“His Mom Hardly Ever Interacts With Him”: 44 Heartbreaking Stories Of Awful Parents Who Set Their Kids Up To Have Challenging Lives

Not everyone is meant to be a parent. Some choose to stay childfree to dedicate unlimited time to their careers, some prefer children of the feline or canine persuasion, and others know that their personalities are best suited for the “fun aunt/uncle” role, rather than the disciplining mom or dad. Opting not to have children is always a valid choice, but unfortunately, the same cannot always be said for the opposite.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the most heartbreaking stories Reddit users have shared about the worst parents they’ve ever met. We’ll warn you right now, these accounts are not easy to read, pandas, so if you need to grab a box of tissues, go right ahead. Be sure to upvote the stories that make you even more appreciative of your own loving parents, and if you have kids of your own, it might be a good day to give them an extra squeeze.

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My son’s daycare class has a kid in it who’s missing an eye. He has an eyelid/lashes/etc, just was born without the tissue used to see with. He’s a completely normal looking kid, it just looks like one eye is always closed and instead of the roundness of an eyeball behind is flat since it’s missing. There’s nothing scary, or weird, or gross about him.

I once watched a mother scream and throw a tantrum at pick up time because the teachers insisted he wouldn’t be moved from the class as there’s nothing wrong with him being there. She swore up and down that this kid was scaring her child and the daycare teachers should do more to ‘protect her baby from people like that’ and her child shouldn’t have to be around ‘freaks’ and he should have to go with the special education kids.

Her kid seemed fine with this other kid, but his mother was horrified by him interacting with someone who wasn’t her idea of normal and she lost it when the teachers refused to give into her weird demands about it. I can only imagine what f****d up prejudices this kid is going to have thanks that vile woman.

Image credits: 2354PK


I have an ultra-conservative (distant) family member who’s taken her anti-welfare, personal responsibility, tough love philosophy so far that she’s charging her 5-year-old rent. Apparently she gives the child a list of chores to complete, then pays her a small allowance, then takes all the allowance back to cover the girl’s “bills”.

One time the little girl wanted to make some special treats for a party they were going to have at their house (don’t know what it was for), and she (the mom) replied, *“Ok, how are you going to pay for that?”* (I wasn’t there, my cousin told me this.)

I should add that this woman does not struggle financially at all. She has some bank-related corporate job and a very large, nice house. But she will by god make it VERY CLEAR to her small child that every inch of space she occupies and every bite of food she takes has a COST and must be EARNED.

Image credits: blitzedginger


As a teacher, I see this literally every day. But I currently have a student who is the sweetest kid ever, but her dad is … not. He’s abusive, always angry, and she is never good enough. He openly admits that he wants her to do well in school so she can pay to support him cause “that’s what kids do”.

There’s currently an investigation going on with an armed robbery that he was involved with. I’m currently waiting with all the adoption paperwork ready to go since she has no other family if he goes to prison for 30+ years, which is likely.

I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure she doesn’t go into foster care.


I worked with a guy who’s about 5 years older than me. I was 20 at the time so he’d have been about 25. Still lived at home with his parents because mom wasn’t ready to “let him go.” He had a 9pm curfew and ALWAYS had to have permission to “go over to a friend’s house.”

I was nice to him because I felt bad for him and I guess in his mind, that meant we were friends so I got to know him slightly better than you would a standard coworker. He did have a learning disability (so helicopter mom’s got a valid concern) but he wasn’t r******d or slow. He was a fully capable adult.

The first time I met his mom I KNEW there was no hope for this guy. She CONSTANTLY controlled his every move. He couldn’t eat certain foods because they’d “give you gas” or “I don’t think you’d like that anyway,” and he wasn’t allowed to do ANYTHING without her permission. He had his license, but she drove him to and from work. She even ended up getting a job in the same building, though a different department, and I suspect it had nothing to do with “carpooling to save gas money.”

Last I heard, he FINALLY was able to get his own apartment, but I still see them around town together. I NEVER see him on his own. She’ll even go with him to the bathroom at the county fair… And I’m 27 now so he’s gotta be around 32ish.

Helicopter mom ruined that guy and he’s gonna be so screwed when she kicks it and leaves him behind.

Image credits: InsomniaticWanderer


“I’m going to pull her out of school in the 8th grade and then homeschool her because I don’t want her in an environment with boys”

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Idk why he chose 8th grade.

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A woman posted a video to a local Facebook group I’m in last night. The video was captioned “teaching my 9 year old gun safety!”

Within the 14-second video the child:

– points the gun at her face while struggling to pump it and…

– proceeds to lose her balance, swinging the gun around wildly and briefly pointing it at the camera

Mom just kept on filming, because of course she did.

Image credits: anderc26


I know a couple who are extremely religious. I have zero problem with religion, although I am not particularly religious, myself.

This couple has three children, the oldest is 5. They have decided not to send their children to any established school because it would introduce them to bad and ungodly things. Also, they are adamant anti-vaxxers, so their kids wouldn’t be allowed to attend public school in the first place.

They have decided to homeschool the kids and only teach out of the bible. No math, no science, only bible stories.

I’m not even sure if that’s legal or not.

Image credits: Donny-Thornberry


My aunt and uncle are terrible parents. Such awful people that we’ve cut almost all contact with them.

Aside from their terrible parenting of their first child, they’ve completely destroyed their second child’s chance at a life.

He was born with water on the brain (I know there’s a proper name for it but I forget). The doctors wanted to put a shunt in to drain the water and avoid damage. The parents refused for some reason, so the kid ended up with some slight brain damage. It probably wouldn’t have been too bad. He’d always be behind his peers and he’d be delayed but he had a good chance of being somewhat independent one day and living an overall happy life.

Of course in order to achieve this, his parents would have to work diligently with him to catch up delayed development, and likely have him in some sort of developmental therapy and the likes (which I know the gov. and my uncles work benefits would’ve helped cover, not that money was an issue anyways). Instead his parents decided to ignore his problems completely. They never spoke to the family about it and we’re all pretty sure they think we don’t notice that the kid is a bit different.

Anyways, he just turned 10 and isn’t potty trained which he absolutely has the ability for, they just never bothered teaching him. He can’t read at all, which again he is technically capable of, just nobody has taught him. He can’t speak clearly at all, I can’t understand him although I know he is trying to say valuable and competent things. He’s been removed from countless schools because his parents refuse to put him in the special ed classes or get him any extra help. His parents are also super cold. They never hug or praise their kids. He is extremely violent and never receives any discipline. I can see him becoming a serial killer or something in the future because he loves torture, weapons, and dead animals. It’s probably from the lack of affection his parents gave him but I know whatever happens to him in the future isn’t really his fault. He was never taught anything in life and it’s so sad.

Image credits: 15kak7


couple i know have 3 kids under 6, and will smoke weed, dabs, cigs with the kids on their laps.

kids are always naked, even when strangers are over and often are running through the halls of
their apartment building naked and alone.

here’s the worse part, “jokingly” getting the 5 year old to smoke weed, how the story went was the 5 year old said he wanted to smoke, his dad “jokingly” packed a bowl, held it up to the kids face and lit it, and as he said “ little f****r sucked it back and coughed out a huge f****n cloud, thought the kid was gonna puke he was coughing so hard”

( cps has been called but i don’t think anything was ever done since they still have the kids)

Image credits: anon


My cousins kids. He believes in ALL the conspiracy theories, anti-vax, chem trails, Illuminati, you name it he believes it. He made his wife quit a 6 figure income job so they could go and ‘live off the grid’. 5 years later they are raising three kids in a tiny caravan in the middle of no where struggling to make ends meet. Last year they made their kids throw out all their Christmas and birthday presents because ‘they don’t want them to have anything new or from big corporations’. They plan on Home schooling their kids for their entire education even though neither of them finished high school. And to top it off their children are never allowed to hear anything negative towards them. So they have asked the family to refrain from saying ‘no’ and from telling their children to stop doing anything because they are, and I quote, “free souls”…. My entire family agrees those kids are f****d

Image credits: ubba333


In high school, I remember seen a mother dragging her kid to where the teacher was and slammed her kid’s exam on the table and said “I don’t understand!, my kid got 60% at first, then he got 70% and 80%, so he was improving. Now he’s got a 65%!??!?! what the hell???”

Jesus…The teacher had the best poker face I’ve seen in my life during all of this

Image credits: paladin400


My brother’s got 8 kids with 7 different women. It would’ve been 10 with 8 but his twins died at childbirth.

His baby mamas have a Facebook group where they all go to talk s**t about him and his inability to pay child support. We joke about them unionizing. It’s pretty funny.


I know a kid who was allowed to get tattoos for his 14th birthday, from a friend of the family who needed the practice.

Image credits: Anodracs


The mother who threatened my life. I am a teacher.

Image credits: carlz_yo


The only reason I know the names of the kids across the street is that their mother is constantly screaming at them from her perch on the porch.

A quote from earlier: “Eden! Eden! Come here! No! I *just* told you to stop being so stupid!”

Image credits: ginger_whiskers


My son has a friend who was held back a year in school because his father wanted to “buy” an extra year to give his son a better chance at earning a football scholarship. The dad believes that since his son will have another year to grow before high school football, he’ll have an opportunity to start for all 4 years and will earn a scholarship to a good football school.

The boy is also the 5th child in his family. All of his siblings are sisters and the son knows that his dad kept trying until he got his boy that he could groom into a football star. That’s a lot to live up to and my mind immediately went to Todd Marinovich when I met the dad.

Image credits: Mannings4head


The professor for the Psychology in Parenting class I’m currently taking at school. She is the worst helicopter parent I’ve ever seen. She has every behavior of her children planned and a punishment ready to administer when she doesn’t get the result she wants. She even talks about how she manipulates her husband into performing certain behaviors. I can’t even touch on how manipulative she is; it’s kinda scary. She thinks all this micro-parenting is going to create some well-rounded, super smart, and mentally stable person but I think she’s the mother of a future psychopath. She’s one of those “participation trophy” and “Everybody wins” type people. I actually feel worse for her future grandkids. She’s going to be the mother-in-law from Hell, I can just see it now.

Image credits: anon


My old best friend SCREAMS at her son. For everything. Not eating fast enough? Scream. Didn’t hear her. Scream. Cries? Scream. Hes the same age as my daughter. I had to stop letting my daughter around her because i don’t want my children exposed to just screaming at a 5 year old.

Image credits: reddit.com


We had neighbors who believed in “free range parenting”. Essentially they didn’t believe in any rules or boundaries. The kids walked into our house one day when we forgot to lock the front door. Had to stop letting our kid play with them after the day I caught them throwing rocks at passing cars. Luckily they sold their house and moved.

Image credits: Sam_Porgins


One of the office ladies proudly proclaimed shes too lazy to teach her son anything so she is going to pay other people to. Oh boy.

Image credits: avilsta


My friends mother home schooled him because she didn’t want him interacting with females…

Image credits: YourAverageJoe00


I was at a child’s birthday party once and was pushing a big group of kids on the merry-go-round. This one or two year old boy, not from the party, started meandering his way toward us with no regard for the large metal spinning disc he was about to walk into. I slowed the merry-go-round (much to the dismay of the kids on it) and went to lead the boy away. He then said something, I don’t really remember what, that indicated he was thirsty. I looked over at the lady who had brought him there and waved her over. It took a while to get her attention, since she definitely was not looking our way at all. She eventually got up reluctantly to come toward us and it turned out to be his grandma. Once I told her that he was thirsty, she started to pour her Mountain Dew energy drink down his throat with no hesitation. I stopped her and said I had plenty of bottles of water from our party and I would get some. She shrugged and accepted one, let him drink a little, and then walked away from him again to go back to smoking her cigarette about 10 yards away.

It was pretty upsetting to imagine the possibilities of how that kid’s life was going to be. I know it’s not a huge deal, and I’m not a parent so I try my best not to judge others, but force feeding a child sugar filled energy drinks on a hot day in replacement of water seems to be the first sign that the guidance in that family isn’t going to be the best.

Oh, and on a similar judgmental note, I know a kid whose first words were “Chicken Nugget”.

Image credits: tsmooths


Mom with 7 kids by 5 dads. Children 1, 3 and 7 share a father.

Image credits: CHGuy417


I try not to think this – I work in child protective services and that means I have to find every possible way I can to reach parents to change behaviors, lifestyles, etc that threaten the safety or wellbeing of their children.

With that being said, the most frustrating for me was a mother who was emotionally and mentally abusive to a daughter who has mental health issues.

The mom, daughter, and brother were all survivors of an extremely physically abusive father (mom’s ex), the children at a very young age that very clearly caused them immense trauma that manifested as or exacerbated existing mental health issues (violent outbursts, inability to regulate emotions, several other things all piled together – **I initially had listed ADHD here but several commenters are correct in stating this is not caused by trauma. I apologize for that misinformation. In this situation it was definitely exacerbated by her trauma, both past and ongoing, though – both in terms of not getting proper treatment/help and in terms of added stresses).** I became involved years after that man was out of the picture.

Mom spent the entire time I was involved with the family essentially blaming everything on the daughter’s outbursts and as much as said with her daughter present (and old enough to understand) “she was forced on me when he took off his condom” with regards to whether the daughter was planned or an accident. I spent several days working with this family and not once did I hear the mother say anything resembling love, affection, caring, kindness, or understanding towards her daughter and the vast majority of the time the mother was trying to elicit sympathy from other adults in terms of how difficult the kid was to manage. She made multiple disparaging comments about her daughter as if she wasn’t present in the room, coldly ignored her for large periods of time while sitting right next to her, etc. She very obviously still had her own trauma from the abusive ex and seemed to transplant all of her negativity towards him into her behavior towards her daughter. We had statements by police officers involved after one of the violent outbursts by the daughter that the mother told them (in front of daughter) “take her away, take her anywhere, I don’t care where she goes, just get her the hell out of my house.

The daughter wasn’t even a teenager.

I have no idea what happened following my involvement (I’m mostly investigative) but yeah…that kid’s got a rough future ahead no matter which of several possible scenarios plays out .

Image credits: Downside_Up_


I worry about my cousin. His parents were in their late forties when he was born (oops!) and both already had grown kids. Safe to say they’re over the whole parenting thing at this point, and the kid is only 9. They just kind of accept that he doesn’t like/isn’t great at school and do nothing to help him improve. He’s such a sweet kid, and I hate that he’s not getting the kind of support he deserves. It seems so unfair.

Image credits: thoughtfulturnip


We weren’t allowed to watch Stewart Little because a parent refused to let their child be exposed to talking animals.

Image credits: Kellcron


I used to work at a pawn shop several years ago. One day a particularly trashy couple came in to pawn a few DVD’s and some fake gold. They had their son with them and he couldn’t have been more than three years old. So while his dad is at the counter and mom is wandering around the little boy walks over to the bike display to check out the bikes. When Dad notices this he yells “HEY” very loudly and the boy immediately starts running back towards the dad. The mom sees the little boy running back to his father and assumes he’s being yelled at for running around the store. She looks at the dad and says as casual as can be “just hit him.”

I don’t think I’ll ever forget thinking in that moment “sorry kid, you’ve got very little chance of being normal.”

Image credits: edgarallenpwn


My aunt, of all people. Her sons are 21 and 19 (he’ll be 20 in July). She still babies both of them, and I can tell they hate it. She applied for a good chunk of her oldest son’s internships, and her youngest son she still restricts food from, thinking he’s overweight (he’s more than 6 feet tall – people that height can weigh 200 lbs. and still be healthy).

Image credits: PAKMan1988


Mom that tells her 10 year old son when it’s peepee time and walks him to the bathroom and helps him


My daughter was in grade 0. And the three local schools had a fun “sports day” for their grade 0s.

Sports day meant you did a 40meter dash, then obstacle course, then a egg/spoon run etc. All with your own class. So no competition between the schools.

This one dad kept yelling instructions to his 5year old “Elbow him, trip her, knock them over”
So much for the fun


my aunt’s girlfriend’s sister is such a helicopter mom. she used to cut his food for him until he was about 9. she used to ask if there were bones in everything (even if she knew there weren’t any bones in the meal). when he goes to the bathroom she waits outside. he still wets the bed


Oh god. It’s my time to shine.

Kid A: 8th grade girl. She was in honors English but missed almost every day of school due to a “medical issue.” Mom got a doctor to sign off that she had some sort of injury that makes her incapable of attending school. Meanwhile, the kid is posting all over her social media about all these just jitsu tournaments she competes in.

Kid eventually was switched to my class after the last teacher refused to accept homework which was clearly done by mom (in mom’s handwriting and everything). She has missed every single day of school since being switched to my class. I have never met this kid and she’s been enrolled in my class for several months.

The best part? The school and district can’t/won’t do anything about it because mom sued the school about her son and somehow has the district paying for him to attend a private school. She’s threatened to sue over the daughter too, but I don’t really see how. Mom also works for my school district and gets a stipend to teach her “sickly” daughter from home.

Kid B: 8th grade boy. Mom has accused every teacher this kid has ever had of being “out to get her son” since kindergarten. I was warned about her and her kid before school began. I was told to never call home without an administrator present and basically that there are no consequences for this kid because he is “special needs” and mom has threatened to sue.

This kid does nothing other than disrupt class. On the few occasions I’ve gotten him to work, he’s been completely competent and fully capable, but there’s no punishment for doing nothing, so he chooses to mess around instead. The kid will ask to go to the bathroom and instead spends 20-30 minutes just wandering campus, peeking into classrooms whatever. I’ve had to have campus supervisors find him and bring him back more times than I can count. Sometimes he wanders out of the room without permission. But legally I can’t stop him due to his “needs.”

The kid pissed all over the boy’s bathroom once. No consequences. He took another kid’s phone and chucked it outside on the concrete in the middle of class, smashing it to pieces. Sent him to the office and they sent him right back. He’s been in multiple fights. The school actually suspended him for once. Now mom is saying that due to his “needs” he should be exempt from suspensions.

. . . I could keep going all day. But those are probably the two most out there. I got all the crazy parents this year.


Two of my dad’s old coworkers, a married couple, were both extremely obese and led a pretty unhealthy lifestyle in general (eating fast food nearly every day, etc.) Eventually they had a baby, and basically fed her anything she wanted and very unhealthy snacks. That kid is screwed.

Image credits: spaceturtle1138


Honestly, I grew up with a lot of these kids, and partied at a lot of their houses, but one family stuck out in particular. The parents in question often held parties that they “supervised” and supplied alcohol for with the reasoning that kids were going to do that stuff anyway, and it was better they had a safe place to do it. In reality they were alcoholics who didn’t work, and just wanted people to partake in their misery. They wanted drinking buddies instead of guiding their children. Granted, most of them have now become adults and overcame their parents’ selfishness and toxicity, but not without a a fair amount of trauma and dysfunction

Image credits: MrFluffPants1349


These former friends of ours. It’s really sad. The girlfriend intentionally got pregnant immediately after my SO and I announced that we were having a baby. She stopped taking her BC and lied, and then let it slip shortly thereafter. Apparently she didn’t like the attention in our friends group being taken off her and onto us. So that’s a great reason to bring a child into the world, right? It only gets worse from there, as both of their main concern seemed to be “How are we going to get rid of this kid as much as possible?” before the poor thing even arrived. And the father would sit around laughing out loud at all of the abusive things he was going to subject the child to, how he “wasn’t going to let him grow up to be some pussy” and would slap him around and refuse to hold him when he cried to “toughen him up”. The baby arrived a few months after ours and as far as I know, they mostly leave him with the mother’s parents and do their thing. Before I cut them out of my life for being total a******s in general, they were constantly posting pictures on FB of things like them force-feeding him thick rice cereal off a spoon when he was SIX WEEKS OLD, frequent photos of the two of them in some distant vacation spot with no sign of the baby, pictures of them stuffing him into a duffel bag for some unknown reason, and the father basically saying that if the government came to take his guns, he’d rather they take the kid first. BYE A**HATS!

To every who’s saying to call CPS, I wanted to. I don’t know their address though and when I tried to look it up on the property appraisers website they weren’t there so they either rented or are living in a relatives home or something. I know the city they live in and their names but we weren’t that close with them for obvious reasons. When we would all hang out, it was never at their house. Is there another way for me to find out without making it extremely obvious that I’m the one who called?

ETA 2: Okay it’s worth a try I guess. I will give CPS a call and see if names and city are enough to go on. I really feel bad for that baby. He’s about 1.5 years old now and hopefully still okay. I haven’t seen or talked to them in months.


My sister in law. Her and her boyfriend are the most selfish people i have ever met. They live with her mom, who is mainly the person who takes care of her 2 year old but she spoils him and he is extremely bratty. He hits, bites, and spits in the face of every kid that comes near him. He throws giant tantrums for up to an hour sometimes that usually end in him getting what he wants. His mom hardly ever interacts with him even though she lives in the same house, she is usually just on her phone. Once when I stayed the night at their house i went to the kitchen at like 2am and he was awake begging for his mom to put him to sleep and she ignored him and continued to just watch tv. Her age isnt even an excuse (like her mom likes to claim) shes 29.

Image credits: littlelady125


I’ve spent some time in the family law court system as a lawyer. That family in Breaking Bad that stole the ATM machine and Jesse goes over there and finds that kid….it wasn’t terribly unrealistic to me.

Image credits: Milo_Minderbinding


Didn’t meet the parent, but I witnessed someone get rear-ended in rush hour the other day. I hear a woman screaming – not from pain, but from anger – and she gets out of the driver’s side of the car that was hit and opens the back door (to get something out?). Then a child who looked to be around 8 years old leans out of the back passenger window furiously screaming, ‘WE’RE GONNA F**K YOU UP! GONNA F**K YOU UP!!’

I promptly drove away.


High school ex bf. His self esteem was below the ground. His mom sold Herbalife products and made him drink their shakes and just their shakes for breakfast and for lunch (a 17 year old boy, who was the captain of the volleyball team, mind you).

the woman slept with every man she met, was having a serious relationship with a married man and hated girls who weren’t white (aka me). She told him she would choose to which uni he’d attend and what he would study and who he would marry.

Everyday I’m grateful I dodged that bullet. (Mother in law I mean, the kid wasn’t bad at all).


When I was in college, I volunteered to work the cafe at a community center that happened to be hosting a homeschool meetup. There was this mom flipping out at kid that had to be 2-3 that was just being squirmy before praying for the meal. She was slapping her hands together an inch from his face while yelling “reverence! reverence!” in beat with her claps like he was misbehaving dog. As more of a grown up now, I wish I could go back and say something to her or anyone about it. I was really naive then about taking initiative when seeing something that looked close to abuse.


We went to a pediatric dentist who still brushed her kid’s teeth for him. He was 12.


My 30 year old former roommate had a kid accidentally when she was 19, and watching her parenting made me… Sad. She doesn’t have the emotional maturity to show him she loves him, and expects him to bridge the gap between them. She just doesn’t know how to give without taking. One time she honestly looked into giving him up to the state. He kept making suicide jokes at school and causing problems for her. I sat with her trying to explain why she had to take responsibility for her kid. I even said something like, “People like you who have children and choose not to put the effort into raising them are why the world is a s****y place”. I honestly don’t know if she’ll ever grow up and get her s**t together, but I hope she does, for the kid’s sake. After living with him, I love him, and I hope he can rise above her childish, negative attitude. I tried to offer him as much support as I could, but after a bunch of personal problems between me and his mother, it became worse for me to stay.


Mom is in labor, CPS is standing by to take the baby. She’s had no prenatal care, is addicted to drugs, and this is her 6th pregnancy. The previous five have already been apprehended (the 4th and 5th were also apprehended at birth). Father is unsurprisingly not present for birth.


I met parents who didn’t let his kid get into other parents cars for car pooling as it was too much of a liability issue. These parents also have a zero violence tolerance for video games. Mind you but this kid is in high school for Christ’s sake.
Source: boredpanda.com

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