Parenting is a challenge no matter who you are, but some parents need a little more help than others. Babies don’t come with instruction manuals, and neither do angsty teens. So there’s some room for error in the world of parenting, and despite the ongoing mommy wars, most parents try to be kind when it comes to differences in parenting styles.
Then again, some parents have no clue what they’re doing and don’t seem to care to learn. It’s trial and error for all of us, but for these twenty parents, it’s way more error than anything else.
Sure, their kids might be alive, but that’s only covering the basics. Health and wellbeing are important too, and one too many slipups and you’re asking for collateral damage. From forgetting their babies to putting them in harm’s way, parents commit practically unforgivable acts every day.
Whether you relate to these parents who seem to not have it all together, or if you’re a self-proclaimed perfectionist when it comes to your kids, we’re sure you’ll agree these parents need some help. As awful a day as you might be having, we guarantee you’re not screwing up as royally as these twenty clueless parents.
20 Offensive Photo Shoot Riles Up Internet
After the Johnson family of Louisiana shared this “festive” holiday photo a few years ago, CTV News reported, critics were immediately up in arms. Not only did the image offend people because of the way the mother and daughters were tied up with duct tape over their mouths, but the fact that it’s the father and son approving of this method as maintaining “peace on earth” gave the holiday greeting a creepy and sexist undertone.
While the Johnsons defend their photo by saying it was the mom’s idea and that if you don’t like it, you should just keep scrolling, their photographer also fended off hateful comments from people who suggested she was perpetuating violence against women. Many Facebook commenters thought the post was funny, but many more didn’t, making this a family fail as far as Christmas cards go.
19 Mom Of Four Forgets Infant
Mom Cherish Peterson was shopping with three of her four kids one day when she inadvertently left her two-month-old baby in his car seat in the shopping cart as she departed the store. She didn’t realize the baby was missing until she pulled into her garage at home, Nairaland News reported. Her older child remarked on where baby Huxley was, reminding the mom she had taken the infant with her on the shopping trip.
People swarmed all over social media calling Peterson out for being a bad mom, clueless enough to leave one of her children behind. Some commenters even suggested she must have been drunk to forget one of her kids. Peterson maintains that she’s a good mom who made an awful mistake, and friends and family defended her against critics online.
18 Newborn Meets Gator
We’re pretty sure most dads don’t cradle their newborn babies in the hospital and imagine themselves dangling that tiny infant over a crocodile enclosure weeks or months later. Anyone who has watched a nature program knows that crocs are usually fed meat, and that meat isn’t usually handed to them on a plate- it’s dangled in front of them or tossed on the ground. So what makes this dad so confident that his little baby won’t be eaten by the croc?
Plus, who the heck is taking the photo of this event? We’re assuming it’s not the mother, because what mom would let her baby’s father dangle him or her over an animal enclosure of any kind? These parents make the list for being incredibly clueless when it comes to the basic care and nurturing of a small baby.
17 Walmart Wins Again
Walmart is known for its “classy” patrons, and this mom is a prime example. But this clueless parent goes beyond piling groceries on top of the kid or mismanaging a temper tantrum in the toy aisle. Yes, we understand that kids get bored while shopping, and sometimes they annoy the heck out of us. But when is dragging your kid behind you on these dirty floors ever a good idea? This can very quickly turn into a suffocation hazard.
We’re not perfect parents either, not by any stretch of the imagination, but even handing the kid a grocery item to hold or possibly giving them a snack can keep a meltdown from happening, sans suffocation hazards. Next time, try some other means of occupying your kid while you get your shopping done. Preferably something that isn’t potentially fatal.
16 A Truck Bed Full Of Babies
While it’s doubtful that all these infants belong to the women pictured in the photo, someone made the terrible decision to load all of them up in the back of a pickup truck to transport them somewhere. These seats don’t even look like car seats to begin with, but the fact that there are at least nine babies in carriers in there, that’s nine potential fatalities if this truck gets in an accident or even brakes too hard.
It’s hard to see why this is necessary, since putting one or two babies in the cab of the truck at a time might take longer, but it’s infinitely safer than this method of transport. We’d like to give these people the benefit of the doubt, but when it comes to babies, there’s no such thing as too safe.
15 Mom Investigated For Smoking Baby
A nineteen-year-old mom of an infant posted a photo on Facebook of her son holding a bong and putting his face in the opening, then later faced investigation by the state for posing her child with drug paraphernalia. The mom stayed anonymous, but CBS news reported that she said there’s no tobacco in the pipe and she wouldn’t ever let her baby get high.
While it’s obvious there’s nothing in the bong from the photo, we’re not sure why the mom thinks it’s okay for her baby to play with something she smokes out of. Then again, maybe she’s smoked in front of the baby, and he got the bong out on his own to play with. Either way, posting photos of your baby with your bong or your other smoking equipment probably isn’t the best idea unless you want CPS knocking down your door.
14 Secure The Gas Can
This mom’s outlandish story had police officers shaking their heads (and writing her three separate citations), reported Fox News. Sandra Ramirez claims that her son was wearing a seatbelt, but that he unbuckled the seatbelt and got in the back seat (next to his car seat holding the gas can) while police were stopping her. She said that her teenage son put the gas can in the car seat, but she doesn’t explain why she thought putting her toddler in a seatbelt was safe, especially when the car seat was right next to him.
Then again, when Ramirez shows reporters the car seat, attempting to demonstrate how her son wriggled out of it, the seat is hanging from the car. We’re hoping police showed her how to properly install the seat and restrain her son, rather than waiting for her to show up at court and tell her tall tale.
13 Kids Poses Not So Innocent
Plenty of people (parents included) have taken to posing with their firearms in recent years, especially as a form of protest regarding proposed tightening of gun laws. But handing your kids guns to hold, and then taking their picture? This photo probably landed the parents of this kid in plenty of trouble, since it’s obviously all over the internet.
Kids are impressionable, and even kids who are taught how to properly use and respect firearms have still brought them to school or decided to play with them with friends and siblings, resulting in accidental injury and death. These clueless parents are putting these kids in danger by pretending that guns are fun toys rather than weapons, and we’re sure this resulted in a visit from authorities once these parents were found.
12 Nursing Mom Faces Ridicule
Kayla Marlow, a mom living in Oregon, shared a photo of herself nursing her young baby. What spectators didn’t like about the photo was that Marlow was about to inhale from a bong her friend was lighting for her. Although the science isn’t clear on whether or not mom’s marijuana habits can harm a breastfeeding baby, plenty of commenters voiced their concerns over the infant receiving toxins through mom’s milk.
In this case, mom’s actions show that she’s clueless about the public’s perception of smoking marijuana when you have kids. And, as many commenters pointed- out according to Scallywag and Vagabond- smoking anything around your kids likely isn’t a good idea. While this mom may not have learned her lesson about exposing her baby to potential harmful substances, she disappeared from Facebook after the scandal erupted over her photo.
11 Bikini Mom On Blast
There’s already a raging debate over whether young girls should be wearing bikinis. That argument centers around potential predators and putting little girls in harm’s way. Obviously this mom doesn’t mind her daughters wearing bikinis, and we’re fine with that. What’s not fine is that in the original photo, the two young girls (and their mom) are pulling their bikini bottoms up in a revealing way.
We’re not sure why any mom would want her daughters posing like that, let alone decide to participate herself. And why post it online for people to gawk at- predators or not? Hopefully someone pointed out to this mom how inappropriate the photo is, but unfortunately the internet already did its damage, and there’s no scrubbing the photo from the Web at this point.
10 Toddler Taping Leads To Parenting Classes
Hopefully this dad is clueless no more- after he attended court-ordered parenting classes while on an 18-month probation. The Daily Mail reported that Andre Curry, 22 at the time, posted the photo of his toddler daughter duct taped on her wrists, ankles, and mouth. Curry’s text that accompanied the photo explained that his daughter had ‘hit him back’ and that was her punishment.
First Curry faced charges of aggravated domestic battery, but he didn’t end up spending time in jail. The judge told Curry that he showed an extreme lack of judgment in posting the “joke” online, and sentenced him to probation, regular drug tests, and parenting classes to get him back on track. Through it all, the toddler girl’s mother supported Curry, saying that she was mad but didn’t want him to be away from his daughter and his family.
9 Dangling Dad Just Kidding Around
Obviously this dad has never heard of the dangers of drowning, because he’s fixing to drop his young child into this brackish water and is smiling while doing so. Maybe the child wanted to touch the water, but what conscientious parent dangles their child over open water with a smile on their face? Especially only holding him by one foot? At the same time, dad’s crouched down and hanging onto his backpack, so we’re assuming he’s in no shape to dive in after the kid if he slips.
The worst part of this is people are watching and apparently don’t see anything wrong with what this guy is doing. Then again, we can’t see his son’s face either, so it’s a possibility that the kid is having a ball and doesn’t realize the danger he’s in.
8 I Heart What?
If only it could be proven that this photo was photo shopped, we’d be seriously grateful. Because it’s pretty disgusting to assume that a parent bought this shirt for their daughter thinking it’s an acceptable fashion statement. Especially with the short shorts and makeup, this shirt sends a terrible message to this girl and everyone she meets.
Kids are already uber-sexualized in today’s culture, and they don’t need awkward t-shirts with adult sentiments written on them, and especially not as part of a costume or contest. It seems like this girl is at some kind of talent show, which still doesn’t explain why she’s wearing this shirt- unless it has to do with roosters, of course? Even then, what clueless parent doesn’t make that connection before their child is out in public wearing said shirt?
7 Tween Dance Party
Most parents today advocate some amount of distance between kids at school dances and events. It used to be ruler-length when I was a kid, but boy have things changed. Obviously today’s generation is so busy twerking and dabbing that they don’t care to hear about the good old days when people recognized personal space and weren’t rubbing their private parts all over one another under the guise of socialization.
The worst part of the way these kids are dancing is that parents are likely egging them on. After all, someone took the photo, and then shared it to Twitter. There’s no reason for kids this young to be grinding on each other, and even less reason for adults to be promoting and supervising it. Besides, how old are these kids, about eight?
6 Baby Needs To Quit
It sucks when parents smoke around their kids in the first place, but we get that nicotine is an addiction and it’s hard to quit, no matter what’s happening in your life. But to let your baby carry around a pack and gnaw on the end of a cigarette? It’s distasteful and these clueless parents obviously don’t realize that even by drooling and mouthing on a cigarette, this baby can ingest the same junk that’s increasing their parent’s risk of cancer and disease.
Even if this is just a photo op that one of the parents thinks is funny, what’s really funny about letting babies chew on cigarettes? Society’s obsession with seeing babies do grownup things is awkward and dysfunctional at best, and at worst it’s potentially damaging to children who are still innocent and impressionable.
5 Time Out Chair
We’re not sure what this girl did wrong, but her punishment and shaming goes beyond those parents who make their kids stand on street corners and announce their misdeeds. This poor kid is taped to a chair with her mouth covered over and is being forced to watch some show on the computer. While making a kid watch a show they don’t like isn’t all that terrible as far as punishment goes, we’re pretty sure CPS will have something to say about the way this girl is restrained.
Besides, at this kid’s age, if she’s acting out so horribly that the parents feel the need to tape her to a chair, they’ve probably taken a few missteps along the way in their parenting, too. And what’s with today’s parents and posting these “punishments” online for the entire world to see?
4 Not A Kid Friendly Costume
Kids love to dress up, and it’s a great way for them to explore what they like and what they want to become. But we’re positive that no child truly wants to be a gigantic condom, or that most kids this boy’s age even understand what a condom is. Obviously the parents were behind this one, and we hope it’s some kind of sick joke.
Imagine taking a child out trick-or-treating as a giant condom! Parents would get the joke, but good luck explaining that to kids who can read but don’t quite see the humor. Clueless parents, please shelve this idea for an adults-only themed costume party- because your kid really shouldn’t be a walking advertisement for adult products. That goes for “adult” products like booze and cigarettes too- there’s just no reason for it.
3 Sloshed Parents Lose Baby
Matthew Neil and Kim Smart-Neil remembered putting their infant son to bed, but twenty-four hours later, he was dead. Neil admitted to being an alcoholic, and the Mirror reported that his blood alcohol levels were twice the legal limit when investigators turned up at the home. The parents went to a pub and to a friend’s home, then came home and put their two kids to bed.
But sometime during the night, one-month-old Freddie was moved out of his bassinet. The next morning, the parents couldn’t find him, although neither one remembered moving the infant. He was found unresponsive in his toddler brother’s room, wrapped in blankets on the floor between a wall and a bed. The baby had bronchitis, but authorities say it’s impossible to determine the exact cause of death.
2 Obese Infant Stuns Doctors
According to Every Life Counts, eight-month-old Chahat Kumar eats as much as a 10-year-old, and she weights over 37 pounds. Her parents reported that when she reached the age of four months old, Chahat started gaining excess weight, and her father said that she “demands milk and food often.” We’re not sure how a four-month-old can “demand” food, and at that age, most infants are only drinking milk, not eating solid food.
Whatever the problem is with Chahat’s diet, doctors hadn’t yet been able to draw blood to try and perform tests. They noted that Chahat’s skin was too thick to puncture to take blood, so her parents were without answers as their baby’s weight continued to skyrocket. While it’s sad to think that Chahat might have a disorder that’s making her eat so much, it’s unfortunate that her parents didn’t seek help sooner.
1 Deadly Porsche
Kristen Lauer and Marcus Green sentenced their daughter to death when they decided to take a spin in their two-seater Porsche, which didn’t have room for five-month-old Armani Green’s car seat. The baby’s father was driving, and drove the car through a barrier and 200 feet down a cliff, USA Today reported. Green was arrested and charged with murder within a week of the infant’s death. Lauer faced charges later as she was more seriously injured and stayed in the hospital for some time.
Lauer faced murder and willful child cruelty charges, the newspaper wrote, for knowingly placing her infant in a vehicle without an appropriate child restraint. The 23-year-old mom and her baby’s father, who is 52, have not publicly spoken about their decision to drive the two-seater car without making sure their baby was safe.