There are days when parents practice what is commonly known as “relaxed parenting." No one can prepare you for how exhausting and tough parenting will be—you just have to experience it for yourself. That being said, there are some bad parenting practices out there that have nothing to do with being tired, and we’ve found the cream of the crop for you!
There are also days when parents feel inspired, and want to pass on their wisdom to their children: these parents are doing their best, and they're absolutely nailing it. With their awesome approach to life and teaching, these parents also inspire others around them to be good people. We hope you have a box of tissues for these, as they are parenting gold. Here are 20 photos that show good parenting and bad parenting at its finest.
20 No. Just no.
Ah yes. The ultimate facepalm photo. This recognizable doll is about as impressed-looking as we are right now. There is an entire world full of amazing role models for kids, no one needs to go down this particular route of playtime friends. And who says she needs to be holding onto a blonde blue-eyed blonde, the doll selection out there is astounding and you can choose one that speaks to her personality or her aspirations for future world domination (in a good way) of her own. What country is this in? Does it mater? This little girl needs to set the Hitler doll aside and exclude him from all future tea parties. In context or out of context, this is just a big no.
19 Olaf you!
This just melts our hearts. There is nothing a father won’t do for his little princess, or in this case snow woman! Nothing is ‘frozen’ here, in fact, it’s all warmth and happiness! This little snow woman is learning that you don’t have to be the main character of a movie to be the star in your own life and playing by society's judgemental rules and roles should never be a deterrent. This dad should win a medal for stepping outside the box, supporting his son, and really 'being there' as a role model and best-dad-ever. With the ever expanding world of acceptance (and the increasing push back) this father son costume makes a statement that should be a lesson to everyone—love triumphs and a smile is worth its weight in gold.
Seriously though, this is one for the photo album and that little girl's smile tells it all.
18 Bad example
Not the best example to set for future generations. Although the little cherub doesn’t appear to actually be drinking and smoking, introducing him to such things at a young age doesn’t give him the greatest start in life. A smoker’s cough by age three isn’t adorable. And not only that, but why did this person think it was funny? Is lung and stomach cancer funny? How about alcoholism and other additions? This is just an unacceptable photo, both for introducing the child to dangerous substances at an early age (that he may look at and laugh at age 12 and give it a try for real), and as a symbol of where comedy is going.
Let's just hope that this kid was just as angry as society should be when he was old enough to understand, and scolded his mother for a bad parenting moment. One can only hope she quickly switched his beer out for a juice and the cigarette for a spoonful of mashed organic peas.
17 Can’t hold it back anymore!
Keeping with the Frozen theme, this cheeky chap won’t let gender norms stand in his way! And neither will his dad! Love really is an open door when you let them express themselves. He may be too young to understand the impact he is having, but he is not too young to make one. Not only is he adorable and confident, his dad's expression is one of support, not a joke. There are too many parents out there who buy Barbies for girls and monster trucks for boys, even then their tastes reflect the other. There needs to be more out there like this dad who support their children no matter their gender or preference.
Strut your stuff little man, and show them what you’ve got!
16 Why not teddy bears?
Real or fake, introducing violence into the home is probably not the best way to bring up productive little citizens. These girls look far too pleased. What is wrong with sports, horses, or even mechanics? With so many wholesome and engaging activities out there to chose from, guns don’t need to make an appearance in anyone’s upbringing. And the fact that Kinder Surprise toys are banned in the USA, but guns aren't, is just another reason to start educating your kids on safety early.
These kids were probably told that they look 'cool' and asked to make 'gangster' faces to match their pose—only making it more entertaining and fun for them. Let's swap these guns for glow sticks or symbols of peace and spread that around instead, shall we?
15 Hear the love.
This dedicated father got a unique tattoo so that his daughter wouldn’t feel alone, and to show that it’s OK to be a little different. Tattoos, just like love, are forever. What a lucky girl. This is a clear example of a parent doing it right. Not to say that everyone needs to get a tattoo to be a good parent, but it is certainly one way! Even wearing a mock hearing aid when you're out and about if your child is feeling uncomfortable.
What makes a good parent is someone who will put their own judgements and insecurities aside for your children. Putting yourself in their shoes, making sure your child is never alone, and really giving yourself to their needs.
Does anyone have a tissue?
14 Fresh air.
Oh, dear. Oh, no. They’re not even outside, and it’s not even raining! Not that putting a plastic bag over a child’s head is a good idea in any situation, rain or shine. There’s no logical way to even guess what this parent was thinking. Yeah, maybe the kid was playing with it and stuck it over their own head, but that is where most parents would scramble to remove it and explain how dangerous it is. This lady seems to be much more interested in the rollback prices than the safety of the human sitting inches from her face.
Good luck kid, you’re going to need it.
13 We scream for ice cream.
There’s no stopping this little budding entrepreneur! Notice anything? Neither did we for the longest time, but there’s a wheelchair in this costume! There are also the beautiful intentions of his incredibly creative parents who spent nothing short of hours creating this gem. It's enough to make your heart sing the ice cream truck tune!
Creating something beautiful over something that may be a difficulty in your child's life is one of the best ways to erase stigma or insecurities for them. Whether this is for halloween or just your every day family outing to the park, it is an innovating surprise and one that likely put a million dollar smile on the kid's face and on those around him.
Just another idea to get outside and see what the world has to offer, and what hurdles people have jumped.
12 Hold on!
This little one has a fighting spirit, we’ll give him that. His parents are too happy with themselves to even notice that anything is missing from the little red wagon. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, you notice that everyone is wearing the same outfit. Double fail.
Was this photo planned? It is obvious that the shoot was, but was him dragging planned? If so, it is hard to know how the joke is funny. If it wasn't, it seems the photo was more important to the photographer and couple than the welfare of the child.
Let's hope they have a good detergent at home, because the grass stains on his little white shirt, and his ego, may be hard to get out.
Having some one-on-one time with your kids is one of the FUNdamentals of being a good parent, and this dad has it in spades! Nurturing the bonds of love and trust, this little bub doesn’t even realize what’s going on, all he knows is that he’s having a great time.
Some think that kids that age don't remember the little things, so why bother? For one, there is proof that memory dates back further then previously thought, and secondly, this photo will warm everyone's heart. Spending quality time with your children at all ages 0-50 (and longer, if you make it that long) is more important than any toy you could give them, even if it is just rolling on the ground kicking your feet.
10 Worshipping booze.
Babies are known for learning about the world by eating anything they can get their hands on. But this image doesn’t even make sense! They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but this picture inspires just one: “What?” This baby will be the only baby in the world who will know what sea water and champagne together taste like... one can hope.
This photo also just looks entirely too 'artistic.' Someone spent time capturing this photo, which means they allowed the child to drink an alcoholic beverage for longer than necessary or acceptable. Unless, of course, it is non-alcoholic white grape juice... in which case, the only question, again, is, "why?"
Hopefully, they at least got a few dollars off of a stock photography site who specializes in images for Alcoholics Anonymous blogs.
9 Surfing champions
Parents are our role models from our earliest days, and this dad is teaching each and every one of us that there are no excuses in life! Absolutely nothing stands in your way. Get out there and live it to the fullest. Our hearts are bursting with joy seeing this family surfing, and so is the son's.
A smile like the one on that boys face makes every and any hardship those parents have faced totally worth it and they know it. They have made it their mission to not only give their child a quality standard of life, but to make sure it is nothing short of exceptional, and they are succeeding. You can't see it, but it is easy to tell that their smiles are just as big as his.
8 Slurpee = 1, baby = 0
Slurpees are delicious and irresistible, no one is denying that for a second. But the baby isn’t a backpack and you can’t just put it on the ground and go hands-free! There’s at least one thing a little more important than a slurpee fix, and that is, hmm, your children! Priorities are not strong with this one and the next priority may be a little carrier so when you DO set your child on the ground, it is at least not laying on a dirty carpet that likely has more slurpee on it than the cup.
If you must put your child on the ground, maybe check the health standards of the store, lay out 7843 napkins, and hire someone to stand watch. Seems like too much work? Just hold your kid then.
7 Scholarly love.
Is there nothing parents won’t do for their kids? Such devotion, and such attention. This little princess is definitely going places, and it will be thanks to the lessons of hard work by her dad. He is attentive and caring and giving; he puts his child first, and not only did he give her the seat, he crouched next to her so she wasn't alone.
What would have made this better? If one of the people on either side of her gave up their seat so the father and daughter could sit together. But maybe they are not parents, and if they are, they certainly won't be making the good side of this list.
This picture definitely makes you choke up a little doesn't it? It's like a picture of love.
6 Shocking in stockings!
Pole dancing is actually a legitimate form of exercise: it builds strength, balance, and is a great cardio workout. However, the mother of this darling girl hasn’t exactly dressed her daughter in the appropriate workout attire. This picture is actually quite shocking! Fishnets on children should rarely be used, and the large holes in florescent pink should be more on the 'never' end of the spectrum. This little girl is still in diapers (as you can see peeking out her mini skirt) and should have no connection to the controversial career of stripping.
No one is here to judge, but the decision to dress as such for the reasons stripping promotes should be the decision of the individual, and this little individual is hardly qualified to decide which boob to drink from, let alone the road she wants her life to go down. Cover up (mom and baby)!
Good parenting isn’t always about having fun together. This father is not letting his son get away with being a mean bully. Kids make mistakes, too, but it’s about teaching them right from wrong and we’re pretty sure this kid is going to learn his lesson. Hopefully, he’ll stop bullying other kids. It is embarrassing enough to be scolded by your parents, and more embarrassing to have to apologize, but to be publicly shamed is a whole other level.
That said, this may be it's own form of bulling on the dad's part so it could very well be an example of bad parenting as well. When teaching kids a lesson, it may be more important to focus on how rather than why, or you may end up as a good/bad parent debate on a website one day.
Little buddy here looks as terrified for his future as we are! Life is going to be a very bumpy ride with parents who disregard safety! Not only is a seatbelt actually extremely dangerous if used incorrectly, but what about the makeshift booster seat? If that thing slips out and the kid has moved at all to the left, it could be an instant close-line situation!
In fact, there may even be instructions IN the car on how to buckle up people of certain sizes safely. And if not, there is this wonderful thing called Google or, you know, basic common sense.
On the other hand, perhaps this adrenaline junkie is the next Evel Knievel in the making! You’ve got balls, kid, you've got balls.
3 Dive bomb!
Is this a dream? No, it’s real! A father in Los Angeles turned a room in his house into a massive ball pit for his kids (or was it actually for him). We hope he also taught his kids to share, as this one’s for everyone with a playful heart. It must have been quite the investment in both time, money, and organization to pull this off and was likely the best birthday present anyone on the block ever received.
And is that a boogie board? Not only are these kids able to swim in a ball pen (without the fear of needles or blades), but they get to boogie board right in their very own basement! This dad thought of it all and these kids will never have an empty birthday party again.
We’re coming over, and we’re bringing cake!
2 Tattoo taboo.
We just want to hug this poor little guy! He’s clearly terrified, and probably terrified mostly at the lack of safety equipment—no gloves, no gauze. Some slightly ‘alternative parenting techniques’ at least provides us with a little chuckle every now and then, but not this one. This one is a permanent example of how not to parent, and there also has to be some law about this somewhere. What is he even tattooing, anyway? Something that this person will be proud to show off for the rest of his life in a place that is visible with nearly every kind of shirt? The least they could have done is hidden it somewhere where the child could hide it when he got older.
Thank goodness for tattoo removal, but the pain and emotional hurt caused from this instance can't be as easily removed.
1 Simply the best
Kids used to do their chores for money, but the internet is the currency of today’s world and these parents know it. These clever parents are getting ahead of the game, and making their kids earn their rewards. The seeds of an excellent work ethic are being planted and the next generation is going to be a great one (if all parents get on board).
This is one tip that every parent reading this is going to implement for sure, and one they should. It has so many perks and so few downfalls. Where else could this be implemented? Homework? As discipline? The opportunities for success are endless.
Society salutes you!