As parents, all of our words and actions have an impact on our kids. Think about it. Was there something you heard (or didn’t) as a kid that stayed with you as an adult? Or was there something in the way your parents handled a situation that influenced your parenting decisions when you had children?
Our parents probably did things differently than their parents did, but in the end, there are some things you heard growing up that really drove you nuts or hurt your feelings. Parenting isn’t easy, and most of us aren’t trying to emotionally scar our children; we learn from example.
We asked a few moms to confess the one thing they won’t do because their parents did it, and here’s what they said.
“I won’t make mine go to church. I’ll take them some while they’re young and educate them on what it is and what it means, but I’m going to let them decide afterwards. I personally don’t believe sitting in a pew on Sunday will make anyone a better person if they’re not being a decent human the other six days of the week, and I want my boys to be good people on their own, not because they were told they were going to hell if they misbehaved.” — Hannah, mom of two
“I won’t spank my kids. To me it’s the height of hypocrisy to tell kids that violence doesn’t solve problems and then punish them by hitting them.” — Meredith, mom of twins
“Overcontrolling the contents of the fridge, not letting people eat what’s in there. They can have what they want — I can make something else if they eat something intended for a meal!” — Dawn, mom of one
“I will not make the kids ride the bus when I live 3 miles from school. My mom was a SAHM and would watch her soap operas instead of driving the 3 miles to school and back for morning and afternoon carpool. I am also a SAHM and feel like this is part of my ‘job.’ It makes me feel more connected to the school community.” — Emily, mom of four
“End any request with ‘we’ll see.’ [Example], ‘Mom, can I go to the New Kids on the Block concert with Debbie?’ ‘We’ll see…’” — Tivona, mom of three
“Being overly worried about the fine, minute details and never ever letting you forget your mistakes.” — Betsie, mom of six
“My parents never told me they loved me. I mean, I knew they did. But it had such a profound effect on me that I say it to my kids all the time.” — Nicki, mom of two
“I won’t make my kids clean their plates. I think that turns eating into a battle of wills. I provide healthy options, and we talk about nutrition, but ultimately they decide what goes into their mouth.” — Carolyn, mom of two
“I apologize to my children when I realize I have treated them unfairly. My parents never did this. Parenting is hard, and we aren’t perfect. I’m not afraid for my kids to know this.” — Heidi, mom of two
“I will always try to be the parent and not the ‘cool’ mom who lets her kids do whatever they want, drink, have parties, etc. It was fun at the time, but I think that one of the most important things a parent can do is set boundaries and teach their kids to do the same.” — Katie, mom of one (soon to be two)
“Never to say ‘because I said so’ or ‘do as I say, not as I do.’” — Melissa, mom of two
“I tell my daughter she is beautiful. My mom never told me that and, when I was older, told me it was on principle she didn’t ever say it.” — Jill, mom of one
“I don’t treat my kids like they are my cheap manual labor. We did everything for my parents, even being called from another room to change the channel on the TV.” — Valerie, mom of nine
“I would never make passive-aggressive comments about my kid’s weight — ‘Do you really think you need to eat that?’” — Nicole, mom of three