"I didn't let my daughter fail enough, and now she's an anxious adult. She was an anxious child, and I felt terrible anytime something would go wrong for her. So, I tried teaching her strategies to avoid having things go wrong in the first place.
As an adult, there are times when no amount of strategies, or backup plans, or double checking will prevent something from going wrong, and she just goes to pieces when that happens just like she used to when she was a toddler.
I mean not in the same way as before because she is slowly (and painfully) learning that failure is not the end of the world and that you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again. However, I have a feeling this lesson would've been a lot easier and less painful to learn at 3 than in your 20s."
"My older boy is 12, and I caught him yelling at his younger sibling using the same tone and mannerisms that I use when I'm angry. He needs to learn how to let go of his anger, but I don't know how to teach him that since I still don't know how to do it myself."
"I'm not a parent, but I watched my brother raise his three sons, and I think the biggest mistake he made was forcing them all to participate in the same activities. If one of them plays baseball, then they all have to play baseball. If one quits karate, then they all have to quit karate.
It drives me insane because he has one son who is sensitive and intelligent. However, his interests are always eclipsed by those of his brothers. He wanted to learn French and take dance classes, but his brothers wanted to play football, so they pressured him until he said that he did, too. I can tell he is miserable, and I tried to get my brother to let him explore different activities, but he continues to ignore me.
The funny thing is, this is exactly how my dad raised us as boys. I see a lot of myself in my nephew, so it frustrates me to see that he is going through the same things that I was when I was his age, too."
"I raised a niece and a nephew. By far, the biggest mistake I made was spending too much time reaching for the stern solution (which was a swat on the butt) when the firm solution ('kid, come here') would've probably served them better over a lifetime.
The net effect for them as adults is an inability to take anyone but the most serious and threatening authority figure seriously. They both grew up to be genuinely good human beings. Every now and then, though, they'll tell me about something from work, and I'll cringe a bit because I know what the source of the problem is.
The boy, especially, had a stretch in his late teens where he gave too much credibility to adults with an authoritarian streak and not enough to those who wielded soft power. It took him a few years to figure out that the soft power person, who could cut off your paycheck was just as dangerous."
"When my daughter didn't bring home a report card full of A's, I would tell her, 'You're so smart, you should be getting A's without even trying.'
While she could coast along in grade school, by her third year of high school, she was in major trouble. She'd never learned how to study or to take proper notes, and she wasn't doing well. This led to a LOT of fights between us. I kept on reminding her that she should be getting good grades without having to work for it, and I didn't understand how she could just get C's in something.
She barely got into college, and her first year was a disaster. She flunked out and had to move back home. After a few years of terrible jobs and general misery, she finally started going to therapy. I had messed up my kid more than you'd think. I told her that if she had to work at school, then she was disappointing me. That knowledge and achievement should just come naturally to her and that having to work hard was an indication that she had somehow failed. It was better to not work and fail outright/not do well than it was to have to work for that A. I felt so awful.
She spent two years working with a therapist, and she finally went back to school when she was 25. She's currently working on her Masters and has been on the Dean's List every semester. She's a smart woman and amazingly hard-working. I am so proud of all the effort she continues to put into her studies. I tell her all the time how proud I am of how hard she tries."
"'Don't be a quitter' is what we always said to our first child. He joined soccer and got bored, but we made him finish the season. He then joined basketball and didn't like it, but we fought with him every week to continue going because we were good parents and didn't want to raise a quitter. He joined the band and so forth, but this pattern always continued
After a few years, he refused to join anything because we'd make him go, so he just didn't do any extra activities. We figured it out with our other two kids, though. They weren't allowed to quit, but they had to think it through and try one more game or practice. It turns out, they quit very few things and never regretted it.
Today, our kids are adults. Unfortunately, our oldest refuses to listen to any of the suggestions that we make (which is often to his own detriment), while the others will at least listen, but then they will do whatever they want. But hey, at least they take our advice into consideration."
"My wife's little brother can't stand to be away from his phone or iPad for more than five minutes without going into withdrawal. I'm not talking about winning, but I mean full-on shaking and not knowing what to do. His boredom goes from captivated to anxiety unless he's killing brain cells watching something online or playing on the internet. His mom would even put Netflix on for him while they went on trips.
Even going to the grocery store (which is about 20 minutes away from their place), he would need to have a screen in front of his face in the car. He never charges his tablet and just goes up to anyone in their house, would grab their phone, and start watching stuff without even asking.
It has turned into a real problem now because they actually can't get him to do anything else."
"My parents were the 'hands-off' type and believed that we should explore the world by ourselves. We had no regulations, and we did whatever we wanted to. It was nice growing up. In fact, the kids in our neighborhood were always jealous. Their parents, however, hated it. They thought we were corrupting their kids, and they were probably right.
As an adult, I have absolutely no discipline when it came to doing work during my free time. I would miss every deadline and forget about any responsibility. It was frustrating. There were times when I told myself, 'It's time to change,' but I would fall back into my indolence way in about a week or two. I had no concept of cleanliness. I had a hard time keeping my apartment clean. I would try, but it would always revert to its former condition in a day or two.
The lack of my parent's affection drove me to be needy. I still struggle with relationships. As of right now, all my relationships have ended horribly, and I've pushed away some outstanding women."
"Without a doubt, I didn't let them fail at things enough. There are so many lessons to learn from falling and picking yourself back up (from having to suffer the consequences to learning how to celebrate your victories).
I'm watching my son right now struggle with this as a man while also watching him do the exact the same thing with his daughter. He never lets her fail because he never wants to see her hurt, and I get it. But, I should've let them fail more."
"My kids are in their 30s. I will say, when I was a kid, I felt like my parents didn't try to have a relationship with me. Like a relationship where I would talk to them, and they would know me.
When I had kids, I vowed to do it differently. My kids like me, but they also tell me way too much. It is stressful to know all of their problems. Also, I think they developed an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Both of them seem to think that life should be easier, and they can't understand why things happen. Instead of owning it and saying, 'I messed up,' they seem to blame problems on outside forces.
They are getting better now. Both of them are in college and living on their own; one even has two kids. I did a lot of things right when they were kids, so they're both good people, but I think I should've let them suffer a little bit more when they were young and tried not to create a perfect life for them."
"My friend's daughter is 4, and she was their first child. From day one, she was their 'Princess.' The mother was girly, but she was also very grounded. So, combine that with a baby girl, and the grounded part of her, unfortunately, went out the window. Everything was pink, pretty, and princessy.
Now that she has a baby brother, her parents already see the error of their ways. She is demanding, a total diva, and gets rude if you do not give her all of your attention.
I wonder what she'll be like in her teens."
"I tried too hard to shield my children from heartache and rough times because I grew up in a neglectful and abusive home. Bad things happen, life is unfair, heartbreak happens, and sometimes we fail. I know it hurts, but don't shield your children from it all too much.
They need to work on healthy coping skills. They need to learn how to handle these things, and they need to know how to cope when they are the ones being mean to someone. Pain, tears, and railing against fate, it all needs to happen.
As adults, my sons were easily rocked by bad times, and they had to learn how to cope better because I had sheltered them so much from the pain that life had to offer."
"I never had much money when my children were growing up, and I was irresponsible with what money I did have. I didn't want my sons to worry, so they never knew when I was poor, and I still bought them about what they wanted.
I wish now I had been more open and just said, 'I can't afford this.' Because now, my 19-year-old has the same bad habits that I did. He has no idea how much stuff costs. He overdrafts fees because he doesn't pay attention and makes impulse purchases.
This week, I told him that, somehow, we're going to learn how to budget together."
"I'm an aunt, and I can see this happening to my nephew.
His dad is one of those people who think that 'MEN SHOULD BE MEN. MEN ARE TOUGH AND STRONG. THEY DO SPORTS AND ROUGHHOUSE.' Whereas my nephew, who is teeny-tiny, has always been a much more sensitive, arts and science type of kid.
He's 8 now and recently told my parents that he wouldn't hug them because 'Real men don't hug each other.' He was forced into sports when he had no interest in them, and his dad doesn't even acknowledge his successes in school because they're not sports-related."
"My parents never apologized to me. Not even once even when it was more than obvious they were wrong.
When I mess something up for my kids, I make sure I sit them down and say, 'I'm sorry, I messed up.'
Do you know what I get for it? Respect.
My kids always tell me that they forgive me and that it's okay. I always try my best not to mess things up for them, but when I do, I feel like they do deserve a heartfelt apology."
"My son has always been slow to complete tasks (i.e., eating dinner, doing chores, and so forth). So, I would put on a timer. Now he goes crazy whenever there is a timer and shuts down. Breakfast took an hour and then he would late to school.
If he's playing a game, and a timer comes on, he stops playing. To try and fix the problem, I recently got him a game which the timer is for an extra reward instead of a 'you lose if you don't beat it,' and that seemed to help a bit.
I haven't done the timer thing on at least a year but it still sticks with him. I gave him an anxiety problem.
Lucky for me, he is still young. So, I am trying to fix this."
"My kid isn't an adult yet, but he is a teenager. When he was young, we lived with my mom and then later my grandma. I was working full-time and taking online classes at our local college.
I tried to wait until he was asleep to do my school work, but sometimes, I had too much and had to start after dinner. He would be fine just playing near me while I studied or did my homework, and I would always answer him or give him a cuddle when he needed it. However, my mom and grandma couldn't handle this apparent lack of attention and would take him into the other room and dote on him.
Now, that may sound nice, and I think they had good intentions. However, it took me years to teach him how to play on his own again without receiving constant attention after I had moved out on my own."
"My daughter is almost 8 years old, and she's behind when it comes to reading in school. She's in the 'slow reader' group, and every time there's any homework that involves reading something with a higher degree of difficulty, she shuts down and is almost impossible to deal with."