LPT: Micromanaging a child will affect their maturity as an adult. Instead, teach them life lessons through their own experiences.

LPT: Micromanaging a child will affect their maturity as an adult. Instead, teach them life lessons through their own experiences.


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Feel like I'm a living example of the core truth of this. Parents, make sure your definition of success isn't "Meets all of my expectations". You might just raise a kid who is an expert in telling you what you want to hear, while hiding chaos out of sight. I did great in school, did great in college, was generally great at recognizing expectations and meeting them. Then I graduated college and had no direction and no idea what to do with myself, because nothing that came before required me to prepare for or learn how to pursue a career. It wasn't a requirement, and my successful survival strategy up until that point had always been "discern the expectations of the people you need to impress, and meet them"... right up until the point where there was nobody I needed to impress b/c I was out of school and didn't have a boss.


Oh man this is me 100% I always feel like an imposter and manipulator because I can read people so well. So most of the time I feel they like me only because I know what to say or do to make them happy. Doing well in school was just the expectation so it became hard to feel good about my achievements. I was never really doing anything for myself. The goals I did set for myself were met with tears by my parents because they "didn't come to this country for [me] to be an art teacher" and "when I was your age, we chose our education/career path by the time we were 14." I became terrified of making mistakes and had zero idea of what my strengths were because my strengths were "wrong" for what they wanted. And when I did do well, my parents didn't really respond. My therapist described it as my parents moving goal posts as soon as the goal was met without acknowledging the achievement. Now I have zero motivation to do anything for myself. I work a job I just fell into that has nothing to do with my degree, and I am struggling to beat back a toxic people-pleasing attitude. I am a doormat. I have no passion in life. I am old enough to know what kind of job I could possibly enjoy, but it would require me to go back to school, which isn't really feasible right now. So I guess I'll just cry on the drive home from work, crochet on the couch after I do chores, and tell myself it's enough.




Oh hey me.


Yeah, I know the moving goalposts bit all too well. My Dad was always like that when I was younger... Every time I achieved something, he'd briefly congratulate me, then move onto the next thing. It never felt like I could truly please him, because the bar was always moving. Even now I'm older, I still feel his expectations on me. I can't help but feel like it takes away my agency, and my motivation to take my own path in life.


Yeah this is a major topic in therapy for me. My husband is a huge support and I am slowly learning to "disappoint" them and develop healthy boundaries. We're about to have a baby so I'm really going to have to polish up my spine.


Hey I just wanted to say that I feel very similar to what you've described as far as choosing a job or career and just falling into 'whatever'. Except I still have NO clue what I'd even go back to school for since I still don't know what I want to be when I 'grow up' (and I'm in my 40's!) Photograph? Teach kids? Teach photography? Forest advocacy? Writing instructional info? No idea. So to me - that's pretty darn cool that you know what you'd like to do. Anyway, since I have done lil bits of teaching locally, maybe you could start off by being a volunteer for an art teacher or with a museum or media center? I ended up teaching two mini spring break classes through different orgs here and neither required a teaching certificate - but I did have more fun than usual! Also here in the pnw we have people who crochet odd things and leave them around town (funny animals around lamp posts etc) so maybe your couch projects could also feed your art needs. In any case - I wish you the best. Have patience though, too - it's been a rough year or so and that crap has other effects! Hugs from this rando internet friend.


Thank you so much for your post. It warmed my heart. You seem to have similar interests as I do. I went to school for writing and then pretty much haven't written a damn thing since I graduated. My husband often pushes me to start a blog and write as a way to build a portfolio, so if an opportunity ever does come along, I have something to offer. We have a lot of photography gear so photography is actually something I was considering as well With the baby coming very soon (I'm literally due in a week), I am in a new chapter in life and at a crossroads. I might take this opportunity to try something new. Thank you for reminding me of what I CAN do to change my situation - I often focus too much on what I can't do. I wish you all the best.


This literally how I felt throughout life. It sucks because I generally don't value the things that the people who placed expectations on me do. Finished my associates/bachelors in 2 years as a cum laude? Don't really care. Reenlisted in the navy to make my superiors happy? Pure misery. Maintained my mom's shitty attitude in life and followed her through, yeah no. Generally found myself far more miserable in life when I lived like that.


I feel this so much. People tell me I should be proud of myself for having a degree, but it’s only a useless piece of paper if I’m too lost and anxious to ever use it


Wow. Same. and now I’m living at home after graduating because I never really had the drive to pursue any sort of career or passion.


Who are you and why are you talking about me in the first person.


facts. i had a helicopter parent. although these days i could be considered moderately successful by some standards (thanks ma), im in my 30s and just starting to settle into doing what i actually want...now that the external "have tos", "need tos" and, "or elses" have gone away. my sibling totally rejected that external pressure youre talking about and we took amazingly different trajectories.




It's so hard! I am a step parent and I also run projects. To me, these are related. A boss told me, when I was learning to delegate and mentor junior team members, figure out where the person can fail and where they can't. So if I gave them an assignment that needed to get done, but we had a long runway and could redo it a couple times, that was an excellent delegation activity that I could be more hands off of. The bad thing that happens is they redo the work and learn a lot. If an assignment had to be done first time right, or had a lot of teams waiting for it, or was high pressure, I had a more active role working side by side. Or anything in between. I've tried to apply this to parenting too. E.g. If you want to make that choice on your hair the day before pictures, okay, we can laugh together years later. (And I will be supportive today!) If you choose to ignore an assignment until the night before, it is still absolutely expected to be in on time and done to the best of your ability so you'll be sacrificing some sleep tonight! If you want to drive while texting, you lose driving privileges given the risk to yourself and others. And to help support you so this never happens, you're required to have the app that holds all texts while you're driving. Is it working? I don't know. It's hard to know something is a mistake and also know they need to learn those mistakes themselves. Its hard to watch them fail, to get hurt. But its really amazing to watch them succeed, to learn who they are, where they want to take risks, where those safety lines are. My goal is to raise kind people that can function in and contribute to society. I think some of the hardest aspects of parenting is 1. There is no reliable immediate feedback loop. Just because your kid is mad, doesn't mean you did the wrong thing (and visa versa). And the consequences of when you are wrong may not appear until years later. And 2. There's no re-do or passing forward blanket lessons learned. People raising people is a flawed system because we all react differently. There is never one right answer for every parent / kid. I just try to show them I love them unconditionally and pray we can figure the rest out together. Its tough, give yourself grace and do the best you can.


Not a person who grew up like that, mainly parents just wanted me to do good in school, but were happy for me to do what i liked. Random idea on this, maybe try talking with them find out what they like and want to do with their life, and make THEM set goals without you giving any ideas. That way instead of you making a goal, you can push them towards their goals. This might feed your ingrained mindset of always wanting them to reach the goal, but instead of your goal its theirs, so you can push them to be what they want.... just a random thought, maybe a bad one, but i dunno.


Ha, I’m in my 30’s and still struggling with this. The problem with doing too well in school is that you’re only specializing in doing well in school


“Discern the expectations of the people you need to impress, and meet them” is basically what you do at work.


Sounds like you've got a bright future in politics.


You're your own boss now and the only expectations you should aim to reach are your own. Which sounds easy but is of course incredibly difficult :) Still better than a lifetime of meeting someone else's goals. If it helps we're all in the same boat and no one has way points to let us know where to go next




Wow I feel this so hard and have never been able to put it in words like this


Yepp. Also a lot of learning through negative reinforcement.


"my daughter is a productive member of society because I raised an adult, not a child" - a friend of mine


Parenting is walking a fine line between neglect and helicoptering.


To be fair, you have to helicopter when they are young or they would die rather quickly. If you don't ween them off the helicopter they *will* crash and burn when they get older. Hopefully the crash isn't fatal. My ex was a helicopter at her baseline, and regularly was a steamroller. My son admitted that he couldn't tie his shoes until 8th grade. Kids get frustrated when they try to learn something new, like tying a shoe, but they have immense pride when they are able to finally complete the task they struggled to do. Yeah, their first knots won't be as good and won't stay tied for very long, but if you do everything for them, they will let you.


You have to grow and change WITH them. To be a good parent means admitting your mistakes, forgiving them for theirs and accepting them for who they are. If your kids haven't taught YOU things then I think you haven't parented right.


Yes, agreed. You have to keep the kid alive, physically safe, well-fed, knowing that they’re loved and supported…and let them struggle and be frustrated and fail at times. Knowing when to step in and when to let them fail is super hard and varies by kid and no one has the exact right answer. (Not a parent, but a teacher and an aunt.)


You sound like a great teacher and aunt, and I'm sure you would also make a great parent. Looking back, I owe much of who I became to numerous teachers. Individuals of authority, like teachers, are in a unique position and often have an advantage over the parents. I truly wish that society would reward teachers with the accolades they've earned.


As someone who just got done working with kids for my job. That "fine line" isnt remotely hard to toe. Just don't abuse or neglect your kid, explain things to them, let them have thier own opinions (if they're hateful, then maybe not those ones) make sure they feel heard. All of this is bare minimum effort and yet parent's pride is usually stronger. TLDR being a parent is hard, but it's not difficult to be emotionally present for them.


> it's not difficult to be emotionally present for them. it is for some, many, people. Not everyone has you abilities. I do, but many many do not.


Are you a parent?


Based on their first sentence, it sounds like they worked with kids but aren’t a parent themselves. Not sure why people think that being around someone else’s kids is enough to know it all works. Funny how non-parents usually conclude that parenting isn’t really that complicated. The Dunning-Kruger effect comes to mind.


Yes, that was my impression too. I was a perfect parent before I had children of my own!


Yeah, I really try to approach my children how I would like to be approached. I don't always get it right, but I try to really honor them like I would any other human being and I hope they remember that as they age.


My mom, seeing me reaching for the burner on the oven "don't. It's hot." Me, 5 mins later reaching for the burner on the oven. Mom: "it's hot. you'll get burned. I'm not gonna tell you again" Me being burned by the oven.. mom, handling my burn: "it's hot, isn't it? If only someone had warned you!" I was never a "do as I say, because I say" kinda kid. Glad my mom was always the "let me explain to you.." kinda mom.


When my son wasn't deterred by my warnings about the stove, I let him touch something that was kind of hot (like a mug with coffee or tea in it) but not hot enough to burn him. He still had the reaction of yanking his hand back in surprise, and he understood that it wasn't pleasant to touch hot things. (He had the experience, but in a safe way under my guidance.) However, there are definitely things that kids, especially teenagers, will have to learn for themselves. Edit: Parents can often teach their children through practical lessons, allowing them to experience something and learn about it in a safe way. This especially applies to younger children, but teenagers can begin to learn about things like money and responsibilities like chores under their parents' guidance. Edit 2: Of course, sometimes kids will ignore lessons and advice and go do things on their own. Sometimes that works out fine, but sometimes you can't protect them from messing up or getting hurt. You can be there to help them afterward. Eventually, you do have to hope you have prepared them well enough and given them the right tools to to navigate the world on their own.


Early age is easy. What other examples for teens?


When I was in high school, my mother had a conversation with me about marijuana. Instead of just giving me the typical "don't do drugs" speech, she explained that she knew I would be a curious teenager and find a way to try it if I really wanted. Her solution was that she wanted me to tell her if I was curious to try it and that she would get it from a safe source and let me try it under her watch at home. She figured it would be better for me to try things safely under her supervision than to get it from a possibly unsafe source or situation. I always respected her for that, even though I never took her up on it since my good friend at school was already my dealer lol. I'm 34 now and we smoke together when we visit each other. Funny how life can turn out.


The conversation we got from my dad was "if you ever get the urge to huff household chemicals (this was the 90s) tell me and I'll get you real drugs. That shit will kill you." This is the same man who told us he would pay for college or bail, not both. Also his signature piece of advice to me was "you know what I always say..... fuck 'em." ....I miss my dad.


Love it. Sounds like he was a good man. I miss mine too. It's good to remember the fun times and life lessons.


I forgot one! "The first rule of knife safety is always cut away from your penis." "Dad, I don't have a penis." "Then always cut away from MY penis." Cue teenage eyerolling.


Lmao that's awesome


Oh man, I just spat coffee all over my monitor, that's hilarious.


That’s really adorable that ur mom would think getting high by urself with ur mom watching could sound even a little bit appealing to a teenager.


Haha agreed but it was the being real with me and realistic with her expectations that I respected. It made me feel like I could come to her if I had real problems.


My Mom was/is like that in terms of the drug talk - though a bit morbid at the end, she told me "If you want to try weed/pot, cocaine, whatever, do it safely with people you trust (like my brother) - but try heroin, and you might as well just take a loaded gun, and shoot yourself."


She was definitely keeping it real


That's interesting she thought you would take her up. My mom gave me the typical don't do drugs blah blah blah. But my dad went a different route. Some ppl would say he was too honest with us overall but whatever. He told me how he had tried marijuana and hash and while fun they weren't worth the time and there was better ways to spend time. Then he told me how he spent the two years he lived out of country black out drunk and doesn't remember much and so that was the biggest waste of time since he didn't have the memories and he wished he did. So he basically told me through experience that drugs weren't that great.


Make them hang out with their uncles that drink a lot and let them see how they get worse over the course of years.


Ehhh there’s going to be a nontrivial stretch of time during which the fuck-up uncle is the best uncle in the world if they get to have alcohol access


Not if you arrive late to the family gatherings and time it to when the drunk uncles are way more drunk than everyone else.


It's hard to come up with too many examples of practical lessons for teens on the spot. Here are a couple more. You can watch your teens when they're learning to cook on their own and jump in only when they need you. You can ask your teen to watch you drive and help navigate, so they begin to learn before they start driving. Edit: I reworded the second example, so it makes more sense.


I was like that. I needed to experience the thing just because I never knew what burning was about, but I dumbly burned 3 fingers on the iron, lol.


I did not need to experience third degree burns to know I didn’t want one. My cousin’s stay in the hospital and skin grafts was enough to tell me that would not be fun. I prefer to learn from others mistakes and not make them myself.


This is me! And I think it makes the most sense. They don’t know hot so help them understand hot. But how do you explain to them about a snake. This OP has me for a spin.


I agree. You have to explain the risks and then supervise kids to protect them from things like snakes. That is not something you can really teach through practical lessons in a safe way, and I agree that you should NOT let them get bitten. However, you could also make the teaching moments into a game. You could show a child how to tap a stick in the grass to scare snakes away, or you could show them pictures and talk about the different colors, etc. You could also show pictures of animals that are safe to touch (like toads) and have them guess "touch" or "don't touch" with different animal pictures.


Wish my parents ever figured this out. They’re stereotypical immigrant helicopter parents. Which makes it weirder in a way. They talk about how tough it was to move across the world to a totally new place, and while it was very difficult, I’m sure they learned a lot thru that. But yet they seem hell bent on keeping me from doing things on my own, forcing their help/advice instead of ever giving me the space to come to them when I need to. End result? I never want to talk to or consult them about pretty much anything.


Teaching a little kid not to touch a hot stove != micromanaging your child.


There are micromanagey ways and non-micromanagey ways to teach a kid not to touch a hot stove.


Yeah. I brought that up since OP talked about a kid getting bitten by a snake. Practical, safe lessons are better than just telling kids "no" or just letting kids go do really dangerous things on their own. Kids need to experience life, but under supervision that gradually relaxes.


Heat specifically is a tough one because thresholds aren't something that we just innately know. We don't know how hot is too hot. We don't know how close to something hot is too close. We don't know how long is too long. There are a few more that are harder to articulate like heat rising, conduction and insulation. The only way to learn and actually understand is by experience. I don't think I know ANYONE who hasn't been burned a few times. I'm not someone who thinks kids need to learn everything themselves either. Its just not enough to know that hot things hurt. I just think heat specifically is much much more complicated than people realize. They assume all the things that now come intuitively to them is just innate knowledge. It isn't.


We learned this in child psych! "Hot" doesn't mean anything until they experience it. Pick something that feels hot but won't cause serious injury.


agree. my uncle said “don’t” to a lot of things, i would insist, get hurt / in trouble, and have him say “told you so” and one day i finally realized he was a credible source and that his brain > my 5 year old brain


Wonderful parenting. Tell em, but let them make their own mistakes.


I wish my parents were a credible source :/


I did something similar as a child lol. My dad told me not to touch the water coming from the pressure washer because the pressure was so high it could hurt me. Of course, I touched it anyway, and got a cut. Never touched it again, though.


At about 5 years old, I got curious if a sparkler was still hot right after it went out. My dad told me it would be and not to touch it, but I did anyways. Instead of getting mad, he got some ice for me while asking me what I had learned from that experience. It was the first time I can remember being able to realize I could learn actual lessons from both positive and negative experiences and to remember those lessons in the future. Obviously as parents we want to keep our kids away from true danger, but sometimes you just have to let them make their mistakes and learn the hard way. That's also how I learned I needed to wear a helmet when riding a bike 🤣


The key is to try to let kids to make their own mistakes when the stakes are low and prevent them from making mistakes when the stakes are high. I will always warn my child of what could happen regardless of whether I intend to intervene or not. I do this to try and teach my child that being able to learn from others experience is one of the greatest skills you can acquire. You can get much further in life if you don't feel the need to learn every life lesson by making mistakes and instead listen to others around you. I think it is important to be your own person and make your own path in life, but that doesn't mean you should ignore the experience of others.


The most important advice is to always give a reason to why things are dangerous. Kids are curious by nature, and saying something as bland and boring as "because I said so" is going to make them want to try the thing, because they have no metric to say why something is dangerous.


The only problem with this advice is that some adults (parents) are just controlling so "because I said so" IS the "why". A lot of adults don't know WHY they believe or do the things they do so how will they ever communicate the reasons to their children?


I always make it a point to explain things to my son. As he gets older the explanation gets more involved. When he was younger I just made it very simple. Don't climb on the counter. Why? Because you will fall and get hurt. You know how much it hurts when you fall when you trip on the ground? This will hurt much more than that. Giving an example of something they've experienced helps too. I always hated "because I said so". I never listened.


Micromanaging adults doesn’t work either.


100% agree!


Ugh this. Let people live their fucking lives.


Mostly true but you should probably remove this line: >But a parent associating a snake to danger means nothing to them, because frankly, they don’t know enough to make that connection. If the parent does there job and clearly outlines that some snakes can kill you without instilling blind fear, then the child will view snakes with cautious curiosity which could be the difference between a venomous snake bite or a "hey, look at this danger noodle" trip to the morgue.


Exactly. Cautious curiosity. My toddler loves eating plants, we gently explained that some plants are poisonous and can hurt us. He now asks if a plant will hurt him before mindlessly eating it.


I’ve got bad news for you... your kid is actually a baby goat.


So the kid is a kid?


You clearly haven't been around goats. Goats do not ask "Can I eat that?" they just go for it. If a goat can reach it it will be eaten or at least sampled.


Sounds like great news.


This is very cute.


🎵Don’t you put it in your mouth, till you ask someone you love, though it might look good to eat, like a muffin or a beet...🎵 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u_3dHmGtabo


Yeah…also like, letting your kid get a little burn on their fingertips from touching something hot is fine but if your kid is about to stick their whole arm in the fire, stop them. You can’t let a kid “naturally” learn not to run into traffic. You can let a kid learn that jumping off a table and flapping their arms will not result in flying…but you can’t let a kid learn that out a second story window. Little kids are just not great at staying alive in the modern world and need protection from their own stupidity at times; let your kids learn their own lessons when the risk is “ow ow ow!” and not something life-altering ( or ending).


I read somewhere, maybe in one of those Little House on the Prairie books, how they used to put a little red-hot coal/ember by a small child so they’d burn themselves once out of curiosity and thereafter know to stay away.


I'm not so sure if that makes any sense. I mean fear of spiders and such is taught behaviour, isn't it? And that also in Europe where I'm pretty sure no one ever gets actually harmed by a spider. I don't think we even have any dangerous spiders around here.


You are correct and also wrong. So I have 4 kids and we've been pretty diligent on not projecting a fear of bugs (my wife less so) or snakes to our children. The oldest and younger/middle child have no fear unless instructed to do so (the 3 year old is tough to teach any reserve about it). The older middle has a natural propensity to not like insects/spiders/snakes, and the 20 month old screamed bloody murder one night and my wife figured out that there was a tiny jumping spider walking across the floor.


Shows they watch or other influences could also instill a fear of bugs.


And please explain to your children 'why'. "Because I said so/as long as you live under my roof" teaches them nothing for when they are away from you.


My husband hates that I over explain things...but that's how I was raised. Better understanding of things/processes, better communication skills, better at processing thoughts/actions because I assume I'll have to explain it to someone else....I don't see any of that to be bad for adults or children.


No this is so much better. My mom used to get mad at me for a lot of things and I learned to hide everything from her because I never learned what I was doing wrong, I just learned to fear getting in trouble


Right ... He grew up in a similar home and was basically neglected (emotionally and mentally) He still struggles with active listening too. He says I ramble but I explain that if he doesn't acknowledge that I'm even speaking, I don't know if he's heard me or understands what I'm talking about. It's a work in progress for him but not something I'll be stopping any time soon cuz it's good for him and our child.


I get that too, I'm kind of both. I either don't listen so I can get out of the conversation or pretend it isn't affecting me if I feel personally attacked, its something I'm working on. But I also ramble on when people don't actively listen to me because I constantly worry no one at all understands me. Emotional abuse and neglect is a bitch but all we can do is be better than them


This is perfect. Kids have to learn how to process things and understand things. When they see us explaining and asking then questions it teaches them to do the same. Same with dealing with emotions. WE as grown ups have to teach them how to deal with emotions. Not just send them to their room or ignore their tantrum because we don't want to deal with it. You're doing a great job!


Thanks! The problem in this area is that my husband is on the same level as some kids cuz he didn't get any of this growing up. He's trying but gets overwhelmed especially with processing time on bigger things.


Usually really good at explaining why, but very rarely, the answer is because I said so. My teens and I have a deal. If I pull this card, they get to win the argument, but still can't do the thing I said no to. It makes it fun, keeps them from feeling like I'm not listening to them, but still get to say no when I need to. It's incredibly rare - like maybe 2-3 times in the last five years. Usually I say yes or yes if you do these things to get what you want, etc


“Because I said so” is probably one of the best ways to show to someone that you’re going through a power trip from parenting. I’m sure new parents go blind with the aspect of having someone that is “supposed” to listen to every word they say. So then they start going blind with power, making their kids do what they say without question. It’s annoying


I must admit I have done this a few times with my kids. Usually when I have explained my reasoning but they continue arguing anyway. But it is the exception, not the rule.


At some point you also need to teach your kids that they don’t ALWAYS need to understand *every* why and whatfor to do what they’re told. It’s tiring and inefficient to do constantly. Just respect and trust the authority and do it. It’s not always a power trip.


Explaining when you can builds up trust with your child, so that those moments when you don’t or can’t explain, they readily trust there’s a reason that they’ll find out at some point.


Yeah, couldn’t agree more. And sometimes it’s like ok, I’m kind of tired after having 100 micro battles this morning about irrational stuff, no more arguing, you need to use the potty before we leave, end of story!


My parents said "because I said so" because they didn't have a reason. It was meant to be taken literally.


Jesus, this is exactly what I struggle with as an adult now. This hits. Thanks for sharing. I’ve vowed not to do the same with my future children, but hopefully I don’t fall back into known patterns.


Depends, if you rely on your parents to help raise your kids then the pattern will continue.


Excellent point. My partner is very wary of letting any future kid spend significant time with them for this reason. My mom was mildly physically abusive too, which she regrets a lot now. But my SO thinks that side will come back if she’s in the presence of someone so small.


I’m not sure I’ll ever have kids but if I do they will have no unsupervised time with my mother, ever.


Same, man. The thought of it makes me keep up at night for sometime now.


This is especially true with men and emotions. Boys who aren't expected to manage their emotions and given tools to do so and conseq8if they don't, are not emotionally mature adults ever


So many young male adults have clear emotional issues. And I know I’m no different, ofc. Repressing emotions and frustration until it came bursting out at the wrong time


I see you've met both my parents.. and thier parents... and my entire extended family. :(


This is why I'm teaching my sons good to deal with emotions. They are both super emotional kids and I always take the time (even though I want to rip out my hair) to calmly show them empathy and tell them it's ok to be angry or sad and this is what you do about it. Kids will never learn how to deal with emotions if their sent to their room or told to get over it or to "man up". Everyone's entitled to feel whatever they are feeling.


And not take it out on women


I hate the fact that this might be the reason for why i have felt so lost in life, besides that i can't do much without someone telling me what to do.


The related concept of "learned helplessness" may be a helpful topic for you to read up on as well.


My mom - not a micromanager. At 8 years old - getting on the school bus in 20 degree F weather without a coat. "Think about a coat, you might get cold today." Stubborn me - nothing. Teacher calls my mom "Geek forgot his coat today - will you bring him one? We are going outside." My mom: "He didn't forget, he chose not to wear one. He may be cold. If he is, he'll wear one tomorrow" Little things like this made me very self sufficient and I rely on almost no one for anything.


Micromanaging a child is terrible! It leads to adults in their 30 who are afraid of changing the batteries in the garage door opener bc hes worried it will break. Of amscared to change the light bulb on his car cuz his dad usually does it... luckily I move out this month.


I was micromanaged to the detail unless they are in the mood to throw me into a situation without experience. University was the first wake up call that I cannot make decisions when I had to ask my flatmate whether I should have a burger or hot dog for dinner. Now I feel like I am fighting a battle of wanting to do things myself but forced to do exactly what my parents tell me or else I get shouted at and listen them mutter about how stupid I am which is hard to resist letting it affect my confidence.


Dad-Don't touch that hot stove! Kid- touches it anyway Dad as he’s trying not to laugh- That shit hurt, didn't it? I bet you won't do that again.


There is a fine line between micromanaging and guiding, and neglect and letting them figure things our for themselves. Parenting is hard. I have two stepkids. They both started struggling in their teen years. One so bad that he left the house that had expectations for the other house and took the easy route. The second has had many cries for help and seems to respond better to more involvement in her life - especially if you engage with her and explain the “whys”. One approach won’t work for all kids.


Sometimes. Kids are all different, and judging by the (lack of) parenting I see in restaurants, stores and classrooms, much, much more micromanaging is required for some children.




Exactly. The LPT applies to that one. But probably not good advice for a child in my neighborhood that sought attention by laying down in the middle of the street. They’re all different. 😉


How many degrees in child development and psychiatry did you need to be able to discern the only right way to raise a human?


My step sister and I were raised separately until we were 15yo. When my sister came to live with us, she was completely incapable of thinking for herself. This was to such an extreme that she would look to us to pick out what she should order when we went out to eat! When asked what she wanted, the answer was always, "I don't know, Mom always picks for me." She got into a lot of trouble and performed terribly in school. Turns out her mother was convinced that my sister would be nothing more than a maid and didn't need to learn anything aside from how to clean because she was too stupid to do anything with the knowledge she could obtain (both from education and life experiences). Because of this, her mother chose everything for her. She never gave her the opportunity to learn things for herself and my poor sister had no idea that she could do that on her own because her whole world was prefabricated by this toxic woman. Luckily in the time that my sister lived with us, she did a complete 180. She is incredibly bright and so strong in her decisions that she inspires me to be a better person everyday. She is now a mother herself and does an amazing job of teaching her adorable son how to navigate life by allowing him to make is own choices. I'm so proud of her! TL;DR my sister was raised by terrible woman who decided my sisters entire life for her, resulting in a person incapable of making decisions. Once my sister moved away from her awful mother, she near instantly grew into an exceptional, strong young woman.


Why was this deleted?


Man you stole my words. I often think that they are hindering in my life by worrying about me too much and seriously I have always been honest towards them (also because my grandfather teaches me good values) but now it feels like I have lie, take risks in order face challenges and grow personally because their management miffs me now as I am not a child.


Had a helicopter mom growing up. Turned 18, moved away for college, and although she taught me stuff like how to cook and do my own laundry, I had no concept of how to actually *manage* my own life. Anyway I'm 24, alcoholic, have three suicide attempts under my belt, and am still living at home while trying to find a job. But hey, at least I knew never to walk three blocks from my school to the library in broad daylight with a friend at sixteen after telling my parents we were going there to hang out, because that would result in three months of grounding for being so reckless.


I feel ya. Very similar experiences, although my parents didn't use the threat of punishment as a tool, instead they instilled in me a profound fear of EVERYTHING. Danger could be lurking at any corner. I'm soon 24 and I'm scared to walk alone during daytime in areas considered generally "safe". I keep a close eye on everyone and and always look behind me. I stand very far away from train tracks and subway tracks because I'm afraid someone will push me or I will fall in for another reason. I'm scared of trying anything new that has any conceivable risks of injury, disease etc. I have zero direction in my life and absolutely no concrete dreams or goals I strive for, because I have always been preoccupied solely with gearing my every action towards the goal of pleasing my parents and getting their validation. I don't know what I want or who I am. I'm still not financially independent of them and I'm scared they will stop supporting me if I mess up.


Much like your coworkers, micromanaging leads to hatred


Just took parenting tips off someone called wrinklyhorsecock


This sounds exactly like my 34 year old ex-boyfriend. He grew up in Scientology, specifically the Sea-Org, signing his first contract at 5. Given up to the church by his parents and bounced around boarding schools. He was working full time by the age of 12, in an extremely strict military-esque setting, with incredibly minimal traditional American education. After 3 tries, he finally escaped, with zero support... Regardless, he cannot for the life of himself make any decisions, and struggles to say no to the simplest non-consequential things. It's sad to see what this non-traditional cult setting did to his perception of the world and his skills as an adult. Not to mention his drug and alcohol use.


Holy shit. Have you watched the Leah remini series about this? It’s totally insane


I have. His sister was actually featured on one of the episodes. I had no idea about Scientology before meeting him (outside of knowing it's kooky and John Travolta and Tom Cruise were members), and knowing someone firsthand and learning all about what it's REALLY like was really sad and scary. Based on what I've learned from him directly, the Leah Remini's show is an accurate portrayal of what's happening. He can't talk to his family any more because he himself has now been "declared a suppressive person."


I had to stop watching it. It’s insane.


I’m so glad I was raised in the era of free-range children. I can’t imagine how boring my childhood would have been.


I wish my parents knew this when I was a kid. I am suffering the lifelong effect on this.. I am never sure about my decisions, I struggle to make up my mind, and just don’t have any confidence at all. I am trying to change that but it is already deeply ingrained in me and it’s so hard to change


What advice does anyone have for a 26 year old micromanaged his whole life and being completely lost as an adult? Lol


Just screw up and don’t be afraid to do so. Otherwise you never learn how to deal with failure and how to problem solve in an efficient way on your own. If your job or hobbies don’t include actual life or death of someone… then just learn by trying. Unfortunately, today’s society doesn’t allow for “adults” to learn by trial and error but if you don’t try things without direct instruction than you will never truly be able to live life on your own. I fought this as a mid twenty something… at some point you catch up to others but you need to have confidence in yourself and then learn from your mistakes when you inevitably screw up.


Remember not to prohibit your children from touching snakes. It means nothing to them. TIL.


But shaming them for their mistakes or apathy in the name of "we let them learn themselves" also bad... is what I heard from a friend


Read this as microwaving


Hard agree also people learn by trying a failing at something. It's crippling to be micromanaged.


Preventing them from failing is preventing them from growing.


Gotta let them fail (within reason) at times


Why did I read microwaving first...? Yeah, that will definietly affect your kid.


100%. Speaking from experience as the child of a helicopter parent. Still trying to work through the damage in my 30s.


Thanks for posting this. This is an issue I am currently working on as an adult. Growing up with a single mom, my mom has always tried to make the "best" decision for me because she loved me and does not want to see me get hurt. As a result, I lost the ability to make my own decision and have trouble forming my own opinion because I never get the chance to make my own decision growing up.


I agree, I have found in life that many times the best way to learn a lesson is the hard way. Making the mistake yourself and learning from it.


It’s better to communicate so when your kids grow up they will realize… “damn mom is right” because that was my mom did.


I thinks BCBA's call it contingency shaped behavior. It's a very good teacher. You can tell the child not to touch fire, fire is hot, you will get burned, ect all day. But they won't have their behavior modified until they touch the fire and learn for themselves.


Unfortunately I grew up with parents like this, what can I do as a 24M to get out of this type of mindset? I try my hardest everyday to not repeat the cycle to kids and friends around me but I struggle with the aftermath of what my parents did to me.


I wish I could teach my 16 month daughter that standing on the bed and lunging toward the side is a bad idea. I tell her no, but she just thinks my reaction is funny. She is about the most fearless child I've ever encountered. I really don't want her to need to learn by breaking her arm.


Where’s the line I feel like that’s what is hard to figure out


This explains my low self-confidence in adulthood.


My mom cradled me so hard into my high school years. This makes sense to me. I gotta fix this cuz it's ruining me lol


My mother: "Don't date, boys are bad; they only want one thing." Me: Marries first man who asked at 19, wound up with an abuser. I'm decades past that now, and my grandaughter (17) comes to me regularly for boy advice.


Ya I’ve got the opposite. I grew up in wilderness and would love to see my kid wander around, investigate, paddle in muddy puddles etc. Nope. The guy needs me to hold his hand 90% of the time we’re out, otherwise there are tantrums.


This is such a fine line. Yes, kids learn best from mistakes, however, leading them to learn everything from their experiences can really cause some unnecessary pain. It can easily become parentalizing a child for the sake of them learning a lesson resulting in a kid who is overly stressed about every choice they make. Kids operate in black and white…so it’s hot don’t ever touch hot…that can easily result in, being afraid of everything that’s not cold. Slightly steaming…don’t touch it. I agree with the sentiment of this LPT but I’ll add a “yes and..” if you can take the time to warn and explain prior to the action and console and explain after an experience you and your kiddo will be much better off for it. What I mean is, “hey son, that burner is hot which means that it may hurt you if you touch it too soon. If we wait awhile it will be safer for us to touch. Do you have questions?” If they touch it and it’s too hot and they cry then explain what happened, “I saw you got hurt, can I check your hand? Looks like you have a minor burn because that burner was TOO hot to touch. Let’s clean you up and we’ll make sure next time we want tp touch something we go slow to see if it’s too hot.”


I often wonder if my wife's overbearing parents' upbringing affected her ability to make decisions today. She is absolutely HORRIBLE about making decisions and there are many things she does not know or understand. She is petrified about making poor decisions, even though I stress to her that making a bad decision just means one more learning opportunity. Her parents still try to tell us what to do, or act, or whatever; and they think their word is the only right one.


So basically, don’t use the modern school system to educate your kids. 🙃


As an adult who's mom did absolutely everything for growing up, I had an incredibly hard time learning to adult. How to manage money and time, still struggle making decisions, am close to panic attacks every time I call to make an appointment anywhere. I also have zero self confidence. I'm also now a mother so I make sure not to do too much for my kids. Gets hard to do sometimes lol but I don't want to put them in the same position I was. I hold no ill feelings for my mother, she was an incredible mom and always did her best and what she thought was best for us kids. But if I can pinpoint a cause for some of my struggles, why wouldn't I want to prevent the same thing happening with my kids?


Would you saybthat micromanaged = sheltered? I feel like this ia what happened to me, i'm an anxious mess, and i always second guess every decision i try to make for myself, looking for reassurance from someone as i'm afraid to do the bad choice.


This post is extremely correct. But I just wanted to extend some thoughtful understanding to parents that really struggle with this. My child is grown and out of the house, and I tried to include them in the decisions I made as an adult so they could at least be exposed to problem solving and understand how the world works. Today they are extremely independent and knowledgeable about adult living, so I got really lucky there. But as a parent there is a driving force inside of you to protect your child and to see them happy. Not just at a young age, all throughout their life at home. It's very easy to do things for them. It's very satisfying to see them happy. So if you're having a hard time letting them fall and fail on their own, don't beat yourself up, just practice at it. Give them clearly defined responsibilities, let them understand the consequences that the world may impose on them, and then let sink or swim in a controlled environment. You'll thank yourself when they're in their twenties and they're not calling you to ask for money or for help or for things like that that many of us had to do at that period in our lives.


There’s always money in the banana stand.


This reminds me of a video from a therapist who has parents complaining about their kid (18+) still living in their basement and doesn’t have a job or any responsibilities and how the parents are always blaming the kid. He then says what if it’s not the kid fault but how you raised them? They raised them to be dependent on them, as a parent, and so they never learned how to be independent and make their own life choices. They’re always doubting every decision they make because that’s how they grew up. Edit: Here’s the video: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMd2R7ubA/


As a wise man once said, principles are inherited, but judgement is learned through experience.


Also they learn alot from their surroundings like If they see someone on tv being bitten by snake,and they see thier pain they will likely be more cautioned about snakes.so use the technology to your advantages.


Yup, and now I’m left with shitty problem solving skills and I can’t reason my way through a problem with common sense. For some reason I’m always seeing the hardest possible way of doing things when my friends are there to let me know I’m stupid.


I try to teach my son dangerous lesson safely. He’s one, so here’s an Example: when we’re walking towards the steps at the end of the deck, I hold his hand VERY tightly. So he steps right off the step and instead of falling, he’s dangling in the air by my hand. He now understands the danger of stairs and he’s very careful around them now without me telling him to be. Because, you’re LPT is 100% correct. Edit: I say he’s dangling in the air, there are like three steps on my deck. He’s not far from the ground at all, but it would still hurt him (not badly though).


We'll its too late to tell my parents now , someone help me overcome second Guessing and lack if confidence


I feel like this seems simple in theory but not so easy in practice especially with an older child. The amount of trouble they can get into is much worse and more damaging than touching a hot stove.


This is far to relatable to me :(


And on the flipside of this is how *I* was raised: on "because I said so's" and them getting angry and not explaining why I should or shouldn't do anything. I mean, I still overindulged in things they kept me away from, lack confidence and second-guess most decisions--even to the point of not going through with things. Heck, for the most part, because of how I was parented, I don't try or do new things for the first time without someone who already did it, because of my fear of failure and somebody getting angry at me for "not doing it right the first time" or someone making fun of me for my mistakes. It's *really* crippling, and I am slowly, *slowly* trying to get better at it. When I was a kid, I wished someone had explained to me the things I was curious about. I wish I had someone I could come to with questions because I trusted them to answer me, and to not make fun of what I wanted to learn. I wish that when I did something for the first time, nobody made fun of me or got angry at me if I made a mistake. So, I as a kid who lived through that sort of bad parenting, I aim to be the sort of parent I wished I had as a kid. It's gonna mean a lot of "playing defense" and picking up the pieces for them, 'cuz I reckon they're gonna make a lot of mistakes, but I'm gonna be there for 'em with the appropriate bandages and wisdom.


As a child who was micromanaged i would say this is true. Now as an adult i feel i would ve been better if my mom didnt help me out in everything..


Can anyone help me find the original text? I wanted to share with friends & family.


Why was this removed?


Reminds me of my friend 35M. He only drinks sugary juice, absolutely no water. Growing up he wasn’t allowed any form of sugar so he naturally rebelled as soon as he left home. Makes me really sad because he has major kidney problems but he’s so used to sugar now. He said, “That first drink of juice was like heaven, why go back to water”.


Heh, my “freshman fifteen” was far more like “freshman fifty” for that exact reason. We weren’t allowed junk food, sugary snacks, or sugary drinks at home (well, soda…we always had orange and/or cranberry juice in the fridge). When I got to college and found the never-ending fountain of Mountain Dew in the cafeteria, I kinda went buckwild.


Not speaking to your child as a baby helps too.


lol, I'm pretty sure you mean to not babytalk the child which I absolutely agree with, but I first read that as not saying a word to them while they are in the infant stage of development and that struck me as funny.


Now I can show my son videos on YouTube of people getting bitten by snakes so he doesn’t have to wait to experience that one for himself.


Thanks for the life lessons u/WrinklyHorseCock Can't wait for more LPT from WrinklyHorseCock!


I relate so hard to the "accustomed to someone dictating their lives". My mom is a bit of a micromanager and it often feels like she doesnt trust me to make my own decisions, even what I wear. Now even I don't trust my own decisions, and she is shocked when I say I have no self confidence lol


Did you have helicopter parents, OP? Is this why you are posting this?


I did and I agree with OP. Helicopter parents is just a nice way of saying controlling parents. I guess if you think our experiences are invalid then you don't need to consider what we have to say.


Most people on /r/lifeprotips just post to complain. Like, I want to see things that make my life easier/better. Like "use dishwashing powder instead of pods because that's how your dishwasher was designed to be used" or "buy a new toilet seat whenever you move into a new place, they're really cheap." I don't want to read "someone was mean to me, don't be mean to people."


Sorry I didn't realize you were the sub spokesperson.


Unfortunately this sub has been around a long time and all the good LPTs have already been posted.


Thanks for the parenting tips WrinklyHorseCock, but next time I need advice I'll go to a professional, or at least a parent I know and respect, instead of a random nsfw profile on Reddit.


Please tell that to my parents, it’s honestly ridiculous, I need a break


My mother was a helicopter parent, and even now (I am 34), she attempts to micromanage my life. When I got pregnant, I told myself I _would not_ be my mother and I struggle to not slip like I am so used to seeing my mother do, but I let my daughter be an independent child precisely because I struggle to this day as a functioning adult. I remember how my mother's micromanaging made me feel, and I never want my daughter to feel that way. I teach her to take no shit and do no harm. She won't need _anyone._


A++++ I still can't figure out how to do anything unless someone gives me permission. Doesn't work out well in adult life since waiting for someone to tell you you can do things, or can have things, never happens.


The kids I know who went crazy in college were the kids who were never allowed to police themselves.


My childhood best friend have been missing for months. When I was young I was very good friends with two kids living in the same neighborhood, their dad was out of the picture and raised by their mother who was extremely strict with them being outside for a certain amount of time. We were like 5 other kids 7 including them and would spend all day outside playing hide and seek, playing with fake guns and other games we made up. They were never allowed to be outside after 8pm (we were like 11-13 y/o) I remember their mom always yelling at them to come in as soon as it hit 8pm. We used to kinda tease them bc they had to go home so early while we were still out playing. This was also a very safe town so nothing bad ever happened really. They were never even allowed to go down to the local supermarket with us even during daytime. Their mom was always super protective and restrictive towards her kids, which doesn’t have to be bad btw. Anyways one of her sons was at a party back in December 2020 and no one have seen him since, last known tracks of him leads to a nearby river at the party. I haven’t been in contact with them for years now but I feel really bad for her and his brother. This doesn’t have to do with how she raised them but I definitely think not exposing kids to certain experiences and trying to shelter them from everything can have a negative effect.


Holy God yes this is my mother 1,000%. And I'm just like the article describes now in adulthood. Sigh