Dear White Parents, You Need to STOP Doing These 13 Things

Dear White Parents, You Need to STOP Doing These 13 Things

Raising kids is hard, but you'll raise a better adult if you don't do these things.

Dear White Parents,

You need to stop doing these 13 things.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that I know best how to parent your kids. I just notice these things that may or may not make your child look like a brat.

1. Letting your child run wild in stores.

I understand that your child has a lot of energy, and that they are excited by a lot of things, but explain to them that maybe it is best to play outside at home or the park, or perhaps give them a quiet game to play in the store that doesn’t require screaming at the tops of their lungs or running around making a mess of the store for those who work there to clean up, to segue into my next point:

2. Not making your children clean up their messes in the store.

The people who work in retail or grocery stores are there to help you find the items you need and make the store look presentable and clean. They do it dozens of times a day and that’s mainly for replenishment and to make the store’s displays presentable in general, but when your child leaves a giant mess and you leave it, because that’s the employees’ job, it makes us stay for a long time after our already long shifts to clean up after your children.

3. Not teaching your child to respect his or her teachers.

If the teacher in question is deliberately being unfair, disrespectful, or being inappropriate with your child, that is a very different story. If your child is unruly in the classroom or other school environment, and his or her teacher has asked them to stop and then he or she responds with disrespect to his or her teacher, it is not a teacher-student problem, it is a parent not teaching their child to respect his or her instructor. Teachers get paid to teach, not to take abuse from children.

4. Blaming teachers for your child’s bad grades.

I said in the previous thing you shouldn’t do, teachers get paid to teach. They don’t take your child’s tests for you, or do their homework, or turn in their projects. They assign these to see how well your child knows and can apply the material they teach. If you don’t make your child do the assignments, why is it teachers’ fault that your child has a bad grade? News flash: Teachers want your children to do well. They are not out to get them.

5. Letting your child talk back to you.

Saying “Please don’t do that,” is not going to stop your children from being disrespectful. I am not implying that you should constantly yell at your children, but gentleness isn’t always the best discipline. You are allowed to stand your ground and demand the respect you deserve as their parent.

If you don't do this now, you will end up with a child who thinks he or she can walk all over you and when you finally realize that there is no other choice than to be "mean" to your child, it will be too late, because they'll just laugh it off and do what they want anyway.

6. Being the “participation trophy” parent.

The reason trophies and awards are relevant is to encourage children to excel at things they enjoy doing. If your child is not the winner every time, this will just be a motivator for them to earn the trophy or award next time. It is your job to support and help motivate them to achieve their goals, not demand that they get the same reward as the one who worked harder or met their goals.

This sets unrealistic standards for children in later life, because the fact that life is not always equal for everyone will be a slap in the face to those children who got the participation award.

7. Giving your children everything they want whenever they want it.

Giving your children the necessities is the only thing you are required to do as their caregiver. On the other hand, children are allowed to have treats and rewards every now and again, too. You are allowed to make them happy with a new toy.

However, if you give them the new iPhone every time it comes out, and the best of everything, they probably learn nothing about the value of working for anything, and they may become ungrateful. Ungrateful children turn into adults who expect everything handed to them, and it will not be pretty for your kids once they realize that you can’t always get what you want.

8. Not vaccinating your children.

I understand that the medical choices you make for your children are your right, but if you do not vaccinate your child, and another gets sick, it is on you. I can hear the parents saying, “Well, why does it matter if my kid isn’t vaccinated if yours is, shouldn’t your kid’s vaccine work?”

Normally, yes, but there are some children whose bodies are unable to handle vaccines, and those who are scheduled to have their vaccines later according to when their vaccinations are scheduled with their doctors. Those children would be at risk for getting diseases that your unvaccinated child may spread. Their parents vaccinate them, but they still could become sick due to your irresponsibility.

9. Getting angry when your kid is rightfully accused of something.

If your kid does something illegal and/or stupid, it is not teaching them anything to take up for them. Let them learn their lesson (unless they are wrongfully accused, and you have undeniable proof), because while they may not be happy with it, the saying goes, if you do the crime, you do the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s minor, don’t let your kid think they’re above the rules or the law.

10. Not letting your kids follow their dreams.

You hear people tell their kids they can be President someday, and I’m sure you told them once that they can be whoever they want to be-so if they want to be an artist, or anything else that you don’t necessarily approve of, LET THEM.

Don’t tell them that it just isn’t practical, or that they won’t make any money-chances are, they probably know that could be the case, but they need the freedom to figure that out for themselves. Or, perhaps they are great at what they do and could very well be the next Da Vinci and you’re just crushing their spirits and making them believe they aren’t good enough.

Either way, you’re being stifling and raising a child isn’t just to make someone a carbon copy of yourself. It’s to teach them how to be a good person and be able to do things for themselves.

11. Not teaching your children how to do chores and everyday errands.

I know it’s hard to decide when your child is old enough to do certain chores, or when they should have to. But, if your 23-year-old son doesn’t know how to do laundry…there’s a problem. He surely wants to live on his own one day, so he should not always bring his laundry home for you to do.

He should know how to put clothes in the washer, pour detergent in, and set it to a cycle, then be able to put his clothes in a dryer. Maybe a certain setting for different types of clothes or ironing everything isn’t your style-and that’s fine. Just teach them how to live on their own, please, because roommates and significant others don’t want to live in a disaster area.

12. Doing your children’s homework and projects for them.

Are you the student? Is that your name on that report card? I didn’t think so-and teachers likely know the difference between an 8-year-old’s science project and a thirty-something-year-old mother’s kitchen crafting session. I understand that accidents happen, and kids forget things-we all do.

But if you are constantly gluing last touches to dioramas while your child is asleep, you need to stop. Your child needs to learn how to take care of their own grades, because once they get to college, they get no extra time to do things if they don’t turn them in on time (unless there are extenuating circumstances discussed with a teacher or handled with the right documentation).

Their professors will not baby them like their teachers do in school now, so it’s best that you start your children out knowing how to handle problems instead of always covering them

13. Making your kids do extra-curriculars they don’t enjoy.

If your daughter wants to play soccer instead of doing ballet, let her. If your son wants to dance and you make him play football, you’re not letting him be who he wants to be. If your kid hates practicing piano, you are just wasting money on a piano teacher because it’s likely that they aren’t planning on being a concert pianist one day. I am sure they can find something that they like doing, and wouldn’t it be better to watch them do something they enjoy instead of having you live vicariously through them? They will be much happier with you and genuinely be proud of themselves when they make that goal they have been trying to get at practice, or mastering that move in dance class for their big performance, instead of being nervous for a big performance that you both know they haven’t practiced for because they hate it.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.

This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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I Love My Parents For Making Me Hate Them

If you've never disliked your parents, they're doing something wrong.


I did not have the "cool" parents growing up. I was not allowed to go to parties, drink, hang out with bad influences, eat sugary breakfast cereal and Gushers, or date guys who my parents thought were too old for me. I looked around at all of my friends getting permission to do pretty much anything they wanted and filled with jealousy and curiosity as to why that wasn't my life.

A very common conversation in my household:

"But *insert friend's name here*'s parents let them!"
"I'm not *insert same friend's name here*'s parents."

At the time, I felt like my parents were suffocating me and not allowing me to make the mistakes I needed to make to develop as a person. Little did I know, the parenting I had was the absolute best parenting I could possibly have had. Looking back, I'm thankful for all of the rules, punishments, fights, and boundaries, because it did shape who I am as a person and a future parent.

That being said, to those who think their parents are too strict: trust the system. Rules are regulations are crucial for teaching valuable life lessons, regardless of how frustrating it may seem at the time. I cannot express in words how sheltered I felt growing up compared to a lot of my peers, but I now understand the parenting style and hope to apply this same guidance to my future family.

My favorite way to describe the parenting style I had growing up would be by comparing it to a retractable dog leash. My parents always let me explore my boundaries and make mistakes to learn from them, but pulled my back when I put myself or others in danger. They knew the lessons I needed to learn through trial and error, and there were always consequences when I did things that they knew I shouldn't. Getting punished insured that I would repeat mistakes, but also created the necessary separation between friend and parent.

Eventually, it would disappoint me to disappoint my parents, and that guilt was almost punishment enough to prevent me from doing anything I shouldn't. Sometimes I did feel like I was missing out on a lot of the things my peers were able to do. At the same time, however, I knew it was for the best and that my parents had my best interest at heart. When I did act as a regular rebellious teenager, my parents always were on my team and made sure I felt loved and cared for even when they needed to punish me.

Now that I'm older and have established right from wrong on my own, my relationship with my parents is something that others envy. We can joke around and act as best friends, but I also know that if I needed it, my parents would always be there to help me with life's hardest problems and decisions. The fights we had when I was younger and the teenage attitude is now something we can look back and laugh about.

Using my parents as models, I now know how I would one day like to raise my own children. Obviously, all kids are different and there are some things I would change. However, I know that if my children never hate me, I would not be doing my job correctly. I appreciate all of the times I felt like I was restricted and couldn't be who I wanted to be because now I realize that my parents were shaping me into the best person I could possibly be, and that's what I wish I would have wanted all along.

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