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Parenthood is wild, and no handbook can tell you how to parent every child, because parenting is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, what works on one child may not work for another, and in other cases, our approaches to parenting may not work as intended.

For example, one Reddit user named -Don-Draper- went to the forum site and asked parents to share experiences in which they taught their child a lesson only to have it backfire. Many of the responses are hilarious, while others are universal lessons to us all on how not to parent.

As I read through the different responses, I was honestly blown away. In many cases, you would have honestly assumed the same as the parent did, only to likely fail as they did as well. With that in mind, I cherry-picked and found you the best responses, and listed them below. But you can also check out the sources where I have linked the Reddit forum for you to give a gander, as well.

1. Mungobrick writes, “Read a book that suggested you ask your kid what an appropriate punishment for misbehaving would be and then carry it out. 6 yo son pinched his brother or something, so we asked what an appropriate punishment would be. He said, “pluck out my eyeballs and throw me over a cliff?”. We didn’t follow through. And stopped reading parenting books.”

2. Catastrophichysteria writes, “My dad tried to implement the whole you MUST eat ALL the food on your plate in our house during meals. My mom was never a fan of that lesson, but my dad was stubborn, so she just let it go. Well, one day my sibling had 2-3 bites of food left on their plate and was very clear that they were absolutely full and couldn’t eat another bite. Dad wasn’t having it and insisted they could not leave the table until all the food on their plate was gone. My sibling realized they weren’t going to convince our dad that they were too full and finished the last few bites, and then proceeded to vomit on the table and our dad. He stopped enforcing the rule after that.”

3. Relevant_tangent writes “Saw a clip on local news about a toddler saving her mom’s life by calling 911 when she collapsed. Figured it was a good idea to teach my toddler 911. Had two cops at my door 5 minutes later.”

4. Shanisasha writes, “Told my children they should always have a good reason for what they want to do as a way to curb impulsive behavior. Am hearing about ALL THE REASONS constantly.”

5. Miseleigh writes, “I’ve been teaching my kids that life isn’t always fair. The tantrums when one is invited to a birthday party have been too much. It’s been helping, some.

Then I was playing tic-tac-toe with my youngest. She covered up the column she wanted to use to win. When I told her that cheating isn’t fair, and I didn’t want to play if she was going to cheat, she reminded me – “life isn’t fair, momma.””

6. AkumaBengoshi writes, “Successfully taught my child to question authority. Forgot I was an authority.
Edit: I said “question,” not “oppose” or “be an asshole to.” And it worked perfectly well, in my case, but may not be right for everyone”

7. Foh242 writes, “My wife tried to explain the concept of heaven to our 5-year-old after great grandpa passed. My daughter did not believe one ounce of it. She responded, “you’re making that up, mommy, you can’t be in heaven and a cemetery at the same time”.”

8. Berthejew writes, “I taught my 4-year-old to always compliment people who insult you. Later, we were helping my mother shop for a bathing suit when a woman said something rude to her. My kid squeezed out from behind me and told the woman, ‘Your teeth are such a pretty yellow!'”

9. MrRGG writes, “Taught my daughter that whining and begging doesn’t get her what she wants. She needs to make a logical argument. Ifg7 now live with a 12-year-old lawyer who is really good at making me change my mind on house rules.”

10. LeeKinanus writes, “At dinner with fam. Starting a swear jar that we all agree the money will go to help animals at the local shelter. Got all the rules down with the kids, and they are excited to start. Daughter (8) says “Well s**t im gona help the animals I’ll be right back!” before wife and I can even process what she got away with, our son (6) blurts out “F**k yeah me too!” both running to get money from their rooms…”

11. MermaidsHaveWife writes, “I was teaching my daughter that if she’s in any situation where anyone is doing something she doesn’t like, she tells them to stop. If they continue, use the palm of her hand and punch “up” on their nose.

My husband and his brother were throwing her back and forth in a pool, she kept asking them to stop, when her dad caught her again, boom. She broke his nose. Literally. There was blood everywhere.”

12. Geekworking writes, “Told kids that if they were bad, they would get coal in their stockings on Christmas. “What’s Coal?”, they asked. Well, it is a rock that you can light on fire. They now want coal.”

13. MisterCrispy writes, “Coworker of mine was trying to teach her kid the “don’t talk with your mouth full” rule. Instead, the kid just spits out their food when they want to talk.

Children are the absolute masters of malicious compliance.”

14. Neonknight80 writes, “My son was playing with deodorant and a lighter and almost set himself on fire. I made him write out “I must not play with aerosols” one hundred times. He wrote “I must not play with arseholes” one hundred times. It is now framed and hanging on the wall.”

15. Waitingforadragon writes, “When my son was about 3 or 4 he started to ask about how babies are born. I sat him down and gave him a very simple, age appropriate explanation.

He just looked at me, shook his head and said just said ‘No.’ Very calmly but in a ‘I can’t believe you think that’s how it works’ tone of voice like I’d told him fake news.

I was prepared for difficult questions and even prepared for the fact that he might ask me things that even I didn’t know, but I was completely unprepared for him to just simply not believe me when I told him the truth. I just sat there not knowing what to do while he went back to playing lego.”

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