People Share Their Parents' Best Advice That Actually Worked Out

We all went through a phase where we thought we knew better than our parents.

It's pretty natural in adolescent life to rebel, and therefore, the things your parents tell you seem trivial or meaningless. But for the most part, we've all been shown up one way or the other by sage words that we should have listened to in the first place.

Reddit user flyoverthemooon asked:

What is something your parents said to you that may have not been a big deal, but they will never know how much it affected you?

Here are some of the most inspiring answers.

A Word A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

When my dad was on his death bed with pancreatic cancer he wasn't allowed to talk. He fought and fought with the nurses so that they would let him say one word to my brother and I. He took off his oxygen mask, looked at us both, and said, "Hey."

It was hilarious. He was the best.

He lay there dying, and fought with nurses to give my brother and I a laugh on a day where our world was falling apart.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.JeanValdong

Take Care Of Yourself

My dad passed away from cancer a few years ago. During his battle I was his sole caretaker. At 19 I was taking care of him, making sure our bills were paid, getting groceries, cooking, cleaning, setting up appointments, and the million other tasks that come with being someone's caretaker.

One day when I returned from running errands, my dad told me he forgot our electric bill was due that day. I casually told him that I had already run a check over while I was out and about. I remember he stopped what he was doing and just turned to look at me and said "You're going to be just fine when I'm gone". That was heartbreaking to think about, but comforting to know he saw my maturity and ability to handle everyday responsibilities. I hadn't felt I was ready to be on my own, but he helped me realize I would be just fine. 8 years later, and I am doing okay on my own, but man do I wish he was here. Happy father day dad. FluffyForce

Try To Remember

When I was 12, nearly 13, my mum took me out on a dinner date to talk to me about puberty, and how much we might hate each other over the next few years.

As part of the evening, she said she had a gift for me. I was pretty super excited. She had teased that it was very special and something I would cherish. So, clearly I thought it would be a Sega Genesis, or maybe a pair of Reebok pumps (... 33 years old, still never had a pair and quite pissed about it).

Instead, she handed me the book "Love you forever" - you know, the children's book.

On the inside she had written "To my darling Jake, love mum. Always remember this".

She died yesterday after a 12 year battle with early onset dementia. I'll be getting "Always remember this" tattooed on my arm next week, traced from her handwriting.vingverm


I went to college about 5 hours away from where I grew up, and the first two years there I didn't have a car. My dad, who commuted probably 2+ hours a day (I grew up in Northern Virginia) every work day for a lot of his working life, drove down 5 hours to come pick me up so that I could come home for some holiday usually. This is when we would have our talks.

At the time I was a college sophomore struggling with what direction I wanted to go in terms of major and career. I've always been pretty intellectually capable but never had a career that just beckoned me, or made me feel passionate. But I went to college anyway, since that's what you're supposed to do if you have the money and the capability. As an upper middle-class millenial I now realize this is not an unusual feeling at all. I ended up majoring in history and anthropology.

My dad is a baby boomer who grew up dirt poor and worked at a 7-11 to get himself through college and law school. I just remember coming at him with a question about what I should pursue and he put it to me like this:

"Well, there's two ways. First you either you find something you love to do, or second find something you love and work to support it."

I took this in for a moment, and asked which one he did.

"I do the second one."

I asked what he was supporting, with the naievete only a 19-year-old can muster.

He chuckled. "You."

That just flipped my perspective on everything and made me feel a lot better about being sort of lost. I knew I'd figure it out, and that life would push me where I needed to go when I needed to go there.

He's still around. I should tell him.wiseass781

Non-Wicked Stepmother

"i might not have given birth to you, but you are mine. You were mine from the day I met you. I loved you the second I saw you. Nobody can change that." This came from my stepmother a couple years ago. I met her when I was 13, and I'm almost 21 now.

It meant a lot because she was the first strong, consistent mother figure I ever had. She knows that was a nice thing to say, but i don't think she knows quite how much it meant to me. I don't think she will ever know how much I love and respect her for who she is. StormTheParade


This is really insignificant but made a big impact on my relationship with my mother. I was about 4 (I have a surprising amount of memories from when I was little) and I was coloring on one of those art easels for kids and my mom was cleaning the house. I asked her if I could draw on myself and she surprisingly said yes. So of course I took my markers and just went to town coloring my arms and stomach and legs. She came into the room to find me and flipped out that I had done this. I thought I was in big trouble so I started crying and I said "But you told me I could!" To which she responded, "You're right I did. I thought you meant on the paper though. That was my fault, let's get you cleaned up." And I wasn't in trouble at all. That was the day I realized adults aren't just there to punish you and that my mom was fair and understanding. To this day that's one of my favorite qualities of my mom and makes for a solid relationship. wrud4s

Mom Forever

When I was little and my mother was still alive, her and my father seemed to always be getting into fights. Even after she was diagnosed with cancer, gone through multiple surgeries, and fought back her estimated date of death 5 years, was essentially braindead, and died, my father STILL harassed her. Besides calling her a stupid bitch and saying he hoped she would just die already, one memory of him really stuck with me.

One time during the summer, we had a storm and the power went out. My mother had just begun to enter her final stage of life, and was on an oxygen machine and bed ridden. She was unable to move, hear, see, or smell, but if she was conscious, she could still feel us. My father turned on the generator, but sent power to our basement (where he always smoked). Confused, we asked him why our mother's oxygen machine wasn't powered. "We have oxygen tanks, so i may as well enjoy myself."

We had one oxygen tank, with hardly enough air for two hours. It was for emergencies such as moving her to a hospital. Not wait for the power to come one, which, living in the country, would take days sometimes.

But the line that makes me look in the mirror everyday and do reality checks is before my mother was even diagnosed. I was 5, and at this point, I wasn't aware of all the fighting. I remember my mother walked into my room one day, and sat down on the bed with me. She asked me what I was doing, and I was playing Pokemon Fire Red, the first videogame she got me. She held my hand said that she loved me. "Please don't ever be like your father. Please respect women, and love your children. Know that I may not always be around, but I will always love you and support you. Even if I think you're wrong, I'll help you. But please, be different than your father."

As she lost her speech, the last words she spoke was to me. I walked out of the kitchen through her room to say goodnight (it was 12am). She grabbed my hand and lipped "sit down". I held her hand for what felt like an eternity when she finally managed to say the first thing in 3 days, and the last thing in her life.

"I feel so bad for you. I'm so sorry I'm leaving."

I love you mom. Awesomizer20

Swan Dive

I'm a high strung person but when I was a child, my dad looked me dead in the eyes and said "be like the swan. They glide through the water and look calm and cool, but if you were to look below you'd see their feet frantically kicking. Don't let them see you sweat, but work hard." I didn't think it made an impact but people tell me often that I come off very organized and calm while inside my inner monologue is a constant scream. Thanks, dad! doremifasodone

Stay Gold

"Be good to each other," was the last thing my father said to my mother and I before he went into the surgery from which he would eventually die. I think he meant for my mother and I to be good to each other, but I try to remember this every day and apply it to every interaction I have with people.

My father was the salt of the earth, a selfless man who was the perfect example of how to treat others, and I can only hope to lead my life based on his actions and words. Aldo24Flores

Liars, Liars

I have a good one! One of my first memories was the time I lied to my mom about something. She patiently explained why it was not good to lie and something people should never do. Later that evening the phone rang and my big sister ran to answer. My mom was watching tv or something and called from the other room "If that is [name I forgot] tell her I am at the store!" That was a bit of a WTF moment for me. weedful_things

Sole Of Life

When I was decently young we saw this movie about a magic toy maker or something, not sure what it was called. But one of the plot elements was that he was like 300 years old and that when he was young he bought several pair of leather shoes "enough to last him his whole life" and every time he wore through the soul on a pair he took out another one and he was apparently on his last pair. So towards the end of the movie he gets sick and is in the hospital and the camera pans out to the foot of his bed where you see the bottoms of his shoes and the souls are completely worn through, and so he dies soon.

Anyway, a couple weeks later I had gone to a basketball game with my dad and noticed on the back of the ticket there was a coupon for a free gallon of windshield wiper fluid if our team won. And I wanted to go claim our free gallons but my dad said he had enough windshield wiper fluid to last the rest of his life. And after he said that I went upstairs and started crying, not because I thought his life was actually tied to wiper fluid, but because it was the first time I had really considered my parents mortality, and I hated the thought that they would die someday. Probably seemed like a really innocent thing to say (and it was) but I feel like realizing your parents aren't immortal is a big moment in your childhood. thumpas

A Happy Ending

It wasn't actually anything that she said.

My mom had breast cancer when I was a kid. I mean, its breast cancer though so - there was always an overlying feeling of "we'll get through this, it's success rate is so high." But of course it's still scary.

When my mom started going through chemotherapy, I kept asking her how she still had so much hair, because even at ten years old I knew what was supposed to happen. She just kept brushing it off as her dads thick hair genes.

Probably a month or two through, I woke up for school one morning - which was very unusual for me. My mom always woke me up, and it was still pretty early so I decided to do something nice for her and maker her some coffee eggs and toast.

Right when I opened the door I saw her facing a mirror drawing on eyebrows and I nearly dropped everything I had because she was entirely bald. Pale. Thin. Bruised. My mom turned around shocked to see me and I couldn't take it. I set the food down on the floor and ran away like a stupid kid, and heard my mom start crying. I ran back up and apologized and said I was just startled.

It took me a bit to realize that she was going out of her way each morning getting up an hour before she normally had to just to protect me from what the cancer was doing to her. She didn't want me to see that side.

After that realization, I can't help but love my mother so much more.

I love you mom. I'm gonna go call my mom now. She's awesome. Slemo

If At First You Don't Succeed

Two incidents where the responds was the same.

I was probably twelve and tried to cook for the first time. I burned my eggs and I was expecting my dad to be angry that I had wasted food. But he casually threw it in the trash and said.

"It's alright, just try again."

I learned that sometimes you have to make mistakes to succeed.

Another one was when I was probably fourteen. I was a bit hyper and heavily into martial arts. I was in the kitchen and doing kicks when I lost balance and knocked a glass of the counter. Felt really embarrassed and again thought that my dad would be upset but he just asked me if I had stepped into any splinters and then cleaned up my mess.

He doesn't remember any of this but it's strange how often I go back to those moments when someone messed up and I try to be calm and understanding. SirPineappleKing

Dust To Dust

When my father was dying he told me that as he was leaving this life he had become aware of what was important and what was not. He said that all he owned, his professional success and other things people prized were just "ashes and dust". He said the three things that were of value and that he would take with him were the love he shared with people, the services he performed for them and what he had learned and experienced.

He then reminded me that one day I would be in his same position so if I wanted to look back at that moment on a life without regrets, then I should focus on what I would see as important when I am on my death bed.

That one conversation had shaped my life for the last 40 years. shadowjack00

Drive The Bus

"Your life is like a bus. People will get on, people will get off. Some people will stay on forever. Other people will be there for a short time and then leave. And sometimes you just need to kick someone off your bus" EvilAbdy

I'll Love You Forever

When I was small, my mom and I would read together every night before bed. One night when I was maybe 5, we read a new book: I'll Love You Forever. It's written from the mom's point of view as her kid grows up and does exasperating things (ruins her favorite watch, stays out late with friends, etc). Each time, the mom says, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." The last page is written from the adult son's point of view as he gently takes care of his senior mother, and he says the same thing his mom always said, but says "mommy" instead of "baby". My mom cried reading it to me, and I didn't understand why until I got older and realized she was imagining all the stages of life she would go through with me and my brothers. I'm an adult now, and thinking of it still makes me teary-eyed.daftpepper

Call When You Need Me

When I was pretty young my mom once told me "Never feel embarrassed about asking for a ride home" in regards to not being sober enough to drive. Years later I'm leaving a friend's house and I make it about 1 block before I can literally hear my mom's voice in my head as I'm driving and thinking to myself, "Man I don't want to call my BF to come get me after I told him I wouldn't need a ride." Immediately pulled over and called him. 10/10 would do it again. ours_de_sucre

Love Is Stronger Than Life

My mother died of cancer when I as about 12. She had fought for a long time and finally reached the point where we had to come to terms that she was going to die. She was supposed to go into hospice care so I didn't know that when I visited her in the hospital it would be the last time I would talk to her. The last thing she said to me was when I was getting a hair cut.

I spent the night at a close family friend's house that night. My friend's father woke me up late at night and told me my mom had passed. He and my father were both there when she passed. He said she had him promise that he would look after me and my father. Her final words were "Tell (my father and me) I will always love them."

It really impacted me. My mother was in pain, dying of cancer, and she spent her last moments worried about my father and I. Since then, I've tried to live that selflessness out in my own life. I try to make her proud every day. robfrizzy

Love Thyself

"Don't compare yourself to your sister. You two are both amazing in your own right."

I struggled with living in the shadow of my sister's academic prowess. All the teachers knew who she was and expected me to be the carbon copy of her. I put so much pressure on myself to be just as good and my mom saw me struggling and said this to me one day. It took awhile, but I finally realized that I am my own person with qualities that are unique to me and make me a good person. Onescoopofmayo


Something my Dad told me that's always stuck with me.

Once we were driving to pick up my stepmom, I was around eleven or twelve. (For reference my Dad used to be a bank manager before he retired) He told me about a customer he had a few year back that had immigrated to Canada and after working several different jobs he decided he wanted to open his own business. Now according to my Dad this guys credit wasn't super stellar but it wasn't awful but his business idea was considered high risk. My Dad told the man the bank couldn't give him a loan and the guy was distraught. He begged and pleaded swearing up and down he would be successful and pay back the money. Now this was back before everything was done with computers and your loan was actually accepted or denied by a person. So my Dad told the man he'd do what he could. Couple days later my Dad called the man and told him he approved the loan and the man was ecstatic. Fast forward a few years and the mans business is booming, as well as several others he started up. He's one of the banks best customers.

After telling me this story he pulls the car over and looks me in eyes and says "I approved that man because I saw something in him. He had what you call good character, and having good character is more important than money." ownNfools

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