No one who has been responsible for raising a child into a productive human being would ever argue the process was easy in any way, no matter how enjoyable it was overall.
It’s stressful, it’s hard, and there isn’t a handbook or a rulebook or any kind of book that people can agree on, to be honest.
We’re all learning on the job, so if you’re curious whether or not there are some areas you need to work on going forward, these 15 people have some thoughts on things many parents struggle to accept.
15. You’re just their caretaker for awhile.
Your kid doesn’t ever really “belong” to you. They are just another human who has their own life.
You’re just responsible for helping them figure out life.
14. Mental health issues are not a reflection on you.
My cousin had to wait until adulthood to get several diagnoses because my aunt refused to accept that her child could have a mental illness. It really messed her up because she needed help and got into a lot of trouble that she never wanted to be in.
My cousin’s son mentioned one day that he’d been having doom and gloom thoughts. They’ve been to multiple therapists, doctors, and specialists over the past couple years, trying to get him the correct meds and therapies to help him.
She fights so hard for her kid and is his safety net. He can tell her anything and she gets him help. But I see in her eyes how much it hurts her to realize that she’s the parent she needed as kid but never had. I tell her often how proud I am of her! As does her son!
13. They’ll come back eventually.
That when kids grow up, they will enjoy spending time with you if you treat them like a friend.
They will not enjoy spending time with you if you continue to act like an authority figure or someone who knows better.
12. Bless her heart.
I struggled to read in first grade and had to go to a specialist. One particularly frustrating night my mom said “I never thought my kid couldn’t read”, and I think she cried.
I ended up getting a degree in writing, then a masters, and reading and writing is like 90% of my job now. If she hadn’t gotten help for me who knows how different my life would be.
11. There are no guarantees.
You can be a good person your entire life, and still have a sh**ty life.
This is probably the most depressing.
10. Don’t blame a phase.
That some kids can’t help them with some of their struggles/ hardships
And that some kids have depression and it may not be a phase.
I feel like the signs of depression (and other mental illnesses) in kids needs to be talked about more. I didn’t get treatment until my 30s and thought it was just something I had been suffering from for a few years… looking back I’ve had anxiety and depression pretty much my entire life and I had absolutely no idea.
The signs were there, but I can see why my parents missed them.
9. Don’t expect them to be in charge.
Your daughter is your child, not your co-parent.
8. No matter what.
Above all else, YOU should be the safest person for your child. You should make it safe for them to be themselves. You should make it safe for them to have bad days or bad emotions.
You should make it safe for them to exist. Because if you don’t make it safe for them when they’re a kid, it’s really hard for them to find safety in themselves as an adult.
7. Don’t do this.
An easy way to get your child to start lying to you is by accusing them of lying when your kid is telling you the truth.
Kid: [says something that is true]
Parent: Stop lying!
Kid: [repeats the same true statement]
Parent: I told you to stop lying!
Kid: [now tells a lie the parent wants to hear]
Parent: There, doesn’t it feel good to tell the truth? However, since you were lying earlier, I am going to punish you.
6. The small things are big.
Reading this thread made me want to share a quote I heard a long time ago. “When they are little, treat the small things like big things, because if you don’t, when they are older, they won’t share the big things with you. The small things are big to them.” – Can’t Remember
5. Have realistic expectations.
Some parents need to accept that a whole day of shopping with the little kid isn’t realistic, and that instead, you just need to do what you can and take them home if they’re screaming and crying, especially if they’re little.
Little kids especially have a limit. They won’t be able to handle a full day of shopping for a while. Don’t push the kid to the point of screeching, screaming, and crying and expect them to continue. It makes them, you and everybody else miserable.
TL;DR just take your kid home when they’re tired.
4. If they don’t trust you…
That we aren’t always going to be your baby
You are not always right
Sometimes we don’t tell you the full truth for a reason, like it backfiring on us and making the whole situation worse for us in every way shape and form.
3. It’s part of growing up.
Teenagers need their privacy.
You don’t need to and shouldn’t know everything that is going on in their life.
2. Accept them the way they are.
That your children may turn out completely different to you – different interests, different hobbies, different ideologies, different religions.
Don’t get pissy at your kid because he likes reading instead of football.
1. As much as sticks and stones.
Your words hurt.
If I finally hurt you with words one time, then take a wild guess who I learned that from.
I think these are all valid complaints, but executing them well is easier said than done.
What do you wish more parents did better? If it’s not on this list, drop it in the comments!