6 Behavior Models That Can Turn Reasonable People Into Know-It-All Parents
All parents love their children — it’s completely natural. But there are some moms and dads who feel that parenthood gives them unwritten rights and benefits, making them better and wiser than other people. They’re happy to share their priceless experience when nobody asks, they waste their colleagues’ precious time telling them long stories about their children, and require others to let them pass ahead in line at the supermarket. These are just some examples of the kind of negative behavior some parents can have.
We at Bright Side think that we shouldn’t be extreme about anything — even something as noble as family devotion. We’ve collected the most absurd examples of parents’ love and our studies prove that such behavior doesn’t only irritate others, but it also does harm to the parents themselves and their children.
1. Breaking social standards with the excuse of a child
For some adults, children serve as permission for certain behavior even if it violates generally accepted rules. It can be anything, big or small, like going ahead of the line in the supermarket, undressing a child right in the middle of the park for them to pee, or taking a nearly grown son to a woman’s dressing room. If you ask these parents to refrain from doing these things, they may start yelling about having equal rights.
2. Thinking that children are always right
100 years ago, children just followed whatever their parents said and had almost no say in the family. Some modern parents, on the contrary, are sure that their child is the most important member of the family and any criticism can traumatize them for life.
They will often find justification for anything wrong their child does. He beats up other kids? They probably started it first. He stole money from his sister? He probably meant it as a joke. She ate some sweets in the store she didn’t buy? She’s just a kid, she wanted them! Such adults often don’t want to be responsible for the bad things their children do and just say that their kid is being a kid and they’re only learning. Of course, this makes other people really angry.
3. Thinking that you’re better than people who have no children
Children aren’t new family members for everyone. Sometimes, children are used as a way to increase their parents’ social status. Some adults think that when they give birth to children, they fulfill some kind of civic duty, and their kid makes them more important and significant.
Unfortunately, this is especially noticeable in people who have no other achievements or interests in life. Just by becoming a parent, they can easily feel better than their friend who has a successful career and no children, or they can call their friend immature because they go on vacation 5 times a year rather than finally getting a family. But the only result that comes from this behavior is people not wanting to talk to them anymore.
4. Having a contemptuous attitude toward work
After giving birth, some women decide to fully dedicate themselves to raising children which is perfectly normal, especially when there are several children. However, they realize that their choice is not the only right choice there is. There are also women who want to get back to work as soon as possible — some are even ready to give up on having kids in order to have a successful career.
Things are completely different for people who realized that their children are their calling and profession. Such mothers require other people to respect them just for the fact that they have children and they seriously think that all people hate their jobs but have to work for money. So, such mothers have a negative attitude toward other moms who work.
5. Being proud that their children always come first
Some parents think that children should get the best of the best. A mother from such a family may proudly explain how she gave up her successful career in order to take care of her child, and a father can say that he hasn’t been on vacation for several years because his children always need something, whether it’s new toys, new devices, and so on.
It’s really hard to say how good or bad this approach is for children. A child who thinks that they’re the center of the world is not very likely to grow up and won’t want to take care of themselves since their parents always will. This often leads to situations where elderly relatives still take care of their adult sons and daughters because something is just not working out for them and they need help.
6. Requiring special conditions
Of course, this isn’t about giving a seat to a pregnant woman in public transport, it’s about bigger things. For example, such parents often take days off or ask their boss to let them go home early because they have a child at home.
They ask people to let them ahead in line and to allow them to sit on the park bench because the child needs to sit in the shade. All these things make other people feel like these parents are waving their child around like a flag, trying to get something better for themselves. And of course, it irritates everyone. It’s especially annoying for people who have children themselves but don’t think others owe them anything just because they’re parents.
Bonus: Why it’s dangerous to let your life completely revolve around your child
If you read modern studies, you’ll see that fixating on a child is harmful to both the child and their parents.
- Many young mothers admit that they’re depressed and are dissatisfied with their lack of free time and social activity.
- Young parents are often jealous of people who have no children since they can travel more and spend a lot more money on what they want.
- The people who devote themselves completely to their children often feel empty and lost when their children grow up and leave home.
- The children who get too much attention in childhood often grow up to be anxious and susceptible to depression, and it’s hard for them to get used to adult life because they’re not used to relying on themselves.
On the other hand, the children who are used to being on their own grow up to be more happy and confident. And parents who have more time for each other and their favorite hobbies get divorced less often and feel more comfortable in their families.
Life is a lot of things and children are an important part of it — but they’re not the only aspect of it. Have you met parents that showed any of the behavior we wrote about?
Illustrated by Yekaterina Ragozina for BrightSide.me