Earlier this week, Reddit user @u/cbost asked parents: "What are mistakes that you feel that you made that others could learn from before it's too late?"
Parents have been giving their honest mistakes so other moms and dads won't make the same ones when it comes to raising their own children and honestly, it's pretty amazing.
Well, we've looked through them and figured out the highlights:
If you're going to give in - give in early.
"For example, if your kid wants ice cream and you say no, and they beg a little that's when you'd give in. If you give in once they've started kicking and screaming then you've just taught them that's how they get their way."
People always say there is never a right time to have kids. That's not true! Don't feel pressured to have kids.
"Wait until you feel you are [ready] emotionally and financially. Don't let family pressure you, because you will blame the child for emotional and financial stress you weren't ready for."
I didn't take my kid to the optometrist... I wish I'd taken him to be screened earlier.
"Doctor and dentist, yes, but I figured optometrists were for people who needed glasses. He seemed to be fine. I didn't realize there are other vision problems that may not be apparent, which are only correctable if caught early.
"When one eye started drifting, I took him in. Now he needs expensive vision therapy, and it may be that he's too old to fully benefit. Vision development happens in the brain as well as the eyes, and the visual system matures around the age of 7. I wish I'd taken him to be screened earlier."
Next came some emotional support.
Make time for your kid. Like, really make time.
"My son is now 9, and I'm lucky to be able to give him the attention he deserves. When I was working myself to death, I was only home to sleep and get ready for work, and it affected him emotionally a lot. Now, he's doing better with schooling, has waaaay less tantrums, is eating better, sleeping better, and just doing better overall."
Refrain from making one person be the disciplinarian and the other the console.
"Try to share the load, " another user said. "You may fall into one category naturally, but there will be times that you want to be in the other role — and it will take time to transition out of the role you had, especially if you've done it a long time. This can turn into teenagers who do respect the consoler or teenagers who can't open up to the disciplinarian."
A little means a lot to a young child.
"When I was working from home and my kids wanted to go to the park, I would say no because I couldn't take a two-hour break — until I realized that for them, a twenty-minute trip to the park was just as good. They got to go, run, and play for a while, and they were happy."
Not putting your foot down.
"When I had my kid, I didn't want any family or friends over for a week to acclimate to this huge life change. An hour after my kid was born, my in-laws showed up at the hospital unannounced and made this massive fuss. An hour or so later, more distant in-laws (S.O.'s aunts, uncles, and cousins) showed up — some I hadn't seen for a good year or so. I pretended to sleep when they randomly showed up without notice to the hospital and then my house.
It also led to postpartum depression, and I wanted nothing to do with my kid the first few weeks. I went through the motions, feeding, bathing, and taking care of him, but there was no love there. Postpartum is a serious thing, and if you see your partner suffering, make time for them. Help them, even if it's just letting them take a walk alone."
Never let someone else get in the way of raising your children.