People Who Grew up with Criminal Parents Share the Shady Things They Thought Were OK


We’re not all blessed with nice families or law-abiding parents who make it a point to teach us right from wrong at a young age.

Some people grow up in households with less-than-adequate moms and dads – or even with parents who are criminals and instill bad habits in them from the very beginning.

In this AskReddit thread, people who grew up with shady parents reveal what they thought was acceptable but learned later was illegal or frowned upon.

1. Wow, what a story

“I mean, I knew it was illegal, but probably growing all the cannabis when I was a kid.

Dad was gonna die of cancer so he wanted to leave us some money. It was like diet Breaking Bad.”

2. Hide!

“If we were at home and they yelled “PIGS!” We were to hide behind the couch and be silent. If we were in the car and they yelled “PIGS!” We had to crawl into the floorboard and not move a muscle.

I was kidnapped in grade 3 by my dad’s supplier. He held us for 2 days. We had no idea. My sister and I met him before, lots of times. When he showed up at school and said our parents were on vacation and to go with him, we did.

They had soda and oreos and a puppy and a Sega genesis and it was the best weekend of my life. Found out 20yrs later when my mom was complaining about never having had a vacation in her life. I reminded her of that vacation and she said “YOU IDIOT YOU WERE KIDNAPPED”.

Oh. Cool.”

3. Drug dealer

“My blood father was a drug dealer and he often came home with some really nifty stuff. I later found out it was stuff he got from people who didn’t have cash on them but still wanted to buy.

I think the thing I feel most guilty about was a gameboy advance I was given that “we’d either only have for a little while, or have forever” (When he said that, it was usually forever). It had a heap of games with it and I went through and started new games on all of them, erasing the existing save files.

Well he took it back after about a month, so I guess whoever it was paid up, and I feel really sorry for their kid. Mummy or daddy was an addict and used their gameboy advance as collateral and when they got it back, all their saves were gone. I was only a kid at the time and didn’t really know the context in which I was handed the thing, but I know it belonged to a kid since there were quite a few young child learning game cartridges alongside Mario and Pokemon.”

4. Counterfeit

“My Mom and Dad are trained artists and teachers and they would frequently counterfeit things like parking permits, coupons, doctors notes, etc.

It was wild.”

5. A little help?

“Blow into their breathalyzers so they could drive.”

6. Stolen gifts

“My dad was a tow truck driver and he would always bring me little presents as a kid that he got out of people’s tower cars.

As far as I knew if someone knew their car was going to get towed they took everything they wanted out of it and the rest was fair game.”

7. Stealing

“Shoplifting for the most part I mean, like she never made us do it, but she didn’t hide what she was doing either

She’s the reason model homes have cameras now lol.”

8. All in the family

“My family did a lot of petty, trashy crime (shoplifting, theft, domestic assault, drugs, etc).

I thought it was normal for adults to just kinda go to jail every few years for a day or two until I was ten.

Now, my stepdad is out of my life, my Mom is too old/ill to do anything particularly bad, and my dad may have helped finance a district attorney’s election, which has saved him mountains in legal fees for himself and the hookers he frequents.”

9. Didn’t have a clue

“My parents would often get me to answer the phone as a young kid, like 4-5 and older.

Anyways. The people on the phone always asked if ‘Jones Mollusc’ was there. My parents would coach me ‘No Jones Mollusc lives here, you don’t know who that is’ .

Well as a kid I really didn’t have a clue who ‘Jones Mollusc was, because dad was always just dad or went by his nickname.

Didn’t find out for years what my dads real name was.

I guess I helped my parents evade a few debt collectors and god knows what else.”

10. It’s all good

“I used to be told EVERYTHING was ok as long as you don’t get caught.

They kind of said it like a throw away phrase but I really took it to heart.

It gave me a real lack of respect for any authority at all and made it seem more like a game then real life consequences.

I would do illegal sh*t just to get the rush of wondering and whether or not I’d be caught.

Once I was caught I would just shrug and act like their “winning” didn’t bother me. Kinda like their punishment was just them gloating about me getting caught.”

11. The outlaw life

“Drugs! I had no idea they were illegal until I was a lot older then I should have been to understand they’re illegal.

My father was a grower and distributes to a well know MC he was apart of of. We grew up running around pot fields, I slept on a couch most of my child hood because all the rooms had been converted in hydroponic set ups. Our roof space was converted into storage where it was garbage bags of weed (around 100-150 sqm) all stacked on top of each other.

Other stupid sh*t too: Apparently owning unregistered firearms is illegal You need a drivers license to drive a vehicle.”

12. Play dumb

“My dad’s no serious criminal, but petty in every way, including the crime he commits.

I was basically taught to play dumb, act like you belong, and you can do whatever you want.

We snuck into VIP lounges, other people’s buffets and parties at restaurants an events.

He once lied to a ticket taker at a movie theater and got mad when they couldn’t find the tickets he ordered online.

He had not ordered tickets but there was a huge line and he didn’t want to wait.

We got in for free and cut a huge line.

Also cut lines at Disney worlds and other sorts of places.”

13. Faking seizures

“It’s not fair for me to ask you a question without sharing something of my own. My mother was pretty shady. She was a opioid and benzo addict who took me doctor shopping from place to place looking for prescriptions.

She faked seizures and had a rolling list of medical complaints. I don’t know if she believed all of her illnesses were real, but she sure acted like she did around us and medical staff.

She taught me that it was okay to manipulate doctors, but somehow I grew up to be exactly the opposite in that I feel embarrassed and guilty seeking medical care even for a legitimate complaint.”

14. Stories about Dad

“Quite a few things.

Back story: my bio dad was convicted of murder, got away with another murder through claiming self defense (no clue if it was truly self defense), and apparently had a 3rd murder that he never got caught for.

He would steal CONSTANTLY from things from people to things inside stores.

One of my earliest memories is wanting this super cute pink hat. I believe I was around 8. He put it on my head and told me to walk to the car. I remember asking about paying and he said don’t worry just walk. So, little me walks to the outside doors with her heart pounding and then the alarm goes off. I freeze and run back to my dad that was still shopping.

First lesson I can remember I learned? “You just need to keep walking when those alarms go off”

He died a few years back. My brothers and I are decent people. My brother is a great dad, despite who he had as a dad.”

15. Take a souvenir

“My dad is pretty much known for stealing stuff from restaurants. “Taking a souvenir” He would sometimes make little me steal things like ice-skates that we hired, plates from restaurants etc. I needed a few bikes in my life and everytime he got me one it was stolen. I stopped asking when he gave me one with child seats (front and back).

He would always drive drunk when I was with him in the weekends. This drunk drive was from the bar to home. Cause that’s where he took me (10 at the time) and my sister (7 at the time). He even got us “drunk” (one (1) bottle of booze) around this age a few times.

Whenever he asked me if I needed anything he would”find a guy” who has this. Which basically means someone who for a low price sells stolen sh*t.

When he was in fights with his gf he’d just insult her, curse and threaten her. Me and my sister would just sit there. Most times really scared because of all the screaming. (His gf was also very manipulative towards us.)

I luckily was mostly raised by my mom (and myself). Stealing has been ok for me for way too long. Never really received that moral compass. Drinking and driving always felt wrong and I don’t drink that much. Only when I go out like once a month. I hated the fighting so I try to avoid that as much as possible.

But I think I turned out alright.”

Whoa! What’s interesting about all these parents is how open they were with their kids about how corrupt they were. It’s like they wanted to raise criminals.

What do you think about these stories? Have any of your own?

Let us know in the comments!