Parenting can be scarily overwhelming if you think about it for long enough. You're taking on the responsibility of not only keeping a tiny human alive, but helping them become decent human beings and good people.


One Reddit user asked:

What's something that every parent should tell their child?

Now we're normally not going to espouse getting your parenting advice from Reddit - but in this case a lot of the responses were really insightful. What does it mean to be safe, healthy, and happy? What makes a person empathetic and kind? What values are we trying to model and encourage in our kiddos?

Take a look at what people had to say.

Mistakes Matter

Its alright to make a mistake, as long as you can admit it and grow from it.

- LordPassionFruit

I'll go one step further. I teach little kids, and I tell them often that they HAVE to make mistakes to learn. I emphasize that the learning happens when we find and fix our mistakes. And when I make a mistake in front of them, I acknowledge it - and they encourage me. "Good job, Mrs. Rhymes, you helped your brain grow!"

I get so much satisfaction out of being the teacher I wish I had had.

- sometimes-i-rhyme

Sorry Doesn't Have To Be The Hardest Word

Sorry Taylor Swift GIF Giphy

A good parent shouldn't be afraid to apologize to their kid when they're wrong.

- Dr_Julian_Helisent

Yeah, if you can apologize to a 3 year old, you've got humility which, to me, is a very important trait to have as a human being, especially as a parent.

- sewankambo

My dad has never to my recollection apologized. My mom only ever apologized in passive aggressive ways ("I'm sorry you were offended but...""I'm sorry you made me react that way but..."). As a result I probably over-apologize to my kids, but I want them to know that I'm human, I make mistakes, and those mistakes are never their fault.

- artisenalmoistening

When my son was a toddler I remember telling my mom that I apologized to him for some minor thing. She flipped out. I was spoiling him. I was teaching him not to listen to me. I was going to regret it when he's a teenager. I got so mad at her! I never heard her or my dad apologize when they fcked up. It was always my fault. I also wanted my kids to know I'm human and far from perfect instead of seeing me as some authoritarian who can never be wrong. Plus I think it helps them learn empathy and compassion - which there was very little of in my home growing up.

- WasabiChickpea

Pride

"I'm proud of you"

- a_random_person_me

Be careful with this one. I say it to my son (3) frequently enough that I hear it back:

Good job finding Monster's Inc for me mommy! I'm so proud of you! Great job turning on my tablet mommy! I'm so proud of you! Thanks for bringing me my milk mommy! I'm so proud of you!

Maybe I should have waited? LOL

- dontletmeoutofmymind

Come To Me

If you make a mistake and need help, come to me. Kids tend to make bad situations worse by trying not to get caught. I know way too many people who got in drunk driving accidents because they were too afraid to call their parents for help and drove home or got in the car with a drunk driver.

- xandrenia

My mom told this to me and I think a lot more parents should:

"I don't care if you get too drunk at a party as long as you tell me and I can pick you up. I won't yell, I won't punish you, as long as you are responsible and it doesn't happen all the time."

In my opinion teaching your kids it's okay to be a bit rebellious, make mistakes, and live their life in their teens is a good thing to do. I never had a reason to not trust my mom because of this. Of course I got consequences for some things, but if I ever made a mistake and needed her, she was there.

- throw_away29890

I had to lie about everything growing up. My mother was so strict she tried to control everything from what music I listened to to what friends I could have. Mistakes were not tolerated. Now I'm in my 30s and she doesn't know me at all. I'm more of a distant acquaintance than a daughter.

- flower_goblin

It's also harder for people who grew up like this to form healthy boundaries with risky behavior. You can't properly assess risk if drinking a beer has the same consequences as smoking meth.

- SJ_Barbarian

Let It Go

let it go GIF Giphy

You will always be my child, and I'll always want to take care of you, but you have the right to ask me to let go when you feel the time is right. If you try to make it on your own but fall, call me anyway. I want to be there to catch you.

- nimezs

After all, parents can't drive forever- at some point the kid needs to take the wheel. A parent's job is to make sure the kid is confident enough to ask for help when they need it, they don't need to know everything.

- chessboardknightbard

Abuse And Affection

Whenever another kid is being mean to them, physically or verbally, don't tell your child that the other kid was being mean to them because they like your child. Your child might grow up mistaking abuse for affection.

- chickenstockandchili

Also, explain WHY That behavior is unacceptable, when it's used on TV. Even in 2020, kids shows STILL show the "If he/she is mean, they love you" and tries to justify it. One reason I won't show my littlest relatives the Big Hero 6 cartoon is the issue I have with it's plotline of "Karmi is a bully to Hiro, accuses him of attacking her when he didn't, writes uncomfortable things about him online and posts videos of his failures online - but she has a crush on him so it's 100% okay and not a sign of someone who needs to get her head out of her ass."

Like... that is the entire plotline for those two characters for ages. And it's concerning that, this is a show aimed ultimately at kids. Adults can enjoy it, but it's far from healthy to show to young boys and girls that if someone hurts them/is rude to them, that it's okay. Kids absorb SO much from their media, it's worth being said.

- Storm137

Input Is Important

'I appreciate your input. You won't always be right and what you say won't always change my mind but I still value your opinion.'

Communicate with your kid, most of the time you will know better than they will but at least listen to what they have to say. Remember to also keep an open mind and be willing to compromise.

- Aussieboi393

And, even better, listen to them and actually consider when you might be wrong. And then admit that, too!

- BrilliantBlue22

I grew up hearing this, and this really has made me assertive and confident enough to boldly state my opinions and accept and correct them when I'm wrong.

- frostymoonlight75

Continuous Consent

I've talked about consent very early with my kids (they're 4 and 7 now), and it's honestly super easy to explain and demonstrate in an age appropriate way.

My 4 year old loves being tickled, finds it absolutely hilarious. So we have tickle-fests, and I make a point to stop when he's laughing too hard to talk and ask if he wants me to keep tickling. Toss in a "Okay, I just wanted to make sure you were still having fun! Raaaar, the tickle monster is back!" and boom, now you're modeling checking in and continuous consent. The second he says no, full stop.

They need to politely greet and say goodbye to people (the host if we're visiting friends, plus grandparents, etc), but they do not need to allow physical contact that they don't want. Wave and "bye Ms. X, thanks for having us!", handshake, etc is fine. Absolutely no guilting from people if they don't want a hug or whatever.

Both are super affectionate with their friends (and each other), so I've had plenty of opportunities to remind them to ask before they hug, just because they wanted to hug/ hold hands/ whatever last time doesn't mean they do this time and that's okay, just because that's your sibling doesn't mean you can do whatever you want, etc.

Basically, it's not just a one time "no means no" explanation; I feel like modelling it consistently is really important and sometimes gets overlooked a bit.

This has admittedly led to a few times when my oldest has yelled "I said no! No means no, mom!" At me when I've told her to stop playing or do her homework or whatever, but we're working on the distinction!

- Platypus211


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They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!