Great Parenting Stories From Kids Who Were Raised Right
Being a parent is a tough job (So I'm told), so we're here to celebrate those times when our own parents get the thing absolutely right.
These responses are from a couple AskReddit threads, sources at the end of the article.
My Mom raised me with the understanding that your education is the only thing no one can take away from you. This also comes with the idea that learning extends far beyond the classroom and it is important to experience other cultures, ideas, and parts of the world to become a more well rounded person.
My father has always lived by the saying, "leave things BETTER than you found them."
This means in specific situations, you should clean up after yourself and return things you borrow in good condition. Fix things that you find that are broken.
However, this also means to think broadly and you should volunteer, help people, and leave this world better than you found it; don't just be a lazy slob that sits around and consumes things. Fix your small part of the world and help others - educate them, paint over graffiti, sweep your neighbor's sidewalk as long as you have the broom out and are sweeping your driveway, and be a productive member of society.
I try my best to do this when I can and I'm always that guy in the group. I gather cups and wipe the kitchen clean at your party; I fix that broken chair leg, and I put things back where they belong at the store, even if someone else dumped it there.
When I was a teenager, I always had to be home by midnight, unless I called before 11. If I did, I got to stay out till 2 most nights. It gave me just the right amount of freedom and now I'm very punctual.
When I was in the 7th grade I won the school geography bee (even though I desperately tried to lose it), which qualified me to go to the state tournament. I was so embarrassed I threw away the invitation. When my dad found it in the garbage he sat me down and basically laid out that virtually every famous or important person in the world was not only smart, but actively showed everyone how smart they are.
After that I was no longer hesitant about speaking up in social settings, questioning what I was told if I knew otherwise (which got me in lots of trouble at a Catholic high school), and giving my opinions, even when in the company of people who were my superiors.
Now in the workforce for several years, I can trace much of my success back to that specific incident and the way it shifted my worldview from the (sadly) popular opinion in adolescents that "being smart is not cool" to the much more accurate "being smart is a huge leg up."
To not yell or get angry with people who work customer service
They are just trying to help, they didn't cause you any problems to begin with
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My parents were never by any means wealthy. If anything we struggled throughout my childhood financially.
I remember my mom spent what she had to buy my brother, sister and I a N64 for Christmas. We all lost our minds when she said she would buy us one because we knew she struggled financially and especially with three children and being a single mother.
Our toilet broke one winter and we had to use a bucket for about a week that was on our porch in freezing conditions while she fixed the toilet herself. She would give the neighbor kids Christmas presents with no name on it because we all knew the parents in our duplex were awful.
She definitely taught us humility and to be humble with what we had not necessarily with her words but her actions. Reflecting on it now at 24 she worked her hardest to help her children and others which influenced me and makes me think that I turned out to be a pretty alright person.
They fed my addiction for books.
My parents taught me to be independent. To pursue whatever I wanted and to not give up on it. Also they didn't shelter me as much as some parents might do. They gave me basic rules and I followed them. Also they made sure that if I ever wanted a girlfriend I would need to have support myself, financially and emotionally, because supporting someone else would be even harder.
Taught me how to eat properly and cook good food. I've seen so many teenagers recently eating fast food everyday because his/her parents didn't care enough to teach differently. You only get one body and you need to take care of it!
Whatever I was into, mum got into.
Racing around to buy me a video game at launch, making me kung fu outfits, helping me film my cat for youtube.
Good job mum you taught me how to make your kids feel like you really care.
I remember going to a diner with my Dad for breakfast when I was young. We ate near a window in which a homeless woman was nestled on the other side. He didn't mention her throughout the meal, or when she finally came inside and ordered a glass of water. We were finishing up by this point and when the waitress came to collect the bill, he handed her an extra $40 and asked that she "put it towards whatever the lady that just sat down would like and to give her whatever is left". Before the waitress could finish delivering the gift my Dad had already hustled out of the diner to avoid any gratitude.
I'm sure this was just one scenario I happened to be a part of by chance, and that if I brought it up today he wouldn't even remember, but it made a lasting impression.
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I was brought up to care for others and to be generous. My mom would take me shopping each year for a giving tree gift for a kid in need at holiday time. From early on, I was also expected to save $100 a year for a Christmas Club to buy people gifts.
My parents didn't put up with screaming or tantrums, but the also never screamed themselves. If I got out of hand in public, they just removed me from the situation immediately.
I respected my parents without being hit. My dad only spanked me once when I scared my mom by not coming home.
We ate dinner together every night unless there was some good reason not to do so. Not only did we respect family time, we talked about our days and current events. My parents never talked to me like I was some dumb kid and expected me to act intelligently.
Now I have a baby of my own and I'm very glad that I had such good templates for parenting to guide me.
My father taught me a lot of good lessons, one that stands out the most was "If you are the smartest person in the room, you are hanging out with the wrong people."
When I learned how to read, he would take me to a bookstore every week and had me pick out any books I wanted. I consumed books at an almost unhealthy rate, reading from the end of school until I went to sleep. As I got older, I started reading his favorite books from his personal library, fraught with thousands of fantasy novels. I remember finishing LOTR in third grade and running to his room, sobbing that Frodo left his friends. My love for reading persisted until high school, constantly discussing characters and story lines with my dad.
As a result, I am now a very proficient reader. I took a speed reading class in high school, and my words per minute clocked in at around 1500. This is a somewhat mundane skill that has made my life immeasurably easier. Whether it be scanning textbooks, cruising through grant applications, or just reading news articles, my dad instilled a love for literature within me that is now my greatest asset.
My parents always made sure I was polite and always said "Please" and "Thank you" for everything.
My parents were not afraid to say "no" to me.
But the only time they didn't was when I wanted a new book. If I asked for a book, my mom and dad had no problem buying one for me. It helped that I never really asked for much (their words) and I always picked books of the sale table and I would read every one that I got.
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Here's a good example. I remember when one of the earlier generation of iPods came out, I really wanted one. Like, extreme want. I had been collecting CD's for years and wanted one single place to put all of my music and carry it with me. So I asked for it. My parents aren't the type that just had $400 lying around (I was sort of ignorant to finances and bills at the time). I don't think they wanted to, but they told me they couldn't get it, but if I worked hard enough and saved for it, I could buy it with my own money.
So that's what I did. I saved every bit of money I could in hopes that I could one day buy the iPod I wanted. Sure enough, I did. It was one of the happiest days of my pre-adult life. I remember the thrill and satisfaction of putting in the effort of making my want a reality. It also taught me to value the things you have and take care of them.
I was upset at my parents for not just getting me what I wanted for a little while since I thought I was responsible and deserved it. In retrospect, it's a great lesson. The world won't give me something just because I want it.
I'm on reddit at work. Clearly, they didn't
If you can't afford it, don't get it, don't live above your means because you WANT something, if you NEED it its ok but wanting something is no excuse to go into debt.
My mom was a raging alcoholic who was not sober one day from when I was 12 until I was 21. She instituted no rules, and let me do whatever I wanted when I wanted. She did not talk to me or help me with problems or give me any guidance. She'd give me her car and say be home by 10. I could come home at 3 on a school night and she wouldn't say a word about it. Kids could make firecrackers in my microwave while she was in the next room and she wouldn't care.
To get an idea of how bad she was, she got a DWI at .35 and was coherently talking with the officer. She could be up and walking at talking at .45.
Anyway that all taught me to be very self sufficient. I am almost done with school. My GPA is 3.8, I've never really been in trouble, work ~30 hours a week and abstain from abusing drugs or alcohol. So she did well, actually...
They knew I was intrigued by knives and so taught me how to not hurt myself with them.
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I let the good Dr. Jones answer for me:
Professor Henry Jones: I was a wonderful father.
Indiana Jones: Yeah, how?
Professor Henry Jones: Did I ever tell you to eat up, go to bed, wash your ears, do your homework? No, I respected your privacy and I taught you self reliance.
Whenever my mom was cooking, I would always ask, "when's the food going to be ready? I'm hungry." My mom told me that If I was going to pester her about the food, I had to help her. It began with stirring whatever was on the stove. I was a kid, I could handle it.
It later changed to "chop the (insert vegetables here)." Then, it changed to "make the side dishes." It eventually turned into "make dinner." I am a 28 year old bearded man who cooks Mexican food from scratch like a grandmother.
This upbringing made me comfortable in the kitchen. My culinary knowledge expanded when I moved out and lived on my own. If I was craving anything, instead of going out to eat, I would go online, research a few recipes, find the common ingredients, and make my own. Thai, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian; I got all that on lockdown.
Knowing how to cook is truly the best skill I learned from my parents. It also helps in the art of wooing a lady.
By teaching me to form my opinions by thinking critically and logically, based on sound information. And to have a strong enough conviction to fight for the values I hold close.
My dad always told me never to do something halfway, either do it or don't. To this day, I have learned not to make commitments that I knew I could not follow through on.
Thank you, Dad.
My dad told me to work hard and I would earn my way up, and he gave me a pretty accurate explanation of being on time: If I'm early, I'm on time. If I'm on time, I'm late, and if I'm late I'm fired. I haven't always been perfect, but I'm early 90% of the time, and call if I think I'm going to be late.
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My parents had me working since I was 8. They always paid me, and I worked for them at their business doing easy busywork like dusting. They slowly taught me how to do more and more, and eventually I could take care of whole contracts by myself, around the time I was a teenager. I had to be in charge of other people who were much older than me, and I had to be responsible and have a good work ethic.
Now, every job I've had has benefited greatly from the experience and ethics they taught me. I've been working as long as I can really remember. They taught me to be reliable, responsible, self-motivated and hard working, and for that I'm quite grateful.
Since learning how to spell/write, my mom always gave me a 2-week window to send a Thank You note after receiving a gift or after being helped by someone, etc. To this day, I send TY notes immediately and try keep up correspondence with friends and family on a regular basis. Everyone always calls, writes back, or texts to say how great it made them feel that I took the time to send them a handwritten note. A little thanks goes a long way. I think most manners have gone out the window nowadays, and I'm glad my mom drilled some respect into my brain at such a young age.
As a child my parents always taught me to throw my trash in the wastebasket.
A couple of years ago I was at a Starbucks with a friend and no money for a drink. As she had her smoothie, I played with the paper that had covered her straw and made bits and pieces of it. On my way out I threw out the trash and the barista was so happy I did it, that he gave me a free drink. Apparently, most everyone else just throws their trash on the ground.
I told my dad that when I grow up, I wanted to have fun at work and do something I enjoyed and liked, and I asked him why he didn't have a job like that.
He said, "Do you know what I like? Feeding and supporting my family."
Now I don't necessarily hate my job, and I don't love it either. But I have a secure job with a steady and decent cash flow. My father taught me that you may not always like your job, but sometimes you have to do what is necessary for someone else.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.