20 Parents Confessed the Child-Rearing Mistakes That They Regret More Than Anything

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The future lives of children and their social adaptation directly depend on how they were raised. Writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “All grown-ups were once children.” Unfortunately, parents often make mistakes when raising children and then they regret them. Reddit users shared the most unpleasant stories that happened when they were raising their children.

Bright Side believes that we can and should learn from mistakes — thankfully, they don’t have to be our mistakes. So we encourage you to read about these unpleasant situations to avoid them in the future.

  • Using public shaming as a form of discipline. It’s a serious upbringing mistake. ©MojaveRed
  • I put my son, who was about 8 months old at the time, onto our changing table that is about waist-high and turned around to grab more diapers. Terrible decision. Caught him rolling off the table out of the corner of my eye, but it was too late… He fell 3 feet and landed directly on his face. He’s never cried so hard in his life before or after. I held him and just started crying because I felt so guilty hurting him like that. Never take your eyes off your children. ©WhoDat512

  • Oh man, one time my wife and I took our son on a trip to the harbor since he was now old enough to go with us on these trips. After a fun-filled day, we were driving back home and my wife glanced in the backseat and goes, “Where’s our son?” I guess we were not used to having a 3rd person with us when we went out so that’s the story of how we almost forgot our child at an ice cream store. Fortunately, the owner looked after him and even gave him a free ice cream cone until we got back. ©rapidnash

  • Teach them how to appropriately express their feelings. It’s ok to feel mad/sad/frustrated, but it’s not ok to throw a book at your brother or slam the door in my face. I go mad as a mom sometimes, but rather than start screaming and throwing a tantrum, I’ll take a “mommy time out” in my room for a few minutes so I can cool off a bit. What I have my older son (4.5) do is sit in the time out chair for 4 minutes and explain what’s wrong/why he’s angry. I want him to know it’s ok to feel emotions but that there are better ways to deal with them than being destructive. ©PinkleopardPJ
  • The other day I told my overly-cautious not quite 2-year-old to be “careful” when he was working up the courage to try climbing on some age-appropriate playground equipment. He immediately stopped and refused to try again. Still kicking myself. ©neobeguine
  • My 3-year-old woke up in the middle of the night and came to tell me she had a bad dream. I walked her back to her room and talked to her about her dream. She said she was dreaming there were bugs crawling on the walls and in her bed. I told her that it was just a dream and that the bugs only existed in her head. She didn’t go back to sleep for a LONG time after being told she had bugs in her head. Be careful about what you say to your children. ©fitcht3ll

  • Poking fun at them whenever they mention a girl/boy that they like. ©Pixelated_Fudge
  • After my daughter spent all her own money on a skateboard, I relayed to her that I was afraid that if she fell off her board she’d get hit by a car. In less than 2 days, she didn’t try anymore. I don’t know if she had a scare or just didn’t want me to worry, but I feel like I took one of the most physical hobbies she could have had away from her by projecting my own fear. She doesn’t gravitate toward physical activity much now as a young adult. ©preciousephish
  • Being taught to finish what’s on your plate. Children should eat until they are full, otherwise it can cause poor habits like weight gain/feeling sick. ©Aerolites
  • Arbitrarily saying “no” to things.

    “Can I go to a movie with friends on Friday after school? I can pay for it.”


    “Okay… why not?”

    “Because I said so. Stop being disrespectful.” ©TedTheViking

  • When she was, like, 2, my wife decided to let her have a sip of her beer. We were looking forward to seeing that toddler, “OMG WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME I TRUSTED YOU” face… instead she turned out to love beer a lot. So now she wants some every time either of us has a beer. ©C0ntrol_Group

  • Gender stereotyping, my kid cannot do ballet because he’s a boy, or cannot play football because she’s a girl… They are people, let them be people. Let them know that you support them in whatever they do no matter what their gender is. ©gohugatree
  • Not taking your teenage child seriously. Most parents I know just brush their teen’s feelings off because they’re “that age,” thus devaluing their words. And I feel it’s very damaging to a teen’s self-esteem about having their own voice. Source: I was never taken seriously as a teen, I’m 21 now and still not taken seriously. ©Aehnyx

  • My then 8-year-old son asked me if Santa was real, looked me in the eyes and said he wanted the truth, and wanted me to swear to him that I was telling him the truth. So I decided he was old enough and that I should come clean with him. He started crying big crocodile tears and was absolutely devastated. He told me after the fact that some other kids in his class were saying Santa isn’t real, so he wanted to make sure he was before he argued with them. This was 3 years ago, and he told me this past Christmas that it was the saddest he’s ever been and I better lie to his little sister when she asks. Lesson learned. ©thats_my_username

  • The parents that make sure their kids use hand sanitizer all the time and stay away from germs usually produce sickly kids. Your body should take in a little bad stuff from time to time so it knows how to fight against it. Some bacteria is good bacteria and you just killed 99.99% of it. ©HEYdontIknowU

  • I’ve had to really develop this with my kids. I forget that I’m an adult with 30 years of experience piled on my shoulders. My kids say, “I want to do that!” and I immediately say, “No you would never make it, it’s such a saturated market… etc…” They see the world with the hope of success and I see a million ways it could fail. Now I do my best to let them experience whatever they want… within reason, and of course if it’s age appropriate. I don’t want to be the reason they didn’t follow their dreams. ©noname

  • I trusted my 18-year-old brother to watch my son. He made my son get up on the top bunk of his bed so he wouldn’t have to deal with him while he played a video game. My son looked over the edge and got clipped by the fan right above his eyebrow. He has a big scar now. ©theonethesongisabout

  • I love listening to music in the car and some of the music obviously features some naughty or dubious words. When I had my young son in the car I would always skip certain songs but occasionally one would slip through the cracks. Cue Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon. He got home one day and parroted parts of the song and I was desperately trying to distract him so he would forget it, but he didn’t. I had the bright idea of trying to get him to change the word to something else. He was still in the early speaking stage so everything sounded slightly garbled. Anyway, I had success with the word ‘shed’ For about a day or so he then just wandered around singing about how his shed was on fire. Then he forgot and moved on to something else and my mortal fear of him saying it at childcare subsided. I have not played that song in my car since and it has been many years. ©cardboardshrimp

  • Letting my kids spend too much time away/with family. I essentially let others raise my kids for like a year. Biggest mistake. Working too much. I missed my sons’ toddler years working 60+ hours a week. ©invayduhzym

  • Not being hugged. I actually had to learn to hug my kids. ©tuurrr

Have you ever made mistakes that you regret while raising your children? Or maybe you’ve had the same problems as the Reddit users?

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