_Nobody can tell you how to be a good parent. But these people definitely tell you how to be a bad one. _
This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link on the last page.
In a grocery store, I once saw a 5-year-old walk across the apple display, taking a bite out each apple on the bottom row, look around, then place the apple back with the bite out of view. I stood there with my jaw dropped, waiting for her parents to do something. Finally, the woman saw me. Instead of teaching her daughter a lesson, she just smiled and shrugged.
Couple things you might not understand…
A little while ago in a supermarket, a young girl was screaming at the cashier because she had been asked for ID for the large bottle of Vodka she was buying. As the cashier continued to ask for ID, the girl opened her coat to reveal a large swollen belly, and shouted: “of course I’m old enough to drink vodka, I’m pregnant!!”
It’s good food fast.
They feed their kid with only fast food. Literally every meal of every day. This has been going on since the girl could eat solid food, and now she’s 12. She doesn’t eat anything real, just fast food. Her mom told me her body will ‘reject’ anything else.
Maybe you should cry over spilt milk.
This 5-year-old kid emptied a four-pint bottle of milk all over the floor at a supermarket where I worked, and her mum just stood there and watched.
To add to that, the child managed to place the empty bottle in the center of this now four-foot wide puddle and the mum just looked at me and said, “you’ve got some cleaning up to do.”
A kid had a small rubber ball and was bouncing it on the ground and catching it. He seemed perfectly happy, it wasn’t making any noise or bouncing around or anything, it wasn’t bothering anyone. He was just bouncing and catching his ball as he walked.
The woman (I assume it was his mom) noticed this after a minute, spun around and grabbed him hard by the upper arm and then shouted right into his face “If you keep bouncing that damn ball I’m going to SMASH YOUR FACE IN.”
The poor kid just looked so… emptied. Like he wasn’t even allowed this one small pleasure.
It doesn’t matter how annoying you find it when your kid bounces a ball, that’s just never an okay thing to say.
An irate mother of a girl in a private school’s music program made a big scene in front of the faculty and students because her daughter had not been selected to sing a solo in a school concert.
The student had been very clear to the faculty that she didn’t want the part, nor was her voice suited for it. Still, her overbearing mother insisted that she audition against her will.
As a result, the girl was yanked out of the school she loved by her parents and embarrassed, all because the mother’s ego required that her daughter be “the shining star” in front of others.
Rated ‘R’ for ‘removed’
I was at a movie theater, sitting in the fourth or fifth row with friends. This was an R-rated movie. Two kids maybe 4 and 7 years old are in the audience. They start playing and running back and forth at the front of the theatre.
The 4-year-old falls and starts to cry, the parent doesn’t bother to get up. My friend finally went to console the child after a few minutes. The mother never even bothered to move.
I was driving along my street when this 4-6 yr old kid rolls out of a driveway on a tricycle, I come to a stop and wait for him to get out of my way as he seemed to be doing. His mother runs down the driveway and just starts screaming at me rather then get her kid out of the road.
Another car comes up behind and without waiting just goes around, clipping the kids tricycle knocking him on the ground and the lady just screams at me even more.
She wouldn’t stop or get out of the way, I finally just held my horn down till she gathered her kid up and got out of the way.
Chips on his shoulder.
Literally 3 days ago I was at a cash machine, at around 10:30pm when some woman pulls up beside me in her car, in the peeing down rain, sends her kid (who couldn’t have been older than 9) who was wearing a bath-robe running into the convenience store to get a bag of chips.
He came back to the car without any and said he didn’t have the right amount of money.
She hurled all sorts of abuse at him: “I’ve given you the right fing amount, now f off back into the shop and get the food!”
Then a few minutes later he comes back to the car, soaking wet, with a bag of food, and she starts yelling that “He better have gotten the order right, because it doesn’t look right!”
You said what now???
A woman on the bus, told her (approximately) 6-year-old son to tell an (approximately) 11-year-old school girl to move out of the way, but referred to the girl as ‘that fat cow’.
I lost my mind on her, probably displaying pretty bad parenting skills myself as I was taking my son to school, but I couldn’t let it go.
Egging me on.
Overheard a woman tell her child in a condescending manner, “don’t be stupid, lizards don’t lay eggs.”
…Whilst in the reptile house at London Zoo during a zookeeper talk.
I have an MRS in Napping.
They set up a wedding fund for their daughter, instead of a college fund, and told that to her somewhat frequently. She ended up getting an “MRS” and had a $250k wedding before going on to never work.
They essentially told her “you’re going to be a housewife and it’s futile to develop yourself as a person” from the time she was 4.
I’m a teacher. The examples of bad parenting I could give are staggering. The worst examples end up with me calling child protective services.
Like the child who left school to play designated driver for their drunk parent.
Or any number of other things. Day-to-day normal “bad” though, is any parent who talks smack in front of their child. I don’t care who you’re badmouthing, don’t do it in front of your child. All that comes to school. ALL of it.
I was in a department store and this couple was shopping with their 3 kids. The boy child, who looked to be around 8, picked up a hairbrush and smacked his sister, who started crying. The mom said, “Alex don’t do that, that isn’t nice.” The boy replied, “f* you!”
The mom, still ignoring her crying daughter, says “come on Alex don’t say that”, to which Alex then hits his mother with the hairbrush. The mom bends down and says, “Alex that really isn’t nice.” Alex responds by slapping his mother across the face and saying “f* you!” again.
The mom simply says “Alex that wasn’t necessary” and kept on shopping. The dad, he just watched all of this like it wasn’t his problem and eventually just walked away.
I have a friend who’s always had trouble sleeping. When she was young and didn’t want to go to bed her mother would tell her she’d die if she didn’t go to sleep. So she’d desperately try to go to sleep but would be kept awake by her fear of not falling asleep.
Writing checks I can’t cash.
went to breakfast with a good friend and a friend of a friend. We pick up the friend of a friend who brings her 3-year-old son along. The kid is crying and making all kinds of noise. The mother responds by telling the kid that I have a gun and if he doesn’t calm down I was going to shoot the kid.
Mayday or payday?
I was there when a 15-year-old girl was told she was pregnant in the ER where I work. Her mother’s reaction was incredible. Her mom: “OH PRAISE JESUS! YOU’RE GONNA GET MONEY FOR A HOUSE. WAS IT (name of guy)? IF IT WAS, HE’S GOT A JOB. THAT MEANS HE’S GOTTA PAY YOU CHILD SUPPORT. OH THANK GOD. YOU’RE GONNA GET THIS, YOU’RE GONNA GET THAT…” I wanted to punch her in the face.
Drive safe now!
I’m at a red light in the righthand lane, (righthand turns on red are legal where I am). There’s a car coming but it’s always away. I turn right and cross into the lefthand lane as the incoming car was driving in the righthand lane and I didn’t want to have to accelerate too fast.
The upcoming car slows down to my speed, the woman hangs out of the driver’s side window with a beer in one hand that’s on the wheel and a cigarette in the other as she’s flipping me off and says “Be careful mof*, I’ve got kids in the back.” Then she sped off well above the speed limit.
I was waiting in line for a ferry in Washington state. There is a big parking lot and everyone waits in their cars till you load up on the ferry.
The guy next to me obviously does not know I am looking at him and he turns around and smacks his crying 2 year old while his 6-7 year old daughter is watching. He hit him 7-8 times in a pure rage style beating. He looks over and notices I am watching and tries to pretend nothing happened. Oh hell no.
What answer was he expecting?
Literally a week ago, I walked passed a car with a guy screaming in his two-year-old’s face (or maybe younger) “WHY ARE YOU CRYING? WHY THE HELL ARE YOU CRYING”. The baby cried even more and louder with every scream.
A happy ending.
In the waiting room at the doctor’s listened to a father and son converse for 30 minutes. They would ask each other questions about geography, history, the universe in a natural, not interrogatory way. It was clear the father was remarkably knowledgeable and that he enjoyed conversing with his son.
It soon became apparent that this was far from their first conversation of this type. The son had an above average understanding of the world and a mature and sharp way of thinking.
Listening to them was a serene experience. It put some things into perspective. There are more people like this around me, and no matter the bleak situation in my country or worldwide, it is possible to lead these beautiful fulfilling lives.
What? You wanted the worst example of bad parenting. Everyone else came up with some pretty good examples.
Vasectomy candidate #1.
My sister was worried that her 7-year-old son wasn’t at the same level as the other kids, and considered holding him back a year (she didn’t end up going through with it) but my brother-in-law found this development super funny and kept openly mocking his own son until his own son starting crying his eyes out. I was absolutely horrified that his own father was acting like a schoolyard bully.
Here in Belgium, new parents receive money from the government at the birth of each kid, to help with the initial costs like diapers, baby bottles, strollers, etc. It’s about 2000$/kid if I’m not mistaken. Well, I knew a guy who decided to have a kid because he needed the money to buy a new computer (to play games the whole day obviously).
Hard to argue with that logic.
I once saw a mother buy beer for her kid. The kid was roughly 2-3 years old and she bought him beer because “he likes it”.
Not playing doctor.
A couple years ago, I was on a shuttle in Yosemite. A little girl approximately age 10 had this nasty cough. Being in the medical field, I was concerned and asked if she had asthma. The father answered in a curt and rather annoyed tone that she was fine. They were doing controlled burns in the park which was causing my own asthma to act up. The girl was not fine as she clearly was struggling to breathe. I bit my tongue but to this day wish I had somehow persuaded the father to get her help.
Noodles and poodles.
While I sat outside a noodle shop with a friend and my three dogs, a mum and dad went inside to order and left their two children to run around outside and come up and hit/slap/poke/scream at my dogs.
The children only giggled and ran off when I told them to leave us alone and would then repeat the whole thing half a minute later. The parents only reaction was to occasionally glance outside and smile as though it was something cute and their kids weren’t terrorizing my previously napping dogs.
I was traveling through India. I don’t speak Hindi so I didn’t understand what was being said or happening, but some old lady turned round to a very passive little 5 or maybe 6 yr old, and then slapped her across the face with all her force, it was heartbreaking, the kid just sobbed, she didn’t even scream, I think she must have been used to it.
Little wooden boy.
A Mother let her kid play in the stream of wood chips coming out of a wood chipper and yelled at the guy who was cutting down trees because he told the kid to get away from it. She was on her phone the whole time, there could have been nails and stones in that wood that could have hit the kid but nope it was the blokes fault for chipping wood and not letting the kid play in it.
World of Woahcrap
I’ve seen parents lock their two children in their bedroom so they could play World of Warcraft. Anytime the kids came out and did anything kids normally do, they were immediately sent to their room.
There are two pigs in this Story
When I was a cashier, this mom came in with her son’s piggy bank. The kid was with her and must have only been about 6 years old. He wanted to buy a candy bar with his money, but the mom told him no, that his money was going to help support the family.
She then proceeded to buy a 6-pack of beer and some cigarettes with the money while the kid watched. The poor boy had tears in his eyes the whole time.
I refused service to her, and the manager ended up ringing her up. She was paying with mostly pennies and nickels, and while she was distracted I saw the boy walk over to the candy rack and wipe the tears from his eyes.
I asked him what was wrong and he told me it had taken him three years to save that money, but his mom didn’t have a job so she took it from him.
I bought him the candy bar he wanted and gave him a bunch of quarters for the gumball/toy machines.
His mom saw him trying to get one of those sticky hands from the machine and then took all the quarters he had from him.
Call children’s aid!
I saw two children walking with their parents into a park. They played games like tag and frisbee. Afterwards they went to the nearby ice-cream shop. The kids looked really happy because they had such great parents.
The worst example of bad parenting I’ve ever seen.
Note: Comments have been edited for clarity.