Parenting is an emotionally draining and sometimes painful experience. Not because kids are beautiful and precious little angels who dispense meaningful wisdom, but because sometimes they can be really mean — even if they don’t know it. But parents of the world, rejoice, for if your child has made you cry, you are not alone, at least according to a new r/AskReddit thread in which parents who use the site have opened up about times their kids have seriously hurt their feelings. And the results are pretty sad.
Responding to the thread, both kids and parents responded to moments where either they were mean and remember it or their children hurt their feelings in a big way. One of the respondents, someone who is not a parent but definitely was once a kid, u/chxrryontop, said: “Every morning as a kid I always woke up to the sound of my mom singing. It was her way of ‘wake up it’s time for school.’ I’d sometimes wait beside my door or pretend to sleep just to listen to her more. When I was 10, I was in a bad mood and my mom was singing while driving. I yelled at her, “stop singing! You don’t even sound good.” She stopped singing after that.’”
Other posts point to how kids can be mean without realizing it. User u/goodnightrose said: “Both of my kids make a lot of comments about my body and some of them can sting. Last week my 5-year-old said my arms were like bags of cookie dough.” Another user, u/Muuusicalguest said: “Ask me every morning if I’ll even try to smell good that day.”
And other comments touched on the particular pains of children growing older and more independent. One user responded, “When I drop them off at a party or day camp and I go to say bye, they’ve already gone off with friends. Kids are getting older now so it’s not cool to kiss or hug dad goodbye, but man it stings, and I sure don’t want to embarrass them so I just sadly walk to my car.”
Another parent touched on the same inevitable pain. Reddit user frisbeemassage said: “My 12-year-old son basically ignores me as much as he can. It’s puberty, and it’s all normal but a year ago I was still his favorite person and now it’s all about his friends, girls, and video games. And I’m the uncoolest person on the planet apparently. I made him go for a walk with me and the dog the other day just to try to have some conversation and he said ‘Why do you make me do things that make me unhappy?’ to which I responded, ‘Spending time with me makes you unhappy?’ And he said ‘Yes.’ I told him he could turn around and go back home then and he did. I cried the whole way to the dog park.”
For what it’s worth, in response to almost every comment was another Reddit user remembering they had done the same to their parents, their deep regret about it, and noting that their relationship grew better over time once they got over the horrendous hump of puberty.