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13 Hilarious Things Every Parent Is Guilty of Doing

Of course you never wanted to be that parent. But these funny habits are hard not to pick up.

There are some universal truths you only learn once you're a parent: no matter how much you pack, you will never have enough snacks on hand when you leave the house; movies you've seen a million times can, at the drop of a hat, become "too scary"; and there's never a time when you can safely assume you know the origin of a stain. And as brothers in arms waging war against tantrums, runny noses, and monsters under the bed, parents tend to find themselves falling into some seriously hilarious habits. Read on to discover some of the funny things all parents do, taking comfort in the fact that you're not the only one who calls their partner "mommy" or "daddy" even when there are no little ones in sight.

Spelling out words long after your kids can read and write

young lesbian couple with blonde daughter
Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

Just because your child has been reading and writing since pre-K doesn't mean you're ready to stop spelling out words in front of them. Doing so may mean you're inadvertently teaching them how to spell curse words or letting them know where you hide the C-A-N-D-Y, but we get it; old habits die hard.

Using baby talk even as your kids age

dads laughing in kitchen with kids

The silly nicknames your kids come up with for their prized possessions are so cute that it's almost a shame when they stop using them. But even as your little ones outgrow their baby talk, you might struggle to do the same.

Hey, we understand why you're asking your 16 year old if they want to "go night-night"—your baby will always be your baby.

Referring to your partner as "mommy" or "daddy"

young asian parents with daughter
Pond's Saksit / Shutterstock

Every parent dreads the day their child decides to start calling them by their first name. To prolong the period before that inevitable grief and heartache hits, many parents find themselves referring to their partner as "mommy" or "daddy"—often even when the kids are nowhere to be found!

Asking everyone if they have to go to the bathroom constantly

parent's hand on door opening bathroom to tell son to use toilet

When kids are young, parents all too often find themselves desperately trying to usher their little one into the bathroom before the car seat, rug, or sofa becomes the de facto toilet. And after years of accidents and near-misses, it's almost impossible for moms and dads to leave any location without checking in and insisting that everyone "try to go anyway"—even if the kids have been out of diapers for a decade.

Picking up your kid to smell them

asian parents with young baby
Shutterstock/wong yu liang

When your kids are preverbal, there's no way for them to get across important messages like, "Don't worry, that's just chocolate on my face." Instead of leaving things to chance, every parent eventually decides that giving their kid a quick sniff is safer than waiting it out—even if doing so is more than a little gross to anyone watching.

Swaying back and forth like you're rocking a baby all the time

young redhead holding baby

Muscle memory is a funny thing. You rock a baby to sleep for a year or two and suddenly, your body doesn't want to stop. Yes, you realize the funny looks you're getting as you keep doing that slow, side-to-side shuffle on the bus, but at least you're getting your steps in.

Covering your kids' eyes while watching TV shows and movies

young father covering daughter's eyes while watching movie

You can't protect your kids from everything. However, you can spend the first 18 years of their lives (or more) shielding their eyes every time a monster comes on the screen during a movie, someone starts making out on TV, or Post Malone presents at an awards show.

Turning off a sad movie before it's over

indian family watching tv on couch
Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

Kids are going to learn that the world can unfortunately be a sad place eventually—so why rush things? Yes, that may mean they go through life never knowing there are Nazis in The Sound of Music or thinking Old Yeller ends after the dog saves the family from a wolf, but there are worse things—and that's exactly your point.

Telling your kid to grab a sweater, even when it's warm out

young white girl putting on sweater
Shutterstock/Kuznetsov Dmitriy

Even people who sweat through their clothes in the winter somehow start insisting that everyone pack a sweater "just in case" once they have children. So what if it's August? So what if you already have a sweater on? You never know when the next ice age could hit! Just put it in your bag!

"Testing" their food for them

asian mom eating ice cream with young daughter
Shutterstock/PR Image Factory

Let's face it: After you have children, you're pretty much going to spend the rest of their lives eating food for them. When they are babies, you need to show them that the puréed chicken and squash you bought them isn't actually as disgusting is it sounds, looks, and smells. And once they're older, you have to make sure that the mac and cheese, chicken fingers, and ice cream you totally didn't want to order for yourself are suitable to eat before they dig in. You're just doing your due diligence.

Cutting everything into tiny, bite-sized pieces

two white male toddlers eating vegetables
Shutterstock/Oksana Kuzmina

Sure, your 18 year old may have had molars and canines for the better part of their life, but there's still some part of you that worries that serving them a whole grape could mean you have to break out your CPR skills. There's a reason Johnny's never choked on his steak—the pieces are never larger than a dime!

Playing "The Quiet Game"

white blonde woman shushing young daughter
Shutterstock/Anatoliy Karlyuk

Even typically quiet kids occasionally make sounds so ear-splitting you feel like you need to get your hearing checked afterward. To avoid this painful occurrence, every parent out there plays "The Quiet Game" with their kids every so often, telling them that the only way to win is to stay completely silent for as long as possible. There might not be a tangible prize at the end for them, but those few minutes when nobody's screaming for a snack or singing "Baby Shark" are truly priceless from your perspective.

Telling your kids you're allergic to pets

dog outdoors with his collar on

Even if it's not technically true, parents since time immemorial have been telling their kids they have a pet allergy to avoid taking on the respsonibility of getting a family dog. "But what about the puppy dad always cuddles with when we visit Aunt Jill?" your son asks. Well, that's a very special puppy, of course!

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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