Sometimes parents want to be 'relatable' and 'cool', so they use meme references and words like 'lit' but these things don't cut it. All these desperate attempts do is just embarrass their kids. However, if they try something really ridiculous, it brings them even more shame. They end up on the subreddit /r/InsaneParents.
The online community describes itself as "a weird place where you can post those crazy parents who post in those woo-woo anti-vax groups on Facebook and do things harmful (directly and indirectly) to their children. We want to be a place where people can come and both get support and laugh. So this sub is a mixture of both the heartbreaking and the hilarious. Come and join us. Especially if you have your own stories to tell or your own social media content to post." Below you will find some of their most popular posts.
My Mother Dearest, Whom My Sister And I Just Let Back Into Our Lives, Talking To My Sister About Her Daughter (My Niece). Behold The Kind Of Person She Is
Bored Panda has already published two posts about the subreddit (here and here) but it looks like there's no shortage of insane moms and dads; people keep posting more and more parenting horror stories. Even though the subreddit was created relatively recently, in 2017, it already unites over 1.2 million members, with thousands online at any given moment.
It's normal for parents and their kids to have different views and opinions. In fact, they can be used for growth, too. Vicki Broadbent, founder of Honest Mum and author of Mumboss, is one of those parents who are open to learning from their children as much as they want to teach them. "They've taught me a lot from feeling more confident when I've been trolled online, to how to create a TikTok video!" she told Bored Panda. "My kids aged 10 and 8 respectively are both creative, empathetic, resilient, and strong-willed little humans. We base our relationships on open conversations and trust. I think the art of listening has been lost somewhat, and rather than being didactic as a parent, we need to practice listening more (and really hearing) to others' points of view, before sharing our own views.
Broadbent acknowledges that parents have the responsibility to inform, protect, and guide their kids, however, she thinks that children who feel endlessly chastised and forced to conform will do the complete opposite. "You have more chance of persuading your children to do the right thing if you are calm in the way you present your opinions."
"Encouraging children to talk to you honestly without judgement means they will always come to you when they're in trouble. It's also healthy they learn that no one will ever always agree with one another. Another lost art is that of debating!"
When Rebekah Tayebi, a clinical therapist and family coach, looks at toxic family systems, one thing that becomes really evident to her is seeing that the children are more attuned to the needs of the parents. That means, the typical parent-child relationship is inverted and there's confusion about what appropriate boundaries should be in place.
"The hard part for children in these environments is that which is like so many of us, is that we might start to mirror the dysfunction that we're seeing," Tayebi said. That's the reason why it's so important to start to catch negative patterns in the moment and try to eradicate them.
I Feel Like This Applies A Lot For The Parents On Here
"Parenting is hard, there's no manual, we're all simply trying to navigate our children through choppy waters and this ever challenging life to be kind and strong," Broadbent concluded. "We also want them to have fun. Childhood is precious. I also think showing my own children my own vulnerabilities has encouraged greater empathy in them and they've understood early on that I'm a real human being not a womb on legs."
What some parents apparently forget is that they need their kids just as much as their little ones need them. When Broadbent had a big operation on her thyroid, for example, she was amazed to find just how much her children can support her during a difficult time.
I don't know, maybe some of the parent-child relationships we see on r/InsaneParents are beyond saving. But I hope they can at least act as a reminder for the rest of us to cherish ours.