Something Your Parents Did Wrong But You Didn’t Realize it Was Wrong Until You Were Older— Social Media Shares Their Answers

Growing up often means reflecting on childhood memories with a new, adult perspective. These online users looked back on their younger years, only to realize their parent’s inappropriate childrearing tactics.

1. Driving Drunk

drunk driving

“My dad always drove drunk and was actually drunk most of the time,” recalled one Redditor. “It wasn’t until well into high school that I realized you’re not supposed to drive around with a whiskey and coke.”

Another user, whose father had the same dangerous habit, added: “[My dad would] get food and tell me it soaked up the alcohol, so it’s fine. I believed that until I started drinking.”

2. Re-gifting Presents

surprising child with present

According to these online users, their parents were early adopters of modern recycling initiatives, often in the worst way possible.

One Redditor remembered that, when they were a kid, presents were usually items that they already owned: “[My] SNES and Nintendo 64 would be pawned, and I’d get them back on Christmas or my birthday.”

“I received the same necklace three times,” shared another online user. “My mom always wanted to keep it with her jewelry for ‘safekeeping.’”

3. Unorthodox Swimming Lessons

boy with life jacket swimming

Up until the age of six months, infants are known to possess a primitive diving reflex that prompts them to hold their breath underwater. The knowledge of this survival instinct sometimes encourages foolhardy parents to take risks when teaching their children how to swim.

“Before I was totally competent swimming by myself, my mom would put a life jacket on me, tie a long piece of nylon rope to it, and chuck me in the river,” wrote one Redditor. “She’d basically swim me on a leash down the river for fun. Mom, you are the classiest redneck.”

4. Public Urination

child needs toilet

When I was a kid, and I had to pee walking back to the car, my dad would have me pee on another car’s tire,” revealed this online user, who confessed, “I thought this was normal.”

Car ownership soon encouraged the Redditor to think differently: “I didn’t realize this was wrong until I got my own car and realized I would prefer it if no one peed on it.”

5. Reckless Driving

reckless driving

This Redditor’s fondest memory involved donuts in the grocery store parking lot, and they were certainly not the Krispy Kreme kind.

After their mother would run inside the store to pick up groceries, their dad “would drift donuts in the parking lot while we waited. Literally the most fun ever.”

6. Going to the ‘doctor’

doctors office

Sometimes, grown-up revelations about certain childhood memories can prompt a reevaluation of our family relationships. This Redditor never questioned their parents’ frequent trips to the doctor: “Of course, I hated visits to the doctor and was happy to not tag along.” Eventually, their older siblings also began ‘going to the doctor’ regularly.

The truth of these supposed visits only came out when the online user was in high school. At a holiday gathering, the Redditor’s family revealed: “that ‘going to the doctor’ was just a way to get me to stay home if anybody wanted to go somewhere without me (errands, the mall, McDonalds).”

7. Purchasing drugs

teens buying drugs

“My mom sent me with her car and friend to buy an eight ball of cocaine when I was fourteen,” recalled one Redditor. “I knew it was wrong, just not how wrong, I was just excited to drive the car.”

A fellow internet user, whose parent was also a drug addict, shared a similar experience with a different outcome. “The dealer refused to take my money. ‘She sent her fucking kid?! Go home, son,’” they remembered the surprising turn of events. “He actually walked me to my block and watched until I got inside.”

8. Harboring a fugitive

homeless guy

“My mom harbored a weird *ss guy who happened to be a fugitive in our basement for about six months,” disclosed another Redditor, who was eight years old at the time.

The scheme was foiled when an armed bounty hunter (or possibly plain-clothes police officer) arrived at their house to take the man away. The mother then took her children to visit the former fugitive in prison four or five times over the course of the year.

 As a child, the user thought this was a “normal occurrence” until they shared the story with their father’s divorce lawyer three years later. “[The lawyer] was shocked it had never come up before … and my dad, who was deployed in Kosovo at the time, had no idea it had ever even happened.”

9. Sabotaging a credit score

credit score

Every American adult knows the value of a good credit score: a better chance for loan approval, lower rates on credit cards, more likely to pass a landlord check, etc. This user revealed how their parent actively damaged their score and many life opportunities by “[p]utting all the bills under my name, thus causing MY credit to be crap by the time I turned eighteen.”

“Wildly illegal. You can sue and get that fixed,” advised a commenter. Using your child’s information to open bank accounts, take out credit cards, and charge bill payments constitutes both identity theft and credit fraud.

10. Clandestine infidelities


Sleeping with other people and having to hide it” is how one Redditor remembered their parents behaving throughout their childhood.

Multiple commenters shared similar memories, going so far as to explain how they had never valued marriage simply because they only had their parents’ turbulent relationships as an example of matrimony.

“I just always thought marriage wasn’t for me,” one such user confessed. “Because it looked like it was pointless and overall a pain in the ***. Eventually, I graduated high school, moved out, and started dating… that’s when I realized you could actually like your partner and prefer to be around them. I just had no idea.”

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This article Something Your Parents Did Wrong But You Didn’t Realize it Was Wrong Until You Were Older was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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