What Did Your Parents Teach You That You’d Never Pass On to Your Kids? People Responded.

I was lucky enough to be raised by two people of outstanding character who did their best every day to teach us right from wrong and to always try to do the right thing.

But it’s not that way for everyone out there, obviously.

Some people just end up with parents who pass along the wrong life lessons.

Let’s take a look at stories from AskReddit users who won’t be teaching their own kids the things that they learned from their moms and dads.

1. Don’t be a doormat.

“The most important thing I’ll teach my children is to be good, but don’t be nice.

I’ve been a doormat my whole life just because nobody ever taught me the difference between being a decent person and a doormat.

I’m 30+ and I’m still working on this part of my personality. I don’t want my children to go through this, ever.”

2. Let it out, fam!

“Always cry if you need to.

I spent most of my childhood getting yelled at to stop crying and it really f*cks you up. You grow up internalizing negative emotions and even blow them off which of course doesn’t help.

Also to NEVER be scared to approach me with anything you’re concerned about.

I’m 25 but I still have to lie and keep secrets from my dad cause he would BLOW up or shut me up if I vented to him about anything that dealt with relationships, my mental health, or health related matters (tampon usage, birth control, gyno appointments etc).”

3. Money issues.

“To be afraid of money.

I spent so much of my childhood walking on egg shells because of my mom’s constant anxiety over money.

If I ever asked for anything she’d look at me like I was about to put her into financial ruin.”

4. That’s creepy.

“That you have to be hated because of your dad’s surname, that you belong to “dad’s filthy breed”, that you are a slave to the whole family and world because you are a woman.

And that you must pay with the consequence of not being liked by them by suffering and being their own object.”

5. Don’t show weakness.

“They used to tell me that everything I was doing was wrong, and when I’d apologize, they’d yell at me for being “weak”.

Also, I wasn’t allowed to cry. At all. I was taught that crying anywhere just was annoying, and made you a nuisance.

I still am damaged from thinking all my life that if I cried everyone would hate me forever.”

6. The shame game.

“Shaming me for being overweight but failing to teach me good eating habits.

A lot of the females in my family have a TERRIBLE relationship with food and that is exactly how I was brought up.

My parents would always comment on my weight whenever I started gaining. It took me 26 years to finally have a healthy relationship with food.

I basically had to educate myself.”

7. Hiding it.

“You can like what you like and not feel embarrassed by it.

To this day I still feel like i’m doing something wrong for liking certain things. I’m not hurting anyone or myself. My whole family would never look at me the same way again if they knew what I really liked.

I never want my kids to have that level of fear around me for just enjoying what they enjoy.”

8. What will people say?

“The “what will people say” when you make x decision.

This has prevented me from doing a lot of things in life for myself. If you have Asian parents you will understand this is a big deal because they want their kids to look good to others in the community.

So a lot of our decision making even as adults come at the expense of what will some random person think of me if I do this.”

9. Politics as usual.

“My dad is a pretty great guy, but he always taught us to only vote Conservative.

That certainly wasn’t a great way to foster much meaningful thought about politics.”

10. Stand up for yourself.

“To ignore someone who’s being mean to you.

Or turn the other cheek as they put it. I wish I had learned to stick up for myself. My husband was taught the opposite. It’s ok to hit someone if they threw the first punch.

I would like to teach my children somewhere in between that!”

11. Never grow up.

“That growing up was something to fear and dread.

There was a lot of “Enjoy your chocolate now because when you’re an adult you can’t eat it” “Enjoy watching TV now because when you’re an adult you have to clean all the time, do you ever see me relaxing?”

“I wish I was back at school with my friends all day instead of working a job I hate, you just wait, you will hate your job too” “When you become an adult there’s no nice clothes, just work clothes and home clothes” “Adults don’t have hobbies, so enjoy it while you can”.

Now as an adult I see that these were all choices. I can eat whatever I like. I do not have to clean all day, I do not live in a show-home. I have had jobs that I didn’t like, I made the choice to job hunt and find something else.

I can choose to buy clothes I like and wear th to work and at home. It’s my choice to peruse my interests or not.

I’m often in awe if how easy adulthood is, not because it is, but because it was always presented to me as this mountain of misery and I’ve chosen to eat the chocolate and play my cello instead.”

12. Interesting…

“Clean your plate.

As a registered dietitian I can say that this is hands down the worst thing you can do to your kids eating habits.

It destroys their internal hunger and satiety cues later in life.”

13. Always right.

“Your father is always right.

Even if he is wrong you must still obey him, because he is your father.”

14. Pull yourself up.

“That anxiety and depression are not real health problems.

Spent 26 years with untreated ADHD and struggling in school (and life, if I’m being honest) and spent my entire life thinking I was stupid. Turns out my mother new about it, thought it was fake, and I remained untreated until I was 26.

My psychiatrist was furious when she diagnosed me because she said it was so obvious I have it she doesn’t know why I went so long without treatment. I’m on Adderall 30mg twice a day if that should tell you anything on how bad it is.

First time I took it, it was like a white noise machine I had never noticed before that was sitting in the back of my brain, and had just been turned off. It was so quiet and clarifying.

I finished my first project in over a decade within that week.”

15. Don’t bother.

“My father always said that you should do something perfectly or don’t start at all…

Terrible advice since now I’m a real perfectionist that awaits perfect conditions.

Give it your best but always try would have been way better advice.”

16. Not for everyone.

“”Have kids”.

I have no intention of having kids in the future, no do I have the intention of getting married. My mom always says she hopes I get husband and kids, but its not what I want.

Whenever something happens, like something kid related, she always goes “you’ll understand when you have kids.” “I’m not planning on kids.”

“Thats what I thought before, too”

But honestly, she keeps pushing the idea.”

17. A lot of guilt.

“Guilt trips. All the damn guilt trips.

I hate my mom for trying to guilt rip me so much. She does it so much that I can tell when she is about to so I can point it out which makes her guilt trip me on accusing her of guilt tripping me.

It’s a vicious cycle.”

18. Sorry…

“That parents don’t have to apologize if they are wrong because they are parents. I grew up in a big family and many times one sibling would be blamed for another sibling’s action (both by parents or other siblings).

If I yelled at sibling A for something sibling B did, I would be made to apologize to sibling A. If my mom yelled at me for something sibling A did, after everything was sorted I’d ask “Are you going to apologize to me now?” and she would said “I don’t have to, I’m the adult.”

I have kids of my own now and if I do something wrong, I apologize.”

19. Let it all out.

“My parents taught me not to share my feelings.

It has taken me a long time to be able to do this.

I dont’ want my kids hiding their feelings.”

20. One-sided.

“Never allowing me to tell my side of the story.

When I was getting in trouble most of the time it was my fault or something I could have done about it. But there were times that there was an honest explanation that would have explained the situation and it was always “talking back”.

Just give me a freaking second.”

21. Don’t compare.

“I would never compare my kids to other kids.

Not only did it make me feel sh*tty back then, its made me unnecessarily competitive now and I seem to compare every little thing of mine with other peoples’.”

22. Scare tactics.

“To be afraid of them.

My dad was very extreme in his punishments, looking back his reactions were unreasonable.

He’s still unreasonable now.

We live under the same roof yet I barely talk to him.”

23. Stress is normal.

““There’s no reason to be stressed”

Everyone gets stressed whether it’s something big and life changing or small and inconvenient. Growing up my sister and I always heard “you shouldn’t be stressed about this.

This isn’t a big thing to stress over” and stuff like that. Instead of being taught to manage our stress, we’ve learned to hide it and bottle it up so our parents wouldn’t think we’re dramatic or something.

Instead of teaching kids to “not be stressed” I’d teach them how to manage stress in healthy ways so they can eliminate it or be able to navigate through it easily.”

24. Body image.

“To be overly critical of my own body.

My mom is otherwise wonderful but very insecure about her weight (she’s not overweight at all). I often got comments like “those jeans look cute but don’t gain 5 lbs” and lectures about how I can’t go out around other people without makeup because “what will people think?”

But its unfortunate because she genuinely believes people are judging her that much. She apologizes every time we video chat if she hasn’t put on makeup yet.”

25. Say nothing.

“Never say a word if someone hurts you.

Never object, never protest and if you cry that is your weakness coming through. Don’t cry.

If you speak out when you are attacked you will be attacked twice as hard.

Silence is the only way through to safety.

Say nothing. No matter what.

This advice really, really f*cked me over.”

26. Don’t ask any questions.

“To never question authority/your elders.

If a person isn’t curious and doesn’t think by themselves about reality, they are only a shell of a human and will never fully live their own life.

And it’s a tough thing to learn later in life.”

27. Low self esteem.

“I was always a tomboy growing up but my mom and grandma were very persistent on trying to raise me based off of crazy Asian beauty standards and being a proper girl.

Wouldn’t let me play outside because they didn’t want me to be dark, always forcing me to wear clothes I wasn’t comfortable in, making sure I didn’t play with my male cousins’ games or toys even though I hated playing with dolls.

I honestly think they were afraid I might be lesbian or undesirable to men. 30+ years later they complain that I’m old and worry I’m not married with kids.

It’s because they left me with extreme low self esteem and self confidence which lead me to make horrible choices in relationships.”

28. No crying!

“That crying to them will make things worse, not better.

My parents still tell me that only weak people cry.

Not a huge crier, but it does mess up your ability to process emotions.”

29. We all need some criticism.

“My parents were unconditionally supportive.

Everything I did was the best and perfect and I was a genius.

I will be giving my daughter constructive criticism, because that is how we get better at things.”

30. Your fault.

“That my emotions are their fault.

Growing up my mom would get frustrated with me and then lash out. She would then say something like “I yell because you’re making me so angry!”

No, was just a kid doing kid sh*t, you yelled because you’re not in control of your emotions.

I’ve caught my mom doing this sh*t with my daughter and I call her out on it, You can’t put that sh*t on a kid. I let my daughter know that what she did may have been unkind, or need correcting, but she is not responsible for the emotions of the adults around her.”

31. Pretty much.

“If a boy is mean to you, he likes you.




Now we want to hear from you.

In the comments, tell us your own stories about things you’d never teach your children that were taught to you.

Please and thank you!