before I was 19.
Pass on the bulk of the parenting of younger siblings onto the older ones. You signed up for this stuff and it is incredibly gross to expect your child to take on an unpaid part to full time job because you didn't realize it would be a lot of work.
With any luck, your child will only resent you and not their siblings.
Force them to go to church past a certain age. Your kids know by about age 12 if they get ANYTHING at all out of going to church. My mother was super religious and it was forced upon me.
If I didn't go, my mother would say "well, I guess you're too sick to play with your friends next weekend." It was cruel and iIwill never go to church again for the rest of my life. My aunt and uncle, who my mother looked up to came to my defense and said "your kids are old enough to know if church is for them, and if you make them go to something they find boring they'll hate you for it."
Forcing them to hug/kiss someone they don't want to. If the kid doesn't want to kiss Aunt Jane goodbye, they shouldn't be forced to. I used to DREAD leaving large family gatherings because my parents always made me go around and hug/kiss everyone, even cousins or family friends I barely even knew or those weird ones I definitely did not feel comfortable even being near. The whole thing was extremely uncomfortable and is essentially taking away your kid's bodily autonomy and teaching them that "no" is not acceptable if someone wants physical affection.
My mom was overly paranoid of everything, and my dad refused to acknowledge when he was wrong.
Take your pick.
Forcing your kids to eat when they're not hungry is really, really unhealthy.
I know so many people (myself included) who had parents or grandparents who insisted they "clean their plate". Growing up, I didn't really eat when I was hungry. I ate at mealtimes, and I ate everything on my plate. That's just how I was brought up.
My parents meant well, I know. They fed me pretty healthy foods, so it's not like I was being force-fed Big Macs. They didn't want me to waste food and they wanted to make sure I was getting enough nutrition. So I don't fault their intentions.
But it's only now, when I'm almost 30, that I'm actually figuring out how to decide whether or not I'm actually hungry. I ate "by the clock" for so long that I never really learned how to pay attention to my own body and follow its cues for deciding when to eat and how much. I'm working on that now, but it's surprisingly difficult to figure that stuff out when you're not used to it.
Lots of people end up with lifelong weight issues because they had parents or family members who pushed them to ignore what their body was telling them and just keep eating past the point of satiation. It's really hard to unlearn that shit.
Parents should, as much as possible, let their kids decide when to eat and how much they want to eat. I think it's OK to impose some restrictions, like telling your kid, "If you don't want to eat anymore of your lunch, that's OK, but you won't be getting anything else until dinnertime." But you have to let kids stop eating when they decide they aren't hungry anymore.
Social worker of 25 years here and I can tell you the number one thing is trying to be their friend not their parents. Kids need a calm authority figure to enforce rules and expectations, especially teenagers. Kids need to have reasonable boundaries and expectations and need to know that they will be enforced and that their behaviour has repercussions.
Avoid talking to them about sex.
Seriously, parents. Do you really want your kids' 6th grade friends telling them what sex is? Do you really expect that, by avoiding the topic, your kids will never have sex or, if they do, they'll magically know about appropriate behaviors and birth control and protection from disease?
That goes for porn too... you need to tell your kids about porn when they get to a certain age (the right age is up for debate). Your kids WILL see porn, and you need to be the one to tell them what it is and that it's for entertainment and most of it isn't how two people in love have sex.
Refuse to believe their child could do something wrong. I know a few screw ups and their parents are either totally apathetic towards them or no matter what the situation, blame other children or claim its some sort of conspiracy against their child.
Never standing up for them. Parents shouldn't be fixing their kid's every screw up but they should be there for their kid when they get bullied. It's hard for kids to trust their parents if they can't be certain they have their back.
Giving a kid freedom as a teenager is key. However, giving a kid so much freedom that you essentially check out from any sort of parental role is bad parenting that ultimately leads to the kid trying to make life decisions without any real guidance and somewhat messes up their life.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.