I know this probably isn’t the platform where I’ll reach the most parents, but I think that if we viewed a child’s ‘failures’ as failures on other people’s part to help, kids would be so much better off.

I saw a mother brag about how she took her twelve year old’s phone away for four months until their grades came up… but got angry when people asked what OTHER methods she used to help the child.

Was she sitting down and helping the child with their homework? Was she asking if there was something going on in the child’s school life that was making things harder? Trying to help her study? Actually teaching the child to self-regulate and prioritize tasks? Helping the child keep up with due dates and taking them to study groups?

No, nothing. Just punishing the kid for not doing well, without anything else. Of course the mom was real defensive, even though no one was even judging her—it was other parents interested and seeing if the mom had tips and tricks to make it work! And then it came out that the child had been being bullied in school, leading to their grades slipping. Nothing to do with the phone to begin with.

But the mother saw the child’s grades as simply a reflection of some character flaw, instead of approaching it from a perspective of ‘what can I do to help this child do better?’



dear caretakers of children: stop telling kids “I don’t care who started it!”. you’re teaching children to ignore unequal power balances. that leads to legitimate belief in things like reverse racism, misandry, heterophobia, etc. you’re teaching children that it’s wrong to retaliate when they are wronged. “who started it” is very, very relevant.

It can also teach them that defending themselves is wrong and set them up for abuse later in life.

It always matters who started it. One person is defending themselves, and one person instigated it. When you tell them you “don’t care who started it” you’ve taught one of them that if they defend themselves they will be punished for doing so. You’ve taught the other one that they can do whatever they wish to others, no one will punish only them for it, their victim will be seen as equally accountable for what happened.

Is that really a lesson you want your kids to absorb?





teaching children that they are allowed to walk away and cool off if they are feeling overwhelmed might literally save their life as teens/adults

could save other ppls lives too.

I feel like the key here is letting them know that they can come back to the discussion, and that you’re not just sending them to their room with different words

“go calm down” is just dismissive, but “go calm down and we’ll talk more about this in half an hour” validates the child and lets them know that you’re not just brushing them off 

its also worth noting that “go calm down” as a statement, regardless of what follows it, comes across as dismissive. add plurality to the comment.

“LET’S go calm down.” “LET’S take a break” “WE BOTH should step away”

never expect a child to do what you yourself arent willing to do in the situation. otherwise, its just a time out.




Way too many parents need to learn the difference between “a child being disrespectful” and “a human person expressing an opinion that differs from theirs”

my mom had a nice technique for this. when i’d give her sass, she’d say, “i don’t speak rude, what’s that in polite-person-ese?”

basically, she’d encourage me to rephrase my opinion without the attitude. so “UGH, you NEVER let me do ANYTHING!” would (often after quite a bit of bitching and grumbling) turn into “it feels like every time i have a fun idea, you say no, and i just end up sitting around the house.”

and at that point we could troubleshoot like civilized people. she could explain that she didn’t want me to go to jimmy’s sleepover because jimmy’s dad creeps her out, and i could suggest maybe i could have andy over instead, and she could say sure, why not call peter and stacy and brianna and have your own party, i’ll pop some popcorn and rent a movie, and i could add what if we put up tents in the back yard and have a bonfire and roast marshmallows, and she could laugh and say don’t push it.

I really like this technique because it addresses the OPs comment but recognizes that the two can coexist. The problem is often the child is expressing their opinion in a rude or disrespectful way. And as humans we automatically become adverse to opinions we feel are aggressive toward us.



Be the type of parent that your child can go to when they have a problem because they know they won’t get yelled at or judged. So many parents wonder why their child doesn’t come to them for help and the answer is YOU. You showed them how you react to smaller problems thus they don’t come to you for bigger ones.

Having grown up with this type of parenting, I can verify that it teaches children to be self-reliant as much as possible, which may be the parent’s conscious intent. 

What children learn, though, is that their parents don’t trust them, that their existence is a bother, and that they will never be good enough. They learn to be apprehensive and suspicious of people who claim to care about them. They don’t learn skills or absorb information for the joy of learning, but out of fear of being demeaned, embarrassed, or punished. They don’t feel loved, no matter what their parents might tell them, because their parents provide many reasons why they are unlovable. This makes the child feel ashamed, because society teaches that parents are supposed to love their children, and the child learns to keep this shame, and their other problems, to themselves.

I remember teachers, grandparents, and other adults often remarked that I seemed unhappy. My parent’s response was to berate me for not smiling more. They never understood that their parenting style created a well-behaved, self-reliant child, but not a happy one.

Children learn what they live.



Be the type of parent that your child can go to when they have a problem because they know they won’t get yelled at or judged. So many parents wonder why their child doesn’t come to them for help and the answer is YOU. You showed them how you react to smaller problems thus they don’t come to you for bigger ones.





so hey who else was taught as a kid that “”””wanting attention”””” in any way was wrong and shameful and has grown up unable ask for help or support even in great distress/suffering

Parent: why do you never come to me for help

(two days later)

Me: I need help with something


Me: never mind

And don’t forget the You Can Tell Me Anything (Except Things I Don’t Want to Hear)™.

Bonus round of You Can Tell Me Anything (But If I Don’t Like It You’re In Big Trouble Even If You’re Asking For Help)