May 16, 2023 at 10:18 pm

What Did Your Parents Teach You That You Later Realize Was Messed Up? People Responded.

by Matthew Gilligan

Well, this is gonna be fun!

Because we all know that there aren’t too many things that get people as riled up as the things their parents did WRONG while they were growing up.

And these AskReddit users focused on the things their parents taught them that they later realized were pretty weird.

Let’s take a look.

You must be perfect!

“My dad instilled crippling perfectionism in me, which I realized was insane when I got older and people told me to just “do my best.”

When I was in grade school, I would come to my dad with A’s all super excited. But, if it was anything less than a 100%, he would ask for the missing percentage.

So, when I had a 98%, he’d say “well where’s the 2%?” And now, if I do anything less than perfect, I beat myself up.”


“I always had anxiety as a child and my mother said the only way to get over it is to deal with the situation head on.

Sounds great until I told her my fear of escalators and she pushed me down and I fell and almost got my hair caught.

Another thing she loved to teach me is how self defense is necessary. Great! Where do I take lessons?

There were no lessons. She said being with my a**sive ex was enough of a lesson. I should have learned then.”

Bad parenting.

“You have better balance, so you, at 10-years-old, should climb up on the roof and clean the gutters and sweep the chimney.

Also, climb up to the top of the flagpole at the REC and fix the rope stuck in the pulley. And install new gutters, but I was 13 by then.”


“After arguing with a girlfriend and not speaking with her for a few days, BOTH my parents told me separately to hold onto my beef with her like a grudge and use it against her later.

I’ve been married to the girlfriend now 25 years this year, never once took my parents advice, and have NO IDEA how my parent’s marriage survived.”

A bit extreme.

“If someone gets in a fight with one of your older brothers, find a brick and hit them in the back of the head.”

Blame The Devil.

“If you’re sad that means the devil is inside you and you need to pray for forgiveness.

I was 6 and my cat had just d**d.”

In debt.

“My dad was “teaching” me about credit cards and said you can just make the minimum payment every month.

It blew my mind, made it seem like free money. Thank god I didn’t take that advice. I pay my credit card off every month and he’s drowning in credit card debt.”

That makes sense.

“My Dad told me he could drink beer in the car if he drank it while the car was stopped.

It’s only drinking and driving if the car is in motion. I was like makes sense. I was around 4.”

No faith in yourself.

“They made me distrust my own intelligence.

They talked down to me and treated me like an airhead, giving me a smirk every time I tried to be serious about anything.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that I am intelligent and gained self confidence despite the negative self esteem they had instilled in me.”

No emotion.

“Emotional self sufficiency.

In other words don’t show your emotions, don’t feel your emotions, don’t be swayed by others emotions, empathy is bad and for the weak

Basically also reenforce these teachings by making me having to do bloody and demoralizing task (carrying entrails bare handed without being allowed to use buckets or k**ling animals), lots of physical punishment, verbal a**se, isolation from others.

Stepmother insisted I should remain pure so when the rapture took place I would be a warrior saint.

Yeah when I moved out and found out people don’t have to live like this it took me a week just to decompress what I escaped from.”

Coke head.

“When I was 7 my uncle was doing coke while I was staying over and I told him that my mom said never to do drugs and he said your allowed to do c**aine because rich people do it.

Luckily never got a chance to do c**aine but I totally thought it made sense.”

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