Not to be all dramatic, but do you ever stay awake at night thinking about the things that you were criticised as a child and how that has led to issues in your adult behaviour? Well, hopefully the answer is no, but either way, the things that parents, or other influential people in a kids' life, can really stay with them.
Over on Reddit, someone asked the question, "What harmful things are being taught to children?" and the answers are really illuminating. The thread really helps to share some simple things that can be avoided to help a child grow more healthily into adulthood.
"Ignore bullies and they'll leave you alone."
When you do that, one of two things are likely to happen. Either they'll mess with you more, or they'll move to someone else and bully them.
If you stand up to bullies, they back down. The earlier in life you put these people in their place, the less likely they'll develop their bad behavior as a lifelong practice.
Going too far on the "find your dream job and it'll never feel like work" stuff.
Really messed me up when I wasn't "excited" about uni assignments and thought I had to change degrees
Teaching kids not to question things just because someone is older, or allegedly wiser, is one of the most frustrating things that I see on a daily basis. How is a child supposed to ever develop any individual and nuanced ideas if they can’t think for themselves.
Being wrong is bad. That's why many people don't change their mind when they were given trustable sources, they don't want to be wrong.
Being discouraged to speak up about illness's because it makes them weird/ somethings wrong with them. They talk about like, You need therapy, which isnt a bad concept and you probably do need it, but they picture it in such a bad light.
"If he's mean to you he likes you" It just teaches little girls (mostly girls) to expect violence from people who love them
No is a 'bad' word. It's a strong word but not a bad one.
Nobody cares about children’s/teens issues. “Well it’s only going to get worse from here”. “You think school is hard? Have you ever paid a fucking bill” “You’re just a kid you can’t feel this way”.
It breeds an emotional disconnect from parents and their kids. And makes kids feel alone in their emotional struggles, that nobody cares because they’re not adults and they don’t have “Adult Problems”.
Probably not harmful, but in Kindergarten we were prohibited from playing soccer because it was "too dangerous". We were Kindergarteners. We probably would stand there and kick the ball, not go full on FIFA or shit.
Kids are starting social media so early these days, and I think that’s very dangerous because it puts a lot of pressure on the kid to attribute their worth to their social media success. I also think parents are way too open with their social media when it comes to their kids, and it’s totally a violation of the child’s privacy, of which some parents will never admit.
Teaching them that it’s not okay to fail. Some people need a little more time than others. It’s okay to not get something now. Kids should be given more time to process things. Imagine having a poor grade because of a low score from the beginning of the year. How can we show children that it’s not pass or fail, it’s try and improve?
I think what we're not taught is more harmful. For example the fact that we never learn (at least in my country) how to fact check things.
That failure is bad. Failing should not be considered as an obstacle but a step in the learning process. Demonizing the failure and stigma associated with it makes many children lose their interest once they fail.
"No backtalk." Many adults use it as "you're not allowed to challenge what I have to say." Makes sense if it's a cranky toddler being negative for negativity's sake, but suddenly older children can't question things or raise valid points of their own.
That complaining is the same as not being grateful. Can’t count the number of times growing up when adults basically told me to shut up whenever I was complaining about something and that I should be grateful that I was born where I was. Like sure, I’m glad I wasn’t born into some starving African family, but that doesn’t mean everything is perfect over here and that we shouldn’t try to improve things here as well.
You do not have to play with everyone. There is a total lack of social accountability. If Laura is always cheating at tag it’s okay to not let her play. If Little Billy throws sand in the sand box Little Timmy does not have to play with him. Laura and Billy need to learn how to play appropriately.
You show me respect first because I’m an adult and have authority then I choose whether I should show you respect no other way!
How to internalize stress and implode as teens and adults.
Making children hug or kiss someone (usually a relative) that they are uncomfortable with is not good. The child may just be grumpy and or not wanting to show affection or their warning bell sensors could be going off and they do not know how to communicate that. Plus forcing them to hug/kiss sends mixed messages about personal/physical boundaries and affection itself
In a nasty divorce, the parents may only talk about each other’s bad qualities and the kid(s) may have an issue/issues with their parents.
Political views, at ages that children are really too young to understand them. They just spout off their parents thoughts
Not owning up to their mistakes or blaming them on others.
At the end of the day, just try your best. No one is perfect but just try and teach your kid healthy behaviours.