“When I Grow Up And Have Kids, I’ll Be Nothing Like My Parents”: 25 Adults Assess Their Parenting Style

Published 4 months ago

A study conducted in 2022 of 3,757 American parents found that approximately 43% are trying to raise their kids the same way they were raised, while 44% are trying to raise their kids differently. 

One Redditor got curious about how folks who said, ‘When I grow up and have kids, I’ll be nothing like my parents,’ are dealing with parenting as adults and whether they are adhering to it. 

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#1 My husband & I swore we wouldn’t repeat our parents ‘ mistakes, and so far we haven’t. We made completely new ones.

Image source: Quirkella, Paul Hanaoka

#2 Turns out, I’m my parents 2.0 – now with added features! I find myself using phrases I swore I’d never say, and I’ve developed a strange fascination with thermostats. Who knew that ‘Don’t touch the thermostat’ would be my catchphrase?

Image source: Level_Complaint2847, Tatiana Syrikova

#3 I chose not to have kids. That way I also avoided my mother’s “I hope someday your kids are as disrespectful as you are” curse.

Image source: davesoverhere, cottonbro studio

#4 It worked out great! I stopped a cycle of many generations of abuse. My daughter grew up feeling safe, loved, wanted and supported by a mother who treasures her existence. ❤️

Image source: Asmartassgirl

#5 Great. I went to therapy and really worked at not being like my parents. My mom notices and has said on multiple occasions she wishes she was more like me when she was raising my sister and I. I’d say I succeeded.

Image source: BlackButterfly00, cottonbro studio

#6 My mom often told me that she didn’t want to be like Grandma and she turned out to be cruel, abusive, manipulative mom exactly like Grandma. I also don’t want to be cruel, abusive, manipulative mom like my mom, so I don’t have kid. Better end this cycle of abuse with me.

Image source: AbrocomaCold5990, Karolina Grabowska

#7 Amazing,

Image source: WaliW0rld, Ioann-Mark Kuznietsov

I have a fantastic relationship with all my kids.
I’ve never used violence as a punishment, I’ve never belittled them or made them feel small.
Now I’ve got polite friendly children who are loved by all they meet.

It’s not difficult to raise a child with love and kindness it’s mad, the massive difference between my childhood and my kids.

I was hit by a car at 7 years old and yes it was my own fault but I wouldn’t dream of leaving a 7 year old unattended, let alone letting them wander the streets until dark.

#8 It’s given me empathy for my parents’ failures because they are just people and I can see where the behaviors may have come from. Saying that, it doesn’t mean I’m not still trying to do it better. My kids deserve the best of me. I’m also imperfect, but I’m trying to give them the best childhood I can. I think it’s going well.

Image source: Insufficient_data21, Andrea Piacquadio


Image source: SubstanceNo3551, Tim Mossholder

I ended up going TOO far in not wanting to be my parents who were emotionally neglectful, physically abusive and too strict, that I still kinda became my parents in a way. I never said no to my child, gave him few boundaries, always put his feelings and wants and interests first and did everything for him out of fear of him ending up with the same struggles in adulthood as I did, out of fear of him feeling what I felt. As a result, my son grew up developing a whole different set of issues, even though I thought I did everything right. Because you know: at least I wasnt my parents! I needed (and still need) lots of therapy to handle my own demons first. To educate myself on how the human mind works and and how generational trauma works. I had to relearn how to raise a child in a healthy, balanced way. It was extremely hard to admit to myself I was failing as a parent and ask for help/therapy but it is almost impossible to break a previous cycle of trauma without it.

#10 My mother wouldn’t get me braces for my horrible crooked teeth. My kid has braces now. My mother refused to let me get my license. My kid will have it the day he turns 16. Anytime I was excited about an accomplishment? There was someone she knows whose kid could do it better. I don’t downplay my kid’s excitement for anything.

Image source: Kindly_Flamingo2802

#11 I pay attention to my son, take an interest in him and what he says, and show that I love and care about him. So, it’s working out pretty well compared to my childhood.

Image source: ItsDreamcat, Leah Kelley

#12 I grew up with two narcissistic screamers. I am still tormented by my memories. I swore never to be like that. And I’m not. My daughter (10) and I never yell. We are close and respect one another. She is always complimented on her empathy by teachers and is at the top of her class. It works! Family curses can be reversed.

Image source: Penultimateee, jonflobrant

#13 Pretty well actually. Both my kids know that I love them unconditionally and they seem to believe that they deserve love and are worthy of it.

Image source: Cutty_Darke, Marisa Howenstine

#14 I did a lot of things the exact opposite of my parents when I had my daughter. To this day, my mother asks me why she & I aren’t as close as my daughter & I. Well, let’s see…….maybe because I don’t harbor a grudge for everything my child does differently than I do. She goes her own way and is a fully-functioning adult, so…….I am proud of her rather than point out what she is doing “wrong”.

Image source: Obi1NotWan, Andrea Piacquadio

#15 I don’t smoke (at all/with my kids in the car), I don’t keep my kids up till 1 am to drive home drunk and I support their education and encourage them instead of ignoring them. I’m doing much better than my parents.

Image source: Gone_cognito

#16 I apologise freely to my child when I get it wrong, we always have McDonald’s money, he has lots of lovely days out and he’s completely loved and adored. I hope he thinks I’m doing a good job.

Image source: anon, Tatiana Syrikova

#17 It’s hard. Breaking generational trauma is difficult. But I’ve put in a lot of work and went to therapy. I think I’m doing pretty good at being a different kind of parent.

Image source: fair-strawberry6709, cottonbro studio

#18 Well, let’s just say my ‘I’ll never be like my parents’ pledge has aged as well as a milk carton left out in the sun. Turns out, ‘because I said so’ is a legit reason, and 8 PM is indeed a fantastic bedtime. Who knew?

Image source: Warm-Ad-629, Juliane Liebermann


The woman who birthed me was a m*th addict. My bio dad was in and out of prison. I was the oldest of my siblings so I pretty much raised them and at 18 I did have custody of the two younger ones. Our child Hoodia hell when we were with our mom. I swore my kids would have it better My oldest was never obligated to take care of her siblings or forced to do my chores. I have never done meth or anything hard. I have never left my children in a car for hours to go gamble or do drugs in some creeps house. I’ve never even had so much as a speeding ticket. I’ve never pulled my child out of bed at 3 in the morning screaming and hitting them “cause they talked s**t” I’ve never hit my babies for anything. I’ve never called them bad words or insulted them. Never made them clean up my vomit or bathe me. I tell them how much they mean to me. I make sure I am present for them in everything. I’ve sat through every dance class and recitals, every boxing class, every choir concert, every home fashion show. I’ve been next to them every moment they were sick and done everything to help them feel better even when I’m sick too. I’ve stayed up late to make sure a last minute school project is complete. They are my children, I brought them into this world so it is my responsibility to help them grow up in a loving environment, to teach them, to instill kindness in them, to make them humans I will be proud to call friend when they grow into adults. I know I haven’t been perfect but I know I’ve done a hell of a lot better than the two humans that made me.

Image source: Beautiful_Ad1219

#20 It’s working out really well. My kids are thoughtful, sweet, intelligent, funny and kind little humans. My teenager is respectful, but brave enough to stand up for what he believes in.

Image source: ProduceDue7659, Jess Zoerb

#21 Growing up, I always swore that I’d never get married and I’d never have kids. Many people told me that I’d change my mind. I’ve never married or had kids and I’m happy as can be. I do what I want, when I want and it’s nice.

Image source: happyme321, Drew Coffman

#22 Well I never beat my daughter with her own hockey stick so pretty good.

Image source: jackfaire, Tony Schnagl

#23 Great! My kids are healthy, happy and needed significantly less therapy than I did. So I call that a win.

Image source: GeekGirl711, SHVETS production


Well as someone who learned young not to go to my parents for anything because they never took my side, I stayed true to that promise. No matter what bad things happened to me, it was always my own fault. My kids are adults now. They’ve always come to me with problems. I made it a point to treat them as individuals when they were kids. Not my property or things that had to obey or else. Was I disappointed when boy got sh**faced at 16? Kinda. But then I remembered what I was doing at that age. Went and picked him up and let the hangover be his punishment.so glad he didn’t try to stagger home at 2 am like I felt I had to.

Image source: Delicious_Spinach440


Image source: nomoresweetheart, Guillaume de Germain , gardencreator

I found that my parents were both trying to “not be like their parents” as well. They broke generational trauma and yet left me some work to do on my own to break it for my own kids. I have tendencies of both my parents and yet have also parented in my own style which is exactly what they did. LOL.
I’m forever grateful to them for their strength and dedication to the family, something I didn’t see when was swearing to never be like them.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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kids, parent, parenting, parenting style, raising kids
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