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People are sharing the parenting trends that absolutely ‘need to end now’

Here are 21 of the best responses.

parenting trends
via Pexels

Not all trends in parenting are a good thing

It’s tough to quantify whether today’s parents are stricter or more permissive than previous generations, but the overall sentiment seems to be that parents are more lenient than they were a few decades back.

A poll by YouGov found that younger Americans are more likely than their elders to have been raised by “not very strict” or “not at all strict” parents. Thirty-nine percent of under-30s say that their parents weren't very strict or not strict at all, compared to only 15% of over-65s.


Nicola Kraus, author of “The Nanny Diaries,” believes that it’s a natural outgrowth of the fact that we know a lot more about children than we did in the past.

“We are deeply aware that our children are cognizant, conscious humans in a way previous generations weren't aware. Children were treated like pets or-worse-release-valves for their parents' stresses and fears, then expected to magically transform into healthy, functional adults,” she writes.

But this change in parenting has encouraged other trends that many think are creating a greater number of entitled young adults who can’t fend for themselves. These days we have helicopter parents, bulldozer parents and dependent parents whose overinvolvement in their children’s lives renders them incapable of becoming fully integrated adults.

Reddit user u/qquackie asked the online forum "What parenting 'trend' do you strongly disagree with?" and got an overwhelming number of responses from people who think that today's parents are raising entitled children.

Many of the responders think that parents are being too sensitive with their children and they don’t provide firm boundaries. They also think it’s a big problem for kids to think they’re the center of the universe.

Here are 21 of the most popular responses to the parenting question.

1. Pretending that not parenting is parenting

"I won't tell my child to stop kicking your leg repeatedly because i don't want to crush his spirit!' — StoicDonkey

2. ​Denying your kid any negative experiences or emotions

"They are a normal part of being a person, teach them to handle negative emotions now before you send them out into a world they are not prepared to handle." — IAmRules

3. Fake “gentle parenting”

"You hear and see so many parents letting their children do whatever they want, no matter how destructive, rude or hurtful their behaviours are. Parents find themselves beholden to the whims of their childrens’ emotions in the name of gentle parenting, instead of true gentle parenting where (so I hear) boundaries are set alongside validating emotions." — candianuk

4. Not setting clear boundaries

"You are the adult, not the kid. Children benefit sooo much more from clear rules and consequences." — NorthWeight3580

5. The “bulldozer” parent

"The parent who removes all obstacles/challenges from a child’s life so they don’t learn about perseverance, problem solving, failure (sometimes you can try hard and still not get the reward) and learning from mistakes - unless the goal is to develop a highly anxious person - then, being a bulldozer parent is great." — spinefexmouse

6. Stage-mom syndrome

"Abusing the talents of your child just to boost your self image in society." — sweettooth_92

7. Nonstop supervision

"Hovering over them at every turn. Whatever happened to tossing them in a play area in another room and letting them create, explore, and get the occasional bumps?" — ansibley

8. Not believing the teacher

"'My kid never lies to me.' Seriously. Parents absolutely should be their kid’s biggest supporter. But support sometimes means holding the kid responsible when they don’t do the right thing." — jdith123

9. "No talking back!"

"If this also counts... Parents who punish their kids for speaking up or otherwise explaining something, saying that they're 'talking back.' I honestly don't get why most parents refuse to admit they're not always right sometimes. Besides, what if their kid one day comes up to them and says another adult is touching them inappropriately?" — EntryRepresentative5

10. Helicopter parenting

"Kids need freedom to explore the world, get dirty, engage in free play. I am not advocating putting the child outside on a Saturday morning and telling them to come home when the street lights come on, but an age acceptable level of freedom." — Cat_Astrophe_X

11. Pushing them too hard

"Pushing them too hard in sports, academics, etc. Like pushing til they need therapy or get injured, no free time, no downtime. FFS, they only get to be young & without excessive responsibilities once." — Oh-Oh-Ophelia

12. Tablets in public

"Loud cartoons and games on tablets in public places." — StarrCreationsLLC

13. Potty training too late

"Oh man, I’m a nanny and work in daycare. I can talk so much about this. One is late potty training. Waiting to potty train a child is more and more common. Which I generally agree with. Wait until they’re 2.5-3 and knock it out. Some take longer, some are probably ready earlier. Better than rushing it and causing issues. What this has turned into. Not potty training. I nanny a 4 year old that is still in pull ups. She is more than capable of using the potty. Our 4 year old classroom just installed a diaper genie because so many 4 year olds are starting preschool in diapers. My best friend who is a Kindergarten teacher had 2 kids start kindergarten in diapers. Luckily they’re potty trained now." — cleaning-meaning

14. Kids on social media

"Creating social media channels for your children where they proceed to upload videos and photos of their kids. Perfect place for pedophiles." — AJSK18

15. Too much structure

​"I guess the overall trend of prioritizing academics/extracurriculars and college admissions over everything else. Give your kids some chores and let them hang out with their friends outside of structured sports and musical activities!" — hausfrau224

16. Tablet addiction

"Constantly giving your kid(s) a tablet or cellphone to keep them busy because you can't be bothered to actually be a parent or pay attention to them." — ZRuneDemonX

17. Letting the kid make all the choices

"I believe kids should have reasonable choices, like what their snack is and the character that's on their bedspread, but you can't let your 3 year old decide when you're allowed to leave your house. The world doesn't work that way." — cihojuda

18. Silence

"Saying 'what goes on in this house, stays in this house.' I know hundreds of victims of abuse, go through years of pain because of this phrase." — Dixie_Maclant

19. Birthdays

"The social media trend that keeps upping the expectations for birthday parties and any celebration connected to a kid. When I was a kid, birthdays consisted of a handmade invitation made by me, a cake from the grocery store, food that my Mom cooked and then inviting some friends and family over for games. Today's expectation is that every monthversary and half-birthday consist of a huge arch of balloons that will end up in the trash, a customized three-tier fondant cake, gift wrapping that color-coordinates with the themed party favors and of course, a very intentional outfit for the numerous photo ops that will take up most of the day. Anything for the 'gram, right? Don't even get me started on gender reveal announcements." — littlebunsenburner

20. Parent, not friend

"Trying to be your kid's 'friend,' not a parent. A parent is there to provide guidance and responsible behavior to model. Yes, sometimes making their actions have consequences and setting boundaries can be difficult and they'll not be too happy with you. That's part of the job. Ultimately I think that will result in a healthier relationship than being the "cool" permissive parent. I've seen results of that style of (not) parenting with very sad outcomes." — DataPlenty

21. You're not special

"Perpetuating the myth that one's children are somehow special. With about 97% certainty, they are not. Teaching them that they are just sets them up for crushing disappointment down the road. It's far better to raise kids to believe they are ordinary people with a few gifts, but also some flaws and weaknesses." — AssistantToTheSensei


This article originally appeared on 2.20.23

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Previous experience had her feeling nervous when the man approached her at the gym, but what he said brought her to tears.

Steph shares how a few simple words made all the difference.

Going to the gym can be a daunting prospect for a lot of people. It shouldn't be—the whole point of going to the gym is to exercise, which is something that should universally be applauded—but sometimes it can feel like there's pressure to be at a certain fitness level or have a certain physique before stepping foot in the door.

For people who are heavier, gym culture can be especially intimidating. Unfortunately, not everyone remembers to practice kindness and fatphobia appears to remain a fairly tolerated prejudice. That shouldn't stop people with big bodies from enjoying all that fitness centers have to offer, but all too often, it does.

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In a video made from her car just after leaving the gym, Steph explained that a "hardcore" gym-goer who is "super tough" and covered in tattoos had came up to talk to her. Her initial response was to be afraid of what he was going to say to her, based on previous experience. She shared in the video how hard it's been to stay steady with her workouts, especially with medications she's on making her body hold onto weight, but she's been working hard to be consistent. She steeled herself for whatever he might say.

She didn't expect it to be this: "I've seen you in here every week, almost every day. I've seen you in here every week—and I'm proud of you." Nor did she expect that such simple words of encouragement could make such a huge impact.

Watch her tell the story:

@steph5468

#gymprogress #workputjourney #keepgoing #healingjourney

People had a lot to say about the interchange and Steph's emotional response to it.

"People do not realize, how one person can change everything," wrote one commenter.

"Girl you are CRUSHING IT," wrote another. "That man you encountered is what real men do. Encourage. Support. Be human! It isn’t hard! ❤️"

"No one knows your story, your struggles. You're doing the dang thing and that takes courage and strength. You. Keep. Going. I'm proud of you too!" shared another.

More and more words of encouragement flooded Steph's comment section, and people on Upworthy's Instagram page weighed in as well.

"I'm a fitness coach and this made me cry 😢 just having someone say they are proud of you can move mountains for so many of us who didn’t/ don’t get the praise growing up," wrote one person.

"Who knows? He may be going through something too and saw a determined, consistent, fellow traveler," wrote another. "You share your Truth so powerfully. You may not know how many people will see this and be encouraged by your honesty. I’m in awe that you show up for YOURSELF every day. And as for the rude and ill-mannered? Well they struggle too—just to be decent kind human beings. Some people have not been shown Empathy and therefore do not know how to use that muscle. You are beautiful, smart, articulate, wise and a woman who knows where she’s headed. Keep walking, head up knowing there are many many more who do empathize, who see you and are on your side❤️"

"It’s amazing to think about how this man’s single act of kindness, spread through you to affect us all in a positive way," shared another. "This made all of our days, and I’m crying tears of joy while I write this. Please thank him from all of us the next time you see him, if you’re comfortable with that. And thank you for sharing! ❤️"

Indeed, thanks to both Steph and the hardcore, tattooed gym bro for being wonderful examples for us all. We never know what a small act of kindness or a few words of encouragement will do to make someone's life significantly better, but it's always worth trying.


This article originally appeared on 9.5.23

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