20 “Normal” Things Parents Do That Lowkey Mess up Their Kids in the Long Run

John
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Parents, we mean well. We try to shape our kiddos into well-rounded individuals ready to brave the world. But we’re not perfect. Although brimming with love and good intentions, our strategies sometimes are lowkey messing up our youngsters in the long run. We serve them chicken nuggets when they refuse broccoli and give in to their tantrums for that candy bar at the checkout line— all in the name of peace. Welcome to our wild ride as we unveil 20 “normal” things parents do that might set their kids up for some not-so-ordinary struggles. Buckle up because controversy is just around the corner.

Overprotective Parenting

While often donned in the deceiving cloak of care and concern, overprotective parenting can stealthily wreak havoc on a child's development. This well-meaning yet insidious norm can cripple a child's ability to take risks and navigate the world independently.Imagine this: children are like kites. They need the wind of freedom to soar, not the tether of overprotection yanking them back to the safe but stifling confines of the ground. So next time you're tempted to bubble wrap your child's universe, remember that little scrapes and bumps are a crucial part of their journey towards resilience and self-reliance.
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While often donned in the deceiving cloak of care and concern, overprotective parenting can stealthily wreak havoc on a child’s development. This well-meaning yet insidious norm can impede a child’s ability to take risks and navigate the world independently.

Imagine this: children are like kites. They need the wind of freedom to soar, not the rope of overprotection yanking them back to the safe but stifling confines of the ground. So next time you’re tempted to bubble wrap your child’s universe, remember that little scrapes and bumps are a crucial part of their journey towards resilience and self-reliance.

Being Too Permissive

Being too permissive is like handing over all the candy in the store to your child and simply hoping they won't end up with a sugar rush. While it may seem like you're giving your child the freedom they crave, you're ironically setting the stage for a future filled with a lack of discipline, an inability to handle rejection, and an unhealthy sense of entitlement.
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Being too permissive is like handing over all the candy in the store to your child and simply hoping they won’t end up with a sugar rush. While it may seem like you’re giving your child the freedom they crave, you’re ironically setting the stage for a future filled with a lack of discipline, an inability to handle rejection, and an unhealthy sense of entitlement.

Like a garden needing pruning, children without boundaries grow wild and unchecked. Too much freedom too soon is not just parenting; it’s a recipe for disaster.

Micromanaging

Micromanaging is the helicopter parent's favorite dance move, but it's a routine that steps all over their child's confidence. These parents are so intent on perfecting their child's life choreography that they don't realize they're tripping up their kid's chance to learn their own steps.It's high time we realized that children aren't marionettes, and parents shouldn't be puppeteers. Let's cut the strings, shall we?
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Micromanaging is the helicopter parent’s favorite dance move, but it’s a routine that takes over their child’s confidence. These parents are so intent on perfecting their child’s life choreography that they don’t realize they’re tripping their kid’s chance to learn their steps.

It’s high time we realized that children aren’t marionettes, and parents shouldn’t be puppeteers. Let’s cut the strings, shall we?

Too Much Praise

You know that family who treats their kid like they've just won the Nobel Prize because they finished their broccoli? Yeah, that's a one-way ticket to Egosville. When parents drown their children in excessive praise for every minor achievement, they inadvertently set them up for a reality check.The world isn't going to throw a parade every time they tie their shoelaces. This avalanche of adoration can inflate kids' self-perception, leaving them ill-equipped to deal with criticism, failure, or the fact that not everything they do is award-worthy.
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You know that family who treats their kid like they’ve just won the Nobel Prize because they finished their broccoli? Yeah, that’s a one-way ticket to Egosville. When parents drown their children in excessive praise for every minor achievement, they inadvertently set them up for a reality check.

The world isn’t going to throw a parade every time they tie their shoelaces. This avalanche of adoration can inflate kids’ self-perception, leaving them ill-equipped to deal with criticism, failure, or the fact that not everything they do is award-worthy.

Overscheduling

Excessive criticism can feel like a rite of passage in some households, deemed necessary to shape up those 'soft' children into tough, resilient adults. But let's call it for what it actually is: a low-key form of demolition. It's like a wrecking ball to self-esteem, swaying back and forth, crash after crash, until all that's left of a child's confidence is rubble. This normalizes the idea that constant criticism is a token of love, creating a future generation that mistakes emotional distress for affection. Time for a reality check, parents! Isn't it high time we start building our kids up rather than tearing them down?
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Parents, in their unending quests to create prodigal sons and daughters, often pack their kids’ schedules tighter than a tin of sardines. They believe every moment must be productive and, thus, downplay the importance of free play and downtime.

However, this incessant overscheduling can lead to stress, anxiety, and even burnout in children. Kids aren’t mini CEOs—they need space to breathe, explore, and let their imaginations run wild.

Neglecting Emotional Needs

Now, let's talk about the art of neglecting emotional needs, or as I like to call it, "Poker Face Parenting." This is when parents are so focused on ensuring their kids know the multiplication table by heart that they forget these little humans also have a heart. Emotions aren't just those pesky tantrums in the supermarket aisle; they're the real-life, raw feelings that help kids understand and cope with the world around them.So, parents, next time your child comes running with tears streaming down their face, don't just offer them a tissue. Offer your ear, your empathy, and perhaps a scoop of understanding. Remember, these emotional skills matter just as much as their report card.
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Now, let’s talk about the art of neglecting emotional needs, or as I like to call it, “Poker Face Parenting.” This is when parents are so focused on ensuring their kids know the multiplication table by heart that they forget these little humans also have a soul. Emotions aren’t just those pesky tantrums in the supermarket aisle; they’re the real-life, raw feelings that help kids understand and cope with the world around them.

So, parents, next time your child comes running with tears streaming down their face, don’t just offer them a tissue. Offer your ear, your empathy, and perhaps a scoop of understanding. Remember, these emotional skills matter just as much as their report card.

Comparing siblings

No matter how harmless it seems, playing the comparison game is like tossing a ticking time bomb into the family dynamics. Innocently contrasting siblings, like, "Why can't you be responsible like your older brother?" or "Look at your sister, she never misses a homework deadline," might seem like a great motivational strategy, but it's really a one-way ticket to resentment town.Comparisons inadvertently pit siblings against each other, inflating inferiority complexes and fostering unnecessary rivalry. So, parents, give that comparison game a break unless you'd enjoy front-row tickets to your own family drama series!
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No matter how harmless it seems, playing the comparison game is like tossing a ticking time bomb into the family dynamics. Innocently contrasting siblings, like, “Why can’t you be responsible like your older brother?” or “Look at your sister, she never misses a homework deadline,” might seem like a great motivational strategy, but it’s a one-way ticket to resentment town.

Comparisons inadvertently pit siblings against each other, inflating inferiority complexes and fostering unnecessary rivalry. So, parents, give that comparison game a break unless you’d enjoy front-row tickets to your family drama series!

Excessive criticism

Excessive criticism can feel like a rite of passage in some households, deemed necessary to shape up those 'soft' children into tough, resilient adults. But let's call it for what it actually is: a low-key form of demolition. It's like a wrecking ball to self-esteem, swaying back and forth, crash after crash, until all that's left of a child's confidence is rubble.
StockPlanets via canva.com

Excessive criticism can feel like a rite of passage in some households, deemed necessary to shape those ‘soft’ children into challenging, resilient adults. But let’s call it for what it is: a low-key form of demolition. It’s like a wrecking ball to self-esteem, swaying back and forth, crash after crash, until all that’s left of a child’s confidence is rubble.

This normalizes the idea that constant criticism is a token of love, creating a future generation that mistakes emotional distress for affection. It’s time for a reality check, parents! Isn’t it time we start building our kids up rather than tearing them down?

Overindulgence

Ah, overindulgence, the candy-coated path to raising mini-Monarchs. We get it: you love your kids and want to give them the moon and the stars, but when every whim is instantly catered to, we're not cultivating gratitude but entitlement. Suddenly, the real world's insistence on things like "limits" and "consequences" arrives as a rude awakening to these pint-sized echo boomers.
chuckcollier via Canva.com

Ah, overindulgence, the candy-coated path to raising mini-Monarchs. We get it: you love your kids and want to give them the moon and the stars, but when every whim is instantly catered to, we’re not cultivating gratitude but entitlement. Suddenly, the natural world’s insistence on things like “limits” and “consequences” arrives as a rude awakening to these pint-sized echo boomers.

So, parents, remember, sometimes a little “no” goes a long way in molding a reasonable adult.

Bribes

Bribing your kids - it's like a parent's not-so-secret weapon. You've been there, desperately dangling that candy bar in front of little Bobby so that he'll put on his shoes. It might seem like a harmless quick-fix in the heat of the moment (and let's face it, a sanity-saver), but bribing can kindle a dangerous 'what’s-in-it-for-me' mentality in your child. It essentially trains them to expect rewards for behaviors that should be, dare we say, normal.
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Bribing your kids – it’s like a parent’s not-so-secret weapon. You’ve been there, desperately dangling that candy bar in front of little Bobby so that he’ll put on his shoes. It might seem like a harmless quick-fix in the heat of the moment (and let’s face it, a sanity-saver), but bribing can kindle a dangerous ‘what’s-in-it-for-me’ mentality in your child. It essentially trains them to expect rewards for behaviors that should be, dare we say, normal.

So, the next time you’re tempted to use a candy bar as a bargaining chip, remember the price might be higher than you think.

Forcing Career Choices

Forcing career choices, oh, the ultimate parental blunder of the century! Arm-twisting your little ones into becoming doctors or engineers because "Aunt Jane's son is doing so well in medical school" or "the neighbor's kid built a rocket engine in his garage." Isn't it fascinatingly tragic that we're so quick to draft a life plan for someone who has barely learned how to tie their shoelaces?
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Forcing career choices, oh, the ultimate parental blunder of the century! Arm-twisting your little ones into becoming doctors or engineers because “Aunt Jane’s son is doing so well in medical school” or “the neighbor’s kid built a rocket engine in his garage.” Isn’t it fascinatingly tragic that we’re so quick to draft a life plan for someone who has barely learned how to tie their shoelaces?

We pay no heed to the unique skills and interests brewing within our children and try to fit them neatly into the box of societal expectations. Spoiler alert: it’s a short formula for raising unhappy adults.

Allowing Excessive Screentime

Ah, the digital pacifier! Sure, handing your child a tablet when you need a moment's peace seems harmless, but too much screen time can be more detrimental than you think. This digital babysitter might buy you some quiet now, but it's silently trading your kid's creativity, social skills, and physical health for hours of hypnotic, blue-lit scrolling. It's a dangerous game, my friends, one that could leave your child with a screen addiction and you with a hefty therapy bill down the line.
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Ah, the digital pacifier! Sure, handing your child a tablet when you need a moment’s peace seems harmless, but too much screen time can be more detrimental than you think. This digital babysitter might buy you some quiet now, but it’s silently trading your kid’s creativity, social skills, and physical health for hours of hypnotic, blue-lit scrolling.

It’s a dangerous game, my friends, one that could leave your child with a screen addiction and you with a hefty therapy bill down the line.

Neglecting self-care

Under the guise of "parental sacrifice," many parents completely abandon their self-care routines, thinking it's for the good of their children. They proudly wear their exhaustion like a badge of honor, unaware that they're teaching their children to do the same. Remember, kids learn by example.
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Under the guise of “parental sacrifice,” many parents abandon their self-care routines, thinking it’s for the good of their children. They proudly wear their exhaustion like a badge of honor, unaware they teach their children to do the same. Remember, kids learn by example.

If they see you neglecting your health and well-being, they’ll likely grow up thinking it’s normal to put everyone else’s needs before their own, setting the stage for chronic stress and burnout in their adult lives.

Ignoring Signs of Bullying

Now, onto the delicate matter of bullying. When little Tommy comes home with his lunch money mysteriously missing for the third time this week, or sweet Susie seems unusually quiet after school, it's easy to chalk it up to "kids being kids." But let's face it, igniting this smoke screen is a parental cop-out that's about as subtle as a foghorn. Brushing off signs of bullying under the guise of normal childhood rough-and-tumble is a fast track to creating a future therapy fund for your kiddos.
Mikhail Nilov via canva.com

Now, onto the delicate matter of bullying. When little Tommy comes home with his lunch money mysteriously missing for the third time this week, or sweet Susie seems unusually quiet after school, it’s easy to chalk it up to “kids being kids.” But let’s face it, igniting this smoke screen is a parental cop-out that’s about as subtle as a foghorn. Brushing off signs of bullying under the guise of normal childhood rough-and-tumble is a fast track to creating a future therapy fund for your kiddos.

What’s worse, it subtly communicates to them that their problems aren’t worthy of attention or intervention. So, next time, instead of dismissing these signs, maybe it’s time to put on the detective hat and delve deep into what’s going on in your child’s world.

Criticizing appearance

Even seemingly harmless comments about weight, clothes, or overall appearance can be tricky. "Oh, honey, horizontal stripes really aren't your friend," or "Those cookies likely won't help your waistline," might be said with a cheery smile, but they can create deep-rooted body image issues.
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Even seemingly harmless comments about weight, clothes, or overall appearance can be tricky. “Oh, honey, horizontal stripes really aren’t your friend,” or “Those cookies likely won’t help your waistline,” might be said with a cheery smile, but they can create deep-rooted body image issues.

These micro-criticisms, often disguised as well-intentioned advice, can turn the mirror into an enemy, making individuals question their worth based on their reflection. Remember, folks, we’re raising humans, not show animals. A healthy sense of self-love is way more invaluable than any waistline measurement.

Excessive Pressure on Academic Success

In our pursuit of academic glory and Ivy League dreams, we parents often switch gears from cheerleaders to drill sergeants, turning our homes into mini boot camps with flashcards instead of rifles. "Success" becomes synonymous with straight A's; anything less than the dean's list is seen as a catastrophe. We justify this as "preparing them for the real world," but let's get real ourselves.
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In our pursuit of academic glory and Ivy League dreams, we parents often switch gears from cheerleaders to drill sergeants, turning our homes into mini boot camps with flashcards instead of rifles. “Success” becomes synonymous with straight A’s; anything less than the dean’s list is seen as a catastrophe. We justify this as “preparing them for the real world,” but let’s get real ourselves.

This academic pressure cooker we’ve created doesn’t churn out well-rounded, emotionally stable individuals. Instead, we’re left with anxiety-ridden, sleep-deprived kids who equate their worth with a grade on a report card. It’s less “Good Will Hunting” and more “Nightmare on Study Street”.

Overloading with Chores

Let's chat about that chore chart looming on your fridge, bristling with daily tasks for your kiddos. Sure, you're imparting the value of hard work, but have you ever considered you might be crossing the line into kiddie sweatshop territory?
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Let’s chat about that chore chart looming on your fridge, bristling with daily tasks for your kiddos. Sure, you’re imparting the value of hard work, but have you ever considered you might be crossing the line into kiddie sweatshop territory?

Overloading children with chores can backfire, turning the responsibility lesson into a tale of childhood drudgery. Remember, their full-time job is to be a kid—let’s not steal that away in the name of a spotless bathroom mirror.

Excessive Punishment

Overzealous punishment, oh, the bane of many a childhood! More often than not, parents wield the hammer of discipline with the noblest of intentions, seeking to mold unruly youngsters into responsible adults. But here's the rub: excessive punishment can easily slip into the realm of emotional abuse, leaving scars that last far longer than any timeout.
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Overzealous punishment, oh, the bane of many a childhood! More often than not, parents wield the hammer of discipline with the noblest of intentions, seeking to mold unruly youngsters into responsible adults. But here’s the rub: excessive punishment can easily slip into emotional abuse, leaving scars that last far longer than any timeout.

Instead of teaching children about consequences and accountability, it can instill fear, breed resentment, and undermine their confidence. So, parents, next time you’re tempted to lay down the law, remember: less is often more.

Too Busy for Family Time

It's a busy world out there, and 'busyness' has become a badge of honor for many. Parents are juggling careers, social lives, personal interests, and raising a child. But in the scramble to check off all the boxes, quality family time often gets shuffled to the bottom of the priority list. "Sorry, Timmy. Mommy's got a Pilates class."
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It’s a busy world out there, and ‘busyness’ has become a badge of honor for many. Parents are juggling careers, social lives, personal interests, and raising a child. But in the scramble to check off all the boxes, quality family time often gets shuffled to the bottom of the priority list. “Sorry, Timmy. Mommy’s got a Pilates class.”

But guess what? Your kids aren’t going to remember how perfectly toned your abs were, but they will remember those missed baseball games and bedtime stories. It’s time to rethink our priorities, folks!

Oversharing on Social Media

Oversharing on social media, a.k.a. "sharenting," is the new-age parental slip-up. It's like leaving your child's diary open on a park bench, except that park is the size of the entire internet. Hey, we get it; your kid's first steps are breathtaking, and that finger painting - it's practically Picasso!But in this digital era, privacy is the new luxury, and children have the right to it. So next time you find your finger hovering over the 'post' button, ask yourself – is it a memory for the family album or fodder for the public domain?
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Oversharing on social media, a.k.a. “sharenting,” is the new-age parental slip-up. It’s like leaving your child’s diary open on a park bench, except that park is the size of the entire internet. Hey, we get it; your kid’s first steps are breathtaking, and that finger painting – it’s practically Picasso!

But in this digital era, privacy is the new luxury, and children have the right to it. So next time you find your finger hovering over the ‘post’ button, ask yourself – is it a memory for the family album or fodder for the public domain?

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