Did you have bad parents? If so maybe you’ll enjoy this piece I wrote about the 10 things parents do to ruin their kids’ lives.
10 Things Parents do to Ruin Their Children’s Lives
Whenever someone wins an award they normally thank God, their parents, and Harvey Weinstein. I’m going to skip over the first and last because I am no expert on either of those guys. Let’s instead focus on parents, more specifically how they can ruin their children’s lives. By the time a person becomes an adult they usually have an opinion on their parents, whether or not mommy and/or daddy ruined their chances at happiness. There are many ways parents can ruin their children’s lives. Here are ten of them.
My parents are divorced. I wouldn’t say it ruined my life, but it surely never helped me sleep at night. The saddest fact about it was that their divorce took seven years to complete. For two fatalistic people, they sure did plan to die before finishing the paperwork. The lengthy divorce was more a matter of procrastination than dividing up assets, which may delay the divorce process in wealthier families. For some kids though, divorce can destroy them. They will feel unloved by one or both parents and some may even think it was partly their fault. I was one of the lucky few kids who always knew my parents loved me, even if their divorce proved to me that love is painful.
2) Selling the family house:
When you buy a house and have kids it’s an obligation to keep that house forever. You should die in that house, or at least in the driveway or after falling from the roof into the neighbor’s yard. Not having a home to retreat back to whenever things go wrong in life is an unsettling feeling for me. I like to go with the Metallica attitude of “where I lay my head is home” to ease my fears. Times are tough so I understand why some parents, mine included, will sell a house. Understanding why someone does something still doesn’t mean it isn’t ruining someone’s life. Where am I supposed to keep the things I no longer want, but am too sentimental to throw in the trash.
3) Missing important life events:
A good parent to me is someone who does whatever they can to not disappoint their child, within reason of course. My older sister will still bring up the fact that when she was younger our parents missed seeing her in a baton twirling competition or whatever you call their “games.” My sister gave up her dream of turning into a professional baton twirler because of this. I was not alive yet, but if I had to guess my parents most likely had a scheduling conflict between the competition and a nearby bar’s happy hour.
Child abuse is never a good thing to do. That may seem like a “needless to say” statement, but unfortunately it’s not. I know mentioning child abuse completely ruined any fun you had reading this. I still felt I couldn’t ignore it completely. Then again, not attending your daughter’s baton twirling competition is pretty abusive so call this redundancy to the previous item on my list.
5) Giving life to the kid:
Nobody asks to be born. For some kids the worst thing you can do to ruin their lives is to give them the life. Whatever plain we exist on before we enter this world is probably a lot more peaceful. So I guess the lesson to be learned with this one is to not even have kids. Sorry for ruining your time-killing plans for the next power outage.
6) Having more kids:
Children can be incredibly jealous creatures. That’s actually not fair. All people can be incredibly jealous creatures. Introducing a new child into the picture can create dire consequences. I’m no expert when it comes to being a parent. I have had every virtual pet I have ever owned die on me. For further information on how having more kids can ruin your kid’s life, please see the first Rugrats movie. Those kids almost get eaten by wolves because the parents decided to have another kid.
7) Behaving childish:
I have often wondered at what age or life event most or all of a person’s childish behavior should be placed behind them. I still have no answer. The only reasonable moment I can think of is when you become a parent. After you are a mother or father it’s time to accept responsibility for your mistakes more than ever before. Behaving like a child sets a bad example for your kids and it will create a cycle of idiots in your bloodline. There are enough of those already.
8) Providing poor guidance:
Schools may have guidance counselors, but it’s really the parent’s job to guide kids through life. The best advice I ever received from a guidance counselor was to start seeing a therapist. Thanks passing the buck lady. Parents need to make an effort to provide their children with a healthy and happy lifestyle. Letting your kid balloon up in weight is terrible, something that specifically happened to me. What my parents could have done differently was not reward me with food. A good report card meant a trip to Dairy Queen. I was a really smart kid too, one who always got good grades because I loved my ice cream. Where did it get me? By the time I was in high school I was overweight, depressed, and a B student. I would have been better off forced into a daily exercise program, which would then lead to receiving a college scholarship.
9) Not being supportive:
The absolute best thing anyone can do for another human being is to support them. Where do you think calling a male friend “bra” comes from? It’s from the support they give each other. Especially at a young age, you should let your kids know they can do anything. Society will beat them down enough over time where they will think more realistically the older they get and realize that Weekend Shift Manager isn’t as heartbreaking of a career choice as a few other things.
10) Forcing anything into their lives:
New beaus following a divorce, activities they don’t want to participate in, a religion they do not believe, or anything else within reason should not be forced onto anyone. Of course at a certain age your child may develop a fetish where being forced to do things they “dislike” is something they pay cash to a strange lady on the street for, but that’s unrelated to this and completely goes in another direction. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. Encourage them to do something rather than nothing, just never force them into a situation where they are uncomfortable every moment of an extracurricular activity. My entire life is an uncomfortable moment. There will be plenty for your kids throughout their lives, don’t go adding to it.