A viral Reddit thread asks parents to share lessons they tried to teach their kids that completely backfired, and the responses are downright hilarious.
Every parent wants to raise their kids as law-abiding, upstanding, and morally correct as possible. And most parents are doing a pretty good job at that.
However, teaching your kids moral ethics and codes of conduct isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds. And these folks learned it the hard way.
Sharing on a Reddit thread asking parents what lessons they tried teaching their kids that backfired, these stories are hilarious and painfully relatable.
Nothing burns more than a moral lesson you taught your kids that comes biting you in the a**.
I wanted to teach my son the value of money and work ethic because he kept wanting Robux…
So, I decided it would be a great teaching moment and a win-win opportunity as he was just getting to the age in which I think he should start doing chores around the house.
He really wanted to buy some skin or something, so I created a chore chart and gave each chore a value.
We established a schedule and everything. It was working out majestically. Every day, without asking, he was doing dishes, cleaning his room, picking up the dog poop. It was epic.
Then one day, I came home, and nothing had been done.
I asked him, ‘hey man, what’s up with the dishes? Oh, and go pick up the dog poop too.’
He simply replied, ‘Nah.’
Fighting back rage, I simply said, ‘excuse me?
He said he made enough money over the last few days and bought his skin, and he was good now.
It was hard to argue.
I taught my 4-year-old to always compliment people who insult you.
Later, we were helping my mother shop for a bathing suit when a woman said something rude to her.
My kid squeezed out from behind me and told the woman, ‘Your teeth are such a pretty yellow!’
As good people, we taught our kids that littering isn’t nice. As humans, we also let some curse words fly in front of them.
We were at our city’s 4th of July celebration when the oldest was 4. We were walking around, and someone tossed their trash on the ground.
Captain Litterbug flew into action, picked up the trash, and yelled, ‘Hey a**hole, you dropped this,’ while poking them on the butt.
Saw a clip on the local news about a toddler saving her mom’s life by calling 911 when she collapsed.
I figured it was a good idea to teach my toddler 911. Had two cops at my door 5 minutes later.
A friend of mine was trying to teach his son not to hit his daughter.
So, any time the son hit the daughter, he started hitting the son in the head. Not hard, but enough to hopefully jog some sense of empathy.
Actual result: the son would cover his head with one hand and smack his sister with the other.
Taught my daughter that whining and begging don’t get her what she wants. Instead, she needs to make a logical argument.
I now live with a 12-year-old lawyer who is really good at making me change my mind on house rules.
At dinner with the fam, we started a swear jar that we all agree the money will go to help animals at the local shelter.
I got all the rules down with the kids, and they are excited to start.
Daughter, 8, said, ‘Well s**t I’m gonna help the animals, I’ll be right back!’
Before wife and I could even process what she got away with our son, 6, blurts out, ‘F**k yeah, me too!’ both running to get money from their rooms.
My nephew hated smiling, so in pictures, my dad would tell him to say ‘whiskey.’ When he tried saying ‘cheese’ it wasn’t the same.
Anyway, at school, the principal was taking a picture of the class and told everyone to say ‘Cheeeeese!’ My nephew shouted, ‘WHISKEEEY!’
My friend’s 10-year-old daughter was going over to a friend’s house in the same apartment complex, but a few buildings away.
Mom: Ok, what do we do if someone tries to grab you?
Daughter: Kick him in the balls and yell ‘FIRE’!
Mom: Ha, right, but that’s not a good word; it’s ‘testicles.’
Daughter: Ok, kick him in the balls and yell ‘TESTICLES’!
Mom: You know…that might work too.
I was teaching my daughter that if she’s in any situation where anyone is doing something she doesn’t like, she tells them to stop. If they continue, use the palm of her hand and punch ‘up’ on their nose.
My husband and his brother were throwing her back and forth in a pool. She kept asking them to stop. When her dad caught her again, boom, she broke his nose. Literally, there was blood everywhere.
My teenage son was staying up super late on his laptop doing teenage internet things (porn & gaming, I assume) and f***ing up in school.
So, we put parental controls on the router so that the internet would be turned off from 11 pm to 7 am.
This, of course, impacted my wife and I because we lost internet access during those hours too.
However, he was way more tech-savvy than we were, so he bypassed the parental controls and would stay online as late as he wanted.
So the end result of the parental controls was that the parents didn’t have internet, but the teenager did.
Coworker of mine was trying to teach her kid the ‘don’t talk with your mouth full’ rule. Instead, the kid just spits out their food when they want to talk.
Children are the absolute masters of malicious compliance.
My dad tried to implement the whole you MUST eat ALL the food on your plate in our house during meals.
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.
So, they finished the last few bites and then proceeded to vomit on the table and our dad.
He stopped enforcing the rule after that.
When my daughter was about 5, she asked why we need rain. I explained to her that we need to it grow the food we all eat that are plants.
She then asked why we need the veggies, and I used this as an opportunity to get her to eat her veggies. So I told her if she wanted to grow up, she needs to eat lots of veggies.
Since then, this kid has requested cucumbers or carrots or bell peppers or any crunchy kinda veggie as her snack. It’s pretty awesome…
But now I can’t enjoy a bag of chips at home anymore.
She’ll walk in, shake her head and tell me to go easy ‘because you’re done growing UP, so you can only grow out.’
Told kids that if they were bad they would get coal in their stockings on Christmas.
‘What’s Coal?’ they asked.
Well, it is a rock that you can light on fire. They now want coal.
When I was little, my family was at an Angels game. My mother went to the restroom and left me with my dad.
I wandered off and was eventually found halfway around the stadium. A crowd had gathered to watch as a police officer held me out at arm’s length while I screamed, ‘Call the police! This man is not my daddy!’
My parents had taught me stranger danger, but forgotten to teach me what police looked like.
My kids were begging for a pet. I told them if they could keep their rooms clean for six months, they could get one.
My youngest proceeded to clean his room, move clothes and a sleeping bag into the hallway.
He then locked his door so his room couldn’t get dirty as he slept in the hallway.
My son was playing with deodorant and a lighter and almost set himself on fire.
I made him write out, ‘I must not play with aerosols’ one hundred times.
He wrote, ‘I must not play with a**holes’ one hundred times.
It is now framed and hanging on the wall.
I read a book that suggested you ask your kid what an appropriate punishment for misbehaving would be and then carry it out.
My 6-year-old son pinched his brother, so we asked him what an appropriate punishment would be.
He said, ‘Pluck out my eyeballs and throw me over a cliff.’ We didn’t carry it out.
I’ve been teaching my kids that life isn’t always fair.
Recently, I was playing Tic-Tac-Toe with my youngest when she covered up the column she wanted to use to win.
When I told her I didn’t want to play if she was going to cheat, she replied, ‘Life isn’t fair, momma.’
One of my 5-year-old twins was still having accidents because she’d get so caught up doing things that she’d pee her pants.
To combat this, we began giving her a prize when she didn’t have an accident.
This caused her twin sister to start having accidents so she could get prizes too.
My parents told my sister if she found a horse for free, she could have it. She was an industrious 8 yr old and found a free lease in the paper.
She managed to call and sound adult enough to truck the barn into thinking this was a great idea.
A trailer pulled up a few days later and unloaded a horse in the yard. Shocked the hell out of mom. And that started 20 years of horse ownership.
I taught my kids to stand up for what they believe in.
All of a sudden, they believed veggies were the devil and that bedtimes should be abolished.
My 8-year-old was spending too much time playing video games.
I asked him to research the harmful results of too much time gaming.
He came back with his report stating he needed ‘gaming glasses’ and a ‘gaming chair.
Successfully taught my child to question authority. Forgot I was an authority.
My sister tried to teach her kids not to gamble, so she bought a few lottery tickets to show them that they were all going to be losers. She won $500.
Told my children repeatedly that if I found any more mess/junk on their bedroom floor, I would be donating it to the thrift store.
I told them they had 15 minutes to clean it up off the floor.
Came back to find everything picked up, except they went into the kitchen cupboards and had put every food they didn’t like in a nice neat pile right in the middle of the floor.
I was trying to teach my 4-year-old that it is important to go to sleep because our brains need to recharge.
I compared it to my IPad needing to recharge after it dies.
He said, ‘okay…’ and got really quiet. Then told me, ‘mom, I need to go to sleep.’
I agreed with him but asked why he was suddenly tired. He started crying and said, ‘because I don’t want to die.’
Watching the World Cup Semi-final with my 4 yo daughter. I was trying to teach her how we wanted the team in White to win, England, and not the team in Black, Croatia.
We even chanted a couple of ‘C’mon England!’ chants together.
Newly enthused, with a love for chanting, she suddenly started shouting;
“CMON ENGLAND! BEAT THE BLACKS! WE HATE THE BLACKS! WE HATE THE BLACKS!”
Had to teach her the ‘We don’t say it like that’ lesson.
My parents taught me to call 9-1-1 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.
My wife tried to explain the concept of heaven to our 5-year-old after great grandpa passed.
My daughter did not believe one ounze of it.
She responded, ‘you’re making that up, mommy. You can’t be in heaven and in the cemetery at the same time.’
Me and my wife started using code words in front of the children, mainly if we wanted to discuss plans without getting the kids too excited and getting their hopes up.
For example, we would say GP instead of playground, cylindrical slice of cow place instead of McDonald’s.
They have cottoned on to this and now use code words amongst themselves, which we’re struggling to figure out.
Not a parent, but when I was little, I noticed my sister was writing her name on the walls with crayons.
Taking on the role of Helpful Big Sister, I informed her that if she was going to graffiti things, she shouldn’t write her name and give herself away.
A few weeks later, she carved patterns — and MY name — into the desk in the study.
My nephew mispronounced the name of a certain kitchen appliance, so my sister broke it into syllables very distinctly for him, saying ‘it’s mi-cro-wave.’
My nephew nodded very seriously and replied, ‘It’s your crow wave!’
I tried to teach my kids to be content within themselves and how to be alone. Full success, they rarely ever go out.
They are so mellow that they don’t tell us when something goes wrong since they were middle schoolers.
Nanny not a parent. A 2-year-old old was refusing to wear her hat. It was hot. I told her if she didn’t put her hat on, she would have to wait in the car.
She started walking away from me, ‘Where are you going?’ …’car!’
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?’
My parents did the thing where they gave 4-year-old me a sip of Budweiser under the impression that I could say that it was yucky. And then turn it into some lesson about not drinking Mommy and Daddy drinks.
I instead took a sip and said, ‘Mmm! Can I have one?’
The lesson that beer is good has lasted to adulthood.
Not me but my sister. Dad, after having a long conversation about teaching her to say pardon instead of what…
My dad calling up the stairs, ‘what are you doing?’
Dad: What are you doing?
Sister yelling: DON’T SAY WHAT, SAY PARDON!!!
Taught them to read early. My son could read by age 4, and my daughter by age 3.
This led to some unwanted conversations as they would read things over your shoulder when you aren’t expecting it. Or even just signs on the road.
One would shout, ‘you’re going to fast, Daddy. It says 55 mph, and you’re going 70.’