People Are Calling Out Toxic Parenting Tactics That Are Still Often Viewed As Normal And It Is Scary How Common They Are

by Rachel

There have been a lot of changes to what is considered "acceptable" parenting over the last few years. This has been an incredible shift that is geared towards raising emotionally healthy kids with skills and abilities to cope with the changing pressures of the world.

Unfortunately, many of our parents were trapped in a "well my parents did it to me so it is okay for me to do this to my kids, too" mindset. A scary amount of parents still behave this way.

Awareness is still growing, and many people are sharing parenting techniques that can be really damaging to growing kids. The question: "[Serious] People of reddit, what is a normal parenting tactic that shouldn't be considered normal?" was asked by u/TheYeet56.

Read on for some of the best responses.

Having a sibling is not a competition!


Comparing them to their siblings, the good old, "why can't you be more like (brother/sister)?" That does nothing for their self esteem and really can keep them from becoming their own person. That's all they should be anyway, themselves, not their siblings.

AKA acting like a child


refusing to admit when they're wrong/apologize
victimizing themself instead of acknowledging that they fucked up
having kids before they've fully grown up/having kids before they've gone to therapy to address their own childhood trauma, as this just causes undue trauma on their kids

This one resonated with a lot of people


Refusing to apologize when you’re wrong.

Your child didn't ask to be born, don't blame them for being in your life!!


"I sacrificed so much for you, I provided for your needs/I'm your parent, why should I apologize?"

Don't raise issues with your kid that are not their issue!


Telling your kids your personal problems. Like ‘your dad is horrible, he didn’t even do the dishes, I hate my marriage.’ Your kids are not your therapist. Also they can’t do anything to solve your problem. Instead address your issues with your spouse and a therapist.

Teaching kids about the importance of feeling their feelings is a life skill


invalidating their emotions, be it ignoring or shutting them down.

Don't gaslight them


Gaslighting their children into believing things that are simply not true in order to defend themselves.

This is just so weird????


Saying that a kid has a boyfriend/girlfriend any time they are close friends with a child who isn't the same gender. On top of reinforcing the idea that boys and girls can't ever be strictly platonic friends, it's so creepy to project adult ideas of romantic relationships onto kids who are practically still toddlers.

Natural consequences, not emotional abuse


Using humiliation and embarrassment as a punishment.

These two are SO important


"you can tell me and i won't be mad" followed by punishing them for whatever they admit. then they wonder why their kids never talk to them
taking away their privacy. unless your kid has a serious drug or self-harm problem, violating their privacy will almost certainly do more harm than good to their mental health, trust, and their relationship to you. it doesn't matter if it's installing spyware on their phones, tracking their movements, or taking away their bedroom door

Absolutely zero logic here


When I was about 17 I was grounded for a few months after my mom found out I was extremely depressed and suicidal, because "well how is that supposed to make HER feel?!"
I didn't even tell her, she read it in my diary

This isn't mature conversation


Getting mad for “disrespect” or “talking back” when their kids win an argument

Let them fail, but be there to support them


Being overly protective.
If you don't let your kids fail, and protect them too much, they'll be less capable of doing so once they've left home. Failure is good, just provide a safety net.

It isn't a failure to have to seek professional help!


Listening solely to other parents for advice. My mom listened to my grandmother instead of taking me to a psychiatrist. It wasn’t “a phase” it was autism and OCD. Now I’m in my 20s with trauma from the way my mental health was disregarded and autism leaving me more vulnerable to abuse. I’m left to navigate by myself.

Kids can't spoil themselves!


Not necessarily personal experience, but I do think it's absurd how often parents will speak of their own child as "spoiled" for having all kinds of nice possessions like video game systems, cell phones, cars, as if that wasn't entirely the parent's choice. If you don't think your kid should have those things for free, then don't buy them for the kid. Don't shower gifts on your child and then act like the child is a bad person for owning them.
People have this obnoxious reactionary/conservative tendency to speak automatically about kids as if they're brats who don't appreciate the nice things they have. People look at a place full of 13-year-olds with expensive phones in their pockets and act like it's the downfall of society. It's just assumed, based on nothing, that all those 13-year-olds must be ungrateful and entitled and believe they automatically deserve an expensive phone

Teaching kids consent is essential


Forcing your children to give family members that make them uncomfortable, hugs and kisses. Additionally inviting family who actively distress your kid to your house to stay for an extended period and forcing the kid to be nice and interact.

Don't make your kids change, stop inviting creepy men into your home


Making your female children change clothes when male family members come over.

Wow, problem solved!


Saying anything along the lines of, “just be happy” like thanks, my depression is cured. Especially since depression runs in my family on both sides.

Teach your kids ownership and autonomy


Modeling embarrassment or shame around discussion of sexual organs or themes. No euphemisms, a person has a right to know the legitimate words for the parts of their bodies and their functions. Using silly names or skirting around the topic can influence children to not take their sexuality seriously, avoid agency over their sexuality, or feel they should hide it.

Give them privacy!


Invading their privacy, if I haven’t given you a reason not to trust me then why go through my phone and tear up my drawers...

Were there any toxic ones that were missed? Share them below.

Check out the rest of the thread here.