Parents. They try their best (usually, anyway) but they’re still just as fallible as anybody.

Which is why a lot of people on Reddit had things to say in response to this particular prompt:

What is that one thing your parents taught you, that later turned to be totally wrong? from AskReddit

Some of these are pretty brutal. Others…a little bit funny.

1. Getting bullied

“They’re only picking on you/being mean because they LIKE you.”

No, no. They’re just being **sholes.

– KnockMeYourLobes

2. Finances

My dad on finances, “when you have money you spend it and when you run out you just stay home” –

3. Social Comparisons

“Don’t compare yourself with your friends” when they got something I didn’t have, while comparing me with my friends whenever they did better than me at something

– LifeGainsss

4. “You don’t need those friends”

My father has tried dictating who I had as friends.

Here’s the thing, the one good friend that has stood by me the last several years has piercings, tattoos, a haircut that isn’t feminine. She smokes, drinks occasionally, doesn’t do drugs. She’s never stolen from me, broken my stuff without offering to fix/replace it, or thrown me under the bus. He considered her a bad influence.

A bunch of his friends have out stolen from him and his kids. And he’s defended them after a few hundred dollars worth of hobby stuff has disappeared. Or when they ditch him.

– BunnehMoe

5. Obey the boss

“Your job is to do whatever your boss tells you to do.”

This led to a bunch of stupid situations of both me getting walked all over by employers and me quitting jobs over things that could have been fixed with a conversation.

– Smyley12345

6. Always respect your elders

“Respect your elders” but in the sense that you should just keep quiet when you disagree with somebody older than you – turns out many people are awful regardless of their age.

Don’t get me wrong, my default is to respect any new person I meet, but when a person has repeatedly shown me that they don’t are about my feelings or even basic logic, I won’t hold back from speaking my mind calmly, even if they see this as disrespectful.

– theevilamoebaOG

7. Just racism

Well I was mostly raised by my grandparents. We lived in an all white community and my grandparents believed every terrible thing they had ever been told about black people. I spent my youth being fed those lies but everyone I knew was white and I couldn’t imagine it being true. When I got to college I met my first non white people and was able to verify that the things they believed just weren’t true.

And luckily both of them realized that before they passed away.

– Zetta216

8. Social isolation

They said: don’t be friends with the “bad kids”. For my parents my whole class were “bad” even they were quite normal. So I ended with no friends because my parents didn’t allow me to go outside with them.

Those “bad kids” are now normal, successful and friends with each other, but not with me.

– _Lurko_

9. No imagination allowed

You are completely lost in your own fantasy world. Keep your feet on the ground.

Those things you are talking about there is completely unrealistic.

You are going to get a very unpleasant meeting with reality one day.

A completely normal thing to say to a 9 year old kid who is playing with Lego bricks.

– Ashtar-the-Squid

10. Be a workaholic

I was the first person in my family to have a job in a conventional office. They thought I was a monster to accept a relocation bonus, paid vacation, and trying to work a reasonable schedule.

They wanted me to be one of those people who is always willing to put in extra hours, or just sit at my desk for appearances.

The problem with this is that everyone in the office hates people like that, and the management isn’t going to hook you up in the end anyways.

– ooo-ooo-oooyea

11. Gotta be clean cut

That people will judge you for colored/ fun it hair, piercings and tattoos.

It’s only partly true.

They judge you for everything.

– somber_opossum

12. You’re a failure

“They don’t let stupid people in the military.”

Like, I get that my dad was disappointed I got a D on my report card, but one, that’s wrong, and two, there’s gotta be a better way to express disappointment than that.

– Resident-Ad-1992

13. Conspiracy theories

Well mine are conspiracy theorists so basically everything was nuts and incorrect.

-That I’m autistic because they gave us vaccines at school

-The government/cops have spy monitoring equipment in every inch of our home

-5G and cell phones are killing everyone

-“Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams”

-Various 90s era incel s**t for divorced guys, then various 00s, 10s incel s**t for divorced guys

-There are secret messages in license plate numbers

-“Gang stalking”

-My mother and her new guy(s) were going to r**e and/or murder and/or murder-suicide us, though he stopped talking about this one around when I was seven

-That Woody Allen did nothing wrong

-What the age of consent should really be

Absolutely wonderful things to hear as a child. Though he believes in vaccines now that the covid-19 one is coming out soon so there’s minor improvements 30 years later. I think he takes his meds now and he’s dramatically less weird to be around.

– SJWilkes

14. Chocolate is poison

My parents told me for 8 years that chocolate was poisonous to children.


Those b**tards lied to me.

– gunpowdervacuum

15. Calendars?

When I was in kindergarten, the teacher asked us to go home and ask our parents how many days are in a year. So I went home and asked my dad:

“240 days, son.”

Imagine my disappointment the next day when my teacher said that was wrong! Dad swears I never asked that or if I did I misunderstood his answer, but I heard what I heard.

– smorkoid

Decisions, decisions, all of them wrong.

What bad advice did your parents hand down?

Tell us in the comments.