15 Parents Share the Lessons They Taught Their Kids That Completely Backfired

As parents, we want to raise our kids right and teach them everything they need to know to be successful in life. However, sometimes these life lessons can shoot back in our faces.

The parents of Reddit have spoken. In a recent Reddit thread, parents sounded off about the lessons they tried to teach their kids that completely backfired. Here are some of the funniest answers.

  1. Stand Up for What You Believe In

    “I taught them to stand up for what they believe in….All of a sudden they believed veggies were the devil and bedtimes should be abolished.”

  2. Clean Up After Yourself

    “My kids were begging for a pet. I don’t want to take care of a pet, and I told them that they don’t clean up after themselves without me hassling them, so why would they clean up after a pet without me hassling them. Told them if they could keep there room clean for 6 months without me telling them, they could get a pet. Youngest child proceeds to clean room, then move clothes and a sleeping bag into the hallway and lock his door so his room can’t get dirty as he sleeps in the hallway.”

  3. Compliment People Who Insult You

    “Taught my now 16-year-old to always compliment people who insulted you. We were in a Burlington Coat Factory in Michigan when my mother was shopping for a bathing suit to take to Florida. There were few to choose from, so she was complaining. My kid was 4. A woman trying on pants and said something rude to my mom who was asking my opinion and my daughter caught on that my mother was agitated. She squeezed out behind me and told the woman, ‘Your teeth are such a pretty yellow!’”

  4. Call 911 if Something Illegal Happens

    “My parents taught me to call 911 when I saw somebody doing something illegal. I called the cops on the Wiggles movie I was watching when I was 5 because a clown stole a cake. Luckily the 911 operator realized I was young, my story didn’t make sense because it was a kids movie, asked to talk to my mom before sending out cops.”

  5. Eat All the Food You’re Given

    “My dad tried to implement the whole you MUST eat ALL the food on your plate in our house during meals. My mom was never a fan of that lesson, but my dad was stubborn, so she just let it go. Well, one day my sibling had 2-3 bites of food left on their plate and was very clear that they were absolutely full and couldn’t eat another bite. Dad wasn’t having it and insisted they could not leave the table until all the food on their plate was gone. My sibling realized they weren’t going to convince our dad that they were too full and finished the last few bites and then proceeded to vomit on the table and our dad. He stopped enforcing the rule after that.”

  6. Stop Peeing Your Pants

    “One of my 5 year old twins was still having occasional accidents because she would get so caught up in playing/doing something else that she just wouldn’t go and would pee her pants. To combat this we would give her a special prize of some variety when she wouldn’t have an accident. This, in turn, caused her twin sister to START having accidents so she could get prizes for not having accidents (even though she was fine on this front beforehand.) We had to rethink our methods.”

  7. Asking What Punishment They’d Prefer

    “Read a book that suggested you ask your kid what an appropriate punishment for misbehaving would be and then carry it out. 6 year old son pinched his brother or something, so we asked what an appropriate punishment would be. He said “pluck out my eyeballs and throw me over a cliff?” We didn’t follow through. And stopped reading parenting books.”

  8. Explained How Babies Are Made

    “When my son was about 3 or 4 he started to ask about how babies are born. I sat him down and gave him a very simple, age appropriate explanation. He just looked at me, shook his head and said just said ‘No.’ Very calmly but in a ‘I can’t believe you think that’s how it works’ tone of voice like I’d told him fake news. I was prepared for difficult questions and even prepared for the fact that he might ask me things that even I didn’t know, but I was completely unprepared for him to just simply not believe me when I told him the truth. I just sat there not knowing what to do while he went back to playing lego.”

  9. Call the Police on Strangers

    “When I was about 2 years old my family was at a game in Angel’s stadium. My mother went to the restroom and left me and my siblings with my dad. While he was busy watching I wandered off. When they eventually found me I was halfway around the stadium. A crowd had gathered to watch as a police officer held me out at arms length while I screamed ‘call the police, this man is not my daddy’ over and over again. My parents had taught me stranger danger, but forgot to teach me what police look like.”

  10. How to Smile for a Picture

    “Not me but my dad teaching the nephew. He hated smiling so in pictures my dad would tell him to say ‘whiskey.’ When he tried cheese it wasn’t the same. Anyway, at school the principle was taking a picture of the class and tells everyone to say ‘cheeeeese!’ My nephew very loudly says WHISKEEEY.”

  11. Working Hard for Your Money

    “I tried the whole “have your kids quote chores for pay and bid against one another”. It’s supposed to teach them about working for their money and not expecting handouts like an allowance. It turned into every time I asked them to do something I good ‘how much will you pay me?’”

  12. Manners

    “My aunt and uncle were trying to teach my cousin manners, and wanted him to address people as Mr. and Mrs. They used each other as examples, and consequently were known as Mr. Iannuccilli for 2 months. One of the funniest moments of my life was hearing my uncle describe how in the middle of the night instead of ‘dad’ he started hearing ‘Mr Iannuccilli!’ Cracks me up every time.”

  13. Finances

    “Playing carnival/fair games is a waste of money. My son wanted to spend his $20 to win a Pikachu stuffed animal from his allowance that he saved up. We told him he would be wasting his money and he would not win. He spent $15.00 and won the biggest prize.”

  14. Question Authority

    “Successfully taught my child to question authority. Forgot I was an authority.”

  15. Life Isn’t Always Fair

    “I’ve been teaching my kids that life isn’t always fair. The tantrums when one is invited to a birthday party have been too much. It’s been helping, some. Then I was playing tic tac toe with my youngest. She covered up the column she wanted to use to win. When I told her that cheating isn’t fair and I didn’t want to play if she was going to cheat, she reminded me – ‘life isn’t fair, momma.’ Touche, kiddo.”

What piece of advice did you try to teach your kid that didn’t work out for you?