Unbelievably Bad Parents
Some parents do an outstanding job at raising their kids. Others, meanwhile, need some parenting themselves. These stories are about the latter. Some of these people are just clueless, while others are straight-up nuts, but one thing is for sure: These unbelievably bad parents should have thought twice about having kids.
1. No Remorse
I used to work on a pediatric cancer floor. We had a little girl who was dying. Make-A-Wish gave her a Disney cruise trip. She was so excited to go, she talked about it for weeks. The week she was supposed to be on the cruise, she was admitted to the unit with a fever. We all wondered what happened to the cruise? It took a while but we eventually learned the disturbing truth.
Her parents took the spending money they got and went out all night partying the night before. They were too out of it when it came time to drive to the cruise ship, and they just forgot. We could not even look at them ever again when they were there.
2. Knocked Some Sense In Her
I used to babysit for a very dysfunctional family. Their whole relationship was a nightmare. The mum got knocked up on purpose so the dad wouldn’t leave her, subsequently, the dad hated the mum and resented the child. I know this because they fought about it often, publicly, and in front of the child. When I would arrive the baby would always have a very dirty diaper that had obviously been left like that for many hours.
The baby’s first word was her own name, and then my name. Not mama or dada, her own freaking three-syllable name. One day, the child had no milk or baby food left, and the mom goes to the store and comes back with just a pack of smokes. I asked her why she didn’t get anything for the baby, and her response made me furious: “Well I didn’t have enough for both and I don’t get paid till Friday.”
It was Wednesday, and she was just gonna let the kid go hungry for three days; there was nothing edible in the house. I completely lost it. I don’t think I have ever raged out on somebody so bad in my entire life. I let her have it for a good ten minutes, screaming at the top of my lungs the litany of reasons why she was a failure as a parent and how I was gonna call CPS if things didn’t change.
She burst into tears and took it back and came home with milk so I guess it kinda worked. I ended up making pureed veggies at home and bringing them to the little girl for the rest of the week. They moved away shortly after that and I always wonder what happened to the little girl.
3. Son’s Savings
When I was a cashier, this mom came in with her son’s piggy bank. The kid was with her and must have only been about six years old. He wanted to buy a candy bar with his money, but the mom told him no and that his money was going to help support the family. What happened next broke my heart. She then proceeded to buy a 6-pack and some smokes with the money while the kid watched.
The poor boy had tears in his eyes the whole time. I refused service to her, and the manager ended up ringing her up. She was paying with mostly pennies and nickels, and while she was distracted I saw the boy walk over to the candy rack and wipe the tears from his eyes. I asked him what was wrong and he told me it had taken him three years to save that money.
His mom didn’t have a job so she took it from him. I bought him the candy bar he wanted and gave him a bunch of quarters for the gumball and toy machines. His mom saw him trying to get one of those sticky hands from the machine and then took all the quarters he had from him. Screw that lady.
4. No Money No Food
I used to work at a crappy gas station/convenience store. One day a woman came up to the counter with her daughter. She places on the counter, hotdogs, hotdog buns, Kraft Mac and Cheese, and a six-pack of Corona. She then asks me for a pack of smokes. After ringing up all the items, she swipes her debit card and it doesn’t go through. She tries again several times.
After about the 4th time, she turns to this little girl, who couldn’t be older than six years old. And I kid you not, she says, “Looks like you won’t be eating tonight.” And walks away leaving her little girl at the counter tearing up. I was dumbfounded. Before I could say anything, the little girl yells to me “You’re a big meanie!” and ran out the door crying. Worst Thanksgiving ever.
5. But First, Coffee
While I was queuing up in a coffee shop in England, two officers walked in the door and went up to the agitated-looking woman in front of me. They started questioning her about her son, asking when she had last seen him, how old he was, what he was wearing, etc. It was fairly evident from the conversation that she had quite recently lost her six-year-old kid.
Both officers kept confusedly looking around the shop until the woman felt obliged to explain why she was in there, saying, “I’m gonna look for him, I’m getting me and my husband a coffee first. Go on ahead, we’ll catch up.” After picking up my order, I turned around to see them both sitting at a table drinking their coffees like nothing was wrong. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
And as I walked out the door I saw the woman peer out the front window, “looking” for her son I suppose.
6. No Fun Allowed
While I was standing outside a supermarket a couple of years back, a woman walks out with a toddler in a stroller and a kid, who might have been about 7 or 8 years old, walking maybe five feet behind her. The older kid had a small rubber ball and was bouncing it on the ground and catching it. He seemed perfectly happy, it wasn’t making any noise or bouncing around or anything. It wasn’t bothering anyone.
He was just bouncing and catching his ball as he walked. I wasn’t prepared for what his mother did next. After a minute, the woman noticed him bouncing the ball, spun around, grabbed him hard by the upper arm, and then shouted right into his face, “If you keep bouncing that ball I’m going to smash your face in!” She then shook him hard once and then just turned around and walked on with the pushchair.
The poor kid just looked so emptied. He wasn’t even allowed this one small pleasure. It doesn’t matter how annoying you find it when your kid bounces a ball, that’s just never an okay thing to say to your child.
7. Where’s Mommy?
I worked at a department store at the mall for 3 years to pay for college. Our store was one of the huge anchor stores in our city’s largest mall, and right next to the food court and play area. At about 5 pm, some employees see a group of four children walking around in our store. The oldest was maybe a 7-year-old girl, and the youngest was just barely 2 years old.
No parents in sight. One of the friendly grandma employees approaches them and calls the security guard after learning their story. The four kids belonged to two different women, who came to the mall to have a girl’s day shopping trip and left the kids in the play area while they shopped. It had been a while, and the 7-year-old got nervous and decided to go searching for their moms.
The kids are taken upstairs to the managers’ offices, and were given some snacks, crayons, and things to color. The 7-year-old was getting nervous and kept asking to go back to the play area. After giving a description to mall security, they go on the hunt for the moms. Authorities are called, etc. A mall security guard is posted at the play area with a description of the moms, waiting for them to come back.
Three hours later, the mall security brings the moms into the store to pick up their kids. A cop meets them there. Their reaction still makes me furious. The women are livid that we “took their kids,” and “they were checking in on them every 20 minutes!” The officer informs them that this is impossible, as the kids have been inside our store for the last 3 hours.
Much eye-rolling and irritation coming from the moms. While the officers explain to the moms how much trouble they are in, one of the moms looks at the 7-year-old with narrowed eyes and a slow head shake, telepathically beaming “you are getting so whooped when we get home.” The officer observes this and goes into full berserker mode.
This lady cop gets up in this woman’s face and screams at her, chewing her up and down. “If you lay a hand on any of these kids, I will personally come throw you in prison. Your children could have been abducted or worse over three hours ago and you would’ve just now been finding out that they are missing. I am writing you a citation, child protective services and state social workers will be making surprise visits to your home frequently. If anything is out of order with these children, you will lose custody and probably go to prison. Do you understand me?”
The wide-eyed moms, having been sufficiently humbled, shuffled out with their armfuls of shopping bags and kids to their respective vehicles.
8. Father’s Day
I used to work at a movie theater and I definitely saw my fair share of bad parenting. I was once selling tickets on Father’s Day, and there were a lot of dads taking their kids to see Horton Hears a Who, as it was popular back then. A man walks up to my till with his daughter who looked 6 or 7 years old and asked for two tickets to The Happening.
The little girl asks me if it’s scary and I go on to tell the father that, yes, it’s probably going to be scary and it’s rated for mature audiences. The little girl starts telling her dad that she wants to see Horton Hears a Who, that she’s scared and doesn’t want to see this movie. He tells her it’s not going to be scary and that it’s Father’s Day so they should see a movie that he wants to see.
I gave this man the most disgusted look, but I continued printing his tickets and told him to enjoy his Father’s Day. A few seconds later my friend, who was tearing tickets, came in and told me that the girl had started to quietly cry when they got inside. But he still might not be the worst parent I’ve ever seen.
Then there was a time when a lady walked out about an hour into her movie and asked if she could go to her car to grab something she forgot. I said yes, I’d remember her and let her back in. She came back a minute later with a car seat and a baby that couldn’t have been more than a few months old.
9. Living Nightmare
We lived under some horrible people for eight months. They would have parties in the middle of the week till 2 or 3 am regularly. Their girl, who was around 10 or 12 years old, was having regular night terrors. She would wake up screaming. We lived in the basement and their bedrooms were on the second floor, so there was a whole story between us.
We could hear the dad stomping down the hallway. He slammed open the door to start screaming at the top of his lungs, “You better knock that off! Stop crying you brat! They’re nothing but dreams! You hear me? Dreams! It’s nothing worth crying over!” Worst neighbors ever. We never felt sorry that our dog barked all day. He hated them.
When their kids started crying our dog started to cry, whine, and howl in sympathy. But the adults he would bark and snarl at. Our dog loved people of all ages. I could trust his instincts of a good human.
10. Do Something!
A few weeks ago I was in an ice cream shop in LA. It was more of a high-end, gourmet place with nice decor (ice cream was phenomenal, BTW. Salt and Straw in Venice). Someone comes in with 3 young boys (probably all between 8 and 10). The boys are kind of loud and rowdy at first. But then they literally start wrestling on the floor of this crowded shop. Rolling around, screaming, fighting each other.
Mind you, this is a small shop; their “parents” couldn’t have been more than 10 feet away, but they did nothing. Acted as though the kids weren’t there. The poor girl behind the counter had to kindly ask them to get off the floor, and of course, they didn’t listen to her. I had to literally step over them to get to the bathroom.
There was a dog in the shop at the same time (again, LA), and it was WAY better behaved than those little brats. “Parenting” is a verb. You have to DO it.
11. Poor Matilda
I was lining up at the register at some store and there was a girl who was around ten years old and her mum in front of me. The little girl asked her mum if she can get the Harry Potter books because they were on sale and the mum replies, “Why do you need the stupid books for? We’ve got a big TV you can watch the movies on!”
12. Trade Business
I worked in a grocery store in a poor neighborhood for several years. Trust me, I saw bad parenting on a daily basis. Many of our customers were on welfare because they paid for food with food vouchers. And the type of food they would purchase would give me rageface. Seriously, one time we have a woman trailing 3 kids, none older than 6 years old, with a $200 food voucher.
Her cart would be full of junk food. Cookies, chips/crisps, carbonated sugar drinks, and some instant foods like Lunchables. Now keep in mind that it’s far cheaper to buy crackers, cheese, meat, etc., the components of a ‘Lunchable’ and it’ll be much healthier. And then she’d have $100 of expensive cuts of meat. I saw right through her shady scheme. For those wondering, when you get a food voucher, you have to spend the money on food.
So for those who want to buy booze or smokes, the common scam is to buy some quality meat or some bulk food, then go sell it under the table at a restaurant. Buy a $100 cut of meat, sell it for $50, and with that money, they can come back and buy those things. It’s painfully obvious to those of us working at the grocery store, particularly when they walk in a few hours later with cash, but what can you do?
13. Mess With Someone Your Own Size
Young me saw a mom on the train smack her kid for not sitting down, then smack him again for crying, then smack him again. These weren’t light pats either. But she got instant karma—and it was brutal. A fairly grizzled NCO opposite the woman put his book aside, stood up, and yanked her out of her seat by the front of her shirt.
He held her there, legs dangling, and said, “If you do that again, I’ll show you how it feels to be slapped around by someone much stronger and a lot meaner than you. Sit down.” He then tossed her back in her seat, picked up his book, and kept on reading.
14. Clean Your Kid
I have three examples from the same set of parents. They have a 7-year-old who is not potty trained. Not “still wets the bed,” or “has the occasional accident when frightened or excited.” Nearly every time we get together with this family, this child has dirty pants which are very noticeably smelly, and does nothing about it, even when prompted.
When this kid had just turned 7 years old, the family was at our house, and the dad comes out to our living room to tell the mom that the kid, “smells a little poopy and maybe she should do something about it.” The mom replies, “Ooooh, I didn’t bring anything.” But we were ready this time. The bathroom accident might have caught her by surprise, but not us.
We have noticed how often this child poops himself, and we had everything she needed to clean him up; two new, unopened containers of wipes along with powder and a change of undergarments. Even after we provided the parents with this, the mom needed some arm-twisting to change her son. They did nothing at all to address this issue, even after they were reported to CPS by a nurse.
They are only now beginning to address it because his school will not accept him back for classes until he is trained. Part of their failure to deal with the problem is likely denial, and I understand that admitting that something may be amiss with your child is terrifying, but this feels akin to negligence on their part.
During a visit to the home of this family, while the mom was still at work, I was left to watch the kid when the dad decided to quickly run an errand. The kid, aged 6 at the time, insists on standing in the middle of the road to watch for the return of his mom’s car, and screamed when I bodily picked him up around the waist and carried him out of the road.
When the mom returned, he described the situation as just about any 6-year-old would, “Mommy, Thoreau isn’t the boss of me!” His mom’s reply? “You’re right.” Not, “It doesn’t matter if Thoreau is the boss or not, you know you’re not allowed in the road.” Not “Thoreau isn’t mommy or daddy, but we put Thoreau in charge while we were away.” Nothing. Just, “You’re right. Thoreau’s not the boss.” The mind reels.
The kid had been slaughtering Japanese beetles all morning, screaming, “Jap-oh-NEESE beetle!” every time he spots one. When he spots one on my shoulder, he screams out his beetle warcry and physically climbs up my body to squish the bug into the cloth of my shirt. I tell him, in an authoritarian voice, “Get down! You don’t climb people like trees. Come on, now.”
The dad pulls the kid aside and, in a tone of wheedling condescension, says, “Thoreau is a ‘liberal environmentalist,’ and doesn’t want you to kill any bugs because Thoreau wants to take the bug home and hug it and squeeze it and call it George.” As though the only reason I would mind a screaming 40-pound child who reeks of poop clambering up my person would be a namby-pamby unwillingness to let the kid kill a garden pest.
And that this namby-pamby attitude was worthy of being ridiculed. I wouldn’t have let a screaming child who was stewing in his own poop climb all over me if his intent in the end was to give me a waffle cone overflowing with my favorite flavor ice cream. The dad either did not notice or was completely unwilling to acknowledge that his son’s behavior was completely unacceptable.
This couple’s long-standing pattern of cluelessness? Complete lack of regard for others, such as those who have to clean up chairs and floors after a poopy child has been through? It just burns me.
15. Childish Play
I worked as a lifeguard for four years in my teens. Long story short, parents expected the lifeguards to do their job for them. They either just drop their kids off, or they don’t pay attention. The pool I worked at was a city pool. Once this guy, who was probably in his late twenties or early thirties, dove head first into the kiddie pool which is very shallow. I saw it, blew the whistle, and gave him a head shake.
He acknowledged, rubs his chest because he scraped it on the bottom, and I thought it was over with. I was very wrong. Five minutes later, he dives head first into the kiddie section of the pool again. I blow the whistle, call him over, and talk to him sternly about how I’m not reprimanding him for any other reason than that I don’t want to have to backboard him for a spinal.
The guy agrees, says it was stupid, apologizes, and walks away. The guy goes over to this 6-foot water slide we have for the little kids. This is the cutest water slide, but still towers over its primary users who are 2-year-olds. Along his way to the slide, the guy scoops up his son and puts him at the top of the slide.
This kid couldn’t be more than 2 or 3 years old and had floaties on. The guy points at me, and over the regular pool ruckus, I hear him yell, “See that lifeguard? He told me he wants you to jump off the side of the slide.” He then proceeds to point at the concrete. I see the kid’s knees buckle as he goes to jump, and my heart sinks like a rock to my stomach.
I immediately shoot out of my chair and yell, “Hey!” As a guard, you’re never to stand on your tower unless you see someone in apparent danger. This is so other guards have a clear sign that something’s going down, pay attention and get help. I have a very deep voice. I’m quiet often, but when I get angry, I utilize it to my advantage.
What one of my friends later described as, “The Voice of God” echos across the pool. The entire place falls quiet. The guy immediately puts his son down on the ground and starts walking toward me. I call over my manager, explain it all, and she tells him he will be removed by the authorities after any other incidents.
He apologizes, then goes on about his pool experience. Two hours later, I’m in the five-foot section. The guy is walking along with friends, sees me in the chair, and goes, “Watch this.” He runs and dives in really deep. In front of his son, who was behind the legs of some other man and peeks out after his dad submerges, the guy floats up to the surface of the pool, face down and unresponsive.
We had to evacuate the pool, stabilize, and backboard him. The guy kept entering his name into Darwin’s Lottery, and won.
16. Forgot The Groceries
I’ve been a nanny for a little over 5 years so I’ve seen my fair share of crazy families, but there’s one babysitting job that sticks out more than any other. My ex’s mom referred me to her hairdresser, so when she called me I was pretty excited to go to her house and watch a 4-year-old boy that everyone raved about being so adorable and fun.
He sure was cute, but fun is not the word I would use to describe that night. The kid had the worst ADHD I have ever experienced before. There was absolutely no food or drink, other than margarita mix and a 2-week-old half-gallon of milk, which he said he drank earlier that day, in the fridge. All of the sippy cups that they owned smelled like rotten eggs.
The mom left telling me she would be home anywhere between 10 pm and 2 am. Then she came home at 4 am and got mad at me for falling asleep on the couch. I almost had a breakdown. I felt so bad for this boy. Seriously, I looked through every drawer to see if I could find anything to give to him and all I managed to find were workout supplements, steroids, needles, and lots of different pills like phentermine and ephedrine.
I bought him some dinner, got them a fresh gallon of milk, and never came back to that house again.
17. No Love For Music
In high school, I made friends with this really shy guy who stuttered and was generally socially awkward, but really nice. He was also a genius pianist. He was years ahead of his age, and he started composing amazing pieces by the age of 16. I truly admired his ability. His parents, however, didn’t see it that way.
They were both engineers and they considered his love for music despicable, worthless, and a bad habit that needs to be uprooted. When he was practicing at home they tossed old shoes at him and they made him sleep on the floor if he played for more than two hours. Once a professor from the Musical Academy called them to tell them they have an amazing son and that he could be famous one day.
They hung up the phone. When high school was over, he really wanted to apply to the Musical Academy, but they didn’t let him. They said that the only courses they would ever fund were the ones in math and geography. So that’s what he did. I haven’t seen him in a while, but I heard he went abroad. I hope he escaped those idiots for good.
I had a friend who was a teacher who told me this. In her third grade class, a girl’s mother was a pole dancer and would bring guys back to the house and have 3-ways with the young child present. The girl would only talk to my friend, and she tried to help the best she could. Despite visible bruise marks, child services never did anything despite many attempts at help.
Fast forward a couple of years. One day, the girl just…snapped. She was probably only about nine years old, but she beat the ever-living daylights out of her mother. The girl ended up in juvie, while her mother was paralyzed for life. My friend came over and cried non-stop when she found out because felt like she had failed the child.
19. Play Respectfully
I was at a mall playground with my wife and two kids. My son was 3 years old and was running around with about 20 more kids, most of them his age. Keep in mind that kids can’t be taller than 3 feet to play in this little kid playground. There was this one big woman and she was watching about four kids. All of them were taller than 4 feet and they were playing rough.
My son goes around the area they were playing at and starts playing by himself when one of the kids tries to kick him. My wife calmly walks that way with my 3-month-old daughter and tells the woman to watch her kids because they were playing a little rough. She said, “Ok, whatever.” My wife stays there and watches just in case something happens.
The older kid goes running towards my son and pushes him. My wife tells the kid, who’s about 9 years old, not to push my son. The woman flips out and starts screaming, “Don’t scream at ma baby!” My wife tells her that she should pay more attention to her kids and how they were too old to be playing around smaller kids.
She tells my wife to shut up and not tell her how to raise her kids. My wife starts walking away and the woman starts getting louder, so from my seat which was 15 feet away, I yell at her, “You do not talk to my wife that way. Your kids are misbehaving and you are doing nothing about it. Learn how to be a good parent.”
She shuts up and looked at me in disbelief. She didn’t know I was with my wife, or that I would talk to her like that in front of so many people. She then started to talk nonsense again and we ignored her. After 5 minutes of her rant, my wife got the security guard and got her kicked out of the place. A bit after she passes by again, making threatening signs at my wife, but when I look at her she stopped and looked away.
I was seriously raging and about to throw hands, but I tried my best to calm down and be a responsible adult.
20. Wear Pink Everyday
“If you don’t wear these pink shoes I’m buying for you, I’m going to cut all your rabbits’ heads off.” Sadly, that was actually my dad talking to a 10-year-old me in a thrift store. He then proceeded to get into an argument with a woman who said, “You are the most horrible person I have ever heard in my life,” and called her a “man-hater” and lesbian before we finally left.
21. Manner Lesson
I was at a movie theatre and we had just walked in and sat down in our seats since the theatre we were going to was open. An employee, probably around 35 years old, walks in and asks everyone to leave for a few minutes so he can clean it. He had a stutter and some type of disability. The employee was super friendly and nice about having to ask us to all leave.
This dad, who looked lobstery, with a big belly and wore cut-off sleeves, was there with his three pre-teen and teen kids. He started making fun of the employee and the way he spoke. Joking, mimicking, and trying to get his kids to join in with him. I flipped out and showed that man his place.
22. Nutrition Check
A man in his mid-twenties enters the bodega with his son who is maybe 5 years old. The man asked his son to “go get what you want.” And the kid runs to the cold case, gets a small container of milk, runs back, and is just tall enough to put it on the counter. The man goes like, “What is that garbage? You said you were thirsty. Go get something else.”
The kid takes the milk, puts it back in the cold case, gets a Pepsi instead, and brings it back to his father. The man says, “Okay. Put it on the counter.”
23. Not For Kids
I went to see Avatar on opening night. Not long after I sat down, my stomach dropped. A man sat in front of me with his three children aged about 1, 2, and 4 years old. He was a fat guy in his mid-thirties still wearing his Mcdonald’s work uniform and stank of deep fryers. Whatever, no big deal. I like kids and he must have just been really keen to see the movie.
Before the movie starts, he gives all the kids juice. This is a three-hour movie and those are high-sugar drinks. I’m 25 now and the notion of having kids has never entered my head as I don’t think I’m ready, but I still thought what is he doing? They’re going to be crying, fidgeting, and winging before the end of the first half-hour, and after that, they’ll be tired and whining.
Sure enough, they are and I’m annoyed as I’m trying to get into what’s going on in the movie. The four-year-old is standing on his seat and then running around the theatre and rather than collecting the kid or taking him outside to give him a talking to, the father just sits there spitting profane words at him and telling him to sit down.
As if he’s not the father, but just another patron in the cinema who is putting up with a hyperactive kid. The toddler is relatively quiet and the baby is fussy but not doing much. An hour or so into the movie the kid is still moving around and has been complaining for about 15 minutes that he needs to go to the toilet.
At this stage, I understand that the kids have no interest in seeing the 3-hour-long sci-fi movie and that the father has just dragged them along because he wanted to see it. He’s not leaving because he clearly does not care about what the three kids want to do. He eventually relents, angrily yanks the kid’s arm violently, and drags him out of the cinema. Except, there was one problem…
He leaves the toddler sitting in her chair and the baby rolling around on the seat! My sister is sitting next to me. She works with teenage mothers and deals a lot with helping others to learn basic parenting skills. She and I are both staring nervously at the baby wondering whether it will be worse to pick the baby up and bare the wrath of being discovered holding a stranger’s child, or letting the baby fall off the chair it’s rolling about on and do some serious permanent damage to itself.
We watch the baby, ready to jump in, until the father comes back and jostles the boy back into his seat. The kids are all complaining a lot by the time the movie is over. It’s horrendous. He laughs loudly at most inappropriate moments in the movie and utterly ignores his tired, bored and unhappy children. The credits roll, and he stands to leave.
My sister and I stand up and berate the ever-loving life out of him. She outlines one by one the list of ways in which he has failed as a father and as a compassionate human being. He responds with something about not knowing what it’s like to be a father and I explain who she is and what she does and outline for him point by point, the things which he’s done in the past three hours to the detriment of everybody around him.
The whole packed cinema just sits and watches him leave. At the start of the film I was annoyed at the kids, but towards the end of the movie, I wanted to remove them from his care.
24. The Family Of Weirdos
I used to work as a cashier at Panera Bread. This family walks through the door, and I hear my coworker say under his breath, “Yeah, that’s what happens when you keep it in the family.” It was seriously gross. The father was wearing a sweat-stained t-shirt, sporting a spotty, unkempt beard and hairstyle, and some seriously thick spectacles.
He’s holding his 16-year-old, very strangely dressed and unfortunate-looking daughter’s hand in the creepiest way. The entire family was wearing really weird ill-fitting and dirty clothes. The other kids had some serious facial deformities, and the mom is crotchety and gross, ignoring the father’s hand on his teenage daughter’s butt.
I can’t imagine them being too poor since they were buying food from Panera Bread. They all ordered tuna sandwiches and lemonade. They all came up for refill after refill, and I had to smell them. My coworkers who had been working here for longer than me said that the family came in all the time and were always mega-weird and gross.
25. Arm Out
When I was a senior in high school, a few of my friends and I were getting food after school at Chipotle. Being the only Chipotle in the area, it’s always filled with people and has a long line but it’s always worth the wait. This mom who honestly looks like she’s been doing crack for years is in front of us with her absolutely adorable little daughter who could have been between the ages of 2-4 years.
The daughter had a doll and accidentally took the arm out so she hands it to her mom to fix. All you need to do is literally stick it back in and it’s as good as new. Instead, this mom takes it from her and screams, “You really broke it again?! That’s the third time this week!” She then throws it in the trash and the girl breaks down in tears.
The girl says, “But mommy I can fix it I saw how you did it last time,” then went to go retrieve it from the trash. The mom snatches her by the arm, and yanks her to the floor. Judging by the scream coming from the girl and the actual positioning of her arm, it was obvious that her arm must have become dislocated.
Every single person in that restaurant got up and went to help the girl and get the mom away from her. People called 9-1-1 and we all waited to make sure she was carted off by the authorities. I wish I knew what happened to that girl, but I really really hope that she doesn’t live with that woman anymore.
26. Such A Sweety
I headed up to the San Juan Islands and I’m on the ferry deck about to walk off to the parked cars. There is a little girl who is about 4 or 5 years old and she is walking back and forth, excited to get off the ferry. The workers are about to raise the gate and let the passengers off, so her dad to my left says, “Come hold daddy’s hand, Mary.”
At this point, the girl turns to her dad and spits on him! His response, in a sing-song voice was, “No sweety, don’t do that!” If I pulled the same thing growing up, I would have been nursing a sore butt for days.
27. Eww, Boys!
I work at a child psychology clinic. As soon as some parents walk through the door, their kids become the receptionist’s responsibility. Once a kid pulled thumbtacks out of the wall and was chasing her brother around trying to stab him. Their parents were sitting right there, and they did nothing. I had to intervene because she was literally trying to stab her brother with a thumbtack!
I told her they were boy thumbtacks. And if she held them for too long she would turn into a boy. She dropped them immediately after that.
28. Ferry Justice
I was waiting in line for a ferry in WA state. In case you’ve not done it, there is a big parking lot and everyone waits in their cars till you load up on the ferry. The guy next to me obviously does not know I am looking at him and he turns around and smacks the heck out of a crying 2-year-old while his 6-7-year-old daughter is watching. He looks over and notices I am watching and tries to pretend nothing happened. But I wasn’t going to let that slide.
I get out of my truck and start to head over to the K9 cop they have around. As I am heading over there he runs up stops me and asks me what I think I am doing. I kept trying to get around him without a confrontation, he kept pushing me but I was able to sneak by so he tripped me. I got up and walked into plain view of the officer and the dude punches me in the back of the head, then spit in my face.
The officer saw all of this and came up and put the guy in cuffs. All of this is in view of the small children in his car. So I took a punch and got spat in my face but in the end, the children were taken into protective custody and I pressed full charges. There was another witness to the guy hitting the kid and they had security footage of the guy assaulting me so I didn’t even have to go to court!
29. Stay In School Kids
I once saw a teenage mother on the bus going crazy at her son for throwing a tantrum. And at one point she squawked “I’m gonna shave an ‘S’ on your head! ‘S’ for psychotic!”
30. He Wants It That Way
I was at the store with my dad and we see this woman take her baby’s bottle and pour Mountain Dew into it before giving it back to the kid. This is a baby who is no more than a year old. My eyes nearly popped out of my head. My dad goes up to the lady and asks if she really just gave the child Mountain Dew and she replies, “Yeah he likes it so I give it to him. I always give him what he wants.” I fear for that generation.
31. Temper Paintings
I was at the mall once and there was a young family in front of me. The little brat in the high chair didn’t like the cheeseburger from McDonald’s they got him so he wailed and screamed, then picked up the cheeseburger and threw it at the dad, painting his shirt with mustard and ketchup. The dad then went up and got the kid another meal. I remember thinking if I did that to my dad, I wouldn’t have made it out of the mall alive.
32. Ms. Oblivious
I was on the bus once and this rather portly young lady was standing in the clearing just by the back door with her little baby in a pushchair. The little girl kept crying and crying. It was annoying, but the mother was completely oblivious because she was listening to loud music that everyone could hear. The crying got louder and louder, eventually turning into screaming.
It sounded like the baby had something seriously worrying happening to it. At this point, most of the bus was looking at the mother with the baby, and it took a good ten minutes before the mum realized everyone was staring. The mum looked around, looked down, saw the crying baby. The mother did not pick her baby up in a proper way.
Instead, she grabbed the infant’s left arm and yanked her out of the pushchair. It was as if she was picking up a barbell and her little arm was a handle. I was furious. I just kept thinking how this ignorant woman was going to ruin her gorgeous little daughter’s life by being such a terrible mother.
33. What’s Her Problem?
My boyfriend and I were waiting to eat at a restaurant. We were sitting on the bench by the door and we see a white family of four walk up. The dad is just talking on his phone and the mom is looking harried and yelling at her two kids to quit messing around. The boy was probably around 9 years old and the little girl looked 6 years old.
The mother is also clearly pregnant with her third. So my boyfriend and I get up and offer the bench to this family and the mother sits down with her two children and starts glaring at me. After giving me the stink eye for a good ten minutes, I calmly ask her if there is a problem. She then proceeds to call me vulgar names and tells me that I won’t be able to flaunt my body soon enough since I will get knocked up and dumped.
And she hoped I will learn my lesson. I am standing there flabbergasted and speechless. I have done absolutely nothing to invoke this lady’s anger. Her kids are sitting next to her on the bench watching gleefully as their mother yells at me. After she finished, the little boy looks at me and points and calls me the same awful names while his mother is patting his head and telling him good job.
The little girl is just sitting there laughing. Game over. My boyfriend loses his cool, walks over to the dad, rips the phone out of his hand, throws it to the floor and steps on it. He then told the dad to take the kids and discipline them and teach them their manners. The dad takes both kids away to talk to them and I turn to the pregnant mother and gave her a piece of my mind.
I basically told her that she was unfit to be a mother. I also said that I feel especially horrible for the unborn baby because it had the misfortune to be born into such a terrible storm of hate. The manager of the restaurant comes out and asks the family to leave and tells the family they have a right to refuse service.
The lady starts laying into him and the little boy comes up and kicks the manager in the shin! At that point, I pulled out my phone and called the authorities. The family then decided to cut their losses and leave, but good god if that woman hadn’t been pregnant I would have straight-up beat the light out of her.
34. Hard To Walk
I was walking out of a Pizzeria in New Jersey. A couple, both grossly overweight, were exiting the store behind me. Behind them was their child, who was no more than 7 years old. He was pestering his mother about getting one thing or another and ran into his mothers back to tug on her shirt. She turned around and screamed, “Don’t you ever hit me!” and kicked the kid between his legs.
The child immediately dropped to his hands and knees bawling. The couple proceeded to walk across the parking lot yelling at the kid to keep up as he crawled through two lanes of traffic through the lot. A car had to stop so the child could make it across. I was horrified, but said nothing. A driver of one of the cars who was forced to yield to the crawling child got out and screamed at the parents.
35. Adult Needs
I worked at an adult toy store for almost three years. It wasn’t a skeevy scary place with blacked-out windows and a back room, but it was still an adult toy store. No one under 18 years old was allowed in. If you came in with a kid, I told you to leave. One day, a woman came in with her 5-year-old child in tow. “He can’t come in here,” I said.
“Why not?” she asked all angry-like. I was thinking: Look, if I have to explain to you why this is not an appropriate venue for children, you’ve already failed at life. I didn’t say that but I just told her kids weren’t allowed. She starts swearing and being whiny and leaves. But that wasn’t the last I’d seen of her. She comes back in, with no kid, maybe ten minutes later.
I don’t say anything and assume she has left the kid in the car with someone else. She stays in the store for about half an hour, being trashy the whole time. It was summertime and nearly a hundred degrees outside. My coworker goes outside to throw something in the dumpster and comes in angry, asking the woman to leave immediately.
A fight nearly ensued. The woman had left her kid in a car, not running, no AC, windows up except for a small crack. The woman threw items around the store and stormed out. My coworker got the woman’s car description and tag we called the local officers afterward.
36. Mother-Daughter Business
I saw lots of dancers with their mothers when I worked at an adult store. These weren’t nice-looking dancers who worked at legit clubs either, but cracked-out, badly-tattooed, missing-teeth dancers with scars from stabbings who worked at a scary club down the road from the store. One day, a mother-daughter team came in.
The mother was probably 350 pounds and using an electric wheelchair and missing many teeth. The daughter was tall, painfully thin, and covered in terrible tattoos. They came in looking for outfits for the daughter and the mother started complaining loudly about our prices and the quality of the clothes. Then, the mother starts yelling at the daughter.
The daughter honestly could not have been more than 19 years old. Her mom yelled at how she was fat and ugly and needed to work more to make more money because her disability money just wasn’t covering it and that she needed to go on more dates. The mother tried to buy a $20 outfit with a credit card that was declined and she started yelling at me and the daughter about that, too.
37. Yours For Free
When I worked as a cashier, I used to guess who would pay with food stamps based on how they treated their children. Although I did see low-income families who were good with their kids, smacking or screaming at children was a stronger indicator of poverty than almost anything else I saw. The saddest incident for me was when I was working at a Super-Walmart.
A girl around 9 years old approached me to say she couldn’t find her parents. She was the sweetest little girl, she’d been taught in school what to do when lost. We paged the parents and there was no response after three pages and thirty minutes. The girl had their cell phone number and they actually answered and said they weren’t coming to get her to “teach her a lesson.”
We called the authorities and eventually located the parents in the large store. They still refused to come to the front to get the kid until the officers threatened to charge them with child abandonment. By this time, nearly two hours had passed. The whole time the girl was quiet and well-behaved. When they finally came up, they proceeded to scream at the kid for getting lost.
The officer kept trying to tell the kid she did good and did all the right things. As the parents walked away, the woman turned to me and said, “Do you want a free kid? She’s such a pain in the butt, I wish I could just get rid of her.” I was just so shocked I didn’t know what to say.
38. Not My Problem
A mother let her kid play in the stream of wood chips coming out of a wood chipper and yelled at the guy who was cutting down trees because he told the kid to get away from it. She was on her phone the whole time and there could have been nails and stones in the wood that could have hit the kid but nope it was the bloke’s fault for chipping wood and not letting the kid play in it.
39. Let The Adults Talk
This happened when I was about 10 years old. It’s about my mom’s ex-friend, Patty. One day there’s a knock at the door and my mom goes and opens it to find Patty’s son John, who was only about 5 years old at the time. His mom is sitting in the car in our driveway, and he’s just standing there by himself. My mom says, “Hey there John, what brings you guys here today?”
Little John then replies, “Mom said to ask if you have a can.” My mom says, “A can? Like a soda can?” John says, “I dunno. She said she needs a can so she can smoke her crack.” My mom fumes with anger over this. She says, “John, go inside and play. Close the door and don’t look outside.” So John comes in and I put some cartoons on for him to watch.
I then peek out the window whilst he is occupied with the show. My mom is screaming at Patty through her open car window. I couldn’t hear what was being said, but they were both screaming at each other. And then my mom punches Patty in the face through the open window, pulls open her door, drags her out of the car onto the driveaway pavement by her hair and beats the everloving sin out of the woman.
After she finally lets Patty go, Patty gets up, gets into her car and drives away, with her son still in our house. Luckily, my mom was friends with Patty’s brother-in-law and she called him, who in turn called the kid’s grandpa to come and pick him up as he himself was at work. Grandpa apologized profusely for Patty’s behavior and took John home with him.
I’ve seen parents lock their two children in their bedroom so they could play WoW. Anytime the kids came out and did anything kids normally do, they were immediately sent to their room. The lock was changed so it was on the outside. The most disturbing thing I saw firsthand was unlocking the door and nearly puking from a foul smell.
They pooped themselves and threw it into the ceiling fan. It. Was. Everywhere. Child Services was contacted not long after. The children’s hands were covered in poop and they were using it to finger paint on the walls as well. I still have no idea how long it took them to clean it all up.
41. Caught In The Act
I’m in a grocery store and I see a 5-year-old walk across the apple display, taking a bite out of each apple on the bottom row while looking around and then placing the apple back with the bite out of view. I stood there with my jaw dropped, waiting for her parents to do something. Finally, the mom saw me, looked at the kid, and gasped, “Mija, no!” and promptly turned around and continued to let her do it.
42. Make Her Famous
An irate mother of a girl in a private school’s music program made a big scene in front of the faculty and students because her daughter had not been selected to sing a solo in a school concert. The student had been very clear to the faculty that she didn’t want the part, nor was her voice suited for it. Still, her overbearing mother insisted that she audition against her will.
As a result, the girl was yanked out of the school she loved by her parents and embarrassed; all because the mother’s ego required that her daughter be the shining star in front of others.
43. Hero She Needed
A woman on the bus told her 6-year-old son to tell an 11-year-old school girl to move out the way and referred to the girl as “that fat cow” I lost all my cool and probably displayed pretty bad parenting skills myself as I was taking my son to school, I couldn’t let it just pass.
44. Like Nothing Happened
I was cycling through the downtown area when I passed this Chinese lady who let her tiny kid, who I’m guessing was about 4 or 5 years old, walk on the street side of her. And just as I pass this kid is making some excited gestures at his mom, happily jabbering about something while simultaneously pretty much running backward right into the side of me, while I’m cycling at full speed. It all happened so fast.
He goes flying backward, I’m pretty sure I hit him right in the face with my knee. I stop horrified to check if the kid is okay. He’s making this face like he’s inhaling a huge breath of air to start bawling. But before I can get off the bicycle or he can start screaming his mom looks back, sees what’s going on, and just snips a few words of Chinese at him.
The kid just looks at her and instantly regains his composure with obvious effort. I’m pretty sure he’s hurt but he quietly runs up to her. The lady just smiles and waves at me and walks off at a brisk pace with her kid. I’m just left standing there looking completely stumped at the bystanders who seem just as confused.
That kid is going to grow up tough, even if it kills him. I’m pretty sure his mom is going to make sure of that.
45. Adult Vocabulary
I was in a department store and this couple were shopping with their three kids. The boy child, who looked to be around eight, picked up a hair brush and smacked his sister, who started crying. The mom said, “Alex don’t do that, that isn’t nice.” The boy replied “**** you!” (suffice it to say, not a word an eight year old should use).
The mom, still ignoring her crying daughter, says, “Come on Alex don’t say that,” to which Alex then hits his mother with the hairbrush. The mom bends down and says, “Alex that really isn’t nice.” Alex responds by slapping his mother across the face and saying, “**** you!” The mom simply says, “Alex that wasn’t necessary” and kept on shopping. The dad, he just watched all of this like it wasn’t his problem and eventually just walked away.
46. Go Fetch!
I went to a BBQ party thrown by a friend of a friend. A woman there showed up with her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. It was a recipe for disaster, and it delivered. All three were under the influence and a bit too friendly with each other—while they weren’t calling each other horrible names. With them was a two or three-year-old little girl. She was as cute as can be with a real light about her.
I vaguely remember them telling very inappropriate stories when the little girl said she was hungry. The father goes and gets the bag of McDonald’s he had been grazing out of and pulls out a near full container of fries. He then proceeds to grab a few and throw them on the lawn. The girl without missing a beat runs around picking them up off the lawn and eating them.
He repeats this over and over in front of all the other adults, who didn’t seem to take an issue. It was like a game to him—one that he was clearly enjoying. The mom even smiled at it. My wife and I promptly left the party after witnessing that.
47. Good Intentions
I worked in loss prevention. One day, we get this kid in who is maybe 10 years old. I’m watching him on the monitors and it’s obvious he’s shoplifting because he sticks something down his pants. So I head to intercept him at the door. As I stop him and ask him to hand over the stolen goods, I’m expecting chocolate bars or candy.
But he pulls out a toothbrush and toothpaste. I’m speechless. I just try to imagine what kind of parenting creates a kid who goes to a store to shoplift toothpaste. How sad is that? I just took the items and said, “Get out of here” but in retrospect, I should’ve done something more.
48. Granny Dearest
I was at an IHOP one time and eavesdropping on other tables. There’s a table with a smiling mom and dad with smiling happy little daughters, who I’d guess are 8 and 11 years old—and a really depressed-looking old woman at the end of the table. The family’s body language kinda seemed to exclude her.
As I was eavesdropping; one of the kids says something along the lines of, “I want grandma’s ring when she dies!” Needless to say I’m shocked at the audacity of this and am expecting her mom to reprimand her. But I was sorely disappointed. The mom cheerily said, “Sure dear! Her necklace is nice too!” I wanted to give the grandma a big hug—and smack the heck out of those parents.
49. Need Some Patience
I work at a sailing club and at the end of the day, we were waiting for the last few parents to pick up their children. One parent walks up to the club with an eight-year-old student who had already been picked up. They said they saw the kid sitting on the grass in the parking lot. Thinking that this was weird, I asked the kid where his mom was and he didn’t know.
We called his mom to find out what happened. Now the sailing club is a big place so I figured they just got separated. But when I asked where she was she said she left him there because, and I quote, “He was being a little brat, so I left him.” Following the second or two it took me to process this, I told her she needed to come and pick him up.
She did come and pick him but it took more convincing than it should have.
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