People Share The Dire Warnings Their Parents Passed Down That End Up Being Completely Untrue
If the wind blows when your tongue is out, your face will stay like that.
If you drink coffee, you’ll never grow taller than you are right now.
If you don’t finish your dinner, a monster will get you in your sleep.
Sound familiar? Parents tell their kids all sorts of crazy things to get them to behave, eat healthy foods, or make good choices. But some parents just take it too far… way too far. Whether they’re teaching their kids a lesson or just trying to get them to do something hilarious, some of these parents may have crossed the line. The following stories will make you laugh, cringe, and wonder, “What were they thinking?” Most of all, though, they will make you glad that these people aren’t your parents.
#1 It Will Be There Forever
“If you get in trouble at school, it will go on your ‘PERMANENT RECORD’ and ruin your life.”
Not once has anyone, from college admissions to prospective employers, so much as mentioned the legendary “PERMANENT RECORD.”
My parents tol me that my two choices in life were either Harvard or McDonald’s. Sheesh. There’s a bit of a gray area in between those two extremes.
#3 Natural Selection
I was born left-handed. My pops used to smack the heck out of me if I used my left hand, in essence forcing me to be right-handed. I had to constantly remind myself to use the hand with my birthmark to avoid smacks. As an adult, I asked my pops why he forced me to be right-handed and he gave some tepid response, saying: “When you’re left-handed, you’ll have a tendency to pull that way when you’re driving, exposing you to oncoming traffic.” Sounded dumb to me, and it was, as confirmed by all the left-hand drivers in the world that don’t spontaneously drive into oncoming traffic. For reference, my pops is an old school Vietnamese dude. I feel like it’s a cultural thing, but I was raised American and have no flippin’ idea.
#4 What’s The Point Of That?
My parents, and pretty much everyone I knew, were extremely against me quitting flying lessons. My parents repeatedly told me I’d regret it. They acted like I was throwing my life away.
I think everyone just views being a pilot as being cool, so anyone giving up that opportunity would be seen as throwing a life of coolness out the window. In reality, flying is kind of boring. The maneuvers and landings are fun, but what you do 90% of the time is boring. It’s like driving with another axis, except now you have to listen to radio chatter to find out if you need to move a few degrees. It got to the point where the only way I thought I could have fun with it was with the military. I talked to five Air Force pilots and found that my chance of getting into anything cool was basically non-existent. Screw that. Also, I didn’t really have Air Force grades at the time. Now that I’m in college, I definitely don’t have Air Force grades.
I sunk about $5,000 into flying. I needed to spend roughly another grand to get a private pilot’s license. That money was coming from a very finite amount of money dedicated to college. A grand less in college debt is better than chasing a dream I got bored of a year ago. Also, those flight hours don’t expire. I can pick it up again whenever, but I really don’t have an interest in it.
I’m in a new career path that is just about as boring, but I’m not stuck in a chair, which is nice.
#5 Sounds Logical
They told me that people who didn’t think and live like them led miserable, pointless lives and that I would die young unless I followed a life plan that had been mapped out for me.
I’m on the outside now, trying to find my own thing, and I can see now that it’s my parents who are really leading pointless lives. Turns out that you can’t actually trust an ancient collection of ancient Middle Eastern political propaganda to guide you through your first world, 21st-century life.
#6 Hairy Situation
My parents told me that if I used one brand of shampoo and a different brand of conditioner, my hair would fall out. Also, when I was five or six, I asked what would happen if you turned in the opposite direction of the turn signal, and my mom told me the car would explode. Not sure why she told me that.
#7 Weird Interview
They said I would be unemployable if I didn’t learn cursive handwriting. Parents and teachers made me think that every job interview would have a cursive test in which they would measure the loops on the L’s or something.
#8 Why Would You Even Think About That?
“If you unscrew your belly button, your bum will fall off.”
I did my best to avoid screwdrivers for a large part of my childhood because I lacked the will power not to stuff them into my belly button. I was terrified at the thought of losing my bum but intrigued by the possibility.
#9 More Sad Than Funny
My mother was a paranoid schizophrenic, undiagnosed until about five years ago, so the list is LONG. The most notable, to me, was that during a thunderstorm, every single electronic item in the house has to be unplugged or it would draw lightning and burn the place down. She also made us close all doors in the house and sit in the hall or in the bathroom until the storm had passed so the house wouldn’t implode.
I hadn’t even associated this with my crippling fear of storms until a therapy session a few months ago.
#10 And People Will Look Funny Forever
“If you cross your eyes, they might end up staying like that.”
I’m no expert but I did a quick Google search and a bunch of sources said it was a myth. Cross your eyes at your own risk!
#11 Not On The Same Page
My mom warned me as a kid that eating the loose pieces of dried ramen from the pack would make me deathly ill.
I kept doing it with no problems. Then, one day, she said that in front of my dad when I was a teen and he just gave her this “What are you talking about” look.
#12 It’s Always Harder On The Other Side?
My ex-stepdad owned a restaurant where I worked as a busboy. He was always very tough on me, berating my work, but was adamant that he was actually going easy on me. He’d say that when I got a job in the “real world” (his favorite phrase), my bosses would be so much tougher on me.
I quit a month before my 16th birthday and went to work at the local Dairy Queen. That’s when I found out he was full of it. My mom left him shortly after that, thankfully.
#13 Watch Out When You’re At The Beach, Kid
When we would go to the beach I would never want to get out of the water, so my mom told me that staying in the water too long would make me “waterlogged.” She said she could look into my eyes and see the level of water in my system. If the water raised above my iris, that meant I had to get out and let the water drain before I drowned. I believed this for far too long.
#14 Maybe That Makes Sense?
My dad used to not allow us to eat prawns when were younger because he claimed they would make us stupid. Of course this was a lie, but I think it partly came from this idiom in my language which translates literally into “prawn’s brain,” which means someone who is stupid. The idiom is derived from the fact that the prawn keeps its fecal matter in its head. Hence, an old wives’ tale led to a prawn-less life. My friends ended up ridiculing me the first time I ate it because I thought I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t allowed to eat prawns when I was younger.
#15 Would It Drip Out Of Your Ears?
“Watching TV will turn your brains into mush.”
I thought they meant literally.
#16 Poor Kid At The Cash Register
I was told that if I played too many video games, I’d have to get little braces on my fingers.
Mom: “The kid at the cash register at the grocery store had them because he played too many video games.”
#17 Gender Norms?
“Boys only want one thing from girls! Be careful in high school. That’s all the boys will want to do.”
Turns out, the “one thing” all the boys I hung out with wanted from me was a turn at playing Pokemon on my GameBoy!
#18 Cancer Is Everywhere
Microwaves will give you cancer, cellphones will give you cancer, smart meters will give you cancer, WiFi will give you cancer, conventionally-grown food will give you cancer, Western medicine will give you cancer, antibiotics will give you cancer…
My mom was obsessed with cancer.
She even said sitting near the TV will give you cancer. Then she bought a 12″ black and white TV… a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
#19 Joke’s On You
“I can always make another you, I can’t make another me.”
Turns out he can’t, he got a vasectomy after I was born.
#20 There Would Be A Lot Of Sanitation Workers If This Was True
My parents told me getting less than 90% in school will lead me to a career as a trashman and I will live a very miserable life.
#21 Ew. And Ouch.
I was told that if I kept picking my nose, my head would cave in.
#22 Fear Everyone And Everything
“The people you meet on the Internet are swindlers or serial killers.”
Overall, the number of people who are out there to get me was severely exaggerated. That explains some of my social problems, I guess.
#23 Who Knows Who’ll You’ll Meet That Way?
“Always wear clean underwear, because if you get in a car accident, you’ll be embarrassed to have the paramedics see you in dirty underwear.” If I’m ever in a situation where paramedics are called, I think the state of my underwear would likely be the last thing on my mind.
My mother also said I should never leave the house, even to go to the mailbox, without my hair and makeup done. She said that I could meet the perfect man any time so I should always look my best. My mom was odd.
#24 Pretty Judgy
“Addicts are the underbelly of society.” BULL. Some of them are the kindest people I know and they just so happen to struggle with addiction. They’re just normal people who know what it’s like to suffer. In fact, they are often more compassionate because of that. Of course, addicts who are not sober is probably a different story. But I am really impressed by addicts in recovery.
#25 Well, It Is Annoying…
“Sniffling kills brain cells.”
When I was told that, I refused to sniff, even during colds, because I was terrified I would lose my brain cells.
Turns out, my mom thinks sniffling is annoying and just didn’t want to hear it.
#26 Flipping It Around
In the late seventies, I wanted to buy my first car. It was a 1977 Triumph TR7. It was the most unreliable car I ever owned. My dad later told me that he knew it would be a money pit. When I asked him why he didn’t warn me, he said I should learn from my mistakes. Thanks, dad!
#28 Or Maybe She Had Just Never Had It Rare?
“You can’t eat steak that is pink on the inside, that’s how you get sick.” I believed this until I was about 19 when I learned that it pretty much can be as red in the center as you like so long as it’s properly seared…
Turned out, my mom just didn’t like rare steak and felt uncomfortable making it for me and my sister, so she just lied.
#29 Keeping All The Good Stuff
My dad got artichoke hearts one day and convinced my brother and me that they were actual hearts. For whatever reason, we thought we weren’t supposed to eat them, so he ate all the hearts.
I came to find out around 15 that they were the best part of the artichoke. Thanks, dad!
My mom refuses to eat lamb to this day because her dad told her, around 1960, that it was “Mary’s little lamb.” My grandpa also convinced my cousin that flank steak was actual monkey butt, so he wouldn’t eat it and gave it to him every time.
#30 Did They Know From Experience?
I was always skinny growing up, even though a lot of my family is overweight. I also had no interest in physical activities. My parents always used to tell me that if I didn’t exercise I’d start getting fat by the time I was 25. Joke’s on them — I didn’t start putting on weight until I was 30!
#31 Follow Your Dreams
“Your passion and talent for art, games, web design and photo-manipulation won’t make you any money. Go to college for something that will get you an actual career, like Psychology.”
I graduated from high school in 2007. I wanted to go to a particular “College of Art & Design” for game design, but I listened to their advice instead. They were VERY WRONG.
#32 Jobs Are Different Than Parents
“Someday, you’re going to have a boss and you will be fired if you speak to them the way you speak to me.”
First of all, if a boss ever abused me the way you did, mom, I’d quit.
Second, I have to regularly tell my boss NO and that I need her to be more reliable if I am to do the job she wants. Not only do I still have a job, but I am also constantly praised for the work I do.
#33 Not A Parent, But Still
Back in high school, I was in a programming class and we had this sub one time. The first time I had him, he went on for a bit about how he was a retired corporate tech bigwig. That was fine.
The trouble started when he read the lesson plan for the day to us. He read it very slowly and it was also written on the board because it was a work day, so some of us started getting to work.
Well, he didn’t like that. So he told us to stop. Then he started reading the lesson plan again from the beginning. Well, I stopped and waited for him, but other people started typing again.
He flipped out after that, going on and on about how disrespectful we were and how he would fire us if we worked for him. By the time he was done, the class was over and we got nothing done. The class was an hour and a half.
I had him three times after that, but he was always really chill, so I don’t know if he got a stern talking-to from the regular teacher, or if he just had a bad day the first time. The last time, he took the graduating seniors into the hall individually and gave them a pep talk about college and careers and whatnot.
#34 The World Is A Vampire
“Don’t talk to strangers, they’ll take you into an alley and hurt you for your money.”
“Your friends don’t care about you, they just want to use you for your money.”
“Don’t take that dance class. Employers will think you’re weird and not hire you.”
“If you can’t tell me EVERYTHING you’re doing there every day, you’re not taking it seriously enough and I’m pulling you out of school.”
Dad lost his marbles a little when I went to college.
#35 But You Could Have Been So… Famous?
“You’ll regret quitting piano lessons.” I guess it doesn’t sound that dire written out, but my mom’s kind of obsessed with musical instruments and was really, really upset that I didn’t want to find a new piano instructor after my last one retired. Anyway, I don’t regret it. Kind of wish I could play the guitar, though, but I suppose it’s not too late to start.
Guess you can’t know if you’ll regret quitting something until you already do or don’t.
#36 And It Didn’t Even Make A Difference
My mother was convinced that I was going to be her “artsy kid” and pushed me into music extracurriculars against my will. I could never play more than very basic songs on the piano, with the teachers all basically telling me I have terminally stiff fingers. As my buddy once put it, I’m “dexterically-challenged,” which means I could be locked in a room filled with food in “slightly difficult to open plastic bags” and I’d starve to death.
#37 Just Maybe Don’t Get 10
“Oh no, don’t get a credit card!”
I get it: if you’re really irresponsible with money, they can cause trouble. However, it makes my finances so much easier. I just put everything I can on it, make sure I don’t spend money I don’t have or am not expecting to get, and I get free money out of it.
#8 They Made Me Think It’d Be Easy
“Pushers will offer you illicit substances to get you hooked!!”
Not once, NOT ONCE, in 36 years of living all over the world has anyone offered me anything.
#39 What Was The Original Point?
This isn’t “dire,” but my mom did always tell me that when moving clothes from the washing machine to the dryer, it was extremely important that I pulled every piece of clothing out one by one and give them a good shake before putting them into the dryer. If I didn’t, the clothes wouldn’t dry correctly and they’d smell like mold forever.
Many years later (at 30 years old), I was doing this at my house while my parents were over, and my dad asked what the heck I was doing. I explained that mom had told me this was really important. She now insists that she never said such a thing, nor does she do it.
Played for over 15 years. Thanks, mom!
#40 Don’t Worry About What You Like, Kid
When I was in college my dad was VERY concerned about my choice of major. He kept reminding me that I needed to have career options and I couldn’t just choose a major I liked. I needed to take a major that I could have a career in. I kept telling him I would and he just wouldn’t take that for an answer.
I was a double major in Computer Engineer and Computer Science with a minor in mathematics. I also went on to get my masters in Computer Software Systems. Also, the only change I made in my major while in college was to switch from a double major in CE and Physics to one in CE and CS (I had switched after my first disastrous physics class where the professor used vector algebra even though it was not a pre-requisite).
#41 Didn’t Want Her To Be Wrong
My mom would always tell me: “Take that look off your face or it will freeze like that.” I took that as fact when I was little. I really wanted dimples like my friend down the street, so I would sit in my room with pencil erasers pushed into my cheeks. No dimples still.
#42 What Would Have Been Better Advice?
I was bullied a LOT as a kid. I was smaller than the others and awkward as well. I always heard, “If someone hits you or tries to beat you up, don’t fight back! This will make them angrier and you’ll get more hurt. Plus, if the cops get involved, you’ll get arrested!”
So, I got my butt kicked on a regular basis for years, usually by the same kids until I finally got royally fed up with it in 9th grade and went completely feral on one of the kids when he approached me. Turns out, being straight up tackled and attacked with teeth and claws is an incredibly effective defense against someone trying to sucker punch you.
The bullying stopped (they were terrified of me from then on), and I even made more friends.
#43 Pretty Intense Warning
I went into a restaurant with my family once as a kid, and wouldn’t stop hanging off this brass line divider pole they had in there. My grandpa told me to stop because I was getting fingerprints all over it, but I wouldn’t listen. So he told me, “You know, if someone comes in here right now and ends someone else with that pole, your fingerprints are going to be on it and they’re going to think you did it. You’ll go to jail.” I immediately started crying, refused to go anywhere near that pole, and my grandpa laughed his head off while my mom and grandma scolded him for scaring me.
Turns out, fingerprint evidence is somewhat dubious and would never be admissible in court under such circumstances. So, the joke’s on you grandpa, you wily old jerk!
#44 Finish The Sentence
“You’re a jack of all trades, but a master of none.” It used to really haunt me. I thought I would never find my lot in life if I didn’t focus on some single direction. I had to just put it out of my mind and get on with things. I’m 36 now, married, living across the country, and only a few months ago learned that the full statement is: “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but often times better than a master of one.”
#45 She Really Hated Long Hair, Huh?
“Don’t grow your hair long! Girls think it’s ugly!”
I stopped listening last year and every girl I know says they like my hair long (six inches, give or take). It used to look so bad. My mom kept dragging me to a Great Clips where they’d screw up my hair for half an hour and then slam a ton of low-quality gel into it. I saw a picture of me last year and cringed at my hair more than the SoundCloud rapper tattoos my friends drew on me with makeup.