Parents admittedly make countless mistakes while raising their child, but sometimes they remember that one mistake that manifests itself in a big way.
Below are 16 stories of the biggest mistakes that parents made which had a lasting effect on their child. Check it out.
1. Something my dad told me before he passed away was that he was always harder on me than my siblings because I was the most like him and that scared him. My dad, before he met my mom, was a heavy drinker and liked to do drugs. He said that he was always scared that I would do the same thing unless he was super strict with me. What ended up happening was he made me feel like I couldn’t tell him anything so I ended up taking all my frustrations from feeling singled out and going out and binge drinking and turning into a pot head. Apparently his dad did the exact same thing to him. I’m hoping to break this cycle with my son.
I want to say that my dad was an alcoholic/drug user in his youth. After he met my mom he got sober. He was a good man but was super strict with me (more so than to my siblings) and that caused a rift in our relationship and caused me to go down the path he went down in his youth. We reconciled a week before he passed away and had a great heart to heart.
2. I built my kids PC’s, upgraded them, cleaned the dust, set up their Xbox’s & PlayStation, Fixed the bikes and did everything that i could do for them.
I should have showed them how to do it instead, taught them, not left them floundering at college when their stuff inevitably breaks down and they cannot fix it, not there fault. It’s on me.
3. This is actually a mistake that my parents made that I refuse to pass on to my kids: they never apologized to me. Not even once, and sometimes it was obvious that they were dead wrong. When I screw something up for my kids, I make sure I sit them down and say, “I’m sorry- I screwed that up.” Do you know what I get for it? Respect. My kids always tell me that they forgive me, and that it is ok. I try my best not to screw things up for them, but when I do, I feel that they deserve a heartfelt apology.
My daughters is almost 8 and she is way behind on reading in school, she’s in the slow reader group, and every time there is homework where she has to read anything with any degree of difficulty she completely shuts down and is almost impossible to deal with. Take the time and read a book or two to your kids as much as possible!
5. My wife’s little brother cannot be away from a phone or iPad for more than 5 minutes without going into withdrawal. I’m not talking about whining, I mean full on (Continued)
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Full on shaking and not knowing what to do. His boredom goes from captivated to anxiety unless he’s killing braincells watching the stupidest let’s play on the internet.
His mom would put Netflix on for him while they went on trips. The grocery store is a solid 20 minutes from their house, everything is 20 minutes from their house, so at home or in the car he had a screen in his face from the time he was able to hold a tablet. He never charges his own tablet so he’ll just go up to anyone in the house, grab their phone and start watching stuff, without asking. It’s become a real problem because now they can’t get him to do anything else.
6. My son was always slow to complete tasks…eating dinner, chores, ECT. So I would put on a timer. Now he goes crazy whenever there is a timer and totally shuts down. Like if he plays a game and a timer comes on he just stops playing. Totally gave him an anxiety problem. Lucky for me he is still young so I am trying to fix it. Still feel junky about it though.
7. I didn’t let her fail enough. She’s a very anxious adult. She was a super anxious child, and I felt terrible anytime something went really wrong for her, so I tried to teach her strategies to avoid having things go wrong. Now as an adult, there are times when no amount of “strategy/back up plan/double checking” etc will prevent something from going wrong, and she just goes to pieces very much the way she did when she was three. Not exactly the same way, because she’s slowly and painfully learning that failure is not the end of the world, and that you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start over. But I have a feeling that lesson would be easier and less painful to learn at three than in your twenties.
8. My parents were the hands-off type. They believe that we should explore our worlds by ourselves. We had no regulations, we did whatever we want. It was nice growing up, in fact, the kids in our neighborhood were jealous. Their parents, however, hated it. They thought we were corrupting their kids, and they were probably right.
As an Adult, I have absolutely no (Continued)
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I have absolutely no discipline when it comes to doing work during my free time. I would miss every deadline and forget about any responsibility. It’s frustrating. There were times when I told myself, it’s time to change, but I would fall back in my indolence way in about a week or two.
I have no concept of cleanliness. I have a had time keeping my apartment clean. I would try but it would revert back to its former condition in a day or two.
The lack of my parents’ affection drove me to be needy. I am still struggling with relationships. As of now, all of my relationships had ended horribly. I pissed away some very good women.
9. My friend’s kid is 4. She was their first child and from day one was “Princess”. The mother is real girly girly but is also very grounded so combine that with a baby girl and the grounded part of her went out the window.
Everything was pink, pretty, and princess.
Now that she is 4, and has a baby brother, already her parents are seeing the error of their ways. She is demanding, a ham, a diva and gets very rude if you don’t pay her 100% attention.
I wonder what this will be like when she is in her teens.
10. I am not a parent, but I watch my brother raise his three sons and I think the biggest mistake he makes is forcing all three to do the exact same thing. If one plays baseball, they all play baseball. If one quits karate, they all quit karate.
It drives me insane because he has one son, my favorite, who is sensitive and intelligent, but whose interests are always eclipsed by those of his brothers. He wants to learn French and take dance classes, but his brothers want to play football and pressure him until he says he does too. I can see that he is miserable and I try to get my brother to let him explore different activities, but he ignores me.
The funny thing is that this is exactly how my dad raised us boys. I see a lot of myself in my nephew and it frustrates me to know that he is going through the exact same thing I went through.
11. My kid isn’t an adult yet, but he is a teenager.
When he was young, we lived with my mom and then later, with my grandma. I was working full time and taking online classes from our local college.
I tried to wait until he was asleep to do my school work, but sometimes I had too much and had to start after dinner. He would be absolutely fine – just playing near me while I studied or did homework – and I would always answer him or give him a cuddle when he needed it. However, my mom and grandma couldn’t handle this apparent lack of attention and would take him in the other room and dote on him.
That sounds nice – and I think they had good intentions – but the result was that it took (Continued)
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The result was that it took me years after finally moving out on my own to teach him to play on his own again without constant attention.
12. My biggest mistake was not taking better care of myself. I have been a single, at-home mother for 20 years, and I dedicated my life to my kids. I always put them first, and as a result, they see me as a second class citizen. Yes I spoiled them (another regret) and I should have demanded more respect. I also wish I had given them more opportunities to learn about gratitude. They are still young (teens/one who just turned 20). I know they love me, but they are spoiled and selfish.
13. As a 21 year old child, I can say I lack motivation. For anything, really. As a child, if I didn’t want to do something, I didn’t. Chores? Nah. Grocery shopping with the parents? Stay at home. That guitar you bought me and I took lessons for a year? fuck it, I quit. My parents always let me choose what I wanted, let me quit whenever I felt like it. I was disciplined when I stepped out of line, but whatever I didn’t want to do, I didn’t have to. Now, a senior in college, most of my days are spent playing video games. I give up on any hobby start, I procrastinate homework, and I have no motivation to break bad habits.
14. “Don’t be a quitter,” is what we said to our first child. He joined soccer, got bored, but we made him finish the season. he joined basketball, didn’t like it, but we fought with him every week to go because we are good parents and didn’t want to raise a quitter. He joined band . . . etc. After a few years he refused to join anything because we’d make him go. So he just didn’t do any extra activity. We figured it out for our other two kids. They couldn’t just quit, but had to think it through and try one more game or practice. Turns out they quit very few things, but never regretted it. Today our kids are adults and our oldest refuses to listen to our suggestions (often to his detriment) while the others will listen but do what they wanted to do but at least take our advice under consideration.
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15. Lousy work ethic. So when they were growing up they had chores.. but there didn’t seem to be any pressure to do them on time. You did them when Mom absolutely lost her shit.. and not until. So I felt like a nag.. and now they are all adults and they still don’t do their ‘chores’. They don’t clean anything. Their rooms are a mess. They don’t help with dinner. They don’t do anything around the house… except leave a trail for me to clean up wherever they go. If I go completely bonkers and yell at them.. then they will help. Once. Then they forget again. I am so tired to being the resident housekeeper. But the only option seems to be being a complete nag. Which frankly I’m bloody tired of after 20 years.
16. I’m the 41 year old single father of a 22 year old boy.
The biggest mistake I made was making a baby with someone who wasn’t likely to become motherly. I have no idea how I managed to keep her married to me for 5 years, and people offer sympathy for her leaving, but in reality she was no less responsible after our son was born than she was when I decided to sleep with her. I love our son for being as kind and giving as he is, but it is also heartbreaking to see how he expects nothing for himself and always willing to accept the short end of the stick. Maybe he would have been like this without all of the disappointments I saw him go through with his mother in his childhood: I don’t know. I imagine I’m one of millions of parents saying this though.
A mistake that I made is I regret many of the accommodations I allowed the special education teachers to make for my son at school. He is diagnosed with PDD-NOS, high functioning on the autism spectrum. I should admit that my son (and his also-diagnosed cousins) don’t behave any differently than me or my dad did, but in those days we were just “smart and weird.”
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I embraced all of the special education when my son was young as I remembered the difficulties in my own childhood and was willing to try anything to improve that. ~20 years ago, however, addressing these diagnoses in public school was so new.
Being an ex-teenage single dad made it difficult for me to get taken seriously by the public school system in the first place, but every time I removed or modified a service from his IEP I had a table of professionals acting like I was a parent refusing a vaccination. What would be one IEP meeting could turn into 3 or 4, all held during school hours where they’re paid to be but I’m having to take time off from work. Some of the reasons they wanted my son to have services came across as self-centered. In Massachusetts there was a court case saying the school can just provide services even if the parent doesn’t sign too. I did the best I could to scale his services back over high school, while giving into enough of the IEP to avoid the school taking me to court.
So how did this affect my son? Well, again it’s hard to say without having had a “control son” for comparison. My father and I, however, did figure out strategies to compensate for our inability to pay attention in lectures, pick up on the subtleties in interactions with typical people, and need to focus on one thing forever. My father used his weapons-grade autism to land stuff on the moon. Mine pretty much got used raising my son alone, which certainly deserves less respect as I’m just addressing a mess I made myself, but trust me it was really hard. My son and his cousins, however, seem to have fewer coping skills than we developed in spite of having so much help. They also have such lower expectations for themselves. My son is in college and is excelling in some ways, but he’s also struggling in others handling things for himself where he had help all through his public school years. My nephews aren’t doing as well, but they also had parents more accepting. When I bring up my father and myself as datapoints for how our personality type might have been better off before these accommodations, the most common response I get is “we couldn’t possibly be on the spectrum, as how could we be so well-adjusted now having had no supports when we were young?”