No parent wants to mess up their kids, and we all try our hardest to be the sort of parent who is mindful and correct. It’s inevitable, though, that we will screw something up – most likely many things – so we just have to hope that it’s nothing a therapist can’t fix later.

If you’re looking to avoid some big pitfalls, though, these 16 parents are confessing what they think are the worst parenting mistakes they’ve made.

16. Bless his heart.

My dad once accidentally spilt boiling water down my leg which required a trip to the ER.

Happened about 20 years ago and I recently found out he still considers it one the worst days of his life.

15. The fact that it happens to everyone doesn’t make anyone feel better.

Put my son, who was about 8 months old at the time, onto our changing table that is about waist high and turned around to grab more diapers.

Terrible decision.

Caught him rolling off the table out of the corner of my eye but it was too late…he fell 3 feet, landed directly on his face and did a full scorpion.

He’s never cried so hard in his life before or after. I held him and just started crying because I felt so guilty hurting him like that.

14. There’s a family moment for you.

My son is a freshman in college and I thought I covered all my bases but I realized during Thanksgiving that I never taught him how to shave.

I probably forgot because I have a beard so I don’t really shave all that often, but he definitely is not ready to sport one as well.

When he walked in the door, my wife asked me why our son looked like Ted Cruz.

13. Put on a brave face.

I was far too fearful and now they are fearful.

12. Caution and fear aren’t the same thing.

my mom never let me go out with my friends because she was afraid of me getting abducted, so when the time came that i didn’t have to ask her anymore i was too scared to go out.

11. Oopsie.

3 year old woke up in the middle of the night and came to tell me she had a bad dream.

I walked her back to her room and talked to her about her dream. She said she was dreaming there were bugs crawling on the walls and in her bed.

I told her that it was just a dream and the bugs only existed in her head.

She didn’t get back to sleep for a LONG time after being told she had bugs in her head.

10. No fear like this one.

Not locking up pills. My daughter was maybe two on a camping trip. We had one of those M-F pill holders with some anti anxiety medicine in it. She got into it while we were unloading the minivan. We noticed some of the pills were missing.

We’re almost to the ER, and we noticed them laying on the floor bed. Kids will find anything unless a parent asks them.

9. Milestone achieved.

Five months old:

“He’ll be fine. He can’t roll over yet.” *places baby in middle of king sized bed and proceeds to finish getting ready for work*


He could, in fact, roll over.

I’m sure there are more, but that’s the one that really, really stands out.

8. This made me lol.

I ate some watermelon seeds then got super paranoid that they would rip up my insides.

My dad sat me down and told me that my intestines were as strong as this trash bag here, then he proceeded to test the strength of the trash bag and ripped right through it.

I cried for, reportedly, 2 hours.

7. You have to let them try things.

After my daughter spent all her own money on a skateboard, I relayed to her that I was afraid that one of the times she fell off her board she’d get hit by a car. In less than two days she didn’t try anymore.

I don’t know if she had a scare or just didn’t want me to worry, but I feel like I took one of the most physical hobbies she could have had away from her by projecting my own fear.

She doesn’t gravitate toward physical activity much now as a young adult.

6. Kids and food, man.

Teaching her how to blow a raspberry before teaching her how to eat food was not a smart move.

5. Not being able to tell the difference between drama and real pain.

I was a kid about 14 and I was riding my bike in the front yard. Anyway, I end up falling over onto the ground on my bike while standing up and not moving. Long story short it feels like I’ve just been drop kicked in my balls.

So I head inside and lay on the couch in pain for a while. Ask my parents to take me to the hospital and they refused. Told me I was just being a baby and that the pain would go away. About an hour and a half later and many tears they finally agree to take me in.

Turns out I had given myself a testicular torsion and the lack of blood to that area of my body meant I was going into emergency surgery.

I lost a testicle the same day less than ten minutes later.

Never forgave them for it.

4. At least they remembered?

Oh man, one time my wife and I took our son on a trip to the harbor since he was now old enough to go with us on these trips. After a fun-filled day we were driving back home and my wife glanced in the backseat and goes “where’s our son?”

I guess we were not used to having a 3rd person with us when we went out so that’s the story of how we almost forgot our child.

3. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Well we’re only at age 1.5 so we haven’t had any major ones yet, but teaching my toddler how to throw out her own trash has proven disastrous for the things in our house that aren’t garbage but make their way into the trash anyway.

Most recently, her favorite stuffed puppy who was missing for a good chunk of time.

2. I’m sure it comes up a lot.

Once when my mom was picking me up from school, she was in a rush to get home. So I toss my bag in the front seat, and just as I was about to hop in the back, she drove off. She was about halfway to my house when she realized her mistake, and came back to the school to pick me back up.

I had started to walk home when I saw her pull into the school parking lot and I walked back to her. She hates it when me or my father bring it up to others.

1. Telling the nurse what happened must have been awful.

My worst parenting mistake involved a trip to the ER. It was about 8 years ago in December. It was my wife’s birthday, but we weren’t going anywhere because a huge snowstorm had hit our area. No problem, though, I would do all the shoveling. Can’t have her shoveling on her birthday. My son (then about 7 or 8) came out with me to help shovel. We’re doing a good job and clearing off the snow when IT happened.

As I was bringing my shovel up, my son bent down to pick up more snow. I hit his head with the corner of my shovel. The very sharp corner. He shrieked and held his eye. I suddenly worried that I put my son’s eye out. Well, I didn’t, but I did get him right above his eyebrow and he was bleeding a lot. His coat was getting covered in blood.

We went in and couldn’t stop the bleeding well so I put my son in the car, stopped by my in-laws’ house (less than a mile away) to pick up my mother-in-law (my wife stayed home with our younger son who was a toddler then), and drove to the ER in the blizzard.

They were great and “glued” my son’s wound shut. (A special glue that they can use instead of stitches.) He was fine, but I felt like the worst dad in the world. His coat was a loss and I ruined my wife’s birthday. Plus, to this day, you can see an indentation where I hit my son in the head with a shovel.

As long as you love your kids and they still love you once they’re grown, I think it all falls under “no harm, no foul.”

What’s the mistake you regret the most?

Confessions in the comments!