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10 Disturbing Facts about Parents

by Jeffrey Morris
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

On the average, parents are good. Being a parent makes you a special person, and there is a level of respect accorded to you by society. However, in human history, even when there is abundant good, the bad finds a way to get into the mix. There are hundreds of cool facts about parents, but there are also a few bad ones. These are ten disturbing facts about parents:

Related: 10 Parents Who Committed Heinous Crimes With Their Children

10 About One in Five Parents Regret Having Kids

Parents Open Up About Regretting Having Kids

There is a tendency for every child to believe that their parents love them no matter what. However, the facts available to us do not support this assumption. This is according to a poll carried out by the Opinion Research Institute on 2,045 parents to find out how many of them would prefer to live without children if they ever have the opportunity to revisit their choices. Well, it turns out that 19% of mothers and 20% of fathers responded in the affirmative.

One of the factors responsible for the negative responses is the professional careers of the parents. The parents who regretted having kids believe that they would have done better in their careers without their kids. The good news about this survey is that the higher percentage found parenting gratifying.[1]

9 Some Parents Sent Their Children by Mail

We used to MAIL CHILDREN? | Strange US History

Sometime in 1913, the United States Postal Service introduced a parcel delivery service. Besides sending letters to people, you could now send gifts to people. A new age was born, but it had unintended consequences. Just a few weeks after the parcel services began, an Ohio couple named Jesse and Mathilda Beagle “mailed” their eight-month-old son, James, to his grandmother, who lived just a few miles away in Batavia.

The fact that the story gained popularity did not reduce similar occurrences. In fact, it inspired more occurrences. In one famous case, a four-year-old girl was “mailed” via train across a distance of 73 miles (117.5 kilometers). While we admit that this scandal had a good side in the sense that it showed us that American mail workers could be trusted with children, we are disappointed in parents who felt they had no other choice than to transport their children by mail.[2]

8 A Fifth of Parents Think Their Babies Are Ugly

Mom Goes Viral With ‘Ugly Baby’ Video

Every baby is beautiful. This is our opinion, but some parents seem to think otherwise. A poll was once conducted on how parents thought their babies looked. Surprisingly, one in five parents were disappointed in the looks of their babies, with one father admitting that, objectively, his daughter looked disgusting when she arrived. The poll also revealed that some parents did discuss their baby’s “ugly” looks with another person aside from their partner.

There was once a thread on Whisper where parents anonymously admitted that their children were ugly. Some didn’t stop there; they found a way to blame other people for the situation. One mother blamed her “obnoxious” mother-in-law’s genes for her baby’s appearance. Another mother believed she was not good enough to be a mother for struggling to accept her “ugly” son.[3]

7 One-Third of Parents Think Playing with Their Children Is Boring

3 myths about spending time with your kids

Playing with your kids used to be a daunting task. It is no longer not so little, thanks to electronic games. While many parents cherish the opportunity to play games with their children—be it board games, electronic games, or going to a playground—one out of three parents find such activities boring, according to a study. The bright side of this study is that only one in ten children believe that playing with their parents is boring.[4]

6 Multiple Studies Show That Parents Have a Favorite Kid

Parents Do Have A Favorite Child, New Study Reveals

We understand that the favorite kid of parents may count himself or herself lucky, but this habit is terribly bad. To start with, it breeds jealousy and hatred among the children. Moreover, it may lead to low self-esteem in children that are not favorites. Children get motivated when shown love and encouragement by their parents and get demotivated when the reverse is the case. Thirdly, children who are their parents’ favorites are likely to become spoiled brats as this makes them believe that they would likely get away with anything they do. This is not all; such favoritism may even damage the relationship between a parent and the other kids who are not favorites.

Despite all the disadvantages associated with this phenomenon, multiple studies have shown that parents do have a favorite kid among their children. In one study, up to 74% of mothers and 70% of fathers in the United Kingdom were shown to exhibit preferential treatment toward one child. Research suggests that when parents admit that they have a preferred child, birth order plays an important role in who they favor. According to the study, parents who have a favorite child usually favor the baby of the family.[5]

5 Majority of Parents Are Unaware of Kids’ Online Activities

Secrets Preteens Keep On Their Phones [Part 1]

Studies have shown that the parents of America’s digitally literate teenagers are largely in the dark about their children’s internet activity. A survey of 804 online teens and 810 parents of teens discovered that 60% of the teens created accounts for apps and social media sites while managing to evade their parents’ knowledge. The survey further revealed that only 28% of parents believed that their children were surfing the internet behind their backs.

The more disturbing fact about this particular survey is that 67% of parents stated that they have given their children standing instructions to report online incidents that made them scared or uncomfortable. However, only 32% of teens admitted that their parents had reported such a rule. This means that if such a rule existed, the teens who were the subject of such rules were not even aware of it at all. This trend is concerning because of what teens may pick up online. Many teens copy popular negative trends online only to regret them much later. Several children have died in the process of trying to participate in one online challenge or the other.[6]

4 90% of Gen X Parents Believe Their Children Would Get Scholarships

How parents can save for a child’s college education

Student loan debt is a disturbing trend in the United States. About 43.5 million Americans have federal student loan debt. This is the student loan statistic as of 2022. Financial experts believe the best and only way to avoid student loans is for parents to start saving early. Surprisingly, nine out of ten Gen X parents who responded to a survey believe that their children would get scholarships, grants, or both. The sad reality here is that 50% of all students will eventually need student loans. The situation may even be worse when parents are unprepared for tuition and believe their children would get scholarships.[7]

3 Most Parents Don’t Know How Kids Are Doing in School

Parents Try Doing Their Teen’s Homework

Nationally, 90% of parents think their children are reading and doing math at or above grade level. In reality, the percentage of eighth graders who are proficient or above in math is 26%. In comparison, the percentage for English language is 31%. According to a study, 80% of parents say they are confident they understand their children’s academic performance, which means that the majority of parents do not even understand that there is a problem.[8]

2 Parents Pay Boys Twice as Much Allowance as Girls

Gender pay gap exists at home: Allowances higher for boys, company says

According to a survey, it was discovered that parents pay boys twice as much allowance as girls for the chores they do at home. The implication of this is that gender inequality begins at home. Parents are the ones who lay the foundation for the gender pay gap that exists in human society today. On average, boys receive $13.80 per week in allowance, while girls receive just $6.71. This pay disparity is also reflected in the bonuses that parents give to their kids.

What we find disturbing about this trend is that the pay inequality at home is more severe than what is obtainable in the corporate world. In 2021, full-time, year-round working women earned 84% of what their male counterparts earned, according to the Census Bureau’s analysis. This shows that the measurable factors that have been used to explain gender payment inequality, like educational attainment, work experience, and occupational segregation, are mere excuses. If such excuses were valid in the first place, the inequality at home would not be worse than that in the workplace.[9]

1 18% of Parents Meet the Clinical Definition of Bad Parenting

5 Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Life

Physical abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse are part of what constitutes bad parenting, but there is more to these. There are also things that parents may do or say that can unintentionally lead to adverse outcomes for a child and can also fit into the clinical definition of bad parenting. An under-involved parent is a bad parent; moreover, an over-involved parent is also a bad parent. Parents who leave their children with little or no discipline are also considered bad parents.

Children look up to their parents to define the boundaries of things that are good or bad and the consequences that can occur if the child crosses the boundaries. The implication of the statistics on bad parenting is that we can safely estimate that about 18% of the world’s population suffered from bad parenting. This isn’t good because of its unintended consequences, which include negative self-perception, control issues, and rebellion, as well as emotional and behavioral problems.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen