100% apologize to your children through adulthood. It’s a great example but it also forces your kids to see you as a human being which in turn creates empathy.
I would focus more on teaching empathy and positive conflict resolution, promoting a deeper understanding of the feelings and perspectives of others.
It goes without saying that parenting is hard. If you’re not a parent and need an analogy for what it’s like, picture this:
As a parent, you’re expected to juggle swords that are on literal fire while riding a unicycle on a tightrope above a pit of snakes. The swords are your kids’ demands, the unicycle is your sanity (or general mental well-being) and the tightrope—your patience. Oh, and the pit of snakes? Just to spike up the difficulty, nothing more.
I wouldn’t have spoiled him so much. It’s okay for him to not have everything. Just because “oH iM gOnNa gIVe theM eVrEytHiNg I NeveR hAD!!” Dumbass idea. There’s middle ground and I flew right past it
All jokes aside, parenting is no easy feat as it requires very delicate work with very impressionable human beings who need guidance in this crazy world.
Fortunately, there is ample opportunity to do things right by your kids, starting with boosting your child’s self esteem whenever you can. Praise accomplishments, support them in mistakes, and empower them through independence. Let them know you’re always there for them.
Being more present for them. I was so obsessed with doing things right that I spent more time researching and acquiring things than actually being in the same room as them, hanging out and actually interacting with them.
Compassion without proper boundaries can morph into codependency and feeling like you need to fix people. I think I messed that up.
Pull her out of Private school ( very high achievement oriented) and enroll in public school that could meet her learning disabilities and emotional health.
Praising is not just for accomplishments, though, as praising good behavior is another key aspect to focus on.
Say your kid made their bed without being asked to—amazing, reinforce that with a positive remark. “I see you’ve made your bed—that’s amazing, I appreciate the tidiness.” Same would apply to other things around the house.
Nothing. You can do the BEST you can. They’re still individuals with their own minds and thoughts,sometimes they disappoint, i’m sure you did too.
Discipline is good if done right. It does build character and gives the kid a strong foundation for what is right, fair, and sensible.
For instance, no TV or devices until homework is done. Or if you see the kid calling someone names or being hurtful, find an appropriate punishment that would fit the crime—having them apologize and talking through why it’s wrong to do so.
My mother told me that she wishes she gave attention to all her kids and my father told me he wishes he spent more time at home instead of business trips,
This is probably small scale compared to most but I’d try hide my fears/anxiety better. I think my kiddo is only afraid of spiders and bugs because I am. As in they’ve learnt this fear from me.
On the flip side I do think it’s good to show we’re all human and scared of different things and being afraid is OK but yeah there’s a line there somewhere.
It’s not to say you gotta be an absolute kind of parent. Being flexible and willing to adjust your parenting style is good because context matters.
Not only will you be required to change your perspective and work with your boundaries as the kid grows up and becomes more mature, but you will also have to learn to trust your kid with things in order for them to become more self-reliant and independent. Oh, and they will genuinely respect you for it.
I never overly praised my daughter, but I did praise her accomplishments and would tell her how smart she is, creative, talented..I was genuinely impressed by her. She’s 18 now and thinks she is better than everyone else. Hoping it passes as life should start to humble her soon.
Don’t feel so badly. Pinker wrote a book on this and basically we all think we have more control (nurture) than we actually do. (nature). Basically your impact is not as strong as you think.
One of the better ways to set (or, should I say, keep) your kid straight is to model the right behavior. Let the kid see how you tackle situations and he or she will follow suit.
Show them the right way to be angry, respectful, friendly, model honesty and tolerance towards others. In other words, act the way you wish your kid did. Much of it will rub on them.
I’m the kid of pretty good, but flawed, parents. I’d just like to say, consistency is key. I never knew what response my behavior would get. I’d even test my dad by telling him the same thing on different days and would get totally different reactions. Plus, he’d obviously forgotten what I said earlier so that didn’t feel great either. Punishments also never lasted, one day I was grounded but the next they didn’t care what I did. So, I’d do what I want until they got mad again.
Don’t make your kids walk on eggshells. Be consistent in your responses, be consistent in your punishments
I would have pushed harder for my oldest to be in therapy and work with a tutor more when he was younger. I really think most of his struggles stem from the fact that nobody recognized he was dyslexic until he was 17 and about to graduate high school. There were so many years of him being hard on himself and me thinking he just wasn’t trying hard enough. I regret that more than anything.
Being a parent has been one of the most interesting things I have had the blessing to be apart of. (I’m a science person. Biology major.) I truly feel blessed with my kids. They are incredible people. Before kids I thought parenting had everything to do with how people “turned out”, but upon having kids, I feel very strongly that people are who they are from birth. Both of my kids came out with their own personalities. (My kids have very different personalities.) Not much has changed since they were babies. I do think that substantial abuse can drastically change an individual, but a parent who genuinely tries to do their best really isn’t going to do too much damage, so to speak. Now if the parents are proper c***s, yeah the kids have a good chance of being a c**t, but I really feel like personalities and mental disorders are already shaped when the person is born.
Based on everything you’ve read so far, you might have already understood that communication will be a huge part of your relationship with your kid. Embrace it. Invest yourself in your communication with your kid—talk to them about the right things, the right values, the right motivation and reason with them in non-judgmental ways. Be open to talking about anything and they will be open with you.
1. Even if a doctor says you’re sterile, don’t believe them.
2. Get to know the other person well enough to know they’re not the offspring of a serial killer. (Kiddo just turned 10, we only just now found this out. Yes, really.)
3. Fight harder for better enforced visitation/custody.
4. Consistent discipline between both parents.
5. If one parent is NC with their family, respect that. Don’t allow offspring contact with these people.
I love kiddo, but god DAMN.
I was a young adult when my parents started adopting my brothers through foster care. One thing I will say having watched them grow up is that a lot of damage can be done even before the age of two that will last their whole lives.
Taking care of yourself when you’re pregnant, interacting with your baby/toddler (talk, read, sing, play), trying your best to feed them nutritious food, and keeping them safe (traumatic events change a kid’s brain) are all so so important.
Some of my adopted brothers are straight up scary and violent, some are drug addicts and drop outs. And I have no idea what my parents could have done differently.
I’m a parent but I’d tell you a story about my aunt. She believed that apart from nurturing, the environment (esp schooling) plays a part. So she was willing to drive two towns over to a school in a better district so that he doesn’t get involved with all the bad kids in the neighborhood. My cousins turned out ok. They’re back in their hometown running a food business while taking care of my now disabled aunt.
And, continuing on with communication, the next logical step is making time for your kid in general. While doing something special every other weekend is great, it doesn’t have to be all that. Things like getting up 10 minutes early so you could catch up with your kid during breakfast can go a long way and it doesn’t require a heck of a lot of investment. In fact, the small things count as much as the big ones do, so sprinkle these tiny bonding activities throughout your days and weeks.
Just from general observation of kids, family, classrooms, and society at large….IMHO the goal is to raise good people who can stand on their own without you. Nurturing a solid ethical foundation is springboard for all other virtues like kindness, compassion, etc. Emulate the values you want your kids to learn, don’t just preach them.
When I was younger, my parents did their best, but I still behaved in less desirable ways.
Selfish, underachieving, entitled, overspending, with a sprinkle of criminality.
They just toughed it out, I think. Not ignoring this behaviour, but not treating me as if that’s *everything* I was. They gave me love, and an opportunity to grow the f**k up, whilst calling me out for the most egregious stuff.
That seems to have worked out OK.
Their environment and who they interact with on a daily basis may have a huge impact on them. You won’t be the only ones dealing with your kids once their of school going age.
My own kid is too little now but I did ask my mom. My dad was someone who shouldn’t have had kids at all but he and my mum had 5. My mum was an amazing parent and while we were growing up, going through different stages of life, there were times when it was very heartbreaking for her to see us misbehave, act selfishly. It took many years of patience and doubts on how we’d end up but she says that we ended up great in the end when the time came. My oldest sister is 29 and the youngest brother 20. My siblings are all well-behaved, compassionate and caring.
Can’t say for myself because that just sounds weird. But Yea. My mum never misses a chance to say how proud she is of all of us and grateful for how we all turned out.
So in our case, I guess my dad’s behaviour did have an impact but we learned and realized a lot of things down the road and made changes to ourselves.
I think no matter what kind of people the kids interact it, the parents just need to be present and aware and there to help so in the end the kids know who to be like when they’re at the age of understanding.
Above all else, love. Love unconditionally.
As parents, you are responsible for guiding your kid and helping them learn the ropes. Even if they hurt you, a conversation will do wonders in sorting that hurt out.
It’s not about blame, critique, or fault-finding—it’s about you seizing the opportunity to make things right and to model things right.
Ultimately, there are too many confounding factors for your question to lead to interesting and useful information. Seek out properly conducted studies, but accept that even then we don’t really know.
ETA: We have established that hitting your children is bad. Don’t hit your children.
I work on the trauma floor of a hospital and a lot of grown men have what my boss calls “mijo syndrome.” Their parents and specifically their moms have always made things happen for them, and because of this they have little to no emotional regulation. They fly off the handle at any little inconvenience and boy are they made when we tell them NPO means no food whatsoever, not even treats
Realizing sometimes genetics win and there’s nothing you can do about it. I spent an insane amount of time and energy making sure they ate healthy. Never had a real career because I was home early to make sure they had freshly cooked meals and didn’t snack. Now both my kids are overweight adults and my friend who always let them eat whatever they wanted, has superslim kids.
So, what are your thoughts on any of this? Do you have some parenting pearls of wisdom to share? If so, the comment section awaits!
If not, then why not check out some parenting hacks to supplement what you’ve learned here today and check out the rest of the list on the original AskReddit thread.
I was horrible. Angry screaming mess. I got really sick when my kids were little. It affected my mental health, caused a lot of physical pain, and put us into deep poverty.
The one thing I did do was apologize a lot. I let my kids go to their friends whenever they wanted and had us all in therapy the entire time.
Thankfully I got diagnosed and treated for a genetic disorder and instantly became a much nicer person and with a lot of therapy I’ve become a pretty solid and supportive mom. It explains my father big time. He was horrible and died of dementia.
All that being said. My kids are great. Thoughtful. Considerate. They talk to adults which I guess isn’t common. Not sure what I did aside from apologize a ton and always do my best to take the high road. Their dad was very abusive but we are on good terms. My kids having a solid stable life is more important than their father and my c**p.
We all have adhd and other issues and we’re not perfect but we are really nice to each other and say we love you often.
Coming from the messed up child not the parent: don’t ever say or imply you regret having your kids to them. Irreparable damage. So much therapy and people trying to love me and me trying to love myself to teach myself I can still have value. If you say that to your kid, in my eyes you’re more monster than parent.
Can I answer on behalf of my aunt & uncle?
Listen to our nephew, who started warning us our son was becoming a racist a*****e before he was even 10, but we did nothing to change course.
My mom is the most caring, wonderful and just the most super human mother ever. She was so patient with us and just all around amazing.
The one thing I wish she did do though was show us more of her emotions and show her standing up for herself. My dad is kind of a total d**k so it would’ve been nice to see her stand up for herself.y siblings and I are people pleaser to a fault and now that I’m old I feel like I’ve only ever seen one side of my mom. Almost like I don’t even know who she is really. She’s an amazing mother and this is just being a bit nit picky but yeah
I wish I would have checked the gene pool. My husband hid a LOT of psychosis and downright scary s**t from me. I found it all on his computer after he died. He was, in short, a monster. I understand his addictions way more than I did; it was all he could do to keep his demons at bay.
My kids are in therapy of course (I am too) but the symptoms are beginning to show as puberty sets in.
My son’s dad used to say awful things about me all the time when he was with him. When he’d come home he’d repeat them and I would not defend myself against it. I made a point of not saying anything bad about his dad, including him lying about me. I thought that was the right thing to do.
Now he is 14 and his dad has moved to another country and doesn’t talk to my son. My son opened up and told me it used to make him really sad and it made him hate me, but he sees it wasn’t true now. I can tell it’s messed him up a bit.
If I could go back, I would have told him it isn’t nice for his dad to say bad things and that they the things he said were not true. I was so concerned about not making my son thinking his dad was a bad guy I basically endorsed everything he said. I see now he needed me to tell him that those things were not true so he didn’t have to feel ashamed of his mum.
My children are still young (8 and 6) but I find myself getting hurt when they say things like “you yell a lot” because I don’t really yell that often but I need to remember it’s not personal – it’s about how they feel. I need to accept that I yelled and yell more than I should and that isn’t okay.
Tl;Dr: When your child tells you they are hurt don’t get offended listen and do better.