20 Toxic Parenting Traits We Need To Break In 2023

Published 1 year ago

As parents we want the best for our kids. We want them to have a good and easy life. But sometimes even though we think we have evolved so much in our parenting habits it’s really telling how we actually influence the world with our behavior through our kids’ actions.

A reddit user, wanting to hear others thoughts on the subject, appealed to the online community to share their opinions on ‘what we need to stop teaching children’.  There’s so many things we may thoughtlessly brush aside but young impressionable minds are watching and we may want to be more aware if we want to help them to succeed.

More info: Reddit 1 | Reddit 2

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#1 Kids learn by watching us. whatever we want kids to do or not do starts with grown-ups addressing our own hang-ups. full stop.

Image source: neuroboy, Taryn Elliott

#2 Stop teaching kids *what to think*, and start teaching them *how to think.*

Image source: VictorBlimpmuscle, Max Fischer

#3 That while they are special, they are not any more special than anyone else.

Image source: OrganicUse, Vitolda Klein

#4 “Please” isn’t a magic word. It often won’t get you want you want.

Image source: GrnHrtBrwnThmb, Monstera

“I’m sorry” doesn’t erase a wrong and is only one small part of an apology, which the wronged party is not obligated to accept.

#5 You can get what you want if you’re nice.
It teaches children how to be manipulative & dishonest.

Image source: CantAimMustPray, Boris Pavlikovsky

Instead, teach them to handle “No”.

Too many people grow up and get offended at being told “No”.

Teachers & Parents want their children to learn how to ask for things in a polite way – but not how to handle rejection.

My brother teaches children and he will actively tell kids “No” and encourage them to find alternative solutions that don’t infringe on someone’s decision.

#6 To accept collective punishment. Whomever did something to get in trouble for is who gets the punishment.

Image source: mostlikelynotasnail, cottonbro studio

So many teachers do this to kids and it just breeds resentment for both the teacher and the kid who keeps getting the whole class in trouble.

I dont want my kids to be prepared to accept this as adults, and just deal with it from the govt, society, their employer, etc.

#7 I don’t believe in forced apologies.

Image source: ITeachMunchkins, Kat Smith

They’re not legitimate apologies and the other child knows this. I also don’t feel adults should force children to accept an apology. Forced apologies and acceptances don’t have any benefits.

I am a 3rd grade teacher. My students know I won’t force an apology. Instead, I speak to the students about their choices and how it made others feel. I’ve found that, once students realize what they did, they do apologize on their own and the other student does accept it because they know the apology is sincere. Often times, students will even try to resolve the issue on their own. It’s common for students to ask me if they could speak alone in the hallway. They then return proudly stating that they resolved their issue.

Obviously, if something is not resolving itself, I’ll continue to help students through it. I will also step in for more significant disagreements. However, I’ve found that students are able to resolve issues an overwhelming majority of times. However, they are never truly resolved with forced apologies and acceptances of forced apologies because the underlying issue is still there.

#8 To just ignore bullies. As a former teacher, it does nothing to address the issue. The bullying persists 100% of the time.

Image source: PragueNole09, Mikhail Nilov

#9 That Santa gives presents to “good” kids.

Image source: filetemyoung, Taisiia Shestopal

When rich kids get a bunch of Christmas presents and poor kids don’t, we’re basically telling children that it is because the poor kids are bad and the rich kids are good.

#10 That girls are weak or too emotional (I.e. crying like a girl or don’t be a p*ssy)

Image source: toooldforacnh, Dev Asangbam


that there are ‘things for girls’ and ‘things for boys’
(like colors, toys, etc)

Image source: iota404

#12 Gender stereotypes.

My son asked me why he didnt have pretty dresses like me. I couldn’t answer his question, i asked him if he wanted to wear dresses like me. He said yes and i sew him one. He’s so happy!

Image source: Frosty_Limit7645


#13 Abstinence only sex education.

Image source: Brief-Resolution2043, Sam Balye

Please teach these kids about contraception and how it works, it’s been proven that comprehensive sex education is way better at preventing teen pregnancies than abstinence only.

#14 That failure is something to be ashamed of and to avoid at all costs. We all fail sometimes and we need to be able to accept that.

Image source: Ineluki_742, Pixabay

#15 That you are only successful and happy with a college degree, married, and have children.

Image source: KMermaid19, RUT MIIT

#16 Family is everything. No sometimes their trash and need to be let go of.

Image source: Livid-Addendum707, Patricia Prudente

#17 That you have to give relatives a hug or kiss if they ask for one.

Image source: UnoriginalUse, Askar Abayev


Image source: edgarpickle, note thanun

As a teacher, I’m always amused by the things people think we teach kids. “Stop teaching ______!”

You know what I spent significant time teaching this year? That soiled toilet paper goes in the toilet. That you can control how loudly you burp. That you have to charge a laptop computer for more than a minute to fill the battery.

Then you get the, “Why don’t schools teach kids how to do taxes?” Yeah, kids love taxes. We couldn’t get middle school kids to stop playing Fortnite long enough to focus on “The Human Body” unit for a week.

I’m just amused by all the things people think happen in schools.

And of course there is the notion that parents can teach kids, too. That’s what we’re doing with our son. If there’s something important he needs to know, we’re teaching it to him.

#19 That ugly = bad/evil. I partially blame TV animation for this one though. This often makes kids fear elderly people and make unfair connections between appearance and personality.

Image source: _kevx_91, Victoria Akvarel

#20 That it’s acceptable to use devices in public loudly without headphones

Image source: Musashi1596, Andrea Piacquadio



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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bad parenting, harmful parenting, influencing kids, parenting, parenting 101, signs of bad parenting, toxic behaviors, toxic traits
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