Interesting advice from Reddit Parenting users that parenting experts won’t give you. Disclaimer: UrbanMoms does not endorse the views expressed by Reddit users, and is simply sharing comments with readers.
Reddit Parenting users came up with some interesting and unconventional parenting strategies. We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most interesting comments we came across.
1. Teach your child to take responsibility around animals:
We’ve often been told by parenting experts that parents should establish boundaries between pets and children, and that if needed, pets should be carefully guarded from especially young children. Many parents make sure to de-claw cats and ensure dogs are properly trained around children. However, user superluminal_girl has been teaching her child to be careful around their 9 year-old, fully clawed “grumpy cat,” and to know when to approach the cat and when not to. The user tells her child that “it’s his own fault of he gets swiped at if he’s still messing with the cat when he gets angry.” Other users like missfarthing agreed that “kids need to learn that animals act on instinct and to be gentle.” They have a point there! You can’t always control how animals behave around your children, but you can control how your children behave around animals.
2. Let your kids entertain themselves:
Instead of constantly spending money on toys and games for your children, next time they say they’re bored… do nothing! Sooner or later your kids will be using their natural creativity to find ways to entertain themselves. The user khalsa_fauj argues strongly in favour of leaving kids to their own devices: “Kids need to learn how to entertain themselves. I refuse to constantly give my daughter toys and activities to keep her occupied. She knows where her toys are and she can go and play with them without my interference. You’ll be surprised that kids tend to create their own games and entertainment when given the chance to. I think it enhances their creativity as well.” Other users agreed and noted that assigning chores to kids was a quick way to end the “I’m bored” complaints.
3. Show your child a horrible disease they’ll get if they don’t eat their fruits and veggies:
According to the user LolaRockabella, scaring your child with the threat of a horrible disease can keep them eating healthy for years. As she notes here: “I did something similar with pictures of scurvy when my son wouldn’t eat his fruit. It worked so well, he hasn’t refused an orange in 2 years.” Always a good idea to show them pictures to reinforce the lesson in their uninformed minds! In fact, showing them scary pictures in general to avoid bad behaviour seems to work, as karma3000’s example illustrates: “I had a friend who wanted to stop her child picking at a scab on his face. So she googled up a picture of Freddy Krueger…” The common theme here? When teaching your children bad habits to avoid, show AND tell!
4. Warn your child they’ll get arrested if they don’t buckle their seat belt:
This is similar to the above, in that you should “inform” your child of the consequences of their actions, albeit stretching the truth a little. hattie29 knows how effective this can be: “My daughter went through a phase where she wouldn’t let me buckle her in her car seat. I had her convinced that if she wasn’t buckled in, the police would arrest her and take her to jail. I’ve never had a problem with her not wearing her seat belt since.” Others chimed in agreeing that the threat of arrest by the police is an effective scare tactic. The user riskable even noted that the tactic was so effective, that it motivated their child to pass on the message to other fidgety children: “Not a word of complaint since that day. In fact, I’ve heard him inform his younger cousin that wearing a seat belt is the law on more than one occasion!” The grain of truth in this message of “the law” is certainly comforting to parents worried about lying to their children!
5. Try ignoring your child after they fall:
To discourage your child from whining every time they trip and stumble, try brushing off the incident instead of freaking out. This tactic seems to work out well according to user kayrynjoy: “if my daughter or step-daughter falls and starts whining or crying I’m like ‘did that hurt?’ ‘Yes!’ ‘Are you going to live?’ If the answer is yes then get up and go play. If no then ‘well it was nice while it lasted, I’ll be sure to eat your dessert for you’ ‘no I’ll be ok!’” The user dividedgirlofmine agrees with the “you’ll survive” nonchalance: “Around here it’s usually ‘I fell down!’ ‘Do you think you’ll survive?’ ‘Yes :c’ ‘Ok, then go play.’” Of course, if your child keeps complaining about feeling hurt after they fell, then it IS best to make sure they’re checked out by a doctor. Repeated complaints about the same ailment are an indicator of serious problems that shouldn’t be ignored.
6. Conversely, if they’re screaming and crying, scream and cry even louder:
Okay, so you’ve tried ignoring your child’s meltdown, but that method is still not working. They just won’t stop yelling, screaming, and crying. Whether this is after a minor fall or because you took their toy away due to bad behaviour, you just want them to calm down… but they won’t. The solution? If you can’t beat em’, join em’! Engage in your own meltdown, as the user antisocialmom explains in this instance: “When my kids were in meltdown mode doing the screaming and crying thing, I would scream and ‘cry’ louder. Sure, they looked at me like I was insane, but it shut them up!” The user rebelkitty agrees with the method: “He started to cry, then stopped and tried whining again. I whined right back at him. A couple more tried, many more tears, a small tantrum on the floor, and he finally quit whining for good.” Not only did the tactic solve the issue long-term, it was also kind of fun: “I have to say, I giggled WAY more than I should have!” Sometimes, even parents should be allowed to throw tantrums.
7. Screaming in your child’s face WILL keep them away from electrical outlets:
Sometimes in order to protect your child from immediate danger, you just need to cry “code red” and scream in their face. Coaxing and more subtle gestures are just not as effective in these cases. The user riskable seems to be full of politically incorrect parenting techniques that seem to work. “My daughter was fast approaching an electrical outlet with a fork (I know, right?) and I let out my loudest, most scary ‘NO! You will DIE!!’ I’ve ever belted out (to her, anyway hehe). I even got up in her face and scared her to the point of crying.” In the face of immediate danger to your child, the ends DO justify the means according to this parent: “To this day I have no regrets about it. She’s terrified of the electrical outlets now and that’s just perfect as far as I’m concerned.” Sure you might feel terrible if you bring your child to tears momentarily. But if they’re kept much safer thereafter, you shouldn’t feel too guilty.
8. If your older daughter is acting like a bitch, let her know:
When you’re dealing with teenagers, what should your approach be when they misbehave? Should you avoid any and all offensive terms and attempt to discipline them in the most nuanced manner possible, or should you speak to them in layman’s terms to ensure clear and concise communication? Some parents choose to appeal to their children using simplistic terms that their children will immediately respond to, as in the case of user dustydiamond: “I have two daughters who are both very attractive. When they started to act like they were a bit better than other girls who weren’t as good looking I told them in no uncertain terms that there is enough pretty bitches in the world and nowhere near enough thoughtful, kind, and considerate beauties. I said it a couple of times and it worked. Yeah, I used the word bitches. It felt wrong but somehow right because that’s exactly what they were acting like.” In the long-run, using the b-word had the effect of making her children much nicer human beings: “Proud to say they are both kind and considerate to others now and stick up for the girls being bullied.”
9. When your child refuses to get out of the bath, remind them that bath water isn’t always so pleasant:
Not all children are addicted to being dirty and need to be forced into the bath. On the contrary, there are many children who find taking a bath extremely relaxing. The trouble starts when they won’t get out of the bath. What to do then? According to user twoisnotenough… release the drain! “Releasing the drain works for me every time. The kid is terrified of the water spiral of doom, lest it sweep her down into its dark, watery depths.” Making your child a little uncomfortable is a sure fire way to get them out of the bath, as VeXCe affirms: “I turned on the cold shower. Not on her, just near her. Only had to do it once.” GruffalosChild gets her partner to assist in the bath-repelling endeavour: “My husband would run the sink, which makes the pipes rattle.” If you’re in a hurry and need your child out of the bath soon, or are just sick of sitting in the bathroom for an hour, sometimes the odd scare tactic may become necessary!
10. Spray something disgusting on your child’s clothing to get them to avoid biting their clothes:
Do you have a child that gets a bit toothy with their tops? In this case, some parents find deterrents are the best solution to stop their moth-mimicking children from ruining their clothes. The user riskable strikes again, this time with bitter apple spray: “We had a similar problem with one of our children. I forget what it was… Sleeves? Maybe a blanket? Doesn’t matter. The problem was easily resolved with some bitter apple spray from the pet store. If I remember correctly we had a good laugh from the look on the child’s face when the item in question was mouthed. ‘Bleaahh! Blih… (Frowny face).’” If what you’re spraying isn’t dangerous to the health of the child, the condition of the clothing (which would defeat the purpose of this experiment), or foul-smelling, it might be worth a try. Especially since riskable affirms that the tactic solved her child’s biting problem “instantly and forever in a single moment.”
What are your politically incorrect parenting techniques? Share them with us in the comments below!