Not everyone is meant to be a parent. And not all grown-up couples should be parents. Too often, these unwilling contingents meet up in delivery rooms, gas station bathroom stalls, or, most frequently, MTV’s 9 p.m. programming block.
But you don’t have to be a Teen Mom to be a terrible parent. No, no. All it takes is a childhood marked by parental absenteeism to effectively destroy your own offspring.
But can you recognize the signs of a toxic parent?
Maybe you’re the last of ten children and there was no love left over for you. On the other side of the negligence coin, perhaps you’re an only child and got way too much love. You know who you are. You’re the reason most people have two kids.
The point is: Our parents have messed us all up in some way or another. The real challenge of parenthood is filtering the good stuff from the bad; allowing just enough love and praise to shine through while imparting values, guidance, and discipline in the correct ratio.
Personally, I try my best to be a good dad every day, but I’m not always successful. The secret to being a good parent is to fail privately and post all your exceptional parenting to Facebook.
It should be said, however, that many of you are still messing up — big time.
You should probably read this helpful guide to know if you’re a toxic parent. Yes, even if you think you’re killing this parenting thing on a daily basis.
1. You smoke in front of your kids.
2. You let your infant drink soda out of their baby bottle.
3. You named your child “North” or “Saint.”
4. You only hug your kids on holidays.
5. You show your children the “Star Wars” saga in numerical order.
6. You refuse to buy bedtime stories that haven’t appeared on the New York Times Notable Books list.
7. Your child is strictly vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, pescatarian, or omnivorous.
8. You breastfed for less than one year.
9. You breastfed past one year.
10. All the other moms look down on you.
11. You only say, “I love you” via Twitter, and only through hashtags.
12. You fully support your child’s interest in a fine arts education instead of encouraging a deeper look at trade schools. Qualified plumbers and electricians are always in demand!
13. You told them why Elmo sounds a little bit different these days.
14. You bad-mouth your child on Facebook when they don’t even have a Facebook page.
15. You bad-mouth your child on Facebook when they do have a Facebook page.
16. You only speak Klingon at home.
17. You buy used EpiPens to save money.
18. Your go-to babysitter is Uber.
19. You teach your child about the birds and the bees, but fail to mention anything about sex.
20. You blow all the money you made writing this list on a really nice pen to make your future writing feel like it will stand the test of time, instead of buying diapers.