As a father of two, I'm constantly worried about "spoiling" my kids. I don't want to discipline my toddler when he draws on the wall or won't listen to his mom, but there are times when I have to stop pretending to be a lion or T-Rex and let him know that he needs to change his behavior.
And although it's easy to develop into a cheap fellow-parent shamer and get up on my high horse to talk about how much better behaved my kid is than yours (in some instances, it's true), some parents just hate being the bad guy. Or even worse, they are helicopter parents.
When your children start running around and destroying another person's house, throwing toys/food all over the place, bullying the other little cuties who are just trying to have fun, and pulling on a two-week-old infant's hair while she's sleeping, then you might want to sit their butts down and get mean. Otherwise, you're raising someone who thinks there are no consequences for garbage behavior.
And as these teachers and childcare workers of Reddit revealed in a recent Ask Reddit post, there are tons of kids who turned out just downright awful on account of their parent's poor child-rearing decisions. Whether it's never letting kids do things for themselves or thinking that their children are the bees-knees — no matter what anyone else says — these tales of reverse-child abuse are just plain sad.
1. The backseat guitarist mom.
Music teacher here. I had a heli-mom of one of my guitar students sit in on him during his first lesson. She was sitting right by him, shoulder to shoulder. As I was talking about various things like how to hold the guitar and how to shape your hands and fingers around the neck, she would grab his hand and do it for him. Every single time. For everything. Time to strum some chords? Mom did that for him too. Can’t get the fret hand to squeeze hard enough to make the strings ring? She pressed his fingers for him. He cried out at that and that’s when I stopped and told her she had to let him do it on his own. All I got for that was a sharp look and a “Fine, then.”
He tried on his own and the string just made kind of a thud noise and she said, “See he needs me to help him.” I told her that the only way he was going to be able to do it was to try and do it, on his own. He was the one who had to build up the strength. Things didn’t really progress much after that and I ended the lesson.
With all of that, I wasn’t thinking they’d be sticking around for a second week but back they came. Second lesson started off the same and I politely told her she’d have to give him space in order to try. Still she wasn’t thrilled but relented and got up in a huff and went out into the hall to watch from there. After she left this kid took a deep breath and was visibly more relaxed. After she stepped out, he was able to have his own space and actually try on his own; he started to do better. It was awesome. At the end of the lesson he said he couldn’t wait to come back and his mom came in and grilled him with something like “Why can’t you do that when I’m helping you? You don’t want my help? You don’t need my help?”
I could understand stuff like this if he was a young kid, 7 or younger, but dude’s 14 years old. He’s going to be a freshman in the fall.
This poor kid has ended up being one of my best students. His mom still hovers and he’s still a super weird and socially awkward dude from living in a bubble but he’s finally found something he can be good at independently from his mom. It’s really rewarding to see him gaining more and more confidence even if it is slowly, he’ll get there someday.