9 Common Parenting Tactics That Really Aren't Good For Kids, According to Reddit

People are sharing the most problematic parenting strategies that need to be denormalized STAT.

Whether you grew up in the '70s, '80s, or '90s, you know plenty of discipline techniques your parents used might not be acceptable by today's standards. And all you need to do is hop on TikTok to see that millennial and Gen Z parents aren't fans of certain old-school ideas (like putting emphasis on virginity). Now, Redditors are hoping to call attention to parenting tactics that might still be employed but are all kinds of toxic.

Redditor u/TheYeet56 kicked off the thread by asking the question, "What is a normal parenting tactic that shouldn't be considered normal?" A few of the top responses:

An image of a hand saying no on a colorful background.
Getty Images (2). Art: Jillian Sellers.

1. Comparing your child to their sibling(s)

u/llcucf80 pointed out that comparing your kid to their siblings deserves to be denormalized. "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."

u/Platinum--Jug added, "This also makes one sibling resent the other and probably increases stress in the other sibling."

2. Treating your kid like your therapist

"Telling your kids your personal problems," pointed out u/Designer_jpg. "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."

3. Invalidating their feelings

Just because children are young doesn't mean their emotions are unworthy of attention. u/GABBA_GH0UL described this as, "Invalidating their emotions, be it ignoring or shutting them down."

4. Gaslighting

u/talkingtothemoon condemned parents "gaslighting their children into believing things that are simply not true in order to defend themselves."

This is all too common, as u/Damn_Dog_Inappropes added, "My mom has completely rewritten my childhood."

5. Responding Poorly to a Child Winning an Argument

"Getting mad for 'disrespect' or 'talking back' when their kids win an argument," wrote u/TurtleLurtle37.

My dad would get mad at me for being "rude" and "disrespectful" when I would explain how I felt about something when he didn't agree. All it taught me was not to express my feelings to him. He was shocked when I went no contact at 27 because "things were going so great!"

6. Calling Your Child "Spoiled"

"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," pointed out u/should-stop-posting. "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."

7. Thinking Your Kid Will Learn From Humiliation and Embarrassment

Doing this as punishment is a no-no, wrote u/SubOptimalGoat.

8. Not Explaining Your Decisions

"Like, 'You have to do this because I'm your mom/dad, and I say so. End of discussion!'" noted u/Pohjoiset_Revontulet. "Instead, you can bring your kids on board with sooo many of the decisions you make for them if you take the time to explain your reasoning to them. Kids understand more than a lot of parents think—just give them a chance."

9. Having Kids Before You've Dealt With Your Own Trauma

Many of the aforementioned issues likely stem from parents failing to do their own self-work before raising kids. As u/sargeantsunflower pointed out, "[Don't have kids] before [going] to therapy to address your own childhood trauma, as this just causes undue trauma on the kids."

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