As we approach adulthood, we often believe we already know everything we need to know. We pass our driver's test, get approved for a credit card, and book our own doctor's appointment once and we think we've already got life figured out. We might even think we no longer need our parents' help or advice. But the bottom line is, our parents still know what's best for us, even if we refuse to admit it. We often forget that they were in our position not too long ago, so they've already been there and done that. People from around the world took to the internet to share a moment when they realized their parents were right all along, and needless to say, their stories are definitely humbling.
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#1 On Friendship Duration
"Not all your friends need to be 'forever-friends.' Some people are just desired to be your friend for that right time in your life." This is really good advice. My fiancé suffers from depression and the last episode was about how hard it is to make friends after college where you spend every waking moment with close friends. He’s convinced that all relationships after that are meaningless because you only see each other occasionally and talk about superficial things. I tried to tell him that just because you see other people less doesn’t make that friendship any less meaningful.
#2 Show Me Your Teeth
Take care of your teeth. I try so hard to teach that to my kid. Every day, I'm on him about brushing, flossing and rinsing. I even show him how terrible my teeth are because I didn't have someone do the same. Yet, he still tries to get out of it. Maybe I'm trying too hard, heh. Thank god for dental insurance I guess. I can't even imagine life would be like without it.
#3 A Child's Pain
After a breakup with my first real boyfriend, my dad told me that there is no greater emotional pain than seeing your child hurting. Dang. A couple of decades later, I realized he’s right. I've seen my father cry twice in my entire life. The second time was when his mother passed away recently, and the first was a few years ago when I opened up and told him about my depression.
#4 Listen To Dad
My dad encouraged me not to buy a house with my at the time girlfriend and instead save my money and buy one on my own or with my brother. Obviously, I didn't listen. I threw away probably $30,000 and about five years of my early 20s. I should have listened. I don't think I would have had enough income to be approved for the mortgage on my own. Also, I was young and stupid—I thought buying a house was the smartest thing to do, regardless if it was with a high school girlfriend.
#5 Double It
"Start saving as soon as you can. You don't have as much money as you think you do." My parents told me that when I had a part-time job whilst living at home. I thought I was loaded until I moved out and realized how expensive life is. "Take the amount of money you think you need to live on your own, then double it to get the real amount."
#6 Man Babies
My grandmother didn't like my boyfriend. She said he was lazy, arrogant, and using me. A couple of months after college as I force him awake after he'd been partying all night so I can drive him to work on time, I realized, "Dang. She's right." Learn to identify man-babies as quickly as you can and your life will be better for it.
#7 In The Blink Of An Eye
Time flies faster than you think. I genuinely believe this to be true. Since 2008, I was active as heck; traveling and forcing myself outside of my comfort zone. Those years seemed like childhood years. The past four years of routine and idleness, however, has flown by. It's very easy to fall into a rut and stay there. I'm 34 now and I need to get back to my old adventurous self, otherwise, I'll turn 50 next year.
#8 The Better Boyfriend
A little while after I had finally got my ex out of my life for good, I realized my parents were right all along. They had been against our relationship from day one. My mom enjoyed that conversation. The difference in my parents' attitudes towards my ex-boyfriend's to my current, future life partner is staggering. Not like they were rude to my former boyfriend's, but it's very apparent that they prefer the current model so much more.
#9 A Mother's Intuition
I distinctly remember telling my mom: "I don't get why I'm 'too young to know what love is,' I'm SIXTEEN, I'm not a KID." Looking back on that relationship, I'm amazed she didn't laugh in my face. It was either that or my mom would guess exactly what my then-girlfriend was all about. And I'd try to hit her with the "Mom you don't get it! She's different than the others!" She was the same.
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#10 Protect Your Investment
“Wear your retainer.” I lost that dang thing a week after I got my braces off and was worried about getting in trouble with my parents, so I never said anything. Cut to 20 years later and I’m looking into Invisalign because my teeth have become noticeably crooked. That stuff is like $4,000. I think my teeth are worse than they were before braces.
#11 Too Good To Be True
"If it sounds too good to be true, it is." Yup. I quit my job last month. My boss offered me a 300% pay raise to stay. I said no. All my friends said, "Why didn't you take the offer?" That offer was dumb. He was gonna keep me long enough to hire my replacement, then fire me in a month. Thankfully, I had another job lined up.
#12 Best Foot Forward
"You’re gonna regret all this slacking off." You're capable of whatever the heck you want to do. People have walked on the moon, and they were just regular humans like you. Whenever I'm feeling depressed, I try to force myself to wake up a little bit earlier, shower quickly and put on a fresh, good-looking outfit. It's such a small thing, and for me personally it can be so hard to get out of bed in the morning, but it will make a world of difference.
#13 Plan For Retirement Early
My dad spent years telling me that I should be saving money for retirement. I almost started when the 2007 crash happened. After that, I felt smart for not listening. In 2015, I started reading about how 401Ks work. I learned about index funds, compounding interest, and the tax breaks involved. I learned that anybody who stuck around and pushed through the crash without panic selling actually came out way on top.
I came to a simple conclusion on my own: dad was right. I've since started socking away as much as I can spare. My goal is to hit $100K by the age of 40. I'll never retire early, but I can still have a comfortable retirement by 65.
#14 Cooking Skills
"Learn to cook." When I was in the army I got sick and fucking tired of all my soldiers marrying the first girls they'd meet to cook them a meal. We had a week where all our equipment was in reset for some stupid reason so we were making up training events. I went to my first sergeant and said, "I'm going to trade these guys back to the apartment and teach them how to cook, tie a tie, wear a suit, all that stuff that these idiots don't know how to do." He agreed so fast it was almost sad. Huge success. I taught them a bunch of simple stovetop stuff, and how to dress like a freaking adult.
#15 Point And Laugh
When I was 16, I was amazed at how little my parents knew. Four years later, I couldn't believe how much they actually knew... I am 40 now and I find myself telling my children the things my dad told me when I was a kid. At that point, I realized that they are going to make their own mistakes and learn lessons that I had to learn for myself. My job is to warn, guide, and be there when they make mistakes... mainly to point and laugh.
#16 Change Is Necessary
When they warned me how easy it is to stay in a comfortable situation rather than the right one. I wasted a lot of time because I was cozy with the routine, then I looked up and realize I had spent three years being comfortable. That goes double for a career. I had a safe comfortable job all through my 20s that got me nowhere. I'm 10 years behind all my friends, but it was a really fun 20s.
#17 Adulthood Sucks
As a kid, I was always fascinated—obsessed, even—with being an adult. Being college-educated, living on my own, making my own money, etc. My parents always told me, "Don't wish your life away. Adult life isn't as easy and fun as it looks!" I've since learned that it is a severe understatement. Adult life is absolutely not easy and fun.
#18 He Knew All Along
I was one of those artsy but also academic kids. I wanted to be a professional artist but still applied only to liberal arts colleges because I wanted to have "an intellectual experience." While visiting a school, my father sat next to me as I waited for my interview in the admissions office and said, "I don't think you should go here, I looked at the course catalog and the biology program here is too molecular for you." My father had never said much about any potential career for me, both my parents had their own lives and just had a "whatever makes you happy" attitude. It was a total non-sequitur for me and, of course, I completely blew him off. He never mentioned anything like it again.
I did pursue my art career and after two years I left my liberal arts college to go to art school. However, I returned to the original school after realizing I would need a "real" job to support myself while I made my art, likely in an art gallery. Returning started an odd cascade of events that eventually landed me, ten years later, starting my Ph.D. in evolutionary biology. Fifteen years later I am, indeed, an evolutionary biologist with a good career and I do think of this as my "calling." I work with some molecular biologists for the medical part of my research, but it's true that this field feels very foreign to me and not interesting in the way my own is.
I asked my dad one day, "So, you knew it all along, huh?" He said, "Yes, but I knew it had to be your decision."
#19 Kids At Heart
Every parent was a kid at one time. You hear it and think about it. However, when you have kids a realization hits. Both my parents have passed. My dad always seemed like a big-kid to me, but it hadn't ever really clicked with my mom until this last year because she was so strict. After she went, I acquired SO MANY photos of her and my dad in their elementary to college days and it really is an insane realization to see it for yourself. They were just like you once.
#20 Making The Bed
My mom always used to get on my case about making my bed in the morning. I always thought it was such a waste of time, it's just going to get messed up again when I go to bed. But now, that two minutes that it takes to make it up in the morning gives a little structure to the day and when I come home it feels like everything is put together and neat.
#21 Look The Part
"Look the part, then learn your lines." In other words, focus on appearances initially because people judge you on first impressions. If you've nailed the body language, tone, eye contact, and dress; you can figure out what you're doing after the fact. This is such solid advice. Sure, we wish people wouldn't judge a book by its cover, but it is just too easy.
#22 Listen To Mom
This isn't that exciting but when I was 17, I didn't know what I wanted to do after high school. I was a little jerk back then. My mom tried to convince me to take the paralegal program at a community college and I was like heck no. Welp, eight years later I ended up in the paralegal degree program and loved it. I don't know how she knew I'd like it so much. Especially back then.
#23 Frostbite Karma
I decided to go to NYC for the first time last month and I thought that regular jackets or coats will do just fine. My parents told me that NYC winter weather is not something similar to here in the west coast. I decided to not listen to them and a few hours of being outside in NYC, I almost got frostbite. I AM NEVER NOT LISTENING TO THEM AGAIN.
#24 Ride Or Die
I was constantly told, "Your siblings are your true best friends." I would reply, "Screw you! I wanna go hang out with my real friends, not my family!" I've been out of high school for 15 years now, and haven't talked to anyone I knew from high school since 2014. I talk to my siblings daily. The friends you have when you are fourteen are not the people you need to "ride or die" with.
#25 Expanding Horizons
When they suggested I might outgrow my fascination with fantasy and dragons and to not put all of my future hopes and dreams into living in a fantasy world and forced me to do things outside of the comfort bubble, like signing up for high school football and other social, 'normal' things. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for saving me from becoming like the Comic Book Store Guy from The Simpsons. I'll always be a nerd at heart, but I've seen the world and am socially competent thanks to you.
#26 Forced To Be Better
My parents pretty much forced me to learn to drive when I was seventeen. I hated it. Hated it. I was terrible at it, none of my friends were learning to drive and I was fine on public transport (even though we lived in the middle of nowhere). It took me four times to pass my test, and I just wanted to give up. Now I see my friends from home who never learned (by choice, not because they couldn't afford it), and I don't know how they live. My hometown is really in the sticks, and the public transport infrastructure is terrible. Getting around must be a nightmare for them.
#27 They Had An Inkling
My parents hated a friend that I had as a kid named Nicole. If you’re reading this Nicole, go screw yourself. I was basically a loner and Nicole became my friend really quickly. But my parents literally hated her and I never understood why. Long story short, she basically blackmailed me on MSN and pretended to be some guy from our class.
She and some other people also left me alone in the mall the first time I went and I was so terrified because I was so unfamiliar with it. And then she also stole a bunch of stuff from me. Obviously, I found out way too late. I deleted her from all my social media and blocked her, but she still found a way to contact me. My parents were right about her all along.
#28 A Picky Eater's Nightmare
I went out of town for Easter when my wife and I started dating a few years back. We visited her family and they had a huge spread of food that included nothing I wanted to eat (mutton, beets, fish, etc. I'm a picky eater). When I looked at all of the food, I kept thinking about my late stepfather who told me fifteen years ago that "sometime you will be at a place that doesn't have any chicken fingers and you'll have to eat whatever is there." I swallowed my pride and ate the food. I called my mom after the party and told her what had happened and she could not stop laughing.
#29 Nothing Will Matter
"The friends that you have now... The boy that means the world to you right now... All of that won't matter in about a year when you're out working and living your life on your own. Friendships based on anger and misery don't last, love. " Flash forward a year later, I'm working a job as an Army reservist. I don't talk to any of my high school friends or my ex-boyfriend at all. In hindsight, I'm much happier now anyway, but I think the thing that stuck with me the most was what my mom said about friendships. Friendships based on anger and misery don't last. That's now become one of my personal mantras. Thanks, mom.
#30 Moms Know Best
When I was in high school, I worked part-time in a local sporting goods store. I got hired pretty young and there was a core group of college guys who had been there for a while. They welcomed me into the team and we would hang out sometimes outside of work, but since I was drastically younger, I couldn't join them at the bar or anything.
A couple of years later, when I was around 16, three of the guys moved into a house together and decided to throw a huge house party and kegger. I was the only under-ager from work invited and like any high schooler, I desperately wanted to go to the cool college party. My sister is much, much older than me and tried every trick in the book in high school so there wasn't much I could get away with. There was no chance of sneaking out or lying about going to so-and-sos. Instead, I took a different approach.
Me: "Hey mom. The guys at work are throwing a party on Saturday and they invited me. I know there will be drinking and I know they're much older, but these are my buddies and I think it would be really fun." Mom: "Sure, no problem. But when the cops come, just run down the block to the McDonalds and I'll pick you up there. You don't want your buddies to get caught selling drinks to a minor."
I laughed it off, mostly because I was just so excited about actually being able to go. I took the bus to the party and paid my $5. I hung out mostly with my work friends and had a few beers, though when I tried to go to the washroom for a leak, they were all taken. So I went out to the backyard and took a leak in the bushes when I saw the flashing lights on the side of the neighbor's house.
I hopped the fence, ran through the neighbor's yard and down the street to the McDonald's. The entire 10 minutes I sat there waiting for my mom to pick me up, I was thinking, "How did she know? HOW DID SHE KNOW?" There's about 0.5% of me that believes she's the one who called the cops.
#31 Good Looking Out
My ex. My parents both told me they didn't think he was good enough for me. Over and over, I heard their reservations about his family, his finances, his job and so on, so forth. But being wonderful parents, they supported me and even put forth the money for a wedding. My dad went out of his way to try to teach ex how to cook traditional food (something he did with my brother) and both of them offered to help him with his student loans. A month before the wedding, and the ex called it off. They just wanted me to be happy. They're better than I deserve.
#32 The Dragon Was Right
My mother always said to me and my little brother: "Not everyone needs to be your friend," meaning that not everyone should be in your life. At some point in high school, it clicked. Now, I'm glad I listened to her advice when looking at my friends and little brother and how some of their "friends'" interact with them. In those moments I tell myself: "Man, the Dragon was right. Get the flamethrower."
#33 Pops Was Right
My dad once told me: "Son, every major purchase in life you make? If you are able, pay cash for it. You'll be more debt-free than many of your peers no matter how much they make." He never lied. My friends would come to me like I was a bank for loans. I would think every time I heard about the debt they were in from credit cards and mortgages: "Man, pops was right!"
#34 Haunted By Eyeliner
Looking back at my grade nine to eleven photos, I realized just how horrible all of that black eyeliner and long bangs really did make me look. I used to get SO angry when they'd make me put my hair up or bug me about all the makeup I wore. "I'm EMO, mom, you don't UNDERSTAND." Jokes on me!
#35 The Pot Wasn't Hot
I was going to rent a room out and I just started dating this person who was also looking for a room. I told my dad I needed a lease (he's also the landlord, he owns a bunch of properties) for her to sign and he was concerned, saying it was a really bad idea. I remember responding in my usual joking way: "Dad, if you just tell the kid the pot is hot, he won't truly believe it until he touches it" or something like that. His response after I told him she and I separated and she moved out: "So... the pot was hot wasn't it?"
#36 Before And After
Mom: "But what are you going to do after your band? the party times have to end sometime. Have you thought about what you will do when you are 40?"
Me "Hehehe, don't worry Mum, I'm 25 and my life is sweet. Performances and strange women. Plus, I get paid for it! What could go wrong? I'll just party like this forever."
Me now: "Ugh, real-life sucks."
#37 Money Trees Don't Exist
Money doesn't grow on trees. I know, I know—it's a hacked phrase, but I think the underlying meaning is watching your money. Set a budget, live below your means, save for the (hopefully) long-term life you will have. It's a hard and harsh lesson to learn the later you start. Just listen to your parents and start saving early.
#38 Think Practically
Them: "Your art is wonderful, you're very talented, but you won't be able to make a living off of it. You should get a more practical degree." Me: "Psh, I'll prove you wrong!" Six years post-graduation and... I'm back in school for a more practical degree. Live and learn, I guess. The upside is that I had six years of adult life to figure out what I really wanted to do, which ended up being something that wasn't even offered at the big state college I originally attended.
#39 In Love With Baseball
When I decided not to play baseball in high school, my dad told me I'd regret it when I grew up. I was all like, "I'm gonna regret not having practice every day of the week, and games whenever I don't have practice?"... Instead, I came home from school every day and played video games or some other stuff. Now, I'm 23 and in love with baseball. Regret that decision so much these days.
#40 Enjoy Your Childhood
My parents told me to enjoy my childhood whilst I could because adulthood doesn’t wrap you in cotton wool as the former does. Can confirm now, adulthood sucks.
#41 Beware Of Getting Stuck
My father once told me, “Son, you’re going out of town to start a job that pays good money. Don’t let them get pregnant or you’ll be stuck with them forever.” At the time, I laughed on the inside because my parents met when my father took a good job out of town.
#42 Recognizing A Bad Influence
In middle school, there was a girl my mom didn't want me hanging out with because she thought she was a bad influence. I didn't have any other friends, so I really resented her for actively keeping her away. I ran into her two years later. She'd dropped out of middle school to have a baby and asked if I knew where to get some illicit substances. I asked about her baby, and she said she was gonna drop her off at the fire station because the baby wasn't as pretty as she hoped. My mom was pretty horrible overall, but dang. She called that one.
#43 Life Gets In The Way
Not so much my parents being right as they never really said much about it, but I used to think it was sad they rarely saw their friends. They'd get together for dinner every couple of months with the same group, alternate who hosted. I remember thinking I'll always see my friends, we're gonna be hanging every weekend, I'm not going to be one of those "old" people who do nothing. Now I realize they weren't just doing nothing, they were freaking busy and tired and had very little free time. All my friends are busy with work, and kids and life. It is hard to schedule a time to get together.
#44 Just Stay Safe
I literally just dropped off my car at the auto body shop with my parents. I was in an accident involving a tractor-trailer two weeks ago, due to a snowstorm. Work was called off and I should not have been out driving. But as soon as I received the call from my manager that I wouldn’t have to go into work, I instantly hopped in the car and braved the snowstorm to go hang with my friends. My parents told me I shouldn’t have been out driving. And they were right.
#45 Generation Of Idiots
My mom always told me that people judge you by the way you speak just as much as how you look. I never bought it until I hit my twenties and realized that much of my generation sound like idiots and can't hold a decent conversation without using slang terms.