When you're a kid, you tend to see your parents as all-knowing people. This is the reason why a lot of youngsters maintain the same religious and political beliefs that their parents passed down to them. However, once you become a full-grown adult, you start to realize that your parents are just regular people--insecure and scared just like the rest of us. Which makes us think, “did they really know best?"
Here are a few examples of the lessons passed down to children, before they realized that they were 100% wrong.
Redditor nousername1982 asked:
First up, relationships. A lot of times when we’re kids, our parents will teach us things about how people show their love to each other. Depending on the parents, it typically ends up being heteronormative BS, but usually well-meaning.
This is how people end up in toxic relationships as adults.
"They're only picking on you/being mean because they LIKE you."
No, no. They're just being aholes.
My aunt, who babysat me after school, told me this when a boy in my class bit me in the first grade. He also punched me between the shoulder blades and was given the "boys will be boys" treatment by the teacher.
My dad told me "if he does it again tell him you're going to punch his teeth in, if he doesn't stop punch his teeth in."
He hit me again and I threatened to knock his teeth in, the teacher saw me do it and I got in trouble and was given detention. My aunt told my dad when he got home what had happened. Dad says to my aunt "yeah, I told her to say that. Kid sounds like a punk."
That’s messed up.sex ed GIFGiphy
That I would get pregnant as soon as I had sex. Told me that as a teenager, so I was terrified I'd get pregnant every time I interacted with a penis. Now (a decade later), I'm married and have been actually trying and it turns it out it's not as easy as they made it sound.
Ladies, please never try to “fix” a narcissist.
That you have to "suffer for love" (I'm a chick). Thanks mom, you set me up for a lifetime of trying to change narcissistic losers.
- The woman should be the heart of the house
- Not feeling comfortable around a new girlfriend == not wanting my father to be happy.
- Not liking a girlfriend which is very disrespectful to me and my family == not wanting my dad to be happy.
- I shouldn't say what I think, just hint.
- I should be with anyone if he agrees to be with me, and be grateful.
- If didn't find the love of my life in high school, I won't.
- I should immediately break up with someone if he disrespects me.
My dad was a single parent (widower. Lost my mom to cancer after I was born), so I get why he was emotionally not stable.
I really just want to ask healthy normative people for relationship advice. But I get a feeling all the normal people won't give me a bit of actual advice, because it's boring, and all the crazies will have loads.
Men and women couldn't be friends.
I was raised in a weird religion in which almost any amount of communication with the opposite sex was seen as dating. Regularly texting a girl? That may as well be dating. It's a belief that I've had to unlearn after moving out so that I could have normal friendships with people.
Sometimes it’s just about control. The power dynamics between parent and child can cause for some problematic language, which they pass down to their kids.
Respect is shown to those who show respect.bart simpson respect GIFGiphy
"Respect your elders" but in the sense that you should just keep quiet when you disagree with somebody older than you - turns out many people are awful regardless of their age.
Don't get me wrong, my default is to respect any new person I meet, but when a person has repeatedly shown me that they don't are about my feelings or even basic logic, I won't hold back from speaking my mind calmly, even if they see this as disrespectful.
Privacy is a right.
My mum made me believe that privacy was a privilege. Wasn't until I started studying childcare and learning in depth about the rights of the child that I learned it is a right and that my mum is full of bullsh*t.
Edit : UN convention on the Rights of the child (UNCRC) article 16
Should parents ask their kids if they practice proper hygiene, maybe even smell the hair to make sure they are using shampoo? Possibly, depending on the child. Should parents stand in the bathroom, making sure their older kids scrub their armpits just right? Definitely not.
Should parents ask about their children's friends and days at school? Yes. Should the parents give them the third degree to get more details? Not unless there is some kind of emergency.
Sounds like gaslighting to me.
That as long as we "have always been given everything we need we are loved". The emotional abuse has ruined me.
This hit hard, my dad isn't a fantastic person to me and says that just because he goes to work and puts food on the table means that he respects me. He really doesn't. He's called me an embarrassment many times and emotionally abused me as well. I'm sorry to hear about your emotional abuse, just know that there's other people out there who understand and are there for you.
Finally, let’s talk about work. The standards for jobs were a lot different when our parents were kids, and sometimes they just don’t realize that things are waaaaaaay different now.
Most bosses are pretty open to conversation.the office boss GIFGiphy
"Your job is to do whatever your boss tells you to do."
This led to a bunch of stupid situations of both me getting walked all over by employers and me quitting jobs over things that could have been fixed with a conversation.
It doesn’t HAVE to be, but it’s nice when it is.
That work should be something you love
It just has to be tolerable. If you make work your life, you will feel hit hard by the rough stages of work, which any job has. And you'll feel bad for taking a sick day, or miss it when you should be enjoying time off.
For most people its easier to be happy at the end of the work day if you feel like you are good at your job and if the work feels like it is at least somewhat useful to society in the broadest possible sense (ie working for a scammy telemarketing firm is depressing for people capable of empathy). That's not quite the same as saying you should love your job. Not everyone has to have a vocation. But you should be able to take pride in the work you did.
I was the first person in my family to have a job in a conventional office. They thought I was a monster to accept a relocation bonus, paid vacation, and trying to work a reasonable schedule. They wanted me to be one of those people who is always willing to put in extra hours, or just sit at my desk for appearances.
The problem with this is that everyone in the office hates people like that, and the management isn't going to hook you up in the end anyways.
Sometimes it’s just plain depressing what our parents teach us, and we have to take time to unlearn them.
Relatable.angry homer simpson GIFGiphy
They inadvertently taught me that adults were angry and bitter people, which has kind of destroyed my ability to interact with others, since I was afraid that anything could set someone off. I still have a hard time believing that people are a little more forgiving than I give them credit for.
That’s terrifying and so wrong.
- Transgender people are mentally insane. Some of my best friends are trans, and they aren't mentally insane. I'm trans, and despite my mental health, I'm not insane.
- All your actions are watched by god or a higher being, and he will let everyone know if you did anything wrong like wanting to play to male toys and wearing boy clothes. This just led to me developing an anxiety disorder, and for a good amount of years in elementary, I had fear that everyone knew every detail of what I was doing. Only for me to ask, and they would get confused.
Time to unlearn that.
It’s okay to do almost anything as long as you don't get caught.
I knew it wasn't a good thing as a little kid too, but my mom being basically the only person keeping me in check and scaring me back then. She saying this surely gave me a bit more a-hole freedom that may or may not be related to me now (20yo male) having poor conscience and only thing keeping me in check being police not morales. Exception is s*xual assault, my morales won't allow that. That’s something she also taught me being a rape victim herself.
What a weird lesson.sick ferris buellers day off GIFGiphy
Never wear makeup or take care of your appearance before going to the doctor, or else they will think you are faking and not treat you.
I had strep throat for the umpteenth time as a teen and had slumming around the house miserable for days before the agreed to take me to the doctor. When my mom saw that I had brushed my hair and put on make up, she freaked out on me. Said I didn't even look sick anymore and she almost didn't take me. It stuck with me for a long time.
Now I understand that they do an actual physical exam, take vital signs, run tests, etc...
- Paying off a credit card is as simple as making your monthly payment every month.
- You'll get a good job after college as long as you graduate.
- It's easy to just keep a minimum of $100 in your bank account as a safety net.
- The only way to enforce discipline in your kids is through fear.
Most of the time when parents give you sh*tty advice, they're really just trying to protect you from making the same mistakes they did. Trouble is, that advice can end up really messing up your development, and make things harder for you in the long run.
Just remember that your parents are their own people, capable of making their own decisions. And just because they made a certain decision in life, doesn't mean that it will be the same for you. Keep on growing