Are You Giving Your Kids a Better Childhood Than You Had?

bad childhood
These Gals Ain't Happy
News flash! Most of us had crappy childhoods. In fact, the CDC reports that 60% of American adults report having had a difficult childhood due to abuse, troubled family members, or dysfunction due to divorce or separation. This information initially shocked me, until I stopped and looked around at my adult friends and realized it was incredibly difficult to find anyone who had a "normal" childhood, free from adult drama.

Those of us who are parents, naturally, have sworn to do things differently now that we're the adults in the room. And for our children's sakes, I sincerely hope we do. Personally, I've made a list of things I'll never do, that may seem obvious today. But that parents in the 1970s and '80s seemed to regularly engage in that may have caused you, or someone you know, to wind up in that 60%. (But, not mine! Hi, Mom. :)

  • Use TV as a babysitter
  • Feed kids processed non-food
  • Try to force a child into a gender stereotype
  • Pressure kids into straight As, at all costs
  • Going out for milk and never coming back
  • Call a boy "fag" if he can't play sports
  • Call a girl a "slut" for having sexual feelings
  • Get loaded in front of the kids and cry/yell/hug them too tightly
  • Telling your child that "kids ruined your life." Offer examples of things you "could have been"
  • Working so many hours your kids don't know who you are
  • Just being a jerk

Have you promised to be a better parent than the ones you had?


Image via Anosmia/Flickr

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