Redditors Share Past Parenting Mistakes in Hopes They Won't Be Made Twice

There's no such thing as a perfect parent, but these Redditors are hoping their previous caregiving snafus can be a teaching experience for other families.

An image of a a mother holding a child's hand.
Photo: Getty Images.

There's no such thing as a perfect parent. It's cliché, but it bears repeating, particularly given that social media can often set unrealistic expectations for what we "should" be doing. We all make mistakes and try to learn from them. And sometimes, we can use what we've learned to help other parents (who want the advice). One Redditor was open to hearing suggestions from other parents.

"Parents of Reddit, what are mistakes that you feel that you made that others could learn from before it is too late?" asked user u/cbost in the r/AskReddit subreddit.

More than 730 people chimed in, (most) with thoughtful advice from their parenthood journeys.

"Make time for your kid. Really make time," one person wrote. "My son is nine now, and I am lucky in that I am now able to give him the attention he deserves. When I was working myself to death, I was only home to sleep and get ready for work, and it affected him emotionally a lot."

"Refrain from making one person be the disciplinarian and the other the consoler. Try to share the load," suggested another.

"Start learning about your emotions now. Not how to control them or make them go away, but how to identify, name, acknowledge, breathe with, love, and accept them," wrote someone else.

Other commenters took a more humorous approach.

"Baby [clothes] are designed with wide necks so they can be taken off down the body rather than over the head. In the case of huge fecal disasters, this is important info," one person said.

True to Reddit form, however, the thread got a little batty in some spots.

"If there are bats in your chimney, do not try to smoke them out by starting up the fireplace. Soon, you will have flaming and smoldering bats from hell flying around in your house, and it will scar your children for the rest of their lives," a Redditor warned. (Note taken.)

Wild animals giving your kids lifelong nightmares aside, there are certainly times we make mistakes as parents. And it's actually good to own up to those snafus, experts say. Apologizing to kids can be hard, but doing so can help you both move forward. Experts advise validating their feelings, explaining what happened and why, and sharing how you'll work to do better next time (such as taking a breath before snapping).

They also say keeping it short and sweet and using the words "I'm sorry" are important.

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