10 Games Parents Play with Their Children

These are 10 of the worst games a parent can play with their children. The scary thing is, most of us have played some of games with our kids already.

These are popular games parents play with their children, but unlike many games, these ones are not emotionally healthy. These games do not build strong family bonds, nor are they games a child will look back on fondly.

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  1. Maybe for Christmas

    Who has not played this game, or had it played on them when they were young? An easy excuse for a parent not to have to say “NO” is by telling the kid to wait for Christmas. A popular variation of this game is “Wait for your Birthday”.

  2. Go Ask Your Mom

    When a child asks one parent if they can do something, or have something, and that parent tells them to refer to the other parent, it is not only a mean game played on the child, but an equally mean game played on the other parent. This “game” is played by one parent who does not want to be the “bad guy” so they put the responsibility on the other parent.

  3. If Your Dad Says it’s Okay

    Along the same lines as the previous game, this one puts the burden of responsibility on one parent. Either that parent makes the decision to please the child, or disappoint them. It is one parents way of avoiding saying the wrong thing.

  4. Why Can’t You be More Like Your Sister?

    This one is down right evil. This one is not a game that involves the other parent, this game is somewhat worse because it contributes to the horror of sibling rivalry. Pitting one child against the other in a competition. Sometimes certain kids are better at certain things, unfortunately if these things just happen to be something that the parent finds important, more important than something the other child is good at, it becomes a heated battle. One child is never good enough, they are told to be like the other child, thus making them feel bad, not only about themselves, but possibly will cause them to resent, or even hate, their sibling.

  5. Your Mother Said

    When one parent leaves instructions for a child to do something by telling the other parent, and that parent puts it in the context of “Your mother said you have do clean your room.” or whatever, this is a bad game. In this case, “the mother” should have told the child them self, or the referring parent simply could have given the instruction as though it came from them, as such “You need to clean your room.”. This game makes the other parent seem like a bully.

  6. What Would Your Father Say?

    Another of the many games that pits one parent against the other, a basic way for one parent to avoid being the bad guy, and putting the blame on the other. In many ways this game puts a subtle bully status on the other parent, because they are being used as a threat, the next game follows through on this one.

  7. Just Wait Until Your Father Gets Home

    This game makes the child afraid of one parent, because basically that parent is being used as a threat.

    If one parent is home when a problem occurs they should deal with it themselves, and deal with it immediately. Playing the game of making the other parent deal out the discipline, is simply unfair to that parent, and the child.

  8. If You’re Not Good, Santa Won’t Bring You Any Gifts

    An easy game to play for the month of December.

  9. When You’re Older

    Sometimes this one is legitimate, often it is a parents way of putting off an issue rather than saying “NO”. The idea behind this game, is that the parent hopes the child forgets. The problem exists that kids seldom forget promises broken, and to a child this game sounds like a promise.

  10. If You Don’t Look After the Pet, We Get Rid of It

    This is one of the meanest games ever played. Not only does this game hurt the child, but it ultimately hurts the pet. Children cannot be asked to undertake, or accept a “lifetime commitment”. Many pets are not able to find homes, especially cats who are no longer cute kittens, or dogs who have outgrown being a pup. Children should NEVER be told they are 100% responsible for a pets care. If parent does not want the responsibility of a pet, they simply should not get one. This game removes a level of trust and innocence. In some cases it harms the child’s own level of responsibility, or even ability to maintain a relationship later in life, as their own parent, has just shown them that all life, all commitments, are disposable.

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  1. I would like to add, that “SPANKING” is not a “GAME” it is a punishment, and therefore is not included on this list, Spanking has its place, and is useful when used correctly.
    I find #10 to be the most vile game, as it punishes an animal for something the child did not do, also most places will not sell pets to children, so therefore it is the adult who REALLY is the pet owner, and needs to step up if the child fails.

  2. This article is WONDERFUL! I will do my part to try to help you get this info out to as many people as possible.

    And Thank You for emphasizing #10. We’ve maintained a No-Kill Animal Sanctuary for almost 20 years. Can’t tell you how many “parents” use a child’s behavior as an excuse to get rid of a pet. Hopefully, your post will enlighten parents to the “true cruelty”, and long-lasting repercussions of this unacceptable behavior!

    KUDOS!

    http://setourteachersfree.com/main/best-parenting-post-of-the-day/

  3. I would not call them as games, these are just the way parents handle things. Some of them are not fair, like you mentioned. There should be better ways of refusing something to the child or to warn him/her. The piont you are trying to make is clear.

  4. very interesting, its true in some small ways our parenting methods, may be psychologically harmful to our family. The Pet point was EXCELLENT!

  5. nice post, so true and honest

  6. I wouldn’t call these gambits games either. They are a fact of life with most parents and I’m sure I used more than my share of them.

  7. With the exception of #4 and #10 this has to be the most ludicrous “article” I have ever read.

  8. to Mommy, not every parent plays every game, and equally some games will not hurt SOME children, however some of these have really traumatized some people because their parents over did it.
    I am glad you didnt find the other points to be correct, that means hopefully, your parents raised you well enough that you do not see the problems with these, but for those raised with these “games” it can be a real issue

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