14 Things We Often Heard From Our Parents, but Won’t Say to Our Own Children
Our parents obviously loved us and they wanted us to have the best lives possible. But sometimes, their upbringing methods left a huge mark that could influence our future lives for a long time. The seemingly harmless words, like, “Listen to adults” or “Stop acting like a girl” could’ve made a huge impact and really hurt us. This is why we don’t want to use these phrases with our own children.
We at Bright Side remember the stories from childhood that still bother us. And internet users have also managed to recall some very moving stories.
“I’ll take you back to the maternity home.”
If I didn’t behave, my mom would say, “I’ll give you to that man” or “I’ll take you back to the maternity home.” And once, she called somewhere for real and said that she wanted to return me. I was really scared, and I asked my mom to stop. She thought it was funny, but I still shake when I remember that. Since then, I was sure that if I didn’t behave, someone would get rid of me and they wouldn’t love me. This caused me to get into a lot of toxic relationships and let people use me.
“You have to be better than anyone else.”
When I came home with a “B” and made excuses that the topic was tough and that all the other kids had bad grades, my mom would say, “I don’t care about the others. You should be better than anyone else.” As a result, now I try to be perfect at everything, which doesn’t allow me to really enjoy my life.
“When you grow up, you’ll understand.”
When I often asked “Why?” my mother would answer like this, “When you grow up, you’ll understand.” She also used to say this, “When you are my age, we’ll talk about this.” This made me feel really disappointed, and in the end, it killed my curiosity. I kept looking at older kids, wanting to be friends with them and wanting to earn their trust. When I was a teenager, I met some bad kids, and they were a bad influence on me. I just wanted to grow up. I wanted to have the right to have my own opinion.
“I didn’t know it was a secret.”
When I was in 5th grade, I really liked a girl. I liked her, but she didn’t like me back. My mom noticed that I was sad and she asked me to tell her why. I didn’t want to. It was a really intimate thing for me. But I gave in, but I told her it was a big secret. When I came home in the evening, I heard a lot of voices from the kitchen. My mother’s friends had come over and they were talking about something. And then I realized that they were talking about me and my crush. Everyone was laughing and then they noticed me. I told my mom, “You promised not to tell.” And she said, “Hey, I didn’t know it was such a big secret.” Since then, I never told her anything and she didn’t like it. But I will always remember what she did. © Molotokmark / Pikabu
“Let me do it myself.”
If I tried to do something, like help my mom, she would often say, “Oh, I’ll do it myself, you can’t do it anyway.” When I was a teenager, she started complaining to everyone that I couldn’t be on my own, that I didn’t clean the apartment, and that I couldn’t even make fried eggs. How was I supposed to learn if she didn’t let me try? Even when I had a child, my mother would still call me and explain how to do things. My son is still young, but I’m trying to support his interests. I don’t care if he makes an even bigger mess, at least he is trying!
“You can’t hurt girls.”
When I was 8 years old, my classmate really liked me. But she didn’t know how to show that she liked me, other than with violence: she tore my backpack and she hit me on the head with books. I was patient because my parents always told me that I couldn’t hurt girls. But my brain understood these words this way, “You don’t have the right to protect yourself if you are hurt by a woman.” But one day, I couldn’t take it anymore and pushed her pretty hard. Of course, she complained to the teacher and she made me apologize to her in front of the entire class. Now, when a woman yells at me, I get lost, I don’t know how to react, and I hate it.
“Boys don’t cry.”
Many men probably heard someone say to them, “Boys don’t cry,” when they were younger. I never heard “I love you” from my dad and all I felt I really needed was a hug from him. I just needed to know that he cared. My wife still doesn’t like that I can’t express my feelings and be sincere. And I didn’t cry when I watched Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, even though I really wanted to. I just couldn’t.
“This is just a toy.”
I had a favorite toy — a phone. It was very important to me because my parents didn’t just buy it for me: I earned it. It was an award that I got. But once, my favorite toy wasn’t where it always was. My mom told me, “My friend Mary came over with her son. He loved it and he screamed when I tried to take it from him. So I gave it to him.” I was so angry and sad that my parents were surprised and said, “It’s just a toy, it’s okay.” My daughter is only one year and 9 months old but I’m already teaching her to not take other people’s stuff without asking them. And I won’t give her toys to anyone. We can’t know how important some things are to a child. © Lozbenidze / Pikabu
“I’ve done so much for you...”
My grandmother was very supportive in my childhood and when I was a student: she helped me with my homework, she gave me good advice, and she sent money, even though I never asked her to. And then, when I did something wrong, she would say, “I’ve done so much for you...” I was very ashamed and embarrassed. But later, when I got older, I actually became angry at her. This is why I have 2 problems: I always try to be the best at everything and when something doesn’t work, I get really worried. I rarely ask anyone for help, even when I really need it, just so I don’t have to owe anything to anyone.
“We’ll buy this for you now, but this is for your birthday.”
My parents and I never really celebrated my birthday. Our relatives and my parents’ friends would come and quickly go away. And every time my parents would give me a present in advance, they’d say something like, “We’ll buy this for you now, but this is for your birthday.” God, could they just once give me a surprise? And I was born in the summer, so nobody even congratulated me at school. I never learned to have fun on my birthdays and I don’t even feel like it is anything special.
“You’re a girl!”
When my older brother was riding a bike, playing games with other kids, and swimming in the river, I had to wear dresses, do my hair (it was really tough every morning), and be jealous of all the stuff the boys did. If I wanted to play with them, my mom would stop me by saying, “You’re a girl!” and take me home. I was so sad because of this: I also wanted to run around and have fun.
It is not surprising that when I was about 13 years old, I cut my hair short, and wore sneakers and jeans with holes. Now, I understand that that was my protest. I’m pregnant now and I’m not going to impose these horrible stereotypes on my daughter.
“My daughter and Jane are so different!”
I have a cousin named Jane. At the time, she was about 18 years old and I was only 9. She had an opportunity to go to Germany and go to a college there, and there was even a boyfriend waiting for her over there. Of course, she prepared really thoroughly for her entrance exams. And once my dad said, “Look at the contrast between my daughter and Jane. Jane is so hardworking.” His words seemed really unfair to me. Today, I often compare myself to others, and I continue looking for something I could be jealous of in other people.
“You’re fat, but someone will probably marry you.”
Ever since I was a child, my mother had me convinced that I was fat, and she often said, “Yes, you are fat. You were born like this. But someone will have mercy for you and marry you.” But you know what the worst part was? I was never really fat! Well, I wasn’t extremely slim, but I had a good body with a clear waistline. My mother made me so insecure, that no matter how much I worked out and tried different diets, I still felt like I looked terrible. And when men were interested in me, I thought they had mercy for me. I kept thinking this even when I got married. It wasn’t until years later that I finally believed that my husband really loved me and that I was an attractive woman. © Ward 6
“You should respect adults and listen to them.”
My mother always told me that I had to respect adults and listen to them. The worst thing that ever happened to me was when I was 6 years old, a car pulled over next to me. A guy I didn’t know told me I had to come with him because my mother said so. And he also said that if I didn’t listen to him, she would punish me. I was ready to get into the car, but our neighbor saw what was going on and scared the guy away. If it hadn’t been for the neighbor, I would have probably been dead now only because I was taught that I shouldn’t doubt whatever adults said. I will try to explain to my son that adults can also be bad and even dumb, so he shouldn’t listen to them every time.
There is a reason why psychologists say that all of our problems come from our childhood. What phrases did your parents say, that you would never repeat to your own children?