I have an extensive list of comments that I’ve said that have led me to be in a metaphorical version of Flynn Rider having knives held to him…
So, here are my unpopular parenting comments – coming from an actual traumatised child.
If you read these and question why any of them are unpopular, look at most parents – especially those who say, “Gentle Parenting only works for Gentle Kids” – we all know that “Gentle Parenting” is just the name for not physically and verballing abusing your children…
- Saying No isn’t disrespectful.
- Cussing isn’t bad.
- Not eating the food they’re given and asking for something else is okay – this is a firm way of making a bed for disordered eating.
- A child refusing affection is healthy and shouldn’t be taken personally. If your response is to fake sadness and guilt them into showing affection, it’s not affection – it’s coerced.
- Spanking your kids teaches them that you can hurt smaller or weaker people.
- Respect is earned. Give them a reason to respect you, by talking to them like humans rather than puppets.
- Telling a child to take someone else’s feelings into account, over their own, damages their self-esteem.
- Self-soothing should only be started as a 7-year-old; most children won’t have the knowledge of how their emotions affect them before that.
- Children can’t learn the actual meanings of “manners” until five years old; forcing a child aged 3 to say please and thank you and threatening to beat them for not doing it makes no sense.
- Telling your child that you’ll “give them something to cry about” is not a way to stop them from crying.
- A child giggling when they are lying or doing something naughty is more likely to be a stress response than it is them finding your anger funny.
- Don’t have children if you’re going to force them to grow up before their time. Your eldest is not there to babysit your youngest – parentification is a trauma many people don’t get over.
- Don’t have kids to save your marriage/relationship.
- Don’t have kids to please others.
- Parenting isn’t always fun; you’re raising a tiny human. But don’t take it out on them; you chose to have children – they didn’t get to choose you as their parent.
- They’ve not lived this life before; they don’t know how their emotions work yet, give them time to learn.
- Look out for sensory issues because you’ll be able to spot them before most children can vocalise the issue.
- Don’t say “I love you BUT” say “I love you AND” – your love shouldn’t be conditional based on whether your kid has cleaned their bedroom.
- Toys being everywhere in their room is fine. If there are no dirty clothes, plates, food waste, or empty bottles/cans – let their room be a mess. If the toys are always away and tidy, they’re not being played with – and that’s just sad.
- You don’t have to like your kids 100% of the time, but don’t tell them – you don’t like it when they do it, and you’re an adult. Imagine how it affects them as a child whose only constant in life is you. Something horrible said in anger to a child will leave a lasting scar on their mental health.
Any you agree or disagree with? Let me know.
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