Let’s face it- parenting is not an easy task. It comes with a lot of adjustments and sacrifices our parents sometimes didn’t ask for. But one can always try to be better, right?
From not inflicting your child with your trauma to acknowledging their emotions, we have a lot to focus on. People on Reddit are discussing things parents need to stop doing that give their kids mental health issues and each point is relevant.
1. “My parents used to confide in me about things that were far above my emotional capacity at my age, and to them, it may have seemed small, but it made me feel like I needed to take care of them and solve their issues when I was small.”
2. “The biggest one I see is parents who refuse to take accountability for their mistakes. Honestly, it’s not a huge deal if a parent fucks up– no one’s perfect. It becomes a big deal when they refuse to admit they did something wrong and then blame their kid as a way of covering up their mistakes.”
3. “Blame their insecurities on their child. Project things they never got to do onto their child. Put their relationship strains on their child. Make the child their counselor when they in fact need a professional that can give them some slaps of reality.”
4. “Doing everything for them and never allowing them to make their own decisions, which teaches them no responsibility or problem-solving skills.”
5. “Being in and out of their life, causing them to feel depressed and question their self-worth because their own parents don’t want to be with them. Just be all the way in or all the way out. What I’m referring to are parents that show up when it’s convenient here and there.”
6. “Enabling them to continue to make poor choices by defending them all the time. More entitlement and narcissism as they get older.”
7. “Only acknowledging when they do something wrong, and rarely praising them. Again, more anxiety about not being perfect. Additionally, only praise their efforts in things you like, rather than praising all their efforts.”
8. “Kids learn how to treat themselves, hold boundaries, self-care, etc from how their parents treat themselves. Parents: you are a child’s model. Model self-respect and self-care. Hold yourself to high standards without denigrating yourself. You get the idea.”
9. “Don’t withdraw your affection as punishment. Love from a parent is a right, not a privilege. Doesn’t matter how much trouble they get into – you can discipline and love a child at the same time.”
10. “Not helping a kid identify their feelings related to their behaviors. Related, not allowing kids to appropriately express a full range of emotions. Invalidation.”
11. “It’s so simple, but just acknowledging your child’s feelings. “I can see you’re feeling sad.” “You’re angry at me right now.” “You’re scared.” It helps children so, so, so much with mental health in the future, because they grow into adults who understand and can express their emotions. It gives children a foundation of empathy and understanding from which to build healthy relationships with other people in the future. It’s critical and only takes a minute.”
12. “Not talking about awkward topics. Sex, bullying, addictions, masturbation, racism, cheating, classism, body image, etc aren’t often comfortable to talk about, but it’s important they learn from somewhere other than the internet.”
13. “Not setting good boundaries or defining parent-child roles. There are a lot of parents who unintentionally reverse roles like confiding to their children about their adult problems or seeking too much comfort from their child. It can create a sense of responsibility within the child to take care of their parents and can lead to codependency and lack of boundaries in other relationships.”
14. “Demanding your child to hug family, friends, or even you. Giving them the option to show affection creates the ideology that they are their own person. Affection shouldn’t be forced, it should be willing if it’s sought fit. Usually, if a child doesn’t like someone, there might be a reason.”