We know that parenting is hard and there is no to always draw the line between what is good parenting and what is bad parenting. Yet within the grey area in between, enough grown adults have learned better than to repeat their parents' tactics. While maybe these tactics were viewed as "normal" because they were simply passed on from generation to generation and everyone else was doing it, the kids have grown up and they are now speaking out against them.
While the goal is not to criticizing their parents, here is why certain normalized tactics can actually turn out to have real toxic effects as shared by those grown kids on Reddit.
Venting To A Child
CDC / Unsplash
"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." Desiger_jpg
Kids absorb everything you tell them like a sponge. If you constantly complain about something, they might interpret it as "bad." They could start acting out against their dad, or be unreasonably afraid of certain situations because they don't want to disappoint you or replicate your feelings.
Preventing Their Failure
Leo Rivas / Unsplash
"Being overly protective. If you don't let your kids fail or 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." - MyrddinWyllt
Experience is the greatest teacher. No amount of pep talks will ever truly prepare a child to face the world. They need to see it for themselves and carve their own path. If parents protect their children from everything, they'll just be lost as adults and be shocked by the hardships of the world.
Giving Love Conditions
Xavier Mouton Photographie / Unsplash
"The old 'as long as I'm feeding you, clothing you, you'll do what I say!' Or the 'just be grateful I put a roof over your head. Especially If your parents constantly use that sentence to boss you around, disregard your opinions and wants, and belittle you. You didn't ask to be born. And it's their obligation to take care of you, not something they should loom over your head as leverage." - izzypy71c
Such statements can make a child feel like love has to be earned and isn't just deserved. These children might grow up to end up bending over backward for people who don't deserve it, and take advantage of it, just because they think that that's the only way they'll ever be loved.
Taking Away Privacy
Good Faces / Unsplash
"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." - SinkTube
Kids need to be given the space to build their independence. They need to learn that they deserve to be treated as their own individuals, trusted to make decisions, and loved enough to make their own space in a world where they're going to always be watched by everyone else.
Denying Kids Their Feelings
Marcos Paulo Prado / Unsplash
"Invalidating their kids' emotions, be it ignoring or shutting them down." - GABBA_GH0UL
Just because they can't put their feelings into words, as they haven't had enough experience to know how to and cry up a storm instead, doesn't mean that their feelings aren't real and valid. Rather than simply attempt to make the crying stop, and punish them for it, parents should take the time to understand the cause. Then they can actually reassure their child and calmly teach them that it may not warrant the level at which they're upset.
" The good old, 'Why can't you be more like your brother/sister?' 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."
Not only does this teach the kid to assess their worth by comparing to others for the rest of their lives, and still never feeling like they're enough, but it also risks creating a sense of rivalry between the siblings instead of uniting them as a family.
Do You Struggle To Love And Be Loved?
Anthony Tran / Unsplash
There is no denying that the way you were taught love by your parents during your childhood, will impact the way that you try to find love as an adult. Yet, you don't have to let your parents' mistakes, when they used the wrong tactics even with good intentions, now dictate the mistakes you make when you try to find a loving partner. Click here to find out how to break the cycle.