There's no official guidebook to parenting and everyone makes mistakes, but some people carry the scars for life and promise to do better with their own kids. The challenge is not turning into your parents, when you become a parent.
keep-thinking-bud asked: [Serious] What did your parents do to you that you vowed to never do to your children?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Snoop through their stuff. My mom would do it any time she had a suspicion I was hiding something or lying to her, which wound up being pretty often, because I never told her anything about my life knowing she would do things like that either way.
There were so many times I'd wake up in the middle of the night and hear my mom digging through my backpack or flipping through notebooks. Nothing pissed me off more than getting interrogated at 2 AM over why I had a hall pass from my math teacher on the 23rd crumpled at the bottom of my bag, or why I had an assignment with half the answers blank.
I was a good kid that didn't do anything besides go to school and come home, so I don't know why she had it in her head that I was hiding so much stuff.
She did it once when I was still living with my parents during college; I left my back pack at home on a day I didn't have class and was going to work, and she found some things she wasn't thrilled about while I was gone. It ended with our whole household not speaking to each other for close to a month.
9. Negative reenforcement.
My parents, up until I graduated high school, would call me a "disappointment," and compare me to others, even though I got into a good college and didn't misbehave. If I were to have kids, there's no way in hell I'd be calling them a disappointment and comparing them to other kids. That sh*t can be damaging.
Edit: I'm realizing majority who have this issue are Asian. I thought every kid raised by immigrant parents went through this oof. I'm guessing my Latina ass just got lucky with having strict ass parents.
Same, until I got into a good class at high school my mum would compare me to my friends about how they we're better at math. this did push me but still, I felt like a piece of crap whenever she compared me. I know how it feels.
My father often told me that if I were his only child he'd have killed himself a long time ago because I regularly brought home average grades no lower than a C.
He wonders why I'm not fond of him.
8. Abusive, tbh.
Feed them garbage food nonstop. Being the fat kid was the worst but I didn't know better when I was young.
My mother did that too. Her defense now is that feeding me horrible food was her way of showing she loved me. Whoever I showed concern for my weight I'd hear, you're just about to hit a growth spurt! Now I'm still chubby but in better shape but have a hard as f**k time with over eating.
7. Imagine my parents' surprise...
Tease them for talking to girls.
My parents would give me so much sh*t for every girl I talked to.
"Aww, you have a little girlfriend. That's so cute. Here let me tell everyone I know."
Yep. Same here. Like what the f**k. You look through my phone and see I'm talking to a girl, then you tease me endlessly. It really just made me super shy about meeting people, it made me have a hard time trusting people because it just felt like I was being patronized for talking to a girl.
I mean I'm fine now except the trusting thing but it's still something I wouldn't ever ever ever do to my children.
I still don't tell my parents about a new girl I am dating until she mentions its weird she hasn't met them. They have met 2 out of like 12 and I am only 23.
6. Shouldn't have been born, chief.
My dad used to tell us all the dreams and big things he had planned in life but couldn't accomplish because he had kids, idk if he realized what he was doing but made us feel guilty of ...well being born.
Yeah my Father did that too. Would say stuff like "why did we have 3 kids."
"should have cut my balls off."
I'm the last of the 3.
I mean, yeah, it's TRUE kids ruin lives, but you don't tell them that because it was your choice to have them, not the kiddos.
5. Teach respect.
Growing up, my parents always had all the answers: there were right ways and wrong ways. The right way earns approval, the wrong way earns scorn, or (even worse) �condescension.� This works! It instills work ethic, discipline, and sense of purpose - until it suddenly doesn't, because a child has been raised on the how, but not on the why. �Slaving away at goals becomes meaningless when you don't know how to set your own goals.
I try to listen to my children, to have them formulate what they want, and to guide them in how to achieve that. And, on occassion, to throw down and say 'no' when they want something particularly stupid - and to explain them why.
Wish me luck.
Good luck. It seems like having that awareness is key. You want your kids to look up to you and I suspect it's difficult to admit when you are wrong or don't know the answer. I'm finishing my PhD and have been able to teach a few classes and the hardest thing to lean is that people will ask you a question you don't know the answer to and saying that out loud.
4. How to instill panic attacks 101.
My parents used to scream at me when I was in trouble. It's made me terrified to be in even the slightest bit of trouble with any authority figure.
This broke me 100% t the point that the first thing that crosses my mind to this DAY when I have a life problem, is what will i tell them? My mother one day asked me why I lie to her, and I ripped into her and told her the truth, that I would rather take the chance and save face than have to deal with their petty bullsh*t. The screaming, the drama, and the over-analysis of everything in said event would be questioned and then, when a fault was found, it would be chastised.
There was one day that taught me that habit. I was volunteering at a hospital to pad my resume and my college application. They had assigned me on the front desk, so I was responsible for directing where patients went to. Should be pretty simple, something a 17 year old could easily do. One day a lady who spoke some broken English came in and told me her water broke. I, knowing limited Spanish, asked her again, and she confirmed it, so i sent her to the maternity ward. A doctor came, yelled at me for a moment, and stormed off. I was unsure what to even make of it. The next day I came in and was fired.
From a volunteer position. I had the bad luck of going on vacation for the next four days with my family after i was a done with my four hour shift. I called early, admitted what had happened. They yelled at me and went nuclear on my @ss for four hours, calling me every name in the book, telling me I was a failure, I was lazy, I was entitled, I was an unemployable loser and that I was expected to demand my job back (spoiler alert, didn't even get a response).
And they apologized later, but they'd never f*cking change, and did it again and again throughout my life. I've learned to seek others for advice.
3. Not picking favorites.
They had favorites.
The firstborn were a pair of twins, a boy and a girl. They were the favorites.
Three boys born after that were also-ran. Parents would give them second hand clothes, second hand toys (bikes etc.)
I asked my father why and he said that with children, the first born was special and used to inherit everything. (Primogeniture?) The others would have to go join the church or the army.
So at birthday time boy 1 would be given brand new presents. Other boys would be given second hand ones.
I remember on his birthday (12) oldest boy got a brand new dragster bike. Cost more than $100 at the time.
Youngest boy was given a second hand girls bike. (cost $10; we found out later.)
When youngest boy woke up and ran outside to see his "bike" he was unable to ride it because it had two flat tyres. On asking dad if he could fix he was sworn at and told not to be in such a hurry. Dad was very busy drinking coffee and reading the paper. He didn't fix it till the afternoon.
My sister was treated specially by mum because she was also first born, and the only girl. In fact she she was the "imelda marcos" of the family because she had a bedroom of her own (ok, she was the only girl) but also cabinets full of clothes and shoes - I counted 17 pairs at a time when us boys (even the eldest) had two pairs each - one for school and one for play (And sometimes we just had one for school.) I asked mum why and she said when she was a little girl she lived on a farm and the boys were given horses and gifts of money while the girls just got to help with the household. So she said she was going to make up for it with her own daughter. I said "that's not fair" and she said "I don't care".
I was the only one in the family that won scholastic prizes, and i won several - even cash ones. One time I used the cash to buy a train set I saw advertised in the paper. My dad drove me over and back.
Once we got back he insisted I give him the brand new transformer that came with the set I had bought, so he could give it to my older brother. "I drove you there so now you have to do something for me" he said. He took my new transformer that I bought with my own prize money and gave it to oldest brother, and gave me his sh!tty old one.
You know, dad, I was your son, and the only one that ever won prize money; maybe as I was your son you could have just done it for me anyway, instead of trying to cheat me out of something?
It hurt so much I buried it for years and didn't remember till a couple of decades later.
As a kid I knew our parents weren't popular with other parents on our street, and I also knew they weren't even popular with their own relatives. When I got older I started to see why.
I vowed to treat all my kids equally -boys and girls - and I have.
Mostly I use my parents as examples of what NOT to do to my children. Ah well. At least progress has been made.
2. Not actually answering questions.
Not explaining ANYTHING. I am a very literal, curious person that likes to apply things across the board where applicable. So, when my mother would say "because I said so" or anything else dismissive like that, I wouldn't clearly understand and I would do almost the exact same thing because I wasn't allowed to make the connection. I thought "be quiet" meant "make quiet noises" and was different from "shut up" and got in so much trouble one day for whispering after being told to be quiet.
Really, is it that hard to learn your children or are people just lazy when they demand respect from you for your age?
My kid's probably in here saying he won't over-explain things. "I ask my dad one question and 3 hours later we're still reading Wikipedia and watching youtube videos explaining <thing>"
1. Blaming the victim.
My sister (f26) and I (f22) did not get along at all growing up. She was both physically abusive and mentally. It got to the point where I modeled my entire life to be the opposite of hers because I wanted literally nothing to do with her. How my parents handled it was to tell us not to fight. That was it. I spent most Christmases in my bedroom crying and have permanent scars from her nails digging into me and all my parents ever did was tell me "Can you please just try to get along with your sister?" or "Why do you always let her get to you? You know she's just teasing you". My parents were wonderful to me in every other way but how they handled conflict between kids was terrible. If my child is crying at Christmas or wants absolutely nothing to do with their siblings I'm going to have a hard look at why and I'm going to actually listen when they tell me there's a problem.
Oh god that sounds like my mom. My older brother physically took things from me, and my younger brother had the rule "if it shuts him up just let him have it" which she enforced. I grew up needing to put a padlock on my room because they would steal my stuff and give it away.
My mom's response was always the same: "if you don't like it don't play with them". Like god damn he stole my PlayStation and all my games while I was out of the house.
What did you parents do to you that you vow to never do to your own kids?
Many of us think we have life all figured out.
Curious to hear what stumps strangers online, Redditor homo1ogize asked:
"What makes absolutely no sense to you at all?"
The things people do can be forever mysteries.
"Grown adults not taking responsibility for their actions/property and expecting others to clean up after them."
A Curious Culinary Process
"How people came up with baking."
"I get eating meats and veggies and fruits. That's just food that's pretty much ready to go."
"But somehow someone figured you can grind this plant into a powder, add a certain amount of water and some chicken eggs and some oil and some other crushed plant stuff and then heat it for X Minutes and now you have cake or bread or cookies or whatever."
Leaving The Bowl Full
"People that don't flush public restroom toilets."
"What's the deal with that? Do they not flush in their own homes? Is it laziness? Contempt with society? Seeing retail and other workers suffer? Just not knowing better?"
Life Insurance Loophole
"Seems like half of the true-crime shows I watch involve life insurance. What I don't understand is how the perpetrators convince themselves that being the beneficiary on a brand-new life insurance policy and then having the insured turn up dead within days or weeks is not going to put you under a detective's microscope."
"Even more suspicious are the ones who immediately make the claim for payout within a day of the death. At least sit on it for a month or two and act like you're grieving."
These trends continue to dumbfound Redditors' minds.
The Housing Market
"House price rises. How seriously can people have so much money for crappy houses? Where are all these great paying jobs that service the mortgage?"
"My partner and I have decent middle class jobs ( teacher, nurse) yet cannot afford to buy in the city where we live…. And not even close to the city where we live."
"How can a pandemic wreck an economy… throw thousands out of work needing to rely on government handouts …. Yet house prices increase?"
The Facebook Ploy
"Those Facebook photos that promise you a lot of money if you post them. Is it true that people believe it?"
"How, in what environment, under what conditions, could that possibly work? Is this some sort of inside joke that I'm not aware of? 'Write Amen.'"
"My first language was Spanish, which I learned at home. I learnt English at school and with friends outside of school. In addition, German is spoken."
"Surprisingly, when I speak in my brain, it's always in English. When I pronounce them out loud, though, they come out in the correct language."
Knowing scientific explanations doesn't necessarily mean we will completely comprehend them.
"How the moon is in perfect rotation with the earth to the point where we only see one side of the moon at all times no matter what."
Lack Of A Void
"What is the root of consciousness and why is there something instead of nothing."
"How babies just go from swimming/breathing in a pouch of goo to being born and able to breathe normal air. It makes no sense to me. How does something go from not breathing air to breathing air in like a second?"
The Vastness Above Us
"Look at the moon. Some days you can see Saturn or Jupiter out there. Look at the stars."
"You think about us… people on this rock in space all running around. We're floating in space on a rock. Spinning around. All together. One."
"And space is just soooo big. It's overwhelming. Really really big. I can't even comprehend how big."
"It doesn't even make sense how big it is."
This is something I've always chalked up to fate, but the concept of meeting people floors me.
How did I wind up with the friends in my circle? How did I get paired with my parents in this life? And how did I meet the person with whom I wound up exchanging vows?
It's terrifying to comprehend the prospect of never having met some of the most important people in my life, yet I would never know because I haven't been faced with the alternative.
It continues to blow my mind.
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It shouldn't be hard to try and stay healthy.
However, it feels like the world is against you, as most stuff marketed or sold as "healthy" could actually be hurting you.
What do people think is healthy but is actually harmful?
Seeing something on the shelves marked as "healthy" shouldn't cause you to second guess yourself. It should be easy, right? However, these products might be holding a darker secret than you realize.
For Those In The Back: Its Not The Fat, It's The Sugar
"Low fat or non fat foods tend to add more sugar than their regular fat counterparts to make up for the lost flavor."
"Edit: To clarify, for example I'm talking about something like reduced fat cheese its vs the regular cheese its. The reduced fat may seem "healthier" but it's really not."
Just Eat The Fruit
"People focus on the fact that it contains some nutrients, but not that it also contains as much sugar as Coca-Cola"
"This. The only truly healthful way to consume a fruit's juice is to eat the whole fruit. Peeling and eating an orange takes so much longer than chugging way too much juice. Plus the benefit of the fiber. Plus the benefit of fresh and natural vitamin C."
This One's A Real Bummer
"Those acai bowls are loaded with sugar."
"Ohhhh damn. I see why I've been rapidly gaining weight recently . Those damn delicious açaí bowl."
You might be doing something every day that's causing health deficiencies in your day to day living. The worst part of it all is the notion that this unhealthy thing you're doing is supposed to be "fun" or "relaxing."
From The Earth? Yes. Still Smoke? Also Yes.
"Smoking marijuana. And I say this as a daily toker. Inhaling smoke into your body is ALWAYS bad for you. It's just better than inhaling poison (cigarettes) into your body."
"This bothers so much. I smoked almost daily for 8 years, not as much now, but so many stoners refuse to acknowledge that inhaling ANY kind of smoke is bad for you. Yeah, cannabis has a lot of benefits. But putting any kind of mind-altering substance into your body it is not risk-free."
"Same with vaping. Just because it's a healthier alternative to cigarettes doesn't make it automatically healthy itself. It's just a good way to help those with smoking problems ween off it and be healthier. It's not meant to be used as a way to start an addiction. Addiction still kills."
Find That Right Balance
"Not so much anymore because there is much more awareness, but being out in the sun. My mom would force me to sunbathe when I was a child because it was "unhealthy" to be pale and that people would think I am gross. Now she's not even fifty and her face is pocked with scars from surgeries treating melanoma, and every year has to go back in to the doctor for more skin removal and to determine if she needs further, more intensive treatment."
"I have never sunbathed as an adult and religiously put on sunscreen, wear long sleeves and an "old man" hiking hat when I go just about anywhere outside. Please, everyone, protect your skin!"
"But also on the flip side, it's really common to have a vitamin D deficiency if your skin never sees the sunlight, so make sure you're taking a supplement if that's the case. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a whole host of its own issues. It feels like every health issue is some variation of a double sided coin."
The Truth Hits Like A Truck
"Being with someone because you don't want to be alone"
"Yes, but like many of the harmful things in this thread, it sure can be fun for a little while. Until the consequences start coming at you."
What can feel a little shocking about some of these things listed is the thought that you're doing something good for you. You're working out! What's the worst that can happen?
Sometimes Crushing It Every Day Can Crush You Every Day
"working out with 100% effort everyday"
"Agree. You can train different muscles, but in the end, you are still using the same nervous system. Also, Rhabdomyolysis is a thing, so….."
"In case anyone else feels the need to look it up:"
"Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially life-threatening syndrome resulting from the breakdown of skeletal muscle fibers with leakage of muscle contents into the circulation. The most common causes are crush injury, overexertion, alcohol abuse and certain medicines and toxic substances."
It's Goop. How Can You Not Trust It?
"Anything Gwyneth Paltrow is marketing."
"Hold on, you mean to tell me that shoving a jade egg up your vagina, isn't good for you?"
"The jade egg is probably the least unhealthy thing she sells, as it does absolutely nothing."
Not Doing What You Think
All of those "Detox" drinks, and gimmicks.
Take care of yourself. Don't fall for health fads. Start simple.
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Our past is chock full of "life lessons" that are actually just crap. It's easy to spoon-feed children drivel. They're sponges ready to absorb.
Then those children become adults that require rewiring.
Between culture changes and generations of upheaval, there is a lot that we are left to examine when out in the world. Look at where we are as a society right now. We are stuck in the throes of a culture war stemming from generational misinformation.
So where do we begin?
Redditor Baby_Bella_XX wanted to discuss the information we thought we understood as kids that might require an update. They asked:
What have you had to unlearn from your childhood?
The biggest lesson for me. "Oh stop worrying. There is plenty of time for that."
NO THERE IS NOT! There is no time left! Use it wisely!
Talk it Through
"Not talking about problems or concerns or feelings. My family really only makes small talk. Talking about the weather, gossip, etc. If there is any kind of disagreement, it's typically handled by giving the silent treatment, which might last anywhere from a couple hours to a few weeks or more. The only exception to this was my dad."
"If he was really angry, he would yell, slam things, and sometimes hit. Then pretend it never happened. No one ever asked how anyone else was doing, or about their day. I would come home from school and go straight to my room, because it was just a fact of life that no one would want to talk to me."
"If I had a problem, it would never occur to me to discuss it with my parents. There were never any "I love you's" or hugs or anything. I still, to this day, have never heard either of my parents apologize. I know they loved us in their own dysfunctional way, though."
"I probably overcompensate now. If I have a disagreement with my husband, I HAVE to talk it through in it's entirety. Even if it takes hours. I hug and tell my kids I love them several times a day. I ask questions every day about school, friends, etc. I apologize when I'm wrong. It's weird that that honestly comes naturally to me. I never realized how messed up my childhood was until I had kids of my own." ~ nicole11930
"Learning to say NO." ~ guyhabit
"If only my family would learn to accept "no". My mom insists on buying metric crap ton of food everytime she visits, despite me telling her not to, so she goes through all my things to "know" what to buy."
"She saw some oatmeal I never finished and two cans of soup I had for emergencies when I'm too sick to eat anything else. Now I'm stuck with a metric crap ton of soup and oatmeal that I keep forgetting to drop off for the local food pantry." ~ 1stLtObvious
"Talking back to anyone older that you is disrespectful. My parents taught me this and it's crap." ~ Halloweendog84
"I unlearned it during childhood. Got tired of my grandparents treating my parents wrong. Still am. I just wish my parents would see it and realize that they don't need to rely on them anymore. I'm tired of abusive or unhelpful family members being part of our lives." ~ bluedragggon3
XOXOSeason 4 Hug GIF by Good GirlsGiphy
"That I'm not actually a burden just for being here." ~ KNOCKknockLAHEY_420
I feel like everyone here needs a hug. All of you should know, you deserve to be here. Every life can change another. Remember that...
TearsTobey Maguire Reaction GIFGiphy
"It's okay to cry and it does not make you a weakling. When sad times hit, you have every right to cry your heart out to heal your wounds." ~ unforgivablenope
"Other children weren't psychic, I'm autistic." ~ Thinkingwithportals1
"As a child, I missed a lot of social cues, I couldn't read facial expressions or body language (or even know that you're meant to do that). The other kids kept seeming to know what others were feeling or thinking, so the logical conclusion was that everybody except me was psychic." ~ Thinkingwithportals1
Take my word for it...
"Lots of things. I actually can make it in the real world. I am not doomed to failure because of who I am and the quirks that come with being me. I am not the multitude of nasty labels my father spewed at me. The whole world isn't filled with terrible people who want to take advantage of me, requiring me to always be strong if I don't want to get taken advantage of."
"I am not actually sensitive and over-dramatic. I was actually picked at, 24/7, and so that was why it was so easy to rile me up; I never had a chance not to be emotionally charged. I actually can cook. I am not, as my mother often hinted, naturally a bad cook. I could write pages and pages of this crap and I still wouldn't cover it all. Take my word for it, I've unlearned a lot." ~ EgyptianDevil78
"My parents told me to eats what's on my plate, now I'm fat, coz I don't eat til I'm full, I eat til it's gone." ~ racerboy661
"If I end up wanting more after eating it all, I can go back and get another small portion. So my advice is cut down on portion size and eat until you feel full then stop. It is way healthier. Try for no waste but that's the idea behind small portions." ~ PoopLoofah
The Best Of...High School College GIFGiphy
"That just because I am not scoring at the top or going to the most prestigious college I am not not smart." ~ Imteyimg
Here is a lesson. Just try to be a good person. Sadly, in this day and age, that seems harder to do. And remember... our parents don't know everything.
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It's important to keep your mind healthy as you age, learning new things and trying new activities out.
What is an underrated skill that people should learn?
Start with the basics, learning things you'll definitely be using in your day-to-day life.
Just Get It All Done
"General fixing things around the house like hanging up frames or repairing basic things like holes in the drywall, painting etc, basic electrical work like light switches."
"Cooking and cleaning"
"Of course with learning basic electrical work, definitely learn about electrical safety. Safe practices are critical, as mistakes can be fatal."
"Source: am an electrical engineer and also work on home electrical."
Learn Something New Every Time
"Before I learned to cook I was an incredibly picky eater. Cooking helps you get more comfortable with ingredients. The best part is it gives you full control over your flavours. You aren't stuck picking from a menu. You are only limited by your creativity, skill and accessibility to ingredients when you cook for yourself."
"It can be as complicated as cooking a beef Wellington, or jazzing up some packaged ramen noodles. The best part is you learn something new every time you cook."
All The Fast and the Furious Folks Look So Cool When They Do It
"Driving a manual. No one will steal your car if it's a manual, because 98% of people don't know how to drive stick."
"Note: this might only apply in the US."
Some of these activities are life-saving, in that they could save your life in the heat of a moment. While it might feel silly to practice something like knot tying right now, these people make a good argument for mastering such a vital skill.
Learn A Few. You Don't Have To Learn All Of Them.
"Knot tying and sewing"
"+1 on knot tying especially. I never did Boy Scouts or anything like that, but I had an odd job in my 20s where I had to learn proper mooring technique: figure 8, sailor's knot etc."
"I wouldn't say it changed my life or anything. But I've never failed to secure anything since, and even just the practice of keeping consistent tautness while tying shoelaces has saved me time on many a run/soccer match etc."
You Never Know When You'll Need It
"I finally learned how to swim this year at 26. It felt amazing just jumping in the deep end being able to swim comfortably."
Learning A Few Phrases In Any Language Can Help You
"I totally agree. I learned some sign language as a kid after taking classes one summer and I'm glad I did."
"I remember a few years ago when I was in a foreign country a young woman was with her little brother and panhandling (people were treating them like garbage) and I had some change and gave it to them. She started signing "thank you" and signed that I was pretty (which was sweet of her). She was shocked when I signed back to her a simple "you're welcome" and it seemed to make her day."
And then there's these, skills which, on the surface, may not feel like they matter a whole lot. To get by in this day and age, however, they may be the most critical skills of all.
Go A Step Further
"How to separate fact from fiction - fake from true - especially with regard to news."
"The number of people who don't know the difference between a journalist and a pundit is a lot. It's not necessarily "news" just because you get it from a purported news channel."
Learn To Recognize Them, Not How To Name Them
"Logical fallacies. It would help with knowing when someone's misleading you in an argument and will also help you communicate your thoughts more clearly"
"Just don't literally name-drop the logical fallacy during the argument. Not particularly persuasive. Guaranteed to roll some eyes. Explain it in plain English instead. Use an example to show how it's a problem."
"Accounting. If you want to run a successful business, you really should do an accounting course. Not so that you can do your own accounting. But so that you can understand what others are telling you."
"Agreed. My granddad always said "watch the pennies and the dollars will watch themselves". Understanding accounting is a must for anyone in business."
Get out there and try something new. You never know when the thing you learn will come in handy. After all, better to know something and not need it than needing something and not know how to swim.
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