Stories of teenage stupidity, we all have them. The flood of hormones, a strong desire to carve out your own identity, and poor decision making skills is a recipe for disaster...and hilarity.

Back in the early 2000's though we were of course the cool ones though. With our *extra wide leg* jnco jeans, black lipstick, snarky t-shirts, and spiked accessories we were just “so totally unique". Anyone who dared mention that maybe 20 pounds of denim, spikes, and poorly done makeup wasn't the most flattering was definitely a “normie" who just didn't understand...

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Image by Kathy Bugajsky from Pixabay

Remember when you were a kid, and you had that one top secret thing that you never told your parents? Well trust me, they knew what was up. Like, I may have told my dad that I was going out for a “midnight walk” when I was 17, but I was actually going out to hook up with someone from my drama class. He found out the truth really quick.

Parents always know, my friends. They may act like they don’t to avoid your embarrassment, but they see everything. Keep that in mind next time you think you’ve successfully covered up that hickey with concealer.

U/BinaryPeach asked: Parents of reddit, what secret do your kids think they've kept hidden from you for years, but you actually know the truth?

When you’re a little kid, sometimes covering up the truth can be a cute attempt at being a good kid. That changes real quick when you get older.

​Imaginary friends are real!

My poor sweet kindergartener confessed with tears in his eyes that his imaginary friend wasn't real. That he'd never been real. That he'd been lying.

I had a hard time keeping a straight face as he poured his heart out about the guilt that had been eating him alive for being a "lying liar who lied to his mom." Then I hugged him and fessed up that I knew.

We talked about his friend's baby brother who was almost 3 and had an imaginary friend Mickey Mouse.

Did he really think this baby was playing with Mickey Mouse when he had to go grocery shopping with his dad while his big brother played on the trampoline with my son? Did he think this little guy was a bad person for saying he and Mickey Mouse had ice cream and played games in his magic house just because he was jealous about not being able to stay and play?

We talked about how he created his imaginary friend when he was only 2. How he uses his imaginary friend to talk about things that were bothering him. Like when his dad went out of town for 3 weeks and he was scared he wasn't coming back and afraid his dad left because he broke some stuff while playing.

Oh how he squirmed to realize I knew he had been talkimg about himself and not his imaginary friend's family!

Anyways, it was a good talk. He seemed to realize it was okay to talk about uncomfortable or scary things using an imaginary friend and that I wasn't deceived or mad about it.

Since then, the imaginary friend has shown up a few times. Like when it got a love letter from a girl at school the same age and didn't love her back. Or when the "purple cat" saw another kid eat a bug on the playground and wasn't sure if he wanted to still be friends anymore.


Definitely didn’t know that at all.​

Detective Pikachu Reaction GIF Giphy

Good to see my mum didn't know about me playing Pokemon when I was supposed to be asleep.


How else are we gonna catch those night-only Pokémon like Hoothoot?!


Three year olds, man.

My three year old tells me she washed her hands after going to the bathroom... She can't reach the faucet on her stool.


Right? My 3 year old clearly thinks I know nothing. My favorite is when he poops his pants and then denies it....


I think every person who has ever been a teenager has lied about something at some point. And typically they aren’t so lucky in getting away with it.

​At least he confessed....eight years later.

Our son stole money from our wallets when he was 14. We had two other kids old enough to be able to do that, but we knew it was him. He's 22 now and asked him recently. He confessed and was shocked that we knew.


Nana stayed quiet.

Mothers Day Mom GIF by A24 Giphy

When my mom was 16, she had a night job and a boyfriend. She would sometimes say she was going to work when she'd actually go to her boyfriends house. Her mom knew. Nana sat on that for 40 years.


My grandmother still enjoys pulling stuff like this on my mom and her siblings.

It's always fun to watch a 60 something do the "MOM!" with the shocked-teenage face on.


Every teen has snuck out.​

Not a parent but I am one of 10 kids. My younger brother got busted for sneaking out of the house. And hard core (by my parents standard) punished. Mom made him check in with location tags every hour and he wasn't allowed out past a certain time. He was 17 or so.

I had to sit my parents down and tell them that all 6 of us older siblings had also snuck out and they were being completely unreasonable. They'd had no idea.


​This ended up being wholesome.

When I started dating my now wife. We were not at the age to legally drink, I worked at a liquor store and my friends older brothers may have accidentally left some liquor around. Well my GF had never had anything other than a small dixie cup of champagne at new years ago I happened to have a half bottle of Burnett's grape vodka that I "snuck" into her house when we thought her parents were sleeping. Like 10 years later we find out they happened to look out the window to see if it was snowing and saw me grab it out of my trunk. We thought we got away with it 100% and just became a good laugh.

Ironically though, both of my wife's siblings had their first alcoholic drink because of me and my wife, mainly because they trusted us to not let them go over board when they were going to college age.


​There are those special, well thought out lies that are so creative, that sometimes parents will just go along with it due to being impressed. I hope my kids are this smart.

​I would do it too for a cute cat.

sitting close up GIF by Real Food RN Giphy

I was the kid. I have always loved cats, and couldn't stand to see unloved cats. I brought home a lot of kittens and cats over time, to the point that my mom told me I wasn't allowed to bring any more home, no joking.

So one day, many moons ago, I at about 10 yo went to the Pike Place Market in Seattle and was wandering around when I came across a guy with a box of kittens. I knew I couldn't bring home a kitten, but I fell HARD for this little black and white kitten. I think I spent an hour trying to figure out how to convince my mom I HAD to have this kitten, and came up with... as I was walking home from the bus stop, a car drove by and someone tossed a box out in front of me. I of course checked it out, and lo and behold, a helpless kitten! Obviously I couldn't leave it on the side of this busy road, so I had to bring her home!

Mom let me keep her after interrogating me for a while, and I loved my Bootsie so much while she was with us ( she had a seizure disorder and didn't live long).

About 15 years later, my mom told me she knew I was lying the whole time, but it was such a creative lie, she felt I should be rewarded for.


Well, not all of them can be as clever....

When I was a kid I used to keep a pretty elegant glass bong on my night stand and I would place fake flowers in it to make it just look like a vase because I just underestimated my parents that much. It's crazy how great you think you are as a teenager. lol. But my parents totally knew and just thought I was an idiot for thinking I was so clever.


That sounds really tasty actually.

My son thinks he is slick and got away with drinking some of my salted caramel moonshine. I know he snuck a shot or three. I'm okay with it. He's 17 and responsible, smart and an amazing kid. A smidge of moonshine isn't a huge deal.


Remember kids, if you think you’re getting away with something, nine times out of ten, your parents are twelve steps ahead of you. Just a heads-up, thank me later.

But thank goodness for the parents who love us anyway, no matter what stupid hijinks we get into.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It can be easy to presume that parents and their children get along automatically.

But unfortunately, that is so far from the truth. There are SO many fraught, toxic, and already-destroyed relationships between children and their parents.

Of course, no parent sets off hoping it gets to that point. But sometimes the external circumstances, the other adults in the child's life, or the internal tendencies of that person--who is an autonomous individual--simply drive a wedge that, for parents, is impossible to surmount.

Some Redditors who are involved in a toxic parent-child relationship shared how it got there.

TheHeyHeyMan asked, "Parents who dislike their own children; why?"

A common thread was the negative response that many parents have to their children reliving their own flaws and struggles.

Many parents evidently treat child-rearing as a chance to perfect all the things that went wrong in their own lives. And when that doesn't happen, the all-too familiar person can be difficult to accept.

Churning Out Duplicates

"Probably because they're too much like me. I like to think that as a parent part of my job is to eliminate my foibles by helping my children be better than me. My failure as a parent instead has been to create copies; what I dislike about them is also what I hate about myself."

"Sometimes the harder you try the bigger you fail."

"P.S. I love my children."

-- Canadabigjack

 A Flawed Approach

"Because after his mom died , I stopped disciplining him. I thought if I gave him everything I never had ; coolest clothes , shoes, toys , dirt bikes, game consoles etc would make me a good parent. I was wrong."

"He's about to turn 18 and i can't even stand to be in the same room as him. He's manipulative, mean, arrogant and condescending. And it's all my fault."

-- dakipsta

Projecting Onto a Clone 

"I am not a parent, but a child who is not loved. Everything is quite ordinary, I just resemble my father, both in appearance and character, so my mother considered this a great reason for physical violence and discrimination among other 'right' children."

"As a result, my mother and I do not communicate, she abandoned me at the age of 12. The last thing I heard was, 'you should be grateful that I put up with you until you were a teenager.' Thank you for doing your job. Thank you, you disgusting person."

-- Siberia_Veronika

The Last Person He Wanted Recreated

"I hate my daughter bc she has all the bad characteristics of her mother and none of the good ones."

"She's mean, aggressive, demanding, she hits her classmates, gets violent when she doesn't get what she wants, yells loudly to overpower anyone around her when she can't use physical violence. She breaks things that aren't hers. She actually looks down on everyone around her; it's crazy, you can actually see it. She's six."

"....obviously, I am not the one who raises her. She's got a hard life ahead of her. Poor girl."

-- FBreath

People Explain The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them On Their Birthday

Others were more puzzled by the person their child turned out to be. These parents could not understand how, given the upbringing they provided, their child could ultimately be so unkind.

Choosing a Different Version of Community 

"He has no conscience. He has brutalized people over rumors, you could watch him steal something, catch him with it, and he would lie. He ended up shooting someone."

"He grew up with an upper middle class suburban family that no one had ever even been arrested. My wife and I come from good families, he had so many aunts uncles, grandparents, cousins who all supported and loved him. He could have gone to college for whatever he wanted."

"He chose to join a gang. Then we found out he tells everyone he turned out this way because his mother beat him and I was always passed out drunk (neither are at all true.)."

"I can't deal anymore. It put me in the mental hospital multiple times."

"I just had to write him out of my life."

"His brother had a great childhood and is pursuing his Doctorate."

-- middleagethreat

Too Late to Turn it Around?

"I'm not a parent but my uncle and aunt really hate their son because he's accomplished nothing in life and is a complete failure but still has an ego higher than the Mount Everest."

"He's always mean to everyone."

-- 6Butcher6

An Eternal Mystery

"My sister and I - who were well behaved and successful - never understood why we were borderline neglected while my piece of sh** brother was showered with praise and love."

"Oh well. I don't treat my kids that way."

-- ACatNamedScrambles

A Whirlwind Debacle

"He did terrible in school, became a drug dealer, squatted in a house owned by the family, decided it'd be a good idea to start a METH LAB in the basement of said house, and then hired a crappy tv lawyer to blackmail us into selling the house back to him!"

-- WesternAd9143

Growing Pains

"I can say there was a brief period in time where I disliked my youngest. I need to say I loved him and would have given up my life life for him but I did not like him. He was preteen and was trying to test the limits of our parenting and would question and/or resist EVERYTHING!"

"It was a trying time but now (17) he is probably my best friend and we enjoy being together and working on project around the house."

-- Jimmy_Graphite

Others discussed the ways external circumstances--particularly around the birth of the child--that played into growing dislike as they grew up.

Cannot Accept What Happened 

​"my mother wanted a boy, had one before me but it was a miscarriage, i was conceived a year after, i was an early delivery, she was in coma for 2 weeks and after that she did not take me or touch me or look at me or even fed me for days."

"my dad took care of me and looked after me. she still curses me and wishes it was a boy"

-- Powerful-Slice-9

The Product of Infidelity 

"My father was sober for 18 years before I was born, then only started drinking again once my mom got pregnant with me. This eventually led to my father cheating, and my parents getting divorced. Since my birth was technically to blame for this, both of my parents despise me."

"I'm not old enough to move out of my mom's house yet, so I'm spending just about every day hiding in my room, making as little noise as possible, and trying to bother as few people as I can."

-- HexagonPenis

Arm's Length 

"My mother does not like me because she never got attached to me at birth. A year before my twin sister and I were born, our parents had triplets who all died after a few days. Untreated trauma followed. I was born nearly suffocated and poorly, so my mother, wanting to protect herself from more trauma, never attached to me. She did however to my twin sister who was born healthy and thrived."

"Years went by and this initial lack of attached turned into resentment or dislike during my childhood because by the time we were eight years old, our parents were divorced, and I physically resembled my dead-beat father. This only worsened during my teenage years as I was beginning to act up years of neglect and became depressed. She disliked the signs of her own doing neglectful parenting and lack of love in me. I remind her of that."

"Ever since we have pretended to get along, but the relationship is never really there. I am a mother of two myself now and have taken all of this on board trying to do better. I am also trying to understand her. That ultimately this was not her fault."

-- TiinaWithTwoEyes


"My dad didn't like me for some reason. I asked him several times but never got an answer. He loved my older brother (the prodigal only boy), and he lavished on my two younger sisters. I need to add that my dad was married 3 times, and we have different mothers (my younger sisters are both from his 3rd marriage)."

"My mom said that he wanted her to have an abortion, my mom was the one that also initiated the divorce, whereas his 1st marriage he initiated, so my mom also thinks that she hit his ego pretty bad with that. I look like my mom, so that could be a factor too. He died March 2019, so I'll never know, but it affected me greatly."

"Parents, don't let your children know that you don't like them, it's a horrible feeling. The kids didn't ask to be here, you were the parent, their actions reflect your parenting (or lack there of)."

-- marcybelle1

Others had some fun with the prompt.

A Mastermind

"He's a vindictive and conniving prick, that's why. His first birthday is next week and I have scant hope that he'll change his ways."


-- Southern_Snowshoe

Still Working Out the Kinks

"He is a 12 year old with no concern for personal hygiene and also manipulates me with the best hugs."

"Wash your feet you disgusting brat."

-- redseaurchin

There's no question about it, this was a very depressing list to read through. But hopefully there are some lessons we can glean from these posts.

Maybe you surmised a way to make sure you don't do the same thing if you already have or plan to have kids.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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