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People Share Which Bad Parenting Tactics Are Sure To Screw A Kid Up

Save some money for those therapy bills!

Children don't come with instructions. As a parent you are inevitably going to screw your kids up in some way. You can't avoid it, you can only hope the damage is minimal and that the they find talented therapists to later. Though you can't always be perfect you can be vigilant with your actions and behaviors, remember, the children are always watching.

Redditor u/Tubu_ wanted parents out there to fess up to their and other's parenting issues gone awry by asking.... What is some bad parenting that messes the kid up?



Punishing emotions and the reaction instead of teaching emotional control and accountability for one's actions. Cursethewind


This messed me up for a loooong time. I was constantly getting punished for being upset. Sorry that screaming at me for crying and screaming never worked at getting me to handle my emotions better, folks.

I'm still trying to fix this, at age 30. Like, I'll get shaky and tear up over even minor conversations about conflict. It sucks. TheLoveliestKaren

The Forever Victim.... 

Playing the victim card whenever something goes wrong. The child will adopt a similar reaction to problems when they occur and no one will get anywhere productively. HyteMast

This hit pretty close to home. My mom would always play the victim when we argued, and it made me give in every time. One day I figured out what she was doing, so when she whipped out the victim card in this one argument I told her "you know, you are so good at playing the victim you should carry some body chalk" and no longer let it budge me from an argument.

Chaos Rules! 

Inconsistent rules. If you say "no X until you have finished Y" enforce it. If you don't mean it, don't say it. If you as a parent don't have the discipline to enforce the rules you make, how can you expect your child to learn anything positive about discipline or rules? DentedAnvil


Helicopter parenting. Mine was to the point of total isolation. I wasn't allowed to go to school (I got pulled out and home schooled), go in my backyard, or even visit friends without a parent present until I was 18. 10CloverfieldPain

It's hard being a non-helicopter parent in a community FULL of helicopter parents. I let my kinder son climb, run, jump, and practice independence when we're out in public. I'll get confronted by adults saying,

You know your son is doing x.

Yes I know I see him.

But he's doing x.

Yes he is.

Ok just letting you know.

Thank you. ghingly

Just Admit it! 


When losing an argument the parent doubles down and doesn't acknowledge they may be wrong. Like ever. Something- problem with authority figures -something. EndingTempest

A Diagnosis saves lives.... 

My mom would tell me to do chores, do all my homework, and read before I could play with friends. I'd regularly do everything, but about 50% of the time she'd change her mind and wouldn't let me go play at the end of doing everything she asked. I'd end up crying in my room because I was so confused with the instability. She went undiagnosed with bi-polar depression, until I was 14, but as a kid I didn't understand why she'd say one thing and do the opposite. I developed severe trust issues because of it and still have to work very hard to trust anyone today. volcom2096

No Laughing Matter! 

Using your kid as a joke. Like doing or saying something to get a reaction out of them for an audience. Redbronze1019

That is beyond bad parenting and into the area of mental abuse. poopellar

Happens a lot more often then you would think actually. Blue-Velvet_Cake

Hollow Love.... 

Empty threats/promises. willi3blaz3

This one is hard to watch. A family member was always like this she would yell at the kids to not do something, stop paying attention when they started doing it again and then completely ignore the behavior. She would then randomly use physical discipline because they didn't listen. PonderingWaterBridge

Shame on you mom and dad! 

Shaming the kids for mistakes they make such as bed wetting, spilling things, etc. people make mistakes and kids need to know it's okay to mess up sometimes. krys678

I totally agree. My mom would get so mad when I'd wet the bed. It started at 8 years old and continued until I was 12. At least 3 nights a week. It got to the point when I was about 9 that I would get up, change my mattress cover, sheets, and pajamas, wash and dry them myself and clean up without ever waking my mom because she was so upset every time. It became super shameful for me and I became a very secretive and introverted kid. I formed this unending desire to be perfect and would verbally abuse myself (talking in my head) whenever I made a mistake, especially bed wetting (I'd usually end up in tears every time), shattering my self-confidence. volcom2096

War of Words....


Berating them when they have different opinion than yours. This forces them to keep their thoughts to themselves. deria_martell

Let Love Be Love! 

Making fun of or teasing them for their romantic interests. Adolescents aren't confident. They already feel foolish. It's like kicking a pet. And it can have the effect of delaying and ruining their confidence with romantic interests. FalstaffsMind

Early Parenting... 

Definitely forcing the eldest to be like a third parent to the younger ones. I always feel so much responsibility for everyone, even my friends, all the time that can make it hard to unwind. rillamyrillablythe

Looking back this one is even more messed up than it seemed then... when i was 8 i used to take care of a 2 year old for days at a time, making baby food on the stove etc. every time my mother came back to my sis crying, i'd get smacked pretty hard. now when i see 8 year olds i cannot imagine putting them in the same situation. hieromance

More than one Side...


Never accepting your kid is right and that you are wrong sometimes. Never letting your kid gain confidence in their opinion. Sometimes, you owe your kid a big apology and don't get mad when your kid speaks back to you, it's called a debate. EMC1894

Be Perfect Always! 

Basing their entire worth on achievement. How many "smart kids" from elementary school do you know that have trash mental health now? Probably a lot. queenfool

Like A Virgin.... 

Acting as though your kid is never going to be an adult and experience adult things like sex.

Teach them about safe sex, protection and consent but don't act like they are never going to have it. It's not cute or funny to say your daughter will date when she's 30.

How do you think you made your kid? How do you think your parents made you? dontwantanaccount

Feel the Emotions... 

Not allowing your child to be angry. I see it so many times with friend's kids or relatives. Children get mad and react and the adult immediately says something along the lines of "fix your attitude." Children have emotions too and need to be taught to express and work through them in order to be a part of civilized society. emilita29

They're "Worth It!" 

Not supporting their interests, or only supporting what you view as "worth it." I tried a lot of different things as a kid, trying to find myself, as I'm sure most kids do. Parents stopped showing up to concerts because "well the band isn't very good," or soccer games when we had a losing record. I remember getting yelled at for wasting my time with sports if we weren't going to win. Was told going into college that theater wasn't worth pursuing because it isn't a "safe" career. The only real encouragement I got was when it came to academics (it will possibly not come as a surprise that my dad works in academia).

Now nearly a decade out of college, no real career after trying and burning out on two grad school programs, primarily from some heavy anxiety even completing assignments if they weren't going to be perfect. I wish I had pursued something I was passionate about, instead of dropping them one at a time because they weren't "worth it."

Give them Trust....

Teaching them to fear authority by policing their every move. Not allowing them to make some of their own decisions or have a say in what happens in their lives. Refusing to listen to their opinions and speaking over them, I think the most damaging thing my father has ever done to me was not allowing me to share my point of view or talk back to him in any way. It made me dangerously submissive and allowed me to get myself into situations that could have been avoided if I knew how to say "no." scomixio

Be Calm... 

Screaming at your child until they don't know right from left then being overtly kind to pull them in closer. Breeds all sorts of anger issues, trust issues and resentment.

Continually bragging about things your child is not proud of to other people. Cheapens the experience being shared, & the annoyance company inevitably feels makes you afraid of the limelight. The connection with the parent also feels more superficial.

Any kind of "being harder to make them hard" kind of treatment. I get saying "no" when necessary but teaching a child that the pain their own family inflicts on them is for the sake of growth will either make the child passive or feel like a martyr. dzyrider

One last bite....


Making them "finish their plate," every time, regardless. Shaming them for eating too much/too little. Best way to encourage an eating disorder at an early age. crsuperman34


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Unbreakable. It's a miracle.

The nation fell in love with Ellie Goulding as the starry-eyed, spunky Kimmy Schmidt who began a new life in the Big Apple after spending the better part of her adult life locked underground in a bunker.

Along the way, we met (and loved) several other inhabitants of the big city, such as Titus Andromedon, our favorite performer/Times Square costume character; Lillian Kaushtupper, the eccentric landlord of Kimmy and Titus's apartment; and of course Jacqueline Voorhees, the completely out of touch rich socialite from whom Kimmy gets her first job.

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Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Hulu

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood's searing novel, was written at the height of the Reagan administration and satirized political, social, and religious trends of the 1980s. It's also a hit television series on Hulu that returns on June 5.

While we still have a long way to go before we can find out what's next for June/Offred in the Republic of Gilead, we can, at the very least, regale you with some cool facts about one of the most enduring stories of the last three decades.

The Trailer for Season 3 Plays Off a Slogan from the Reagan Era

Perhaps the best thing that came out of the Super Bowl––aside from the memes haggling Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, that is––was the trailer for the third season of the Hulu series.

The trailer lampoons former President Ronald Regan's 1984 "Morning in America" political campaign television commercial.

"It's morning again in America," you hear over a soundtrack and images that resound with boundless optimism. Things turn dark from there. Soon the camera freezes on Elisabeth Moss's face: "Wake up, America," she says.

Margaret Atwood's Follow-Up Will Be Released Later This Year

Margaret Atwood will release a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale titled The Testaments in September 2019. The Testaments is unconnected to Hulu's adaptation and will feature the testimonials of three female narrators from Gilead.

This literary device keeps with the metafictional epilogue that follows Offred's story in the original novel. The novel ends much in the way Season 1 ends: with Offred entering the van at Nick's insistence. The epilogue explains how the events of the novel were recorded onto cassette tapes after the beginning of what scholars have come to describe as "The Gilead Period." An interview with a noted academic implies that a more equitable society, one with full rights for women and freedom of religion restored, emerged following the collapse of the Republic of Gilead.

Serena Joy Waterford Is Likely Based On A Noted Conservative Activist

As the series goes on, we learn more about Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) and her beginnings.

Serena was a conservative activist who, along with her husband Fred, spearheaded the Puritan movement that ultimately gave rise to Gilead. Inspired by women whom she perceives to have "abandoned" their families in the name of female autonomy, Serena Joy delivers impassioned speeches at venues around the nation calling for policies that would place women back in the home. She even wrote a bestselling book, A Woman's Place, that served as the vessel for much of her conservative dogma and inspired many of the Commander's Wives who become her friends and neighbors.

Serena was likely based on conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who established herself over many years as one of the fiercest antifeminist and anti-abortion advocates in the United States. Schlafly was also a vociferous opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, which she considered an attack against traditional gender roles.

The 1990 Film Adaptation Had a Messy Production

A film version of The Handmaid's Tale was released in 1990. It starred Natasha Richardson as Offred, Faye Dunaway as Serena Joy, Robert Duvall as Commander Waterford, Aidan Quinn as Nick, Victoria Tennant as Aunt Lydia, and Elizabeth McGovern as Moira.

The film was not well received and had a messy production. Director Volker Schlöndorff replaced original director Karel Reisz amid internal bickering over a screenplay by Harold Pinter. Schlöndorff asked for rewrites, and Pinter, who was reluctant to do them, directed him to author Margaret Atwood, who was one of several who ended up making changes to Pinter's screenplay.

Pinter told his biographer years later [as quoted in Harold Printer, p. 304] that:

It became … a hotchpotch. The whole thing fell between several shoots. I worked with Karel Reisz on it for about a year. There are big public scenes in the story and Karel wanted to do them with thousands of people. The film company wouldn't sanction that so he withdrew. At which point Volker Schlondorff came into it as director. He wanted to work with me on the script, but I said I was absolutely exhausted. I more or less said, 'Do what you like. There's the script. Why not go back to the original author if you want to fiddle about?' He did go to the original author. And then the actors came into it. I left my name on the film because there was enough there to warrant it—just about. But it's not mine'.

Star Natasha Richardson reportedly felt "cast adrift" when much of Offred's interior monologue was sacrificed as a result of cuts made to the screenplay.

The Film and TV Series Aren't The Only Adaptations of This Seminal Work

There are several different adaptations of Atwood's seminal work, including, but not limited to:

  • an audiobook read by Homeland actress Claire Danes that won the 2013 Audie Award for Fiction
  • a concept album by Canadian band Lakes of Canada
  • a radio adaptation produced in 2000 for BBC Radio 4
  • an operatic adaptation that premiered in 2000 and was the opening production of the 2004–2005 season of the Canadian Opera Company.

Elisabeth Moss, the Star of the Hulu Series, is a Scientologist

Between The West Wing, Mad Men, Top of the Lake, and The Handmaid's Tale, Elisabeth Moss has a reputation for starring in critically acclaimed television shows.

Much has been made, however, of her casting as Offred. Moss was born into the Scientologist belief system, which the German government has classified as an "anti-constitutional sect," the French government has classified as a cult, and the American government has allowed individuals to practice freely though not without considerable contention. Moss also identifies as a feminist.

Asked by a fan about the parallels between Gilead and Scientology (namely the belief that "outside forces" are inherently "evil") Moss responded:

"That's actually not true at all about Scientology. Religious freedom and tolerance and understanding the truth and equal rights for every race, religion and creed are extremely important to me. The most important things to me probably. And so Gilead and THT hit me on a very personal level."

An Episode During Season 2 Highlighted President Donald Trump's Border Crisis

Last summer, President Donald Trump and his administration created a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border when he and Jeff Sessions, his former attorney general, announced their "zero tolerance" family separations policy. The president blamed Democrats for the policy, imploring them to "start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration."

As images and stories of children ripped away from their parents at the border began to circulate, the Season 2 episode "The Last Ceremony" showed just how timely the show really is: After Offred is raped by the Waterfords, Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) allows June/Offred (Elisabeth Moss) to visit her daughter, Hannah, in an undisclosed location. June is given 10 minutes with her daughter before a guard forcibly separates them again.

The episode, written well before the crisis was initiated, premiered just as Homeland Security admitted that more than 2,300 children had been separated from their parents.

Another Episode During Season 2 Appeared to Predict Canada-U.S. Relations

The fallout between the United States and Canada during the G7 summit appeared to have reached its peak once President Donald Trump refused to sign a joint statement with America's allies and threatened to escalate a trade war between America's neighbors. He also referred to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "weak."

The Season 2 episode "Smart Power"––in which Canadian diplomats ban Gilead's representatives from the country and choose to stand with the women imprisoned in the totalitarian nation in a nod to the #MeToo movement––was written and premiered before the G7 blowup, but is no less prophetic.

In Season 2, Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" Becomes an Ode to Female Resilience

"This Woman's Work," a ballad written by singer Kate Bush that is also one of the tracks on her 1989 album The Sensual World, serves as an ode to female power and resistance in the horrifying Season 2 opener, where June and the other handmaids realize they're about to be executed. The women are forced to summon strength at a moment of debilitating weakness. As the camera pans over the bleak environs of Fenway Stadium, Bush starts to sing:

Pray God you can cope
I'll stand outside
This woman's work
This woman's world
Ooooh it's hard on a man
Now his part is over
Now starts the craft of the FatherI
know you've got a little life in you left
I know you've got a lot of strength left
I know you've got a little life in you yet
I know you've got a lot of strength left
I should be crying but I just can't let it show
I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking
All the things we should've said that I never said
All the things we should have done that we never did
All the things we should have given but I didn't
Oh darling make it go
Make it go away

"It was shattering and perfect," said Bruce Miller, who created the Hulu Handmaid's Tale adaptation. "One of the things I really like about the song is that on its face, there's a bit of very interesting lyrical play. It's nice that that's going on while you're watching."

"The Handmaid's Tale" Was the First Streamed Series to Win the Best Drama Series Emmy

Hulu beat out Netflix and Amazon to become the first streaming service to win an Emmy for Best Drama. Unfortunately, because the third season doesn't premiere until June 5, it's ineligible for the 2019 Emmys. Guess we'll see the show back onstage in 2020!

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