Parents Share Their Biggest Regrets On How They Raised Their Children
Being a parent is a daunting task and even the best parents will screw up their children in some way. Other people know they weren't the best or most attentive parents and come to regret their actions upon reflection years later.
After Redditor Speaker-of-the-Void asked the online community, "Mothers/Fathers of now adult children, what is your greatest regret about how you raised them?" people shared their stories in candid detail.
"My ex's dad..."
My ex's dad once told me he regretted moving overseas during his son's childhood in order to "provide" for the family (I put that in quotes because we live in Australia - he wanted to make $500k/year instead of the $100k he could make here). Sure, they owned their house, but my ex never saw his dad regularly. His parents divorced when he was in high school, so his dad never came back to the family home (he did move back to Australia) and my ex never felt like he knew him very well, although he looked up to him and loved him so much.
2 years before his dad died, my ex himself moved overseas in pursuit of a "better life" (read: a higher paying job), so in the last couple of years they saw each other maybe once or twice. His dad said that was his influence - that he had basically taught his son that making money was more of a priority than spending time with your loved ones.
I don't think my ex will ever get over losing his dad multiple times in his life - or getting to know him better while he was alive.
"There not only would have been..."
I regret reprimanding my kids because of embarrassment I felt, rather than their behavior being cause for reprimanding. There not only would have been less unnecessary reprimanding and punishment, but I would have been a better parent for worrying about what actually needed to be worried about. Parents shouldn't make it about themselves, and I did for a long time...
"We have an amazing young adult daughter..."
We have an amazing young adult daughter but we're slobs and so is she. My parents aren't like that and my in-laws aren't either so I don't know why we're the way we are, but I know we'd all be happier if we just kept clean and tidy homes.
"I wish I had insisted..."
I wish I had insisted on better behavior when they were adolescents and teens.
I was an only child. My wife had lots of experience caring for younger kids--so much so that I tended to go along with her strategies even when the kids got older. We were too accepting of negative, rebellious, and destructive behavior, and both kids were less successful in school and socially than they could have been.
"They have character flaws..."
I don't have much in the way of regrets apart from missing big chunks of time with them due to my work. At 22 and 20 they are great young adults and I am proud of them and what they do. They have character flaws and have made mistakes like anyone else and when they do I think what I may have done in raising them that could have caused it. But I think that's just parental guilt, they are their own people and can make their own wrong calls from time to time.
"They all turned out fine..."
I wish I had left work earlier more often. They all turned out fine, and we have good relationships. But they grow up fast, and you miss a lot of good times if you're too focused on being the provider.
"This was back when..."
Before he passed, my late stepfather confessed to me that he never would have pushed me so hard about my education at a young age. This was back when "Tiger Mom" parenting was all the rage in the early 90s. There were a lot of days where every waking minute was devoted to math and writing drills, maybe I'd get some time playing Math Blaster or Jumpstart on the PC if I was lucky. Going to the doctor? Leave the game boy at home, you're taking a book to the waiting room.
I was the start student as school, even got into advanced classes, up until halfway through 4th grade when my mental state began to deteriorate and my lack of social development became apparent. My teenage years were spent going through a massive downward spiral, became violent with both other students and my parents, dropped out in 9th grade. Tried several times to get my GED but when I try to study for it I just... can't handle it. I've spent my entire adult life being a shut-in.
My stepfather was always a very stubborn, arrogant man, especially in those last few years, so to hear him talk about how he raised me with genuine regret in his voice... I'll never forget that moment.
"Given how smart and patient..."
My mother says her biggest regret is not homeschooling me. Given how smart and patient she is, and how patchy and inconsistent my schooling was due to frequently moving, she's probably right that I'd have been better off.
"We went to church every Sunday..."
I raised my children with religion. We went to church every Sunday and most Wednesdays. My job for a few years was through the church, and most of our friends were through the church, too.
About the time my youngest started college, I became an atheist.
They no longer talk to me, don't respond to my messages, and have become more and more involved in a very strict church that they found.
I was trying to raise them with love, caring, and empathy, but it turns out I raised them to be overly judgemental.
"Financially it made sense..."
Too much work, not enough time home with the kids especially when they were young.
Financially it made sense and my wife was able to be a full-time mom as she preferred. She also insisted I spend time with the kids, when I might have been inclined to spend more time on work; brought the kids to have dinner with me at my employer's cafeteria; etc.
Now we care for our granddaughter several days a week and I see how much I missed with our kids. Our kids are fine - successful, independent adults so no harm there, just my regrets.
"My child does things..."
My child does things which are not allowed in our religion. I should have been observant.
"I wish we would have..."
I wish we would have put her in daycare. By kindergarten she was so overly attached to me from being home with me 24/7 that the school enforced a "no parents inside" rule because she would lose her mind in the hallway when I tried leaving her. Plus I would be a hell of a lot further along in my career.
"I was a mother of three..."
I have always regretted not having more patience with my kids. I was a mother of three with a deadbeat husband and working fulltime to provide for the five of us. It caused a lot of hardship and stress. What i wish i would have realized sooner is that it was not their fault in any way. I had no right to take it out on them by not gving the time they deserved with things. I really wish I would have spent more time listening and being present in the moments we had.
"When I was a young dumb parent..."
When I was a young dumb parent with our first child, I just knew I was going to be a lot better parent than my dad was. Which really didn't take much. But anyway, I know I was much too strict. And I said some things in ways I shouldn't have said them. And I said some things I should not have said at all. And it has caused my oldest son to be very distant, and have some animosity toward me that, while understandable, I certainly never wanted. Remember, while you can apologize to your kids, you still can never take it back. Make sure what you say is said the right way and for the right reason. It all matters.
"We did teach them..."
We, my wife and I, did not teach our children enough household skills. Things like cooking, laundry, basic carpentry and home maintenance and repairs. We just always did those things ourselves and let our kids go play, they are now adults and can't do these things for themselves. We did teach them about the financial aspect of having their own home and basic auto maintenance like changing a flat tire and checking the oil.
"I didn't follow through..."
I didn't follow through on the orders I gave them. They have little discipline.
I didn't have them get summer jobs in high school; they have no work record or work experience.
"They are so worth it."
I was an alcoholic for her entire upbringing. I was never mean or abusive and physically I was always there, but mentally I was never fully present.
We have a great relationship, and she remembers her childhood fondly with no ill feelings...but I know I short changed her and it breaks my heart.
If you struggle with substance abuse please get help. They are so worth it.
"I wish that instead of..."
I wish that instead of doing things for him myself because it was easier/quicker for me, I had taken the time to oversee and emphasize the importance of letting him do it himself. I'm talking chores around the house. My 21 year old now lives in the basement apartment. I quit doing things for him when he turned 18. But it's disgusting and living like that can't be helping his morale. I wish I'd taught him better to look after himself. His future wife would also thank me.
"To be honest..."
To be honest I wish I had spent more time with them as they were growing up.once they both started school coincided with me going to work full time. I honestly can't remember them growing up and now they are adults.i spent my time coming home cleaning and cooking rather than going things with them as money was tight at first.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
We all indulge in fast food from time to time.
Even if we know what we're eating isn't exactly healthy, sometimes the salty, fatty mass-produced food is the only thing we want.
Resulting in our making weekly, if not daily, visits to a nearby chain.
Then, of course, there are the chains that we make every effort to avoid.
We've likely tried places at least once simply because everyone is always talking about them.
But after having one bite, we have trouble seeing exactly what all the fuss was about and vow to never return.
Even if it might be the only option at a rest stop or even the only available food for miles, we instead opt to wait and be hungry.
Redditor BungOnMimosas was curious to hear what people considered to be the most overhyped fast food chains around, leading them to ask:
"What do you think are the most overrated fast-food chains? Why?"
"Food As It Should Be"... Or Not...
"I know it's not technically 'fast food', but Panera Bread pisses me off."
"Insanely expensive for extremely average food." - Reddit
"Their quality has decreased so much in the past few years and they’ve added weird sh*t to their menu like pizza and chicken sandwiches."
"Massive identity crisis and crap food."- asm233
Things Ain't What They Used To Be...
"All of them, now that they charge real restaurant prices."- P00pf4rt5
"As much as I hate to say it, McDonald's is the only place that I can think of that the quality hasn't changed much."
"I mean, that's a pretty low bar, but it is what it is."- gnatman66happy ronald mcdonald GIF by McDonald's CZ/SKGiphy
"The majority of them, especially the really big ones (McDonald's, Wendy's, BK, Pizza Hut, etc)."
"The prices are no longer fast food prices and the quality is not there like it used to be."
"Far better local options that cost roughly the same at the end of the day."- senorita_diablo
Consistency Is Key...
"You can go to the same location three separate times, have the food made by the same staff, and receive 3 wildly different results."- AndrewLampart
Not So Popular Anywhere, It seems...
"KFC in France became so bad."- SterBout
"KFC."- calm4ufried chicken animation GIF by octavioterolGiphy
Likely Won't Go National...
"Idk how wide spread they are, but in the Buffalo NY area there is a chain called Mighty Taco."
"They were even voted best tacos a few years ago."
"It is absolutely terrible food."
"I’ve tried to like it and given them 3 chances."
"Each time I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites."
"Absolutely terrible and I’m disgusted even thinking about their sour vomit in a tortilla."- aa-2020
"I think I’ve answered this question before but definitely for me, it’s Subway."
"Nothing but a giant hunk of bread."
"I’m editing this to add that part of my anger about Subway is how good it used to be."
"I can remember the days of nearly a whole can of tuna salad delicious sub."
"And a Veggie sub with Swiss cheese and piles of yummy veggies and the sweet Vidalia onion sauce."
"It’s all gone to sh*t."
"I would’ve been perfectly OK with increasing price but the big drop in quality pissed me off."
"Oh woe is me with my first world problems."- Mysterious-Region640football ok GIF by Subway ColombiaGiphy
Quantity Doesn't Guarantee Quality...
"Starbucks is a scam."- cmkeller62
Tasty, But Not Worth It...
"I’m going to say Five Guys."
"Not because the food isn’t good, but because I’m not paying $20 for a burger meal."- 2PacTookMyLunchMoney
"Dairy queen grill and Chill for sure."
"I worked at one for a lil' while and 1 burger combo is $14.56 CAD."- lolidk13Ice Cream Miracle Treat Day GIF by Children's Miracle Network HospitalsGiphy
And Not In A Good Way...
Big Kahuna Burger, it kills you."-Darklock2022
No two people have the same taste in food.
Some people know to avoid crappy food, while others eat literally nothing else.
There are several movies I've watched so many times I think the viewings outnumber the days I've lived.
And much like a favorite tv series or movie, who wouldn't love to start again anew?
Experiencing that first time but with that feeling of... "I'm gonna love this forever."
We never appreciate the first time enough.
But that's life.
Warning: there are spoilers below.
Redditor Jacale1 wanted to discuss all the movies we wish we could experience new all over again, so they asked:
"What is one movie that you wish you could watch again for the first time?"
There are a lot of mystery movies I'd love to redo, just to figure out the killer sooner.
Gasps!Raining The Shawshank Redemption GIFGiphy
"The Shawshank Redemption."
"A great nominee. Will never forget gasping when that rock went through the poster, and again when the warden pushed his arm through and ripped it down.... wow."
Over and Over
"Edge of Tomorrow."
"Is it bad that I got enjoyment knowing Tom Cruise died a lot in that movie. Never on screen, but it happened. Over and over. I hate that guy. How the hell was he the same height as Nichole Kidman in the movies they acted in together. Rhetorical question."
"Honestly the whole reason I watched the movie to begin with is that he kept dying over and over."
“'Stardust'- if you don’t know you’ll never know."
"I’m surprised that a fantasy romcom can be so enjoyable, for a straight guy. It’s just the right balance between fantasy, comedy, drama, and romance. Most of the female cast are very easy on the eyes too."
"I swooned when Yvaine glows while dancing on the ship, and when she talks emphatically to the mouse in the caravan. This movie has a lot of A listers, and they deliver. I’m not gonna lie, I have probably watched it half a dozen times."
"The book has so much more in it, even having seen the movie you'll feel like a child again."
"I watched this with my wife, who has never seen it, and that's about as close as you can get to watching it for the first time. It really displayed just how good the movie is. Also I love Aliens just as much for different reasons."
"Came here looking for this! I watched it for the first time with my dad when I was 11, and it’s one of my favorite childhood memories. Amazing movie."
Hey Arnoldsci-fi GIFGiphy
"I first watched this as a kid when I knew Arnold was the good guy in movies, and I had not seen T1. I wish I watched T2 for the first time after having watched T1. The mall scene would have been even more mind blowing."
T2 was definitely bada**!! I'd redo that.
"Bro, I'll go further. If I could watch the Nicholson covered in blood scene or the final scene between Damon and Wahlberg, I would be so freaking happy. The sheer acting clout on display for the first is near a masterclass while the last scene was just so business like, I'd love to relive that scene with fresh eyes. I love this freaking movie."
"The original Star Wars. Man, that blew our minds! It totally changed movies from then on. We'd never seen such incredible special effects. The story was so fun and the experience was amazing."
"Even though I’m not a franchise fan, I can get behind this answer. Because when I saw it first run, I was fourteen, and nothing like it had ever been done. I think it was the first movie where the special effects were the movie? Now that’s standard. It’s a reason people see many films now."
"So, for sheer originality, I’d watch it again, but only for the first time. I barely recall the second movie."
"The 6th Sense. I audibly gasped in the theater. All the clues are obvious on rewatch but that first time, before anyone knew M. Knight Shyamalan was a twist guy... wow."
"I never got to see it the first time. My girlfriend at the time (now wife) inadvertently let slip the ending thinking I had already seen it. I have never seen the point in watching it knowing the ending. But I did enjoy The Village."
"I watched it again and it was more of a sad film than a thriller."
"Spirited Away. I was blown away by how beautiful and bonkers it is."
"Saaaaame! Every single Studio Ghibli film, but Spirited Away especially! I’ve still watched it a million times though, and it’s always special. If I’m in a bad mood that film always cheers me up!"
"Also, Avatar-the last air bender. I know it’s not a movie, but I felt like it deserved a mention. I’ve watched the whole thing several times, and it’s always great, but I do wish I could forget it and rewatch it. I’m 35 btw... lol."
Great Scott!Doc Brown Shock GIF by Back to the Future TrilogyGiphy
"Back to the Future."
"I'd love to watch that in the cinemas... Now from the future."
Now I want to go to the movies.
There is no one way to anybody's heart or libido.
Sexy doesn't always have to equal raunchy.
I've known people turned on by music, books, nature, and even funerals (don't ask).
What starts someone's engine is a mystery.
Redditor asexyjohn18 wanted to hear about all the things that get people in the mood, so they asked:
"What is a non sexual trait that turns you on?"
I love a walk. A little strut. Nothing like getting the heart racing.
Tingleshair GIF by SB NationGiphy
"Getting my head scratched or having someone run their fingers through my hair."
"Same. It’s so pleasant when the tingles run down your spine... ;-) "
"When a girl genuinely laughs at jokes I make."
"I remember being on a first date with a beautiful woman and I made a bit of corny joke/comment and she laughed at it. I remember thinking, damn, wait till I get to my good stuff. I did get to my good material apparently as we were married. She gives me as many laughs as I give her."
"Kindness. When I see someone going out of their way to help others for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do… that is some truly attractive vibes."
"Apparently it's vanishing from this world really fast. People who show kindness often end up in losses (of course not everytime but most of the time yes). It really breaks my heart."
"Probably the sexiest thing out there. Someone can be smoking hot, funny, talented, etc. But if they're not kind, they're unattractive."
"Smiling right at me, and men stretching. LAWD HAVE MERCY!!"
"I have trouble smiling at women. Is this a turnoff for them? And ones I like are really hard to smile at. Because I know it's always going to be some really weird big smile if I am crushing which makes me feel like a super duper creep."
SimplicityHappy I Love You GIF by Warner Bros. DeutschlandGiphy
"Sorry if this is too kinky but i like it when they care about me."
"Too far man. You need to rethink your choices."
Sometimes it's all about the heart.
Eye 2 Eyei see you GIF by VH1Giphy
"When a guy explains something to you in a calm and understanding voice. Bonus points for gentle eye contact."
"Being crazily intelligent. Screw dirty talk, I want you to explain some unexplainable s**t in my ear."
"Heck yes. My best connections have been with a philosophy/history professor turned chancellor, an environmental engineer, and a neurosurgeon, all 3 Summa cum laude grads and conference speakers in their fields. The downside to genius though is complete absorption in their fields leaving little time for in person connection."
"Everyone should know how to cook. Hunger knows no gender. I like to eat good food so I learned how to cook. I asked my mom one day and she reacted surprised. She was more than grateful to have an opportunity to teach me the ‘finer’ aspects of cooking, as she called it. Lol. I love food."
"My girlfriend, now wife, likes to jokingly say I got her into bed with a well seasoned steak and homemade fries. I mean we did sleep together almost immediately after we finished dinner so maybe she’s right. That old saying comes to mind. 'The quickest way to the heart is though the stomach.'"
"When I ask my husband for help when I repot my plants and he delicately cleans and moves the leaves. He is a mechanical engineer and he works with huge pieces of industrial equipment, seeing him so tenderly caring for my plants just makes me melt."
Limbs A LotExcited Thomas Lennon GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Men doing intricate work with their hands."
"I second this, also someone who can play guitar/bass real real well... just watching their hands, whoa mama."
Well, it seems that just about anything can get someone in the mood, especially if you're kind, courteous, and especially a good cook.
Anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!
Even just in the past decade, items that used to seem too luxurious or expensive for "average" people to purchase are now incredibly affordable. And inaccessible produce and personal hygiene products are close to a distant memory.
It's fun to think back about how far we've come.
Redditor Repulsive_Ad_1163 asked:
"What previously luxurious thing is now considered normal?"
"Vanilla. It’s the second most expensive spice by weight, even today… but for some reason, it’s associated with bland or mundane flavor. Go figure."
"Today's produce is a crazy luxury."
"You are telling me that in Ontario Canada, I can get perfectly ripe bananas in January? Insanity."
Car Bag Phones
"I remember my dad having a bag/car phone in the '90s for his business and people thinking that was a huge deal."
"25 years ago, I was in high school, and we watched a corporate video in class. It was one of those of how the future will be all bright and shiny, as long as everyone uses brand X."
"The video was by Motorola, and it described the future. And they weren't that far off, stuff like zoom calls from the beach. But the one thing that had everyone in the class laughing and dismissing the video as bulls**t?"
"The eight-year-old with her own cell phone. Because 'no parent would ever spend that much money on a phone for a kid.'"
"The only way there used to be to get aluminum was to find native deposits of it. Meaning, basically, pure nuggets or otherwise tiny little deposits. Which were exceptionally rare. Hence the precious nature of aluminum."
"Aluminium didn't become the ridiculously disposable commodity it is today until we learned how to break bauxite with electricity."
"Running Water. I live in a rural part of Alaska in the summer, it is still a luxury there."
"Power windows in a car."
"Car backup cameras. I think they're mandatory standard features on cars now."
Readily Available Food and Water
"I LOVE that I can buy pre-butchered meat and vegetables I didn't grow and pasta I didn't make, etc."
"I read 'Little House on the Prarie,' I'm not butchering the pigs and preserving the meat in barrels/smoking it over two weeks, and it's awesome!"
Flat Screen TVs
"The first flat screen TV I saw was at a Bose store in the Spring of 99' and it was 42" for $15k! By today's standards, it was a fat flat screen of lower pixel quality. Crazy how cheap you can get one for now!"
"Eating meat every day, my grandfather was born during WWII and he told me that he only ate meat once a week when he was a kid. I can't speak for other countries but in the French countryside that was considered a luxury post-WWII."
"If there was one random thing I remember from middle school social studies/history, it’s going to be the fact that purple pigment was for the elite."
"I'm old enough that when I was a girl, most sanitary napkins still had a suspender belt that you attached the pad to; the 'beltless' maxi pads that arrived in the '70s were a game-changing deal."
"And tampons? Revolutionary, although they required a large body of marking reassurance that girls' virginity wouldn't be ruined by tampon use..."
"Agatha Christie once said, 'I never thought I would ever be so poor that I would not have servants, or so rich that I would own a car.'"
"But Honestly this statement is still quite true around the world."
"In places like southeast Asia, many families have live-in helpers or servants and they are quite poor themselves. Yet they can't afford a car."
"My dad used to always put an orange in my stocking and explained that it used to be a big deal because the fruit was hard to find."
"I carried on the tradition with my own kids. My 20-year-old, who I still make a stocking for, told me this past Christmas that it doesn't feel like Christmas if he doesn't get an orange in his stocking."
"He said when he has kids, he'll carry on the tradition and explain why. It made me feel good to know that it was as important to him as it was to me."
It's amazing to think of how the economy and our lifestyles have evolved over the years, and how expenses have changed to reflect that.