12 Seemingly Harmless Parenting Mistakes With Big Consequences

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As a parent, you want to build a loving, safe environment for your kids. But did you know that some innocuous things like teasing can negatively affect your children’s mental and emotional well-being, so much so that they carry it to adulthood? With that in mind, you should avoid these 12 seemingly harmless parenting mistakes. 


Stubborn Young Kid With Freckles Teasing Covering His Closed Ears
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Good-natured teasing may seem harmless, but it makes kids uncomfortable and stressed.

Never Saying Sorry

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Many parents have difficulty admitting their faults and apologizing, causing a strained relationship with their kids. 

A poster mentions, “The only use my parents ever had for the word ‘sorry’ was a condescending ‘sorry you feel that way, sorry I was too lenient,’ kind of way. It messes you mentally and sets you up for a bit of narcissism if you don’t address it.”

Not Following Through With Your Promises

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Your kids will view you as unreliable or a liar when you fail to follow up on promises. So, avoid making promises you can’t keep.  

Rewarding Kids for Something They Already Enjoy

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“Take, for example, reading. If a child loves reading, let them read without giving a reward. Once you start rewarding the child for that act, their intrinsic motivation gets replaced,” explains a post.  

Not Congratulating Your Child When They Achieve Something

Portrait Of A Somber Little Boy In Blue And White
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When you don’t congratulate your child’s achievements, they may feel like they aren’t good enough. Also, “don’t just show them love when they achieve something,” or “praise them when they don’t deserve it.”

Not Creating a Safe Space for Your Kids to Tell Their Secrets

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When parents do this, their kids learn “to lie and keep secrets really well.” It also makes “the idea of open communication an alien” concept to them.  

Not Stopping When Your Child Says “Stop”

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“Kids who have parents that don’t respect their boundaries always end up being the biggest bullies because they’ve learned they don’t have to respect other people’s feelings,” a commentator points out.

Therefore, always listen to your child’s request to stop playing, “teasing, tickling, or wrestling.” 

Not Giving an Actual and Straightforward Birds and the Bees Talk

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Parents also neglect their responsibility to teach the birds and the bees to their kids, leaving the role to teachers, books, or the internet. One lady recalls, “I never had the talk. So when I got my first period, I literally thought I was dying. That messed me up.” 

Involving Kids in Problems They Have No Control Over

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A poster says, “My parents felt the need to keep me in the loop regarding our pending foreclosure when I was 10. I barely slept for months. I was convinced the cops would bust in at midnight and throw us outside.” Why stress a child over such things? 

Giving Into Your Kids Wants and Desires

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It’s okay to satisfy your kids’ desires, but ensure you uphold discipline, or they’ll be in for a rude awakening. One commentator says, “I am a 21-year-old currently dealing with the consequences of my parents not enforcing rules. I am working on self-discipline, and it’s hard.”

Telling Your Kid They Are Always a Winner

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“We love our kids and want them to feel special, but (telling them this) is setting them to be disappointed later in life, when they find out not everyone can win,” shares a parent, “Let them feel the disappointments early on and teach them it’s ok. They’ll grow up better able to handle the stresses of life.”

Not Having Them Do Chores

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Some parents dote on their kids and never give them reasonable chores. Sadly, these kids find themselves unequipped to handle basic responsibilities when they move out. 

“When I moved out to university, I didn’t know how to clean, when to clean, what to clean with, how to wash clothes, how to get them dry, etc. The only thing I could do was cook and binge drink,” recalls a user. 

Source: Reddit
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