40 Ridiculous Things Parents Engrained In You As A Child, Shared By This Online Thread
We are all products of our environment, and parents are a big part of it. For better or worse.
A few Mondays ago, Redditor u/i_cant_see_my_ears posted a question on the platform, asking other users what things did their moms and dads ingrain in them as problematic but they later realized were actually ridiculous.
From white lies ("Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis") to questionable social conditioning ("Women can't curse"), here are some of the answers that sparked plenty of intense discussions in the comments.
This is so dumb but just happened last week. I got out of the shower & grabbed a towel & started to dry my hair with it while I stood there cold & dripping wet. I had a flashback to when I was like 10 or something & asked my mom if I could use 2 towels, one to dry/wrap around my hair & the other to dry my body - like all the ladies do on TV. She said no, of course because " something something wasting towels because I said so blah blah blah" . I suddenly realized I'm an adult & this is my bathroom & my towels & I make my own rules. So for the 1st time in my 55 year old life I used TWO towels & it was was wonderful!
Girls take care of babies and kids. Men don’t.
Sometimes I still fall into the trap it’s so ingrained in my brain. I saw a Dad at a party taking his kid to the bathroom for a diaper change and my mind went “he shouldn’t be doing that. Where’s his wife?”. I quickly realized how dumb that was. But it’s so drilled into my head.
We got in touch with u/i_cant_see_my_ears and they were kind enough to have a little chat about the inspiration behind their now-viral post. "I was on lunch break at work and sitting in my truck. I had the interior lights on and randomly thought of when I was younger [and] my dad would freak out if someone turned a light on in the car while driving at night. Thought it was ridiculous and wondered what other things parents teach or do that stick with their kids," u/i_cant_see_my_ears told Bored Panda.
After going through the comments, they think "the biggest thing I learned is that many people have the same or very similar experiences and might not realize it; I read many similar answers.
That I have to finish all my food which is on the plate. Whenever we would eat, at home or in the restaurant my mum would forced us to eat everything on the plate.
If you hate your job you just have to suck it up and make the best of it. Don't complain because you'll be pegged as a troublemaker, and if you quit you'll be seen as flaky and nobody else will hire you.
This nugget has caused more damage to my physical and emotional well being than anything else. You really don't want to hear their views on staying in an unhappy, dysfunctional marriage (they're similar).
Going to church every Sunday or high holiday makes you a good person. It does not.
The number of things each of us has to "unlearn" can vary. But if you had a tough childhood, know that you’re not alone. Turns out, a not-so-ideal upbringing is extremely common.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61% of adults report having at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), with women and People of Color at a higher risk of experiencing more than four ACEs.
"I don't think it's possible to grow up without parents ingraining something nonsensical into their children because there will always be something kids disagree with their parents on at some point," u/i_cant_see_my_ears added. "Parents might think they are teaching their kids something very important but the kids [might not see it that way]. I don't think (good) parents try to teach their kids anything that's not important, just that everyone has different opinions."
The good thing is that we continue to grow and heal throughout our lives, and figure out healthier ways to navigate life as an adult.
Indian food is disgusting. Just had it yesterday for the first time at the age of 27. Maybe the best meal I have ever had.
That I had to take care of everyone else and make sure they were happy before I could be happy.
That women can’t curse or be impolite in the very slightest.
A man is never going to like me if I have a PHD. Men don’t like women who are smarter than them.
Obedience. My dad tried to ingrain in us that the most important thing was being obedient.
Like... no. This taught me to blindly do whatever an authority figure told me to. Luckily I wasn't put into these situations, but this put me at a huge risk for sexual abuse. If an authority figure had told me to do something terrible to be doing with a child, I probably would have done it because that's what I was conditioned to do.
It actually almost happened in high school, and I had no idea what to do because it was a teacher and I thought I had to respect and obey them. So I just avoided the person, but I was so lucky I was able to avoid them and didn't have something worse happen.
I've grown out of it now of course, but teaching kids to blindly accept your authority translates to them thinking that's what they need to do for everyone. And it could be so damaging.
You are supposed to accept abuse from anyone in a superior position to yours : parent, manager … If you don’t then you are a troublemaker and a shame to the family because you rebel. You will never get anywhere in life and end up alone. Be submissive. You are a woman, that’s enough of a sin already.
That long hair and tattoos means you're a problem to society.
That children aren't allowed to show emotions when they're upset at their parents. Doubly so when they're getting chewed out.
My father used to make me wash my hands after greeting/handshaking with my uncle (who is homossexual), like you could "acquire gay through touching". My uncle is a respected surgeon dentist.
I know I was just a child following what my parent was asking me to do, but I still feel a deep remorse to this day for doing something so homophobic and pointless.
If you work hard and go to college you'll get a great job.
What a load of utter nonsense. The first job I had in my industry stressed me out so bad I left entirely.
Putting up with people and going to events because “family.” Yea, I want to keep my sanity, thank you.
A whole bunch of misogyny from both parents, but mostly from mum. The highlights include being told not to play certain musical instruments, not to go into certain professions (only boys can be doctors. You can be a nurse instead), not to whistle as my future husband wouldn’t like it (I was five), not to say ‘I love you’ to other girls (again, five) and the good old lock/key analogy when I was old enough to question why only girls were sl*ts and not boys.
‘Be a man’ ‘boys don’t cry’ ‘men don’t b*tch’
It doesn’t make anyone manlier, it just makes someone repress their feelings and become emotionally incompetent.
Teach kids honesty, and encourage them to say what they think. Also lowers the chances they’ll take their repression out on people, or start punching walls instead of verbalising their needs
My parents always told me that because Canada's social security system is so good that homeless people are only homeless because they are drug addicts or schizophrenic, so you shouldn't give them money.
It wasn't until I was an adult that I learn a) how bad the social security system actually is, b) how hard it is to survive even if you are on government assistance and c) that having an addiction or mental health issue is not a reason why someone should be treated as less than human.
“How can you be both depressed and anxious?!? By their very definition they would cancel each other out anyway.”
Those words are burned into my memory. This was my parents’ response to my therapist’s findings when I had just started middle school and was struggling.
I never saw that wonderful therapist again. They managed to find one that they could agree with, that I should just get over myself and stop being such a child…which I was.
It took me far too long to seek help again.
That cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis. Not true at all.
That I had to fight back my bullies with wit and outsmart them. Yeah no, I had to kick their asses.
That if I share a bed with a man he has full rights to do whatever he wants to me/my body.
That as a girl, I should never be the one to reach out to the guy first, he must be the one to make the effort first. (Ex: if I want to hangout with a boy I like or even simply text him, I need to wait for him to text me or reach out to me first) it really messed up how I talk to guys I’m attracted too, because I’m 23 years old so I can do what I want when it comes to guys but I sometimes still have this mindset.
The crazy thing is now my parents wonder why we don’t even reach out to any guys we are interested in lol
That being gay is a sin. Furthermore, the saying “love the person but hate the sin” when applied to our gay neighbors. I loved them but wasn’t allowed to walk their dog anymore once my parents found out they were gay. This is among many other ridiculous beliefs that came along with their extremist religion.
You catch colds simply by being exposed to cold. For some reason I just never questioned the idea that temperature itself caused viruses, but it's such a ridiculous notion once you think about it
The good ol' "You gotta learn to cook, clean, etc. because one day you'll have to do it for your husband. Do insert random hobby now because your husband won't tolerate it one day. The wife always needs to be less educated than the husband. Etc." They made a relationship with a man sound like servitude where my life is immediately over and after a liferime of telling me that they wonder why I don't want to get married yet
That I need to maintain a positive relationship with people who don't like me.
My parents taught me to be on everyone's good side no matter the cost. In college, we had a serious rift in the friend group. They said that they had hated me all along and only hung out because I'd buy them things. Using my parents advice, I put too much energy into trying to "fix" those who I thought would change their hearts. Now that I'm older, I've realized that trying to fix people who don't care for you is manipulation and it's healthy to be selective about who you associate with.
Hair grows back faster/thicker after you shave it for the first time.
Turning on the interior light in the back seat will cause us to immediately crash and die or go straight to prison.
They used to basically tell me that driving on the highway was extremely dangerous and that I should stick to backroads. Turns out they were just projecting their own fears of cars moving really fast onto me.
For the first couple years of driving / my career I would go only backroads. One summer I got sick of having to drive for over an hour to get to work, and I figured it would be lower traffic then so I gave it a try, it was way easier than taking backroads, and the highways were better maintained than the roads I was used to taking, with far less turns, blind spots, etc. it was way safer and quicker.
That spanking your children is acceptable, and that they were right no matter what. Discussion? What's that?
Now, I never agreed with them, and I frequently didn't know what I did wrong, but I just accepted it as something all parents do. Now, as an adult, I will say with 100% confidence that spanking is always wrong. Got studies to back me up, y'all!
That if you don't like something, just keep your head down and push through.
You have to wait 30 minutes after eating before you go back in the pool, otherwise you'll get cramps and drown.
That growing facial hairs make you a thief, drug addicted and a failure to society. Still wonder how does that even make sense to this day.