Ashamed Parents Share The Thing They Will Never Admit To Their Children

October 30, 2023 | Carl Wyndham

Ashamed Parents Share The Thing They Will Never Admit To Their Children

“When a child first catches adults out—when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just—his world falls into panic desolation […] And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing".―John Steinbeck, East of Eden.

We all have secrets. From the wild times had growing up, to the trauma and tragedy of the past. Some of these secrets make it out there into the world, and other are kept near and dear to the people who hold them, never to be uttered to those they love. Here are some of those secrets, told on the internet, but never to be uttered to the children of their bearers.

1. You Look Weird

When my daughter was born I thought she was the weirdest looking thing I’ve ever seen. In my defense, newborns are usually pretty weird looking for a little while.

Parents Never Admit

2. Daddy Got It On

How promiscuous I was after my divorce. I will be open about my drinking and substance use, but I think that part of my life is better kept a secret.

Parents Never AdmitPixabay

3. Becoming Legend

I went to MANY High schools. And have an obscene amount of stories of stupid stuff. I don't have kids but probably would leave this out: I was at a boarding school in the (fairly rural) south. I had taken a psychedelic substance with friends in the dorm. We were all suddenly hungry. It was like 2 AM and I knew that the local Waffle House was open. We called in an order for the food and then I realized we had no transportation.

So I took a maintenance truck (imagine an F150) with the school's logo on the side - the keys were conveniently in the visor - and proceeded to drive the few miles to the Waffle House. After gathering the food, I drove back.

I passed a cop who followed me back to school but didn't pull me over. I was probably driving like a crazy person.

The school never found out.

It was unbelievably stupid but I was a legend at the school.

Parents Never Admit FactsFlickr

4. Trauma From The Past

Two things... my daughter had an identical twin who didn't survive, and the man she knows as her father is not her father.

I was in an abusive relationship and the biological father decided he would rather see us both meet a tragic end if I didn't want to be with him, so he began driving into oncoming traffic. I reacted by fleeing the vehicle at 45 mph because I saw a cop car parked a block away. I opened the door and grabbed my knees and tucked my head and rolled out, ending up really bruised and sore, which unfortunately resulted in the passing of one of the babies. But I made it to the law enforcement authorities and never saw him again.

Woman keeps secretPixabay

5. Being A Sneak

Sneaking out of the house regularly while my parents slept. Now that I'm a parent, I know why they slept so soundly: kids are exhausting.

Parents Never AdmitPixabay

6. Vowing To Never Sniff Again

Went through a brief spell of huffing lighter gas from the can. A monumentally stupid thing to do. The mere thought of my own child doing this terrifies me.

Parents Never AdmitPxHere

7. What Happens In The ‘80s…

Substance use.

I was a mouth breather in the ‘80s cause my nose was too busy.

Stressed manPixabay

8. Learning Lessons From Intoxication

I became inebriated and lay down in the middle of the road hugging a tree branch, while my equally tipsy friend rode a pink tricycle around me until law enforcement arrived. My dad knew the cop so they sent me home with a "lesson learned".

Stressed womanFlickr

9. Stage Fright

I was doing a skit in ninth grade about not using substances.

Classmate 1: "So guys, are you interested in some stuff?"

Classmate 2: "No, I've got... football practice".

Classmate 1: "Oh, c'mon. It'll help take the edge off".

Classmate 2: "No thanks, it'll screw up my life".

Classmate 1: "What about you, bud? You want a taste?"

Me: "No thanks. I only do weed".

Class starts cracking up. A couple of well-known kids offer me high fives. The DARE officer and the teacher look at each other and back to me.

I had gotten stage fright and forgotten my lines.

Parents Never AdmitPublic Domain Pictures

10. Robotripping

I used to chug Robitussin and trip with my friends. Probably did it around 20 times. It was a lot of fun, to be honest. My only excuse is that I went to boarding school in the middle of the wilderness, and there was nothing at all to do.

Parents Never Admitaf

11. Painting Pigs

Perhaps the overindulgent fest I had one night that concluded with me spray painting a pig blue.

Pig statueFlickr

12. Flying Fireballs

Made and threw several Molotov cocktails... not at anything in particular, just liked to see fireballs.

Parents Never AdmitWikimedia Commons

13. Uh… Good Choice Not To Tell

That I could bend in a particular way until I hit a growth spurt during sophomore year. Everything else I'd gladly own up to, but I don't want to scar my future children with a mental image of their father bent over in a computer chair going down (up? around?) on himself.

Close-Up Of Young Man.Getty Images

14. Acquiring A French Nickname

I had a menage-a-trois with two popular boys. They ended up telling the entire school about it. In class, the kids would play hangman on the board and spell out stuff like, "Paris," or "Eiffel Tower". People would sing “Frere Jacques” to me in the hallway and clap their hands over their heads. When I got my diploma, a good 50 people from my graduating class stood up and clapped their hands over their heads, it was ridiculous.

Embarrassed womanWikipédia

15. Living As An Intimidator

When I was in high school I was the mean kid.I intimidated and struck people. One day I was smacking a kid just for fun. I paralyzed his face for three days. I have never forgiven myself and I don't think I ever will. He's my best friend now and I still apologize to this day

Bully illusytrationMax Pixel

16. Cuffed On Campus

During my junior year, I was taken away from campus in handcuffs for having a controlled substance. At 17 years old, I had to participate in a two-year rehabilitation and probation program to avoid serious repercussions.

Parents Never AdmitFlickr

17. Soiling McDonald's

I'm not a parent yet, but I'm definitely not telling my kids about the time I pooped on the McDonald's play place for ten bucks.

I thought I was funny at the time, and then I realized that someone was gonna have to clean it up. I still feel bad about it sometimes...

Parents Never AdmitFlickr

18. Creating A Special Website

I created a website with the URL Although I wasn't in high school when I made it, I would still prefer that my future kids don't know it exists or that I was involved in its creation.

Parents Never Admitpicpedia

19. Something Mom Should Have Kept To Herself

My mom straight up admitted to me that she dated two guys at the same time and both were okay with it. The fact they were brothers was even weirder…

Surprised faceFlickr

20. Busy ‘N’ Busted

I got occupied in the restroom during my high school prom and got caught with my wizard-shaped device used for inhalation.

Parents Never AdmitPixabay

21. Learn Yourself

I would tell them everything (minus gory details), except that my mother was the one that taught me how to roll one up... They are going to have to learn how to do that the hard way.

Chilling paranormalPexels

22. Selective Sharing

I think telling your kids about some of the trouble you got into can be a good way to keep them from getting into the same trouble. For example, when my dad was 17 years old, he got into trouble for recklessly driving a motorcycle through a grocery store window. I learned a valuable lesson about driving motorcycles under the influence—don't drive it through the window of a grocery store.

Car illustrationPixabay

23. The Bathroom Bandit

While I would have no issue telling my kid I smoked a lot when I was in high school, I don't think I'll admit that I once spent a day lighting up in every bathroom in the school... the security officer and the principal were running through the halls trying to find who was doing it, never did get caught.

Parents Never Admit FactsGoodFreePhotos

24. Freaking Out With Mom

The first time I took a psychedelic substance was my senior year of high school. And the second time was a week later... At Gasparilla (a small Mardi-Gras like parade in Tampa, with about 50,000 people). I freaked out and called my mom, and she picked me up and luckily had NO IDEA. Then a week later I figured it'd be a good idea to do it again at home one night because I never learn my lesson. And I freaked out again and told my mom what I’d done and that I thought I was going to die. She was super cool about it, told me I was just flipping out on myself, that she had done it once in college, and that she was only disappointed in me because I was "doing it on a school night".

So, when I have kids, I'd like to be a cool, understanding parent like that. As long as my kids do well in school and look like they have a good future going for them, I'll allow these little mess ups and mistakes. Additionally, it's better for your child, for instance, to find themselves in a situation where they can't drive and call you for a ride, rather than risk unsafe driving, instead of constantly trying to punish or shelter them.

Parents Never Admit FactsMax Pixel

25. The Apathy

I did absolutely nothing. Literally. I never did homework, only took tests. Never paid attention in class, just read my books or played video games if I could get away with it.

Still have a high school diploma. Still in college.

Embarrassed manPixabay

26. Planning Ahead

That I collected my pee in paint buckets in the forest for four years of high school. On the last day of school, I mixed some with the cooking oil in the cafeteria, the vice principal's desk drawer (he was a serious jerk), my grade nine geography teacher's desk (she deserved it), and all down the halls.

Embarrassed manPixabay

27. Life On MySpace

I was a white knight on MySpace. I cringe every time I think about the endless poetry I wrote to convince girls that they are truly beautiful inside, plus the textual rhapsodies on their comment walls of their most wonderful qualities when I heard they were having a bad day.

I'm puckered so tight thinking about it. Seriously. I could swallow coal and pop out a diamond right now.

Oh GOD I think I wore a fedora too...

I'm praying that my kids never find out and goatees aren't genetic.

Myspace written on fenceWikimedia Commons

28. The Whole Robbing Cars Thing

Fleeing from law enforcement following a pursuit in a pilfered vehicle that we were showing off in, despite lacking driver's licenses. Or the fact that I used to engage in car theft at all. Never got caught, so it's not a very good lesson.

Driver sideFlickr

29. Just Imagine

When I was in second grade I threw rocks onto the school roof, then I started crying because I thought I was going to get into trouble. You can pretty much guess how I was in high school.

Parents Never Admit FactsFlickr

30. Hmmm...

I don't have children, but if I do, I'll never tell them about my summer job during junior year.

I was kind of like a private investigator working for a completely legitimate business man. It was my job to find people who he had done business with and collect assets.

Silence pleasePublic Domain Pictures

31. The No Snitching Teacher

I grew up in a small town in Texas—less than 500 people—and I had a pretty close group that me and my sister were both a part of. One night we decided to try and smoke for the first time. After we smoked, we decided to go driving around town.

As we when by the high school, my friend pulled in and said that she wanted to do something but didn't know what. We made it around to the football field and got out. We checked the gates and found one unlocked letting us onto the football field. We goofed around for a little bit doing cartwheels and stuff. That's when one of my other friends got the bright idea to hang our underwear, both bras and panties, on the flagpole. Both me and my sister said no and protested.

After about 15 minutes of arguing back and forth, they convinced us. So we all stripped off our undergarments and hung them up as so all 10 pieces would flap in the wind under the American flag. This was a Friday. By the time Monday came pretty much everyone in town knew about it but didn't know who had done it. But for some reason, no one took them down. Monday afternoon we had a school assembly where they pretty much grilled everyone and offered rewards to give up the people who did it. I was sure we would be found out but nobody came forth with the information.

After graduation, I was talking to an old teacher of mine and she said that she knew it was us because she was at school and had seen us walking around that night. She said that she didn't turn us in because she didn't want to ruin our futures since we were all bright students.

Parents Never Admit FactsPxHere

32. Just...Why?

We forced a small, defenseless, eye-glassed, sensitive, smart and funny—in retrospect—boy into a biowaste (biodegradable) trash can. He was covered in spaghetti sauce and red beet salad when he got out.

I remember him taking a pause from the yelling and crying, looking me in the eye and asking: "Why did you want to do this?"

Not my proudest moment. Actually, now after writing this I might share this with my son one day.

Cults Escape FactsPixabay

33. Actually Learning The Truth

My mom revealed to me that my dad experimented with psychedelic substances with his friends, after which they all stripped down. That was the last day of parental authority. My dad also cut off his fingers fixing remote control planes, burned down a farmer’s field, dated a cougar, and was generally a little promiscuous.

My mom also confesses that she was deeply engaged in that unhealthy habit when she was younger.

Parents Never Admit Facts

34. A Whole Listful Of Stuff

Let's see...

Had an improper ID at 15 years old and essentially was the primary supplier of party drinks at my school.

Placed two hydrochloric acid devices in a disused stairwell during a pep rally. That was LOUD.

Brought a .357 to school to use as a prop in an acting sketch. The barrel was plugged with lead, but it still was a functioning revolver.

Took hall passes from teachers to always have an excuse when I was skipping class.

I obtained tests from teachers to pass exams I hadn't prepared for.

Smoked in the middle of shop class. I literally climbed up into the rafters of our automotive garage—the teacher never looked up, even when he smelled it. I was like 20 feet off the ground.

Used wood shop to create billy clubs and "hickory" knuckles for people to beat each other with—our school was notorious for fights.

I always exhausted my lunch money on intoxicating drinks, so I never had any funds left for food during the week. I would get people to pay me to do outlandish stuff during lunch so I could actually eat. I would chew gum from under the lunch tables, eat the entire contents of the salt shakers or other dumb stuff.

I was certainly memorable during high school, my high school yearbook reads like a horror novel.

Parents Never Admit FactsMax Pixel

35. Hearing It From Dad’s Friend

Not me but my dad, the only reason I know it is because one of my dad's high school buddies told me.

My dad grew up in rural Wisconsin on a lake, and he and his friends got tired of the one cop on the lake giving them trouble when they were skiing, so my dad friends scuba dived underneath the cop's boat one day when he was sitting out there and took the prop off of his boat.

All this while my dad and his other friends were opening a 12-pack. Upon finishing their scuba diving adventure, the individual returned to their boat and set another friend up on water skis at the back. They then quickly sped through the no wake zone with their friend in tow, who decided to add a dash of humor by lowering his shorts. This friend ultimately dropped his empty beverage container into a nearby boat for fun.

Parents Never Admit FactsPixabay

36. It Would Just Make Things Even Weirder

I used to hang out in the band room every day for lunch. I quit band my freshman year because well, it honestly just wasn't for me, but the band director liked me so she still let me hang out in there, and the air conditioning in there was way better than it was in the cafeteria so whatever. I was still there up 'til my senior year, then they changed the scheduling system at our school to have this weird block schedule for two days of the week. Meaning, there was class going on on Thursdays in the band room. Myself and a select few friends were allowed to hang out in one of the unused practice rooms though.

Anyway, I started helping out one of the teacher's assistants because she was pregnant and band involved lifting things sometimes. Just because I was a decent kid and nobody else volunteered, I guess either because everyone that was there for class had their instruments to mess around with or they didn't care.

Uh, long story short, we actually started acting friendly and her house was within walking distance and I had hooked up with a pregnant teacher's assistant.

And then for the rest of the school year after the kid was born.

Anyway, that would be kind of a stupid story to tell if my nephew wasn't friends with her son, so now my son winds up occasionally visiting his cousin and hanging out with a kid whose mother I used to hook up with…

It's weird.

Parents Never Admit FactsFlickr

37. It Starts Out With Pizza Rolls

I spent a week imbibing every night and placing food in a friend's neighbor's mailbox.

It started as a joke. One day we accidentally burnt some pizza rolls, but we didn't want to throw away food, so we decided "We'll just give them to the neighbors... but they're probably sleeping. Let's just 'mail' them to them".

The next day we were remembering that night and decided to make sandwiches or something. Ended up making an extra sandwich and put it in their mailbox, as an apology for giving them burnt pizza rolls. Then the next night we decided a sandwich isn't good enough. We made scrambled eggs, toast with jelly, and some bacon. We put that on a paper plate with a red solo cup full of orange juice in their mailbox because we thought they deserved a good breakfast.

Then we made an ice cream sundae for them the next night. I mean all out, we even went to the store for the cherries. We had chocolate syrup, whipped cream, sprinkles, all the good stuff. Even left them a spoon to eat it with.

Well... The next day I'm at work and I check my voicemail during my break. It was an officer of the law stating that he's leaving me a voicemail because he needs to converse with me immediately. So I call him back and he starts questioning me about the trauma and hardship I had been putting this family through.

Apparently, after the third or fourth night, they installed a camera pointing at their mailbox and caught us with the ice cream. So I told the officer I was sorry, but he didn't sound mad. He just sounded... confused. He kept asking, "But... why? Why on earth would you do that? I mean, they didn't make it sound like you vandalized anything or hurt anything. But... did you really make an ice cream sundae? What on earth for?"

I confessed to the whole thing. The breakfast, the sandwich, the ice cream. The officer wanted to know if I had harmful intentions, and when he realized that I was just acting out situational comedy on a whole new level that he'd never dreamed of he told me he would try and convince them to not press charges.

But anyway, I got away with it.

Still; would not confess to children because of sheer idiocy.


38. From Clown To Teacher

Class clown, cut more days than any other kid at school three years straight, cheated on tests, did minimal homework, wrote my own absence notes, smoked in school all the time, graduated then became a teacher! Go figure.

I never did take other substances though because I thought I already had enough problems going on. My excuse; Growing up was extremely tough for me, continually staying with numerous relatives who were indifferent about me and experiencing an even more challenging time in foster care. However, I prevailed against all odds... so far... and now, I'm a retired teacher.

Worried manPxHere

39. All The Shenanigans

I'll never speak about the New Year’s Eve where I blacked out and rolled a 50-pound huge pumpkin down a hill into someone's car. Woke up to a beautiful lady tending to me, my friend's parents under the impression that I'm no longer alive, and my best buddy casually using my other friend's kitchen as a restroom while his seven-year-old sibling entered the room... Good times.

Not to mention the tipsy soccer game I enjoyed at Jack in the Box at 3 am with my friends and the employees who work there. Plus later throwing a milkshake on a news anchorman’s car.

I remember my best friend streaking in my other best friend’s dorm and asking girls to hook up with him as he knocked on their door...


40. Making Things Harder For Herself

That I moved out of my parents' house—against their advice—wayyyy to early. Started college when I was 17 and moved out a month into college. Ok mom, you were right. Moving out, at 17, while in college and being so naive made everything sooo much more difficult.

Man pulling luggageWikimedia commons

41. Stranger Danger

Befriended a cleaner at a large shopping center and made the mistake of giving him my phone number. I'm a guy and we got along alright so it didn't seem like a problem. But then he began asking me to join him at football games for which he had purchased tickets, and proposing to serve me beverages at his house...

I can't believe I didn't realize at the time what was going on, you'd think that sort of thing is obvious but I just didn't see it until years later.

I'm so glad I never took up one of those offers... who knows what would have happened to me.

I'm glad stranger danger is taught to kids more these days. I haven't told anybody that story, not even my wife.

Parents Never Admit FactsFlickr

42. Truth About Their Parents

My adopted kids came from a couple of drug addicts. Even though they all remember their birth mom and dad fondly, they have no idea how horrible they really were and how much they put the kids’ lives in danger. I'm not sure if I can ever tell them that.


43. Dad’s Tragedy

Here is one that my dad never told me but my uncle shared after my dad has passed.

He was madly in love with a girl when he was 17 years old. They were soul mates, lovers meant to be, engaged to be married and grow old together... all that sweet jazz.

They went to the county fair one year and decided to ride the Ferris Wheel. About the time they got to the top and started heading back down the safety bar came unhooked and swung open. My dad grabbed her and held onto the seat. He tried to hold her but he couldn't. She succumbed to her fall.

My dad never mentioned it, never said a word to anyone, even to my mom. My uncle shared that her departure crushed his heart and he was never the same again, until after my arrival.

He would never let me go to fairs, amusement parks, or any place with rides when I was growing up and we used to get into big fights about it when all my friends were going.

He always told me it was just because they were dangerous and didn't want me to get hurt.

Earl of Sandwich FactsPexels

44. The Good Ol’ Days

Not me but my dad once told me that when he was growing up in Pakistan, he was a big fan of Mao. Took Mao's Little Red Book everywhere.

In another tale, he and his brothers - I believe there were seven - confronted and fought with the neighborhood tormentor. Not with their fists, but with home-made whips made of long, thin leaves they wound together to make them stronger. Most of them grew up to be engineers too.

The best part of the story: "I can still hear his screams," followed by nostalgic laughter when he recounts this story 40+ years later.

Shocked manJoint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

45. Learning About Mary

My uncle recently told me that when my mother would ask him to babysit my brother and I while her and my dad went on vacations, she would often call him up while he was at our house and ask him to water the “wacky” plants she was growing.

To clarify how hilarious this image is to me... I grew up in a very loving, rule-abiding, middle class, extremely normal home. The horrified look on his face when he realized that we didn't already know this about her was funnier than finding out my mom grew and used weed while we were young.

Parents Never AdmitPixabay

46. Moving Away

I met my daughter's father online at 14 years old, moved 1,000 miles away from my parents and in with him when I was in the 11th grade. Got myself emancipated and finished high school. She will know NONE of this for a very long time.

Be quietFlickr

Sources: Reddit, ,

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