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Don’t Try This At Home: When Parenting Lessons Backfire

Justyne Lee

There’s something about telling a kid, “don’t do that,” that makes them want to do it more. Some parents find their teaching techniques are just a game of trying to avoid being outwitted by their children. Trying to teach little children why they shouldn’t eat sand or fart at the dinner table can be a battle, but at the end of the day, both parents and children learn something new. The proof is in all of these stories people shared on Reddit about the lessons they were supposed to learn as kids, versus what they actually learned.


1. Lesson on Lady Parts

My sister-in-law has a four-year-old daughter who was asking her tons of questions about her own vagina so she taught her all the different parts. Two days later while in the grocery store, the daughter starts screaming at the top of her lungs, “LAAAAAAABIA, I HAVE LABIA!!!!”

trowayit

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2. Just Follow the Yellow Brick Road

My mother once threatened to leave me in a parking lot because I refused to stop playing in the snow piles. So, she pulled out of the spot with the plan to just circle the lot and scare me to teach me a lesson about not listening. Well, I started walking home up the highway. She circled around, couldn’t find me, and freaked out.

She finally found me walking up the road about a mile away. I think I was about 11/12.

mnmbrat401

3. Didn’t Raise a Quitter

We were about to go on a fairly long hike. My dad forcefully told my six-year-old brother and two-year-old me that, “No one is getting carried out of here!!” Just over halfway through, my dad is huffing and puffing, and sits down to rest. Two-year-old me marches up to him, slaps him across the face, and says, “No one is getting carried outta here!”

nickel197

4. Strict Supervision

My 10-year-old asked about sex because he heard it at school so the wife and I had an age-appropriate discussion with him. We informed him that it’s something that men and women do when they are in love and want a child. He then got angry accusing us of having sex even when we don’t want more children. My wife and I couldn’t be in the same room without him for about a month after that day.

If we were sitting on the couch together, he’d had to sit between us like our chaperone.

Hubey808

5. 3 Outta 3 Ain’t Bad

When we were kids, my mom thought it’d be a good idea to teach my brother and me that gambling was bad by buying us scratch-offs at the store. The idea was that we’d think it’s a waste of money with no reward. She got a $1 scratch-off for each of us. I won $4 on mine. My brother won $20.

hnnvs

6. By the Book

I read a book that suggested that you ask your kid what an appropriate punishment for misbehaving would be and then carry it out. My six-year-old son pinched his brother or something, so we asked what an appropriate punishment would be. His reply was so disturbing I’ll never forget it. He said, “pluck out my eyeballs and throw me over a cliff?”

We didn’t follow through and stopped reading parenting books.

Mungobrick

7. Inception Game

When I was around 12, my father suspected that I stayed up late playing videogames even though I didn’t. One night he went into my room and told me that I shouldn’t play my Game Boy Advance past bedtime because I needed to rest. That’s when I realized I could play my Game Boy Advance past bedtime and I’ve suffered from insomnia since then.

Monfo

8. Sticky Accident

When my youngest niece learned about calling 9-1-1, she made a false call, but the cops were pretty cool about it. They stormed in thinking it was serious much to the mortification of my sister-in-law, but soon the truth came out that it was a toddler who called them. They sat her down and had a long talk with her explaining to her that calling 9-1-1 should only be for an emergency like when people are hurt. Once she seemed to understand, they gave her a sticker of a police badge and left. What a mistake.

Her interpretation: Call 911, get a sticker.

LearnedButt

9. Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

A friend of mine was trying to teach his son not to hit his daughter, so any time the son hit the daughter, he started hitting the son in the head. He didn’t hit that hard, but enough to hopefully jog some sense of empathy. What really happened was that the son would cover his head with one hand and smack his sister with the other.

Hartastic

10. Get Yourself Something Pretty

When my daughter was young, I was trying to teach her the value of money and decided to start giving her an allowance. She had a few tasks to do around the house and afterward on the weekends before we would go out, I’d give her 5$. I explained that because she helped out and did her chores, she had earned money to spend on whatever she wanted.

She happily accepted and stashed her money in her room. I thought nothing of it. Later that evening before I tucked her into bed after reading to her, she goes to her money jar, pulls out $2, and hands it to me, and explains that it’s for being a good daddy.

Tsquaredp

11. Family Formalities

My aunt and uncle were trying to teach my cousin manners and wanted him to address people as Mr. and Mrs. They used each other as examples and consequently were known as Mr. and Mrs. for about two months. One of the funniest moments of my life was hearing my uncle describe how in the middle of the night instead of “dad” he started hearing “Mr. Smith!”

AphrodesiacBirds

12. Risk Factor

My youngest boy would never listen and he was always totally fearless. He was also always really lucky. Nearly every time either of us told him, “don’t do that, you’re going to get hurt,” he would do it and then not get hurt. So, we ended up inadvertently teaching him that when we said not to do something that probably meant it was a fun thing to do.

I remember really hoping that he would fall and break an arm or something non-life-threatening or disabling like that so he would stop constantly giving us heart attacks, which is weird to say as a parent, but it never happened so it doesn’t matter anyway. He never got anything worse than a small scrape or cut that could be cleaned and covered in five minutes before he was back at it again.

Looking back, I’m just glad this was before there weren’t any movies or TV shows where they do stupid stunts for fun around to further encourage that behavior. Now he’s a stunt man for movies. I can’t say I’m surprised.

Zarokima

13. Help Unrecognized

When I was about 2 years old, my family went to watch a game at the Angels Stadium. My mother went to the restroom and left my siblings and me with my dad. While he was busy watching, I wandered off. When they eventually found me, I was halfway around the stadium. A crowd had gathered to watch as a police officer held me out at arm’s length while I screamed, “Call the police, this man is not my daddy,” over and over again.

My parents had taught me stranger danger but forgot to teach me what police look like.

ghode

14. Work to Live

I wanted to teach my son the value of money and work ethic because he kept wanting Robux. I decided it would be a great teaching moment and a win-win opportunity as he was just getting to the age where I thought he should start doing chores around the house. He really wanted to buy some skin or something, so I created a chore chart and gave each chore a value.

We established a schedule and everything. It was working out majestically every day.  Without asking, he was doing dishes, cleaning his room, picking up the dog poop, it was epic. Then one day, I came home and nothing had been done. I asked him “Hey man, what’s up with the dishes? Oh, and go pick up the dog poop too.” He simply replied, “Nah.” Fighting back rage, I simply said, “Excuse me?”

He told me that he made enough money over the last X days that he bought his skin and he was good now. It was hard to argue.

dgmilo8085

15. Wasn’t Me

As a child, I noticed my sister was writing her name on the walls when she was drawing on them with crayon. Taking on the role of Helpful Big Sister, I informed her if she was going to graffiti things, she shouldn’t write her name and give herself away. A few weeks later, she was carving patterns into the wooden desk in the study and carved my name into it instead.

Permalink

16. Backhanded Compliment

I taught my now 16-year-old to always compliment people who insulted you. We were in a Burlington Coat Factory in Michigan when my mother was shopping for a bathing suit to take to Florida. There were few to choose from so she was complaining. A woman trying on pants and said something rude to my mom who was asking my opinion and my then four-year-old daughter caught on that my mother was agitated.

She squeezed out behind me and told the woman, “Your teeth are such a pretty yellow!”

berthejew

17. Top Secret Slip-Up

When I was 11, I called the FBI because I felt I had information on a criminal and when the FBI answered, I got spoked and hung up. The FBI called back and my mom answered the phone to someone saying, “Hello this special Agent Kim with the FBI, and I believe your son just called us.” That’s not a call you want from the FBI at 2 AM about your 11-year-old son who last you saw was in his room going to sleep several hours before.

I sat in my room waiting for my parents to call for me and they did. They were not pleased that I had called the FBI without speaking to them first.

cohengoingrat

18. If You Say So

The 2-year-old I nannied was refusing to wear her hat. It was hot. I told her if she didn’t put on her hat, she would have to wait in the car. She started walking away from me and when I asked where she was going, she said, “the car.”

wisteriahaze

19. What Are the Chances?

I tried teaching my son that playing carnival games is a waste of money. He wanted to spend his $20 to win a Pikachu stuffed animal from his allowance that he saved up. We told him he would be wasting his money and he would not win. He spent $15.00 and won the biggest prize.

adonisgq1

20. #NoFilter

As good people, we taught our kids that littering isn’t nice. As humans, we also let some curse words fly in front of them. We were at our city’s 4th of July celebration when the oldest was four. We were walking around and someone tossed their trash on the ground. Captain Litterbug flew into action, picked up the trash and yelled, “Hey jerk, you dropped this,” while tapping them on the butt.

pedantic_dullard

21. Fair Rebuttal

I’ve been teaching my kids that life isn’t always fair. Then I was playing tic tac toe with my youngest. She covered up the column she wanted to use to win. When I told her that cheating isn’t fair and I didn’t want to play if she was going to cheat, she reminded me, “Life isn’t fair, momma.” Touché, kiddo.

miseleigh

22. All Liquored Up

My dad would tell my nephew to say, “whiskey,” while taking pictures because he hated smiling. When he tried cheese, it wasn’t the same. Anyway, at school, the principal was taking a picture of the class and tells everyone to say “cheese!” My nephew very loudly says WHISKEY!

anon_2326411

23. Snack-Sized Technicality

I told my son no food downstairs. He had to eat at the table if he wanted to and not his playroom. When the second kid came, I would bring down his bottle and snacks so he could eat solid foods that helped his teething while we played. My older kid flipped out because there is no food downstairs that was like a basic rule of life to him.

When I said it’s ok because his brother is a baby and I’m here, he took advantage of some shared snacks the kids had later. He would try to give his brother snacks that he liked so he could eat them downstairs too because his brother was. Then I see him sitting in his play tent eating animal crackers and giving his brother one as they hide from me because he knows it’s technically wrong.

But he eventually saw the reason why I made the rule because although the younger kid would eat 1-2, he would then mash the third into a paste and rub it over the toys.

ActualWhiterabbit

24. Unfriended

When I was 16, my dad told me that I need to stop treating him and my mom like my friends because they’re my parents. The very next day before I got home from school, I had friend requests from both of my parents on Facebook. I denied them both. When my dad got home from work, he asked me, “Did you see that your mom made a Facebook account?” I said, “Yes, I did,” to which my dad asked, “Well, did you accept her friend request?”

When I said I didn’t, my dad asked me why not. So, I told him, “Because, just yesterday you told me you’re my parents, not my friends. By the way, I also denied your friend request.” I figured I was about to get in trouble for that. But my dad just looked at me, looked at my mom who was almost in shock over my response and said, “He’s not wrong. I said that.”

DrunkenWalrus41

25. Bad Company

I told my son that he could hang out with people I didn’t like, but only because I trusted him to stay true to who he was. His friends could act a certain way, but he could recognize that to be someone’s friend didn’t mean he needed to follow their behavior. It all sounded good and accepting in my head until he hung out with friends who he got in trouble with at school for weed.

Whether you like weed or hate it, think it should be legal or not, it’s still illegal on school grounds and he got expelled. I guess he didn’t heed my lesson or maybe it was just a bad message. Now, I tell him to avoid people who don’t care about his best interests. Be friendly, don’t be friends.

MadMadGirl

26. Personal Choice

When I was about 3-4, my aunt tried teaching me a lesson. It totally backfired on her. I used to stay with her a lot as a kid because she lived in a caravan and it was cool. Plus, it gave my parents a free weekend every once in a while. One day, in the car on the way back from shopping, my aunt decides to have some real talk. She says to me, “if someone tries to make you do something you don’t want to do, you say no. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”

Now, of course, my aunt was saying this in reference to drugs and peer pressure and other things like that. Unfortunately for my aunt, I took this a bit too literally. We got back from shopping and she asked me to take in a few things with me. My immediate response was, “No, I don’t want to do this and you can’t make me,” and I trotted off inside.

My aunt told my mum and she couldn’t help but laugh. In fact, my mum still laughs about it to this day.

MetacrisisMewAlpha

27. Will Heads Roll?

My grandmother died a few years ago. My brother decided to use this as a teaching moment for his two daughters, and he did his best to explain what was going on. He told them that he was flying out to Florida to attend the wake. His daughter asked him what a wake was, so he said, “It’s a thing that happens before the funeral, where we go to see Nana’s body.”

His daughter’s eyes widened with fear. He had a moment of panic, like maybe he’d made a mistake. Then she asked, “What do they do with her head?”

moak0

28. Maintenance Free

My kids were begging for a pet. I don’t want to take care of a pet and I told them that they don’t clean up after themselves without me hassling them, so why would they clean up after a pet without me hassling them. I told them if they could keep their rooms clean for six months without me telling them, then they could get a pet.

My youngest child proceeds to clean his room, then move his clothes and a sleeping bag into the hallway, and then lock his door so his room can’t get dirty as he sleeps in the hallway.

DONT_PM_ME_BREASTS

29. Reward System Error

One of my five-year-old twins was still having occasional accidents because she would get so caught up in playing or doing something else that she just wouldn’t go and would pee her pants. To combat this, we would give her a special prize of some variety when she wouldn’t have an accident. This, in turn, caused her twin sister to START having accidents so she could get prizes for not having accidents even though she was fine on this front beforehand.

We had to rethink our methods.

KyleRichXV

30. Figuratively Speaking

I told my 11-year-old who was being bullied on the school bus to stand up for himself if his bullies started hitting him again. I said, “honestly son, the only way to be rid of bullies is to show them you aren’t scared. If they hit you again, punch him back and kick his head in. Just stand up to them and you’ll see.” A few days later, the police knock on my door.

They start telling me that my son was involved in an assault. Apparently, a kid on the bus had kicked him so he turned around punched him to the floor and then took my words literally and started booting the kid in the head. Thankfully the kid was okay other than some scuffs and bruises, and my son doesn’t get bullied anymore.

I now watch which words I use to give him instruction since he’s taking them quite literally.

Nomad2k3

31. Late Night Entertainment

When I was 17, my parents thought I was lying about where I was when I was going out. I’m from a REALLY small town with really not a whole lot for teenagers to do. So, my friends and I liked to hang out at the Waffle House by this bar. Every Friday and Saturday night without fail, three or four drunk people would get arrested and my friends and I liked to watch. It was 10/10 entertainment.

So, one night, something was going DOWN one night at this particular Waffle House. I called my parents and asked them if I could extend my curfew. I told them why and they didn’t believe me, so they called the Waffle House where I was and asked for me. When the waitress who knew me well because I was there A LOT handed me the phone, my mom was like, “…Oh, you really are at the Waffle House.”

I think that was the first time my mom realized that I was a loser. Needless to say, I got my curfew extension.

Bluesailfish

32. Wants vs. Wants

When my older son was about three or four years old, we realized he was starting to act very spoiled and materialistic. We always tried to make him see how lucky he already had it, but he constantly begged us for every toy, candy, and treat he saw anywhere and everywhere. Around that time, I came across a great photo spread that involved the photographer traveling around the world and snapping photos of different children with their most prized possessions.

Of course, the kids in the US, Canada, and Europe were mostly photographed in rooms filled with stuff. But there were also photos of children from impoverished nations usually showing the child with only one old, dirty stuffed animal. I thought I was going to accomplish this brilliant parenting move by sitting him down and going through the photos with him. I’d explain how the kids with rooms like his were beyond lucky and he should feel more than satisfied with all of the great stuff that he had.

Then I would show him the other photos and he would finally understand that there are so many other children in the world with far less than he had. We looked through the photos and talked about each one. We finally got to one with a little boy standing on his cot with his one possession, a well-loved, dingy-looking stuffed monkey. My son looked at it for a long time.

I could see his wheels spinning. “Success!” I thought. After a long bit of silence, he finally looked up at me, gave me a sweet smile, and said, “I want that monkey.”

forever_monstro

33. The Boos and the Bees

I don’t remember exactly how old I was, maybe around 7, but my dad was giving my first sex talk. It wasn’t the one where you explain how to have sex, but the one where you explain to a young kid the physical differences between boys and girls to avoid any awkward curiosities later. He sat me down and was explaining that boys have a “pee pee” and what it’s used for.

Then he tries to tell me what girls have, but because he’s extremely nervous in his haste, he says that girls have a “poo poo,” because he stumbled when he was trying not to say the bad word for it and just stuttered the “p” sound twice. Suddenly, I believed that female genitals are known as a “poo poo” thanks to my dad’s nervousness.

Did he ever correct that misconception? No way, he was just glad the talk was over. A few years later and I’m talking about girls with some of my friends and I say something about how awesome a girl’s “poo poo” looks and they think I mean I like seeing a girl’s poop. They had a good laugh at me and I went home to my dad. I come in the door and see him and immediately I yell, “How could you let me believe it’s called a poo poo?”

And he just laughs and says, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that.”

KicksButtson

34. Beating the System

My parents tried to start a chore payment system around the house. One chore was to clean the guest bathroom for $1.50. First, I just kept using that bathroom, so it needed to be cleaned daily. I basically got paid to poop. They stopped that after the first week. Next, I realized it didn’t say WHO had to do the cleaning. I’d pay the neighborhood kids to do it instead.

I’d give them $1 to clean the bathroom and pocket the $.50. I did that one for like 3 weeks before the other parents found out and I got yelled at.

Tampaburn

35. Vehicle Safety 101

My daughter used to always unbuckle her seatbelt to reach for things in the car and then not put it back on. We had a minivan at the time, so she was always moving around, saying, “I just need my backpack,” or whatever and we were always telling her to sit down and get her seatbelt back on. She was maybe eight years old.

I was home one night when all of a sudden, she burst through the door, crying, blood on her face and clothes, and holding a t-shirt to her face with my husband close behind, shirtless looking very sheepish. I asked what in the world happened to them thinking they had been in an accident. Nah, it was just a backfired lesson.

My husband tried to show her what could happen if she wasn’t buckled and he slammed his brakes. He claims he just tapped them, but clearly, he didn’t plan for her to propel forward, hit the seat adjustment thing on the back, and start bleeding. He took his shirt off to help her stop the blood. I’m not sure if that helped her learn a lesson, but the car roaming seemed to subside.

She’s a 19-year-old driver now who always wears her seatbelt.

Maddiecay

36. Say Sorry

When my oldest kid was 3 or 4, a few months after I separated from his mom, I found a home with a couple of these DJs who needed a roommate to split the bills. Mike was terminally ill and Louie was a pothead. I was a young divorced dad. One day after cleaning the kitchen, I stepped out to pick up my kid and came home to find the kitchen in a wreck.

Louie got high and decided to make himself a smoothie. He left milk, ice, bits of juice and just gross crud, everywhere. I told Louie he needed to clean it up, he told me he’d get to it in a little bit, I told him I needed to make my kid dinner now and needed to use the kitchen, then he told me to clean it up myself.

One thing led to another and pretty soon we’re in each other’s faces, really close, almost bumping chests, fingers pointing at each other, yelling really loud, lots of cussing, then both storming off. I go up to my room, and the kid is up there with a quivering lip and eyes welled up. He bravely tells me “Louie is our friend and you yelled at him very mean.”

So, I go back to the living room. “Louie, could you come down here please?” He stomps into the living room, yelling, “WHAT??!” I sighed and said, “I was very frustrated because I worked hard to clean the kitchen, then I saw it messy again, but I did not ask what you were doing or how your day was before getting mad about the kitchen. I should not have yelled at you or said bad words. You’re my friend and I will try to use nicer words from now on.”

Louie looks at me and says, “What??!” Then he turns and sees kiddo watching both of us and says, “Oh…Fine!!” And he cleaned the kitchen. My kid asked us to hug each other afterward. Louie and I are still friends. He’s got his own baby now.

johnwalkersbeard

37. The Naughty List

I told my kids that if they were bad, they would get coal in their stockings on Christmas. They asked me what coal was so I said, “Well, it is a rock that you can light on fire.” They now want coal.

geekworking

38. Lesson Learned

My mother is a teacher and she once taught her class that if a bad guy is chasing or following you in a car, you should turn around and run back the way you came because it will take longer for the car to turn around to catch up and you have a better chance of escaping. A few days later one of her students ran away from school so she got in her car and drove around looking for him.

She caught up and called out the window, “[name], you need to come back to school with me right now!” He looked at her, gave a devilish grin, and ran back the way he’d come. She was cursing herself as she tried to turn the car around to follow.

BoldlyGone1

39. Bodily Functions

When I was around 9, I went up to my dad and asked what an orgasm was. He slightly laughed, looked at my mom, and said: “Oh, it’s a fart.” I went to school the day after and proceeded to use the word by yelling that a kid who had farted had just had an orgasm. My mother was not happy.

Divshali

40. Two on One

Due to a last-minute adoption, my wife and I went from one kid to two kids very quickly. They are close in age about 18 months apart so we tried reading books about how to avoid sibling rivalry and encourage a positive sibling relationship as they got older. One of the books said to teach the kids that they are a team. That’s what we did.

It resulted in my daughter getting upset with me any time I would discipline her brother because he was her baby. I would try to explain that discipline is part of learning but she wasn’t having any of that. She agreed that she should be disciplined for bad behavior but not her baby brother. You have to stand up for your teammate after all.

That’s really the only time she would ever throw a full-blown screaming tantrum, so then I would have to deal with my son crying because he is being disciplined and my daughter crying because her brother is being disciplined. As they got a little older any time, I would try to break up an argument or settle a dispute, both of them would get mad at me.

They needed to work it out together. Teammates stand up for each other and work things out together so parental involvement wasn’t needed in their view and only worked to make them both angry at me. I wouldn’t discount the method completely because I am happy with their relationship but when you have two toddlers screaming bloody murder because you put one in time out, you question what you are doing wrong.

Mannings4head

41. Financial Opportunity

One time my parents grounded my siblings and me from using the dishes because we never washed them. They said that we had to buy our own paper dishes and plastic cups and utensils from now on. I went that day to the dollar store and stocked up. Come dinner time, none off my siblings had any. I sold them all plates and utensils at a huge markup.

This went on for several days as my lazy siblings kept putting off going to the store. Best punishment ever.

admiralofawesomeness

42. Arachnophobia

My aunt was trying to teach my young cousins aged 3 and 6 that spiders are leggy friends and nothing to be scared of. She demonstrated this by bringing them all into the bathroom to witness her carefully scoop up a huge wolf spider out of the tub using nothing but her bare hands. They stared wide-eyed at her as she began to carry it downstairs to let it outside.

As she was walking, she said, “You see, it’s so much more scared of us than we are of—AAAAARGGGGHHH!” Of course, it bit her. She flung it high into the air, screaming blue murder, whilst her newly traumatized offspring screamed a falsetto counterpoint.

Septoria

43. Yours and Mine

My nephew mispronounced the name of a certain kitchen appliance, so my sister broke it into syllables very distinctly for him, saying “it’s mi-cro-wave.” My nephew nodded very seriously and replied: “It’s your crow wave!”

anoem

44. The Boy Who Cried Toilet

I was trying to keep my four-year-old in bed. He gets up four or more times saying he has to go to the bathroom. Most of the time he doesn’t have to go and we send him back to bed. Five minutes later, he does it again. He knows that he can get out of bed this way. My wife decided to make tickets. He could use the tickets if he got out of bed. Once the tickets were done, so was he.

If he could stay in bed the rest of the night, he would be rewarded with stickers. The first night we tried it, he pooped himself.

BigODetroit

45. Proper Terms

My friend’s 10-year-old daughter was going over to a friend’s house in the same apartment complex, but a few buildings away. Before she left my friend asked her, “Ok, what do we do if someone tries to grab you?” Her daughter responded confidently, “Kick him in the balls and yell ‘FIRE!’” Laughing, my friend said, “Ha, right, but that’s not a good word, it’s ‘testicles.’”

Her daughter nodded and said, “Ok, kick him in the balls and yell ‘TESTICLES’!”

The_Perfect_Dick_Pic

46. Oh, Yeah

I used to let my son have Five Alive juice boxes in his lunches because it’s a small amount and at least it has vitamin C. In the grocery store one day, he starts asking for Kool-Aid and I said no way because it’s full of sugar. I pick up the Kool-Aid and Five Alive to show him the nutritional data to prove my point and discover that they have the same amount of vitamin C, but the Kool-Aid has far less sugar.

Now he gets the Kool-Aid.

onyxandcake

47. Say Again?

My dad after having a long conversation with my sister about teaching her to say pardon instead of what, called up the stairs and asked her what she was doing. In response, my sister says something he couldn’t hear, so he repeated himself and asks again. She again says something he couldn’t hear. So, my dad yells, “WHAT?”

My sister then yelled back, “DON’T SAY WHAT! SAY PARDON!!!”

englishgirlamerican

48. Watched and Learned

I was asking my three-year-old what the colors of traffic lights mean. Green means go, red means stop and yellow means speed up. From his experience, I guess that made sense also made me more aware of how I’m driving.

Lazydust3

49. Limited Selection

I tried the parenting tip where instead of asking your kids what they want, you give them two appropriate choices like “Do you want broccoli or carrots with dinner? It’s your choice.” My children quickly learned to just say things like, “no, I’d like a candy bar or a cookie. Your choice,” right back at me.

fiddlemonkey

50. Perspective Observation

My wife sat our 4-year-old daughter down and showed her the UNICEF starving children commercial. My wife’s intention was to get our daughter to understand how much she should appreciate what she has. Now because we live in a small town that is upwards of 70-80% Caucasian, my daughter hadn’t really encountered too many people in her life of different nationalities and creeds.

So out shopping the following day in line at a local grocery store my wife was in line behind a black gentleman. To which my daughter very loudly yells the worst thing she possibly could’ve said: “Mom look! It’s one of the people that live in the dirt!” Thank goodness he had a sense of humor. My wife went about fifty shades of red and regretted her approach to being thankful for what you have.

Badds

51. No Junk Food

When my daughter was about 5, she asked why we need rain. I explained to her that we need to it grow the food we all eat that are plants. She asked why we need the veggies and I used this as an opportunity to get her to eat her veggies so I told her if she wanted to grow up at all she needs to eat lots of veggies.

This kid has requested cucumbers or carrots or bell peppers or any crunchy kind of veggie as her snack since then. It’s pretty awesome, but now I can’t enjoy a bag of chips at home anymore. She’ll walk in, shake her head, and tell me to go easy “Because you’re done growing UP, so you can only grow out.”

ExtraLucky13

52. Unplanned Losses

My teenage son was staying up super late on his laptop doing teenage internet things and messing up in school, so we decided to put parental controls on the router so that the internet would be turned off from 11 pm to 7 am. This, of course, impacted my wife and I because we lost internet access during those hours too.

He was way more tech-savvy than we were, so he was able to bypass the parental controls and stay on-line as late as he wanted. So, the end result of the parental controls was that the parents didn’t have internet, but the teenager did.

paul99501

53. Traffic Cops

We taught our kids to read early. My son could read by age 4 and my daughter by age 3. This leads to some unwanted conversations as they will read things over your shoulder when you aren’t expecting it or even just signs on the road, “You’re going to fast, Daddy. It says 55 mph and you’re going 70.”

cadomski

54. Not Worth the Plop

My dad hated it when we plopped down onto “his” couch because it would move the entire couch and rug. So, he started making us plop on the ground instead. After yelling at us because we wouldn’t plop onto the ground as we did on the couch because it hurts from that height, we just stopped coming to watch TV with him, which he didn’t like either because he missed us.

daniyellidaniyelli

55. For Sale

My mother tried to teach temper tantrums out of me as a child. Once, in a desperate attempt, she said under her breath to me in public, “Get up, or I’ll sell you in the parking lot.” I don’t hold her accountable for this reaction because I was a terrible child. She was tired with two small children. However, on a different day and another meltdown later, she was trying to get me to act right.

I looked dead into her eyes in front of everyone there and screamed, “Why don’t you just sell me in the parking lot?!”

thespiansincorsets

56. Low HP

My little brother refused to eat while my girlfriend and I were babysitting him. My girlfriend decided to explain the concept of food as an energy source to him. To which he then proceeded to use an excuse to not do anything. Anytime you told him to do something, he said he couldn’t because he ran out of energy and die.

MagicansaurusRex

57. Finding a Loophole

My son is nearly two. We’ve taught him “don’t touch” for certain items that can’t be baby-proofed like a floor lamp, the fireplace’s glass door, low windows. He completely understands that “don’t touch” means do not put any part of your body on this thing—no hands, no feet, no leaning against it. But now we have to watch him like a hawk because technically throwing a toy car at the glass isn’t “touching” neither is whacking a window with a clothes hanger, or shoving an end table into the lamp super hard.

We’ve taken to yelling, “THAT IS STILL TOUCHING!”

Permalink

58. Unwittingly Inspiring

When I was about 11, my parents sat me down and made me read this story that my mom had gotten from another mom she knew. It was about this tweenaged girl who began talking to a boy her age in a chat room only to find out he was a middle-aged creep. The story was obviously fictional and didn’t really get under my skin at all, but I can appreciate the idea that my parents were trying to get ahead of the curve on teaching me internet safety.

Internet-based chat rooms were pretty new at that point. We only had dial-up for a little while and I certainly wasn’t allowed to be on it by myself. So, I had no idea that talking to boys on the internet was even possible because it had seriously never occurred to me. But after they told me that story, I immediately started trying to do so.

Liontta

59. Picky Cleaner

I told my children repeatedly that if I found any more mess and junk on their bedroom floor, I would be donating it to the thrift store. I told them they had 15 minutes to clean it up off the floor. I came back to find everything picked up. Phew, right? Well, when when I went back to the kitchen, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

They had gone into the kitchen cupboards and had put every food they didn’t like in a nice neat pile right in the middle of the floor.

mollymuppet78

60. All Done!

When my partner was young, he was resistant to potty training and his parents eventually got him to start using the potty by telling him that he had to be out of pull-ups before a family trip to Disney World, because “Mickey Mouse only sees big boys and girls.” And also, who wants to lug a diaper bag around Disney?

Anyway, it went great, they had a great trip. But the day after they got back, he pooped in the living room. When asked why, his reply was pretty devastating for a toddler. He said: “I don’t gotta use the potty cause I already saw Mickey Mouse.” They very firmly told him that if he was old enough to use logic, he was far too old for diapers and that was the end of that.

thatsunshinegal

61. Making It Up

When my son was about 3 or 4, he started to ask about how babies are born. I sat him down and gave him a very simple, age-appropriate explanation. His reaction was chilling. He just looked at me, shook his head and just said, “No,” very calmly, but in an “I can’t believe you think that’s how it works” tone of voice like I’d told him fake news.

I was prepared for difficult questions and even prepared for the fact that he might ask me things that even I didn’t know, but I was completely unprepared for him to just simply not believe me when I told him the truth. I just sat there not knowing what to do while he went back to playing Lego.

Waitingforadragon

Sources: 1, 2, 3


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