I hope that everyone agrees that not vaccinating your child is an ill way of parenting. Other parenting trends like letting kids do whatever they want and run amok like there’s no tomorrow are also questionable. But the subject matter is delicate, since we also like to believe that for the most part, parents know what’s best for their kids. Or do they?
Well, these two threads from Ask Reddit will shed some light on common parenting styles that are not necessarily healthy. In fact, people claim they’re everything but. “What is the worst parenting trend to date?” someone asked a while ago, and just recently a similar question popped up: “What parenting ‘trend’ do you strongly disagree with?“
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Below we selected some thought-provoking arguments people shared in response to the questions. Also, let us know what parenting trend you don’t agree with in the comments below!
Unschooling. I agree that kids should have some sort of say in what they learn – if your kid is really interested in, say, bugs, then by god you take them to every bug museum you can find and buy them all the bug books – BUT kids should have a basic curriculum whether they’re interested in it or not. I get that most kids don’t like math, or history, or the “boring” classes, but I strongly disagree with the unschooling attitude of “my kid does not want to learn it, so I won’t make them.”
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Taking youth sports too seriously.
I helped with and attended games for years, and can count on one hand the number of times I saw a child lose their temper. Parents lost it all the time. More than once I’ve seen a parent have to be physically restrained.
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Shielding children from the natural consequences of their actions. They don’t learn from their mistakes and the consequence price tags are so much higher when they become adults.
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Posting intimate pics of your kid all over social media.
Now, I have no issue with parents sharing adorable baby pics. Hell, I don’t mind you guys sharing a lot of them. When you go through hell and back to carry, birth, and raise the kid, you get a pass on the social media sharing, somewhat.
HOWEVER, sharing pics of your kid in the bathtub and doing bodily functions is not okay. 1) It’s gross. I don’t think your kid’s blowout diaper or “first poopy in the toilet” is funny or cute. I don’t want that on my timeline. 2) Pedos are out there, be careful. 3) I know it’s hard to imagine, but little Peighsyn is gonna be a big boy someday. In fact, he may even be on social media in the future. His friends (AND EMPLOYERS) are gonna see those gross vomit and poop pics. Not a good idea.
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Parents never telling their children “no” and refusing to set any boundaries.
I get empowering children by giving them a voice in decision-making and the freedom to speak their minds, but general social norms would be nice.
Listening to 8 year olds throw fits in public and being rude to family and strangers (at top volume) is not endearing in any way.
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Everyone is mentioning modern trends, helicopter parents are bad but not nearly the worst.
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In the ’20s psychologist John Watson said to never hug or kiss your kids, he also was the psychologist behind the “Little Albert” experiment
There was a doctor in the 1700s that said women’s brains were too puny to successfully raise children, so men should be in charge of it.
How about giving some morphine for teething troubles or Laudanum (10% opium and 90% alcohol) to your kids to cure whatever you want!
In the ’60s a pediatrician wrote that night time feedings would turn your baby into a socialist. He also said that you can start your kids on cereal when they’re 2 days old, and by 9 weeks old they’d be eating whatever the parents ate.
There were the cages that hung outside windows in London to give kids some fresh air.
This stuff is all in the last century or so (well not the women’s brains are too puny for raising children, but I just thought that was funny). We’ve made huge advances in infant mortality and children’s health, let’s not lose sight of that.
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Taking your kids to the pub with you on a weekend.
I’m not talking an afternoon lunch with a glass of wine or two. I’m talking about kids being left to run amok in car parks and on pavements while parents sit inside and have a drink.
Look after your f**king kids.
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Beauty Pageants. I have no problem with them it’s just that the age these parents make their kids enter and the s**t they do to try to win like doping them up on sugar and energy drinks. Using spray tans and makeup on kids that are sometimes 1-2 years old! And in the end they extort their child for little to no monetary gain. I’ve seen parents neglect their other kids in favor of the pagent queen. And in the end you get a spoiled brat that throws a hissy fit and is disrespectful. But who cares, you spent 15k to win 5k and you’re on TLC
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Y’all need to cut this anti-vaccination s**t out like right now. Vaccines save lives.
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Infant circumcision. Sorry but unneeded cosmetic surgery performed on non consenting minors is just stupid, useless, and illogical.
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My aunt and uncle are and have been huge supporters of the “if you just give them a video game then they’ll be quiet forever” so my 6-year old cousin has absolutely no social skills and is a difficult, struggling first grader but is alright at playing Angry Birds and Minecraft.
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I hate when parents get mad at me for telling off their kids. I work in hospitality and we have a bowl of mints at the bar with tongs to grab them out. One night these three kids, all under age 10 but old enough to know better, just started diving their hands into the bowl. I told them politely to use the tongs, then I told them off when they ignored my request. The parents got mad at me instead of their kids, even though their kids just made me throw out a whole bowl of mints. If you’re incapable of disciplining your child properly, don’t get upset when someone else does it for you.
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Ear piercing babies. That pisses me off. Let them decide. Don’t put your vanity onto your baby. ESPECIALLY with piercing guns.
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Not dressing your kids like kids.
Also raising your kids on YouTube/Instagram/TikTok before they’re old enough to decide how much privacy they want in their lives.
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Not letting them make mistakes. With many people, you can tell them not to do something because ___ all you want, but they will never properly get it until they actually do it and ___ happens. Forbidding your kids from doing anything even remotely risky does more harm than good later on.
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Maybe not the worst, but my parents forced me to play competitive sports for years when I clearly hated it and I’m still a little bitter. I was horrible at soccer, they even offered me 10 bucks for every goal I scored but I still couldn’t do it. As an adult I still shudder a little every time I drive by a baseball field, thinking about how much time I wasted there and the embarrassment of sucking at something and getting laughed at by the other kids. This isn’t to say I wasn’t an athletic kid, I loved skating, riding bikes, hiking and all that. Parents – if your kid isn’t good at a sport, doesn’t have any interest in it and obviously has no talent for it, please don’t make them do it.
Oversharing personal pictures and information about their kids online/on social media. Your child is entitled to privacy as much as anyone else and posting all these photos and details about them online isn’t a wise decision for their confidentiality and safety.
I think those parents who impose a raw vegan diet on their young kids – there is no way that a child can sustain itself on a raw vegan diet – you’d need to be constantly eating to get the necessary calories.
Vegetables and fruit are very high in fibre – both soluble and non-soluble – so you can be very full from relatively few calories compared with even a high-protein diet.
Vegan can be a struggle if the parent doesn’t do the research. And a raw diet can be done as an adult, but it would still be difficult.
A raw vegan diet for a young child is basically child abuse.
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Family vloggers. Growing up in front of a camera can be so damaging for a child. Don’t even get me started on the child labour it is – using young kids to earn money isn’t good parenting in my opinion.
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Rewarding your kids for EVERYTHING. I’m all for giving your child something special if they got an A+ or something along those lines, but rewarding your child for everyday tasks such as doing homework and eating without complaining is a horrible idea. These are things they should be doing anyways! If my experience as a nanny has taught me anything it’s that this trend only spoils your child.
Edit: I’d just like to clear something up. Let’s take me for example. Growing up I didn’t get rewarded for doing normal day to day things like reading, practicing my instrument, doing homework, setting up the table, eating my dinner….etc. I don’t mean to be arrogant but I was a pretty easy child, rarely did I ever complain about doing these things because they were simply expected of me, just like they were expected of my mother as a child and so on (plus I knew there were consequences if I didn’t) I didn’t have any friends who got little rewards all the time so to me it was normal.
Now, I’ve taken care of two sets of kids who I believe were spoiled beyond belief because of this system, unless they get a reward they refuse to do anything that is asked of them, I mean ANYTHING. Meanwhile, a few years back I took care of some kids without this reward system and they were an absolute delight. Never had to repeat myself twice, they did what was asked of them. Forgive me if I’m wrong, it could be like some of you are saying, it depends on the kid. I can assure you though, I won’t be following this trend anytime soon.
Wanting to be “friends” with their kids. It really pisses me off. Parents that won’t challenge, question or correct poor behaviour.
I’ve got three boys to raise and my attitude has always been – I’m your dad. I’m not your friend. I have friends you have friends. We can be friends when you’re old enough to buy me a beer and I’ve done the sort of parenting that means I want to have a beer with you.
Publicly shaming your kids. If you do that s**t you are an as****le and a disgusting human being.
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Not teaching basic manners and giving them a ridiculous sense of entitlement.
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Not teaching manners with other people’s pets. You want to pat my dog you f**king ASK, then you introduce yourself to her (back of your hand to sniff), THEN you may pat her. DO NOT harass her. My dog is a sweetheart but she is an animal and she is at exactly the right height to bite your little darlings face off and then its my fault and my dog dies because you couldnt teach your brat some manners.
Making your kids a social media account that you run. Children don’t need to be exposed to any of that.
During the harambe mess, a friend of mine told someone that his opinion was irrelevant because he didn’t have kids.
Not saying a word about sexuality and shielding children from any sort of affection on tv or in real life.
I can’t stress enough how much this has contributed to my intense shame whenever I masturbate and my inability to be intimate. Of course this is a compounded issue for me personally but such a censored childhood was the backbone for all of this pain.
when ppl posts videos online of them punishing their kids. ex: “dad shaves girls head for txting boyfriend.” what in the sick hell kinda sh*t is that? and nobody seems to have a problem with that or thinks about how incredibly traumatic it’s going to be for that child. and the parents who do this literally make me sick. who is that for even? what are you trying to prove by humiliating your child in front of possibly thousands of ppl or more. ppl like this deserve to have their kids taken away. sorry not sorry.
Non-parenting. That is, when people have kids but let their kids run wild with zero effort put into actually raising them into functional members of society.
Homeschooling. Frequently it just means non-schooling. Either the parent in question does not have the ability to teach, due to lack of education on their own part, has no intention of teaching with it all just falling back into non-parenting, or it’s a deliberate attempt by fundies to keep their kids from getting an education. There are few exceptions.
Making a kid finish their plate.
I’ve seen videos of parents letting their child’s be free spirits. The child chooses what to eat, when to go to bed, and how much school work to do. One video a child had ice cream for breakfast and was “homeschooled”.
Not knocking “because what if the kid is secretly running a highly illegal business in there” Like please, knock. It will save you and your kids from discomfort.
I hate it when parents let their 6 year old walk their 3 foot tall dog and they can’t control it so it goes around licking people everywhere.
Making your kid do tons of extracurriculars, we all want our kids to succeed in life but they deserve to have a childhood and do things they want!
Talk to your kids, explain when they didn’t something wrong rather than just screaming at them.
Letting your child become obese.
Shielding their kid from failure. There are so many people now that are afraid of failing, so much so, that they don’t even attempt something new if they have a hint that they may fail at it.
Indigo kids. Parents believing that their children have super powers because they are acting like brats. Sure, let’s not only tell the bratty kids that they are better than everyone, but let’s also put them with the other brats. I’m sure this won’t end badly.
Weird religious homeschooling.
Videoing kids at their worst moments and then posting it on social media.
Pushing your kids to bring home flawless reports. Had a friend my sophomore year of highschool (straight A student, extra curricular stuff) with strict parents obviously living vicariously through her- who blew her head off with her dad’s shotgun sitting at the kitchen table because it was near finals week, her grades were plummeting and the only boyfriend she’s ever had had just broken up with her 3 days prior. I’d like to introduce a new parenting trend; Talking to your kids, listening and understanding.
Not letting your kids walk to and back from school. Somehow “freerange” is a trend. In Europe, at least France, it is the norm as it SHOULD be. Then you don’t understand why you get irresponsible obese kids in the US. Let them go outside, let them exercise, let them experience.
People having their kids stay up with them until the wee hours of the morning. By 11pm they are cranky, fussy, and clearly tired.
Put. Your. Kids. To. Bed.
‘Aesthetic’ parenting. I hate when parents have to make their kids nursery’s, playrooms etc all aesthetically pleasing with cohesive beige colour schemes and all wood effect. These are the same parents that’ll dress their kids like tiny adults, in incredibly expensive outfits that look dull as all hell and aren’t suitable for running around or doing kid stuff.
Parent of teens here! All of my kids have had a friend that stayed the night at our house because the friend missed curfew at home and wasn’t allowed in the house. I don’t get it. Punishing the kid for missing curfew is totally acceptable. But not letting them in their own house in the middle of the night? What good can possibly come from that? My own kids rarely missed their curfew but when they did, they knew that they could come home, to a safe place, and face the consequences the next day.
Stranger danger. Taught kids to fear strangers and the man hiding in the bushes. When in reality the danger to kids is usually from the people they know. Uncles, teachers, priests, etc.
I work at a childcare facility and the parents with younger kids dose their juice and milk with Miralax. Daily. It’s so freaking weird and it’s NO WONDER they’re having issues pooping. They have no idea what it feels like to naturally do it.
taking the door off their room. i have neverrrrr understood this
Not giving kids privacy or personal space. I have teenagers and unless they give me a reason not to trust them, I don’t rummage around in their rooms or secretly read their texts.
The thing the Kennedys did where they lobotomized their daughter without anesthetic is probably up there.
Sheltering them from music that they don’t want them to listen to. like for example, the parent only allows radio Disney. What if the kid who is 8 doesn’t like it? That’s not fair to the kid to not be allowed to explore and get their own taste. Glad my mom never sheltered
The absolute f**king venom if someone disagrees with your parenting choices. There’s no such thing as a simple disagreement any more.
Over coddling and doing everything for your kids instead of giving them some responsibility and letting them fail or struggle a little bit. I think it’s called “lawnmower parenting” and some parents even do these things with their adult children:
1. Calling the teacher every time your kid gets a low grade
2. Helping with homework too much
3. not giving kids any age-appropriate chores
4. Red-shirting your kids
5. Calling your kids employer on their behalf to call in sick
6. Doing everything for your kids like cleaning their room, doing their laundry, picking up after them, calling to make all their appointments, etc
Assuming your kid processes everything the same way you do — and correcting their behaviors that are preference-based and not necessarily “wrong.
That hideous rat tail at the back of toddlers’ heads.
Never listening to your child. The whole children need to be seen and not heard schtick, f**ked up my social skills a whole lot with my parents and people.
Coddling sons while holding daughters to higher standards.
The “boy mom” thing. It seems to have started out as a cute meme but now seems to be a cultish parental style rooted in Oedipus complex weirdness that I can’t quite understand and don’t really want to.
Gently asking kids to do s**t they have ZERO capacity to do or even understand. Your kid won’t move out in front of the store door, and it’s not the next customer’s fault that they fell down because they were in front of the door. Stop letting your kids run around restaurants like you’re renting the f**king place and TEACH THEM TO SIT AND EAT WITH THEIR F**KING FAMILY.
Gender reveal parties.
Modern day: Parents assuming that once a child hits school age that it’s the schools responsibility to raise them. These same parents then get angry when their child is punished by the school.
See this FAR too often.
Using tracking devices on your kids car or phone. Sorry but that’s creepy and only [messes] up their ability to trust anyone.
“Boys will be boys”.
Elf on the shelf.
Taking your kid’s side when he’s being an a****le to strangers. DO your job and educate your kid so I don’t have to punch him in the face.
Using cutesy language/ non- proper terms for body parts, things etc…
I worked in the elementary school system for a while and the amount of cutesy code names parents taught their kids for body parts, especially genitalia was alarming. I understand when kids are young they may not know words for common things (and I’m not taking about kids with learning differences) but your 4th grader choosing to call his penis his “wee-wee” and his mom calls to complain that I’m vulgar when I had to ask him to clarify….parent’s need to knock that s**t all the way off.
Always coddling your kid and act like they can never do anything wrong.
Obviously you shouldn’t go overboard with beeing strict, but as a parent it is your job to guide them and equip them with whatever they need to success in life.
As a former nanny-permissive parenting passed off as gentle parenting. Children need boundaries!
Also I’m a big believer in letting children be bored sometimes; every moment of their day doesn’t need to be structured with activities. Independent play fosters their creativity.
Not having children wear seat belts & better yet, toddlers weren’t in car seats!!
‘Enriching’ every single moment of your kids’ lives. THAT is how you get burned out parents. Throw the little buggers outside with two sticks and rock. And make ’em share the rock!
Parents being scared of children. Your kid will be a f**kup if you think you need to be their friend. When I was a boy I was showed tough love, but it gave me skills I needed. Stop letting the kids be in control.
Zero negative reinforcement, and talking out / negotiating every disagreement with the kid. Sometimes the answer is just plain “No.”
I watched my friend spend 15 minutes patiently explaining to her five year old over and over again that she didn’t have any candy for him, and he needed to wait until they got home to where they had candy. None of her explanations satisfied him. He just fake cried harder and harder the more she pleaded with him and explained how sorry she was. I was like why tf are you even saying you’re sorry?? He’s not going to die if he has to wait a few minutes for candy. By the time she finished bargaining with him for 15 min, they could’ve gotten home already. It was so painful.