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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

Education

Someone criticized a middle school teacher's behavior. Her comeback was an A+.

When a person commented, "your a teacher act like it," Amy Allen hilariously took the advice to heart.

A rude commenter got a lesson from Ms. Allen.

Being a teacher isn't easy. Teaching middle school students is especially not easy. Teaching middle school students who spent several of their formative years going through a global pandemic in the age of smartphones, social media and a youth mental health crisis is downright heroic.

If you haven't spent time in a middle school classroom, you may not fully grasp the intensity of it on every level, from the awkwardness to the body odor to the delightful hilarity that tweens bring to the table. When you connect with your students, it can be incredibly rewarding, and when you don't…well, we all read "Lord of the Flies," right?

Skilled teachers bring out the best in young people, and that can be done in many different ways. For Amy Allen, it's by making her middle school classroom a fun, welcoming place to learn and by bonding with her students.


"I love teaching middle schoolers because they are awkward, and I’m awkward, so we get along," Allen tells Upworthy.

She plays games with students, gets rambunctious with them and creates opportunities for them to expend some of that intense pre-and-early-teen energy in healthy ways. For instance, she shared a video of a game of "grudgeball," an active trivia game that makes reviewing for a quiz or test fun and competitive, and you can see how high-energy her classroom is:

@_queenoftheclassroom

If this looks like fun to you, pick up my grudgeball template (🔗 in bio) #qotc #grudgeball #10outof10recommend @Amy Allen ☀️ @Amy Allen ☀️ @Amy Allen ☀️

"I think for teachers, we always want to create moments for our students that are beyond the standard reading, writing, memorizing, quiz, 'traditional learning,'" Allen says. "Games are a great way to incorporate fun in the classroom."

Allen clearly enjoyed the game as much as her students—"I love the chaos!" she says— and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Fun keeps teachers sane, too. But one person took issue with her classroom behavior and commented, "your a teacher act like it." (Not my typo—that's exactly what the person wrote, only with no period.)

Allen addressed the comment in another video in the most perfect way possible—by acting exactly like a teacher.

Watch:

@_queenoftheclassroom

Replying to @كل الكلبات تريد مني Come see me if you have any further questions. #qotc #iteachmiddleschool #weDEFINITELYdonthavefuninhere @Amy Allen ☀️ @Amy Allen ☀️ @Amy Allen ☀️ #Inverted

There are two solid ways to handle a rude comment without making things worse—you can ignore it or you can craft a response that makes the person look like a fool without being cruel or rude yourself. Allen's grammar lesson response was A+ work, right down to the "Come see me if you have any further questions" caption.

In fact, the person apparently went back and deleted their comment after the comeback video went viral, which makes it all the more hilarious. The video currently has more than 4 million views on TikTok and over 18 million views on YouTube.

"What’s funny is I left my correction on the board accidentally, and the next day, students asked me what that was all about," Allen says. "When I explained it, they thought it was cool because 'why would anyone go after Ms. Allen'? At that point, the video had maybe 10,000 views. I never imagined the video would go viral."

Two days later, as the video was creeping toward a million views, she upped the stakes. "Some of my students are my ultimate hype people, and they were tracking it harder than I was," she says. "I made a 'deal' with my fifth period if it reached 1 million during their class, they could sit wherever they wanted the entire week. During lunch, I checked, and it reached 1 million. So when they came back from recess, I announced it, and it was like I was a rockstar. They screamed and cheered for me. It was an incredible moment for me."

The irony, of course, is that Allen was acting like a teacher in her grudgeball video—an engaged teacher with engaged students who are actively participating in the learning process. Just because it doesn't look like serious study doesn't mean it's not learning, and for some kids, this kind of activity might be far more effective at helping them remember things they've learned (in this case, vocabulary words) than less energetic ways of reviewing.

Allen has her thumb on the pulse of her students and goes out of her way to meet them where they are. Last year, for instance, she created a "mental health day" for her students. "I could tell they were getting burnt out from all the state tests, regular homework, and personal life extracurricular activities that many of my students participate in," she says. "We went to my school library for 'fireside reading,' solved a murder mystery, built blanket forts, watched the World Cup, colored, and completed sudokus. Is it part of the curriculum? No. Is it worth spending one class period doing something mentally rewarding for students? Absolutely."

Teaching middle school requires a lot of different skills, but perhaps the most important one is to connect with students, partly because it's far easier to teach someone actually wants to be in your classroom and partly because effective teaching is about so much more than just academics. A teacher might be the most caring, stable, trustworthy adult in some students' lives. What looks like silly fun and games in a classroom can actually help students feel safe and welcomed and valued, knowing that a teacher cares enough to try to make learning as enjoyable as possible. Plus, shared laughter in a classroom helps build a community of engaged learners, which is exactly what a classroom should be.

Keep up the awesome work, Ms. Allen, both in the classroom and in the comment section.

You can follow Amy Allen on TikTok and YouTube.

89Stocker and cottonbro studios|Canva

Mom makes case for getting life insurance on child's other parent

Nobody wants to think about what happens if their child's other parent dies unexpectedly. It's not a pleasant topic but unfortunately it is something that happens sometimes and parents have to do their best to pick up the pieces after such a tragic loss. One mom, had the unfortunate experience of living through this tragedy and she took to social media to explain the steps she took to prepare for this day.

Kelsey Pumel, a multi-hyphenate TikTok creator recently had to help her young daughter process the unexpected loss of her biological father. Pumel and Kobe's father were never married and had broken up years prior but she admits to carrying a life insurance policy on him. The topic was brought up when her viewers informed her that she should file for social security death benefits to assist with the financial responsibility of caring for Kobe.

That's when the mom of five revealed that she took out a life insurance policy on Kobe's father when she was pregnant for multiple reasons.


"I have gotten many rude comments about the life insurance and some wild accusations made but I'm going to say this and I need y'all to hear me. If you have a child with somebody, you should have life insurance one that person, period," Pumel says. "If something were to happen, you're going to get that kickback of money to help you either raise your kids or to make up for the income that is now missing."

In a follow up video she clarifies that you do need the other person's consent in order to take out the policy. Pumel also answers the question on what she's doing with the insurance money after the death of her child's father.

"When I first got the money, I did take a chunk of it and I paid off all of my student loans, now stick with me. Why did I do that? Well, I had about $95K worth of student loans, my interest was over $6K a year. I wasn't even cutting any of it down trying to pay it with that type of interest." She reveals after talking it over with her dad who was helping pay the loans.

"So we came up with a payment plan that pays the entire $95K plus interest back to Kobe, paying it monthly into a 529 Plan, which is a college fund for her. So all that money will go into that plan for her. If she doesn't go to college or doesn't use all of it, it will be kicked over in an investment account that she will be able to pull at retirement age."

@growingwithkelsey

Replying to @bossyasf83 Correct me if im wrong about SS benefits but thats what I was told. But Kobe is going to be alright! I promise you I am getting her the brightest future possible set up! ♥️🫶🏼 #lifeinsurance

Not only is Pumel making sure Kobe has money to retire with, she's taking some of the money and putting it into a high yield account for her daughter. She also plans to buy a real estate property that will go to the little girl when she turns 18. Really, Pumel has thought of everything she could to make sure her daughter is set up to be financially secure her entire life.

While no one wishes for their children to experience the death of a parent before their time, this mom proves that having a life insurance policy on a coparent is simply a smart choice. Parents in the comments are applauding her for talking about this so openly.

@growingwithkelsey

Replying to @ohitsamber84 There are so many ways to set up an financial future for your children without big chunks of money! I strongly recommend talking with a financial advisor if you have kids and seeing what options you may have to ensure them a strong future. ♥️🫶🏼

"And BOOM that is how generational wealth is made baby! Good for you mama," one person says.

"Girl your daughter may not understand now. But when she gets older she will thank you immensely," another writes.

"That's perfect! Exactly what she'll need! Car, college, house...set her up to have no debt," someone else proclaims.

There's one word you can't say on a cruise ship.

On December 10, Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas set sail on the Ultimate World Cruise—a 274-day global trek that visits 11 world wonders and over 60 countries. This incredible trip covers the Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Mediterranean and Europe with a ticket price that ranges from $53,999 to $117,599 per passenger.

Aboard the Serenade to the Seas is popular TikToker Marc Sebastian, who has been sharing his experience on the platform.

In a recent video with over 4.3 million views, he revealed what he’s learned over his first few weeks aboard the ship; the biggest was the one word you’re not allowed to say: Titanic.


“Who knew that? I didn’t,” Sebastian said. “I brought it up to an entire room of people having lunch that our ship is only 100 feet longer than the Titanic — when I tell you that utensils dropped. Waiters gasped. It’s dead silent.”

@marcsebastianf

someone get whoopi on the line girl i have some goss for her #ultimateworldcruise #worldcruise #serenadeoftheseas #cruisetok #cruise #9monthcruise #titanic

After the unexpected reaction, his cruise friend told him, “You’re not allowed to talk about the Titanic.” It makes sense. Who wants to be reminded of the tragedy that killed around 1,500 people while sinking one of the most impressive engineering feats of the era? "When I went on a cruise, my mom told me saying Titanic was equivalent to screaming ‘bomb’ at an airport," Mikayla wrote in the comments.

Later in the video, Sebastian admits he was surprised to learn that cruise ships have godmothers and that the pools are filled with seawater.


This article originally appeared on 1.25.24

@inspiringbelfast/TikTok

Maybe this dose of wholesome humanity brighten your day.

Imagine walking down the street, minding your own business, when a complete stranger unfurls a red carpet at your feet. What do you do? Awkwardly avoid it and continue along your route? Tell the person off for not respecting boundaries? Or do you wholeheartedly accept the impromptu invitation and strut your best stuff?

For the passersby of Belfast, option three was the only choice.

Alan Wallace, who routinely posts uplifting videos that “share the warmth” of his hometown over on TikTok, recently added a video of himself going up to random folks on the street and giving them a moment to shine. And let’s just say, they nailed it.


Folks from all walks of life—including a construction worker that could be Michael Sheen’s doppelgänger—lit up at the opportunity to catwalk, skateboard, cartwheel and even do the worm down the crimson strip.

In a mere matter of seconds, we see all that humanity has to offer—humor, free expression, joy, inclusivity, connection. Such powerful stuff shown in the simplest way.

Even if the moment wasn’t quite as spontaneous as the video makes it appear (Wallace likely asked for permission before rolling the carpet out each time) these people still agreed to play. And that’s what’s magical about it.

“Everyone understood the assignment, from young to old, it was perfect,” one viewer wrote.

@inspiringbelfast Red carpet for strangers in Belfast #inspiringbelfast #belfastcity #belfast #heartwarming ♬ Beautiful Things (Sped Up) - Benson Boone

It’s natural for most people to not want to interact with strangers. And of course there are legitimate safety reasons influencing this instinct. But a lot of the time our avoidance comes from expecting things to be unenjoyable. And yet, research shows not only that people are often pleasantly surprised by how much connection, kindness, belonging and optimism they end up experiencing.

So maybe we don’t need a red carpet to simply enjoy saying hi to someone we meet on the street and reaping the benefits. But hey, it certainly helps.

Representative Image from Canva

Every parent should know about this game. Many have experienced it as kids.

Nurse and mom Jinny Schmidt wants parents to be aware of a game that’s circulating amongst tweens right now, because it’s not a game at all.

In a PSA posted to her TikTok, Schmidt shared that her daughter informed her that boys in her class were beginning to play what she called “The Firetruck Game.”

As Schmidt begins to describe what the “game” entails, it’s easy to see why she’s concerned. All parents should be.


Here’s how the game works: a boy puts his hand on a girl’s lower thigh. And he tells her “my hand is a firetruck” as he slowly moves it up her leg. When the girl gets uncomfortable, she is supposed to say “red light.” Except for when the girl says “red light,” the boy responds with “sorry, firetrucks don’t stop for red lights.” And so they run their hand all the way up the girl’s leg, Schmidt explains, and sometimes they “touch the girl’s crotch.” Yikes.

Many viewers noted growing up with the Firetruck Game, or a version called “The Nervous Game,” or “Red Light Green Light.” Suddenly The “Squid Game” version of “Red Light Green Light” doesn’t seem so bad.

No matter what it’s called, though, it’s touching without consent, and is inappropriate on so many levels, not least of which being that it’s an excuse for sexual assault. Hence Schmidt’s alarm.

“I know that kids will be kids and kids will do some stupid shit, But we’ve got to do better teaching our boys to keep their hands off of other people and teaching our girls that it’s okay to have boundaries,” she says, before asking parents to “be aware” if they hear their kids talking about it.
@the.funny.nurse Y’all gonna see me on the 6 O’clock news. #jrhigh #kids #tween #preteen #parents #moms #momsoftiktok #dads #dadsoftiktok #teacher #teachersoftiktok #publicschool #school #firetruck #firetruckgame #firetruckgameawareness #girls #boys #game ♬ original sound - Jin-Jin

And she is, of course, absolutely right. Folks who watched her video wholeheartedly agreed that the behavior should not be tolerated, and many shared some pretty intense, although warranted, reactions to it.

“We’d be playing a game called Ambulance next,” one person wrote.

“Press charges,” said another.

“We have a game also. It’s called ‘oops I broke your finger,’” a third added.

But many also chimed in to say that they would be talking to their kids immediately about it, which is probably the best route overall. That way kids can protect themselves, and others around them.

Middle school years in general are pretty rough. They can be just as difficult to navigate for parents as they can be for the kids going through it. It’s painful to watch your still baby-faced child go through many of the same awful pains that you did, many of which are unavoidable. But some things, like terrible and abusive games, can be avoided. So make sure to have those important conversations when you can.