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Parenting is hard and we are often our own worst critics. When moral is low, we need to find ways to realize that we’re probably not doing that bad of a job. One way to do that is to hear stories of other parent’s that really are missing the mark. Now, we certainly don’t want to celebrate parenting fails—these are real kids and fellow humans after all. But a few reminders of what bad parenting actually looks like can bring our spirit back up readying us to take on the next tantrum, tackle a hard question, or deal with a little more teenage rebellion.
A post on Reddit.com, posted by user IamAaliya and quickly climbing the ranks in popularity, asks “What’s the worst example of bad parenting you’ve ever witnessed?”
To warn those of you that follow the link to the original post on Reddit, some of the responses are a little dark. We skipped the worst of the worst and shared a few of the responses below.
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.Reddit user thehandsomebaron
Just off the top of my head, I once watched a woman fill a baby bottle with Mountain Dew and then proceed to feed it to her small infant.Reddit user VelvetTool
At a movie theater, sitting in the fourth or fifth row with friends. This was a rated R movie. Two kids maybe 4 and 7 year old are in the audience. They start playing and running back and forth at the front of the theater. 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 bothered to get up.Reddit User TheRedWeddingPlanner
This like 5 year old kid emptied a 4 pint bottle of milk all over floor at 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 centre of this now 2m wide puddle and the mum just looked at me and said you’ve got some cleaning up to do. Unbelievably rudeReddit User 7PurpleAvocados
They feed their kid with only McDonald’s fries. Literally just that, 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, just McDonald’s fries. Apparently, her body rejects other food items. It’s so ridiculous, I am hoping it’s not real but it sure is.Reddit User 23Farendheight
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.Reddit User Back2Bach
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 talked about “naked family time” or the 14 year old who left school to play designated driver for drunk parent. Or any number of other things. Day-to-day normal “bad” though, is any parent who talks shit 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.Reddit User Radellah
I saw a woman and a young girl come out of Pizza Hut with a pizza. The girl was skipping and giggling and did not take the most direct route to the vehicle. The mother shouted quite loudly “Shut up and get in the f***ing car!” Just bummed me out man.Reddit User pm_me_ur_demotape
I was waiting on a table and a little boy hits his brother and the Dad smacks the little boys face and says “Don’t you ever hit your brother!” You just punished your son for hitting his brother by hitting him.Reddit User The181stTank
A woman ordered a large frap from Starbucks with extra syrups and cream for her very young daughter, and when asked ‘coffee or cream base?’ She replied, ‘cream! Dear god I wouldn’t want none of that caffeine in her system!’ Aye love, that drink is well over 600kcals, good decision.Reddit User Cleavers88
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.Reddit User Artichook
But amidst the darkness, and for those English majors that picked up on the double-negative in the original question, one user adds a little positivity cloaked in sarcasm…
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.
Cheer up. You’re doing fine.