The world looks so different through the eyes of a child. When you’re young, your worldview is pretty much a few blocks wide, and adults generally try to protect their children from some hard truths.
These Reddit users came together to share things about their childhoods that they didn’t realize or fully understand until they reached adulthood.
So It All Was An Elaborate Scare Tactic?
“Remember that ‘permanent record’ everyone told you all the bad things you did would go on when you were in high school? Unless you actually went to jail for something, it was meaningless.”
All Those Extra Special Things Your Parents Did
“I recently realized that my dad always took the long way whenever he would drive me back to my mom’s house so that we’d have a little more time together.”
Lifetime Bans Aren’t That Serious, Kiddo
“In 1997, I was caught stealing cigarettes from Food Lion. The manager said I was banned from all Food Lions for life. I didn’t muster up the courage to go into one until my twenties and then I realized I had nothing to fear.”
Your Parents Really Are Just Humans
“That our parents are just humans with erratic feelings, emotions, and faults just like kids and teenagers; they aren’t these ‘know-all’ beings we see them as when we are kids. They’re kinda just going through the motions of life too—not always as in control as I thought.”
Happy Birthday, Little Jimmy!
“Now that I am older, I realize that kids’ birthday parties were never really about the kids, but an excuse for parents to socialize and drink while keeping the kids occupied.”
High School Musical Was Right: We Really Are All In This Together
“Though you feel alone through all the insecurity and worrying you experience as a teenager, everyone your age is also going through exactly the same stuff, and you’re all just covering it up.”
Let’s Just Hope That Doggy Heaven Is Real
“There was no farm where my mom took my dog to live happily ever after. 🙁
“Honestly, finding out your furry pal isn’t actually out there living their best life but is actually dead is such a traumatizing realization. R.I.P. to my first dog, Max.”
The Length Of A Friendship Doesn’t Relate To How Good A Friendship Is
“Most of your friends will be temporary, and that’s OK. Not every friendship needs to be ‘I’ll love you to the end.’ Some of them are just for a few months, like seasons of your life.”
Finally, Some Alone Time!
“I realize why my dad took such long poops. It was his only time alone.”
You don’t realize how peaceful and exciting it is to go to the bathroom until it’s the only place where you can be alone and take a breather.
Life Really Is Not Always Fair
“Some people don’t have to work hard to make good money. Sometimes they just get lucky.”
When you’re a kid, you’re taught that if you work hard, you’ll succeed. When you get older, you realize that’s not always the reality.
Some People Never Really Grow Up
“I’ve seen so much childish (or at least what I consider childish) behavior from adults that I’ve realized aging and maturing don’t always go hand in hand. Also, people can get away with a lot more than I thought (with respect to cheating, lying, etc.), and since we’re all competing in life in some way, most people believe it’s just part of the game.”
Age Really Is Just A Number
“My definition of ‘old’ changes. At one point in my life, I believed that 25 was old, and when I was 25 I couldn’t fathom being 40; however, I’m well past 40 now and having the time of my life. I wish I could have gotten to my 40s earlier!”
Love Isn’t As Simple As You Thought
“That parents don’t just fall in love and stay in the same state of love forever.”
The reality is that marriage isn’t a fairytale, and the way you love someone is constantly changing over time, but that’s okay.
He’s Here For A Good Time
“It’s not that my dad was naturally uncool/cringey, or that he wasn’t aware that he was uncool/cringey, he just did not care what dumb kids think and at times went out of his way to make things cringey or uncomfortable for his own dry entertainment.”
Things Weren’t As Innocent As You Thought
“As a parent myself now, I realized that one Saturday my mom brought me snacks and said, ‘Play your SNES and just stay in your room until I say you can come out,’ was so she and me dad could spend the day in bed.
I remember playing through a whole season of NBA Jam T.E. that afternoon, and it stood out because usually I wasn’t allowed to play that much.”
No One Has Anything Figured Out
“As a kid, I looked at every adult thinking they had their lives figured out. As an adult, I realize that 70–80% of people are lost and just trying to keep things from falling apart.”
As Long As They Had Fun With It!
“I’m pretty sure my parents were classic, ’70s era swingers. They had lots and LOTS of card-playing parties that lasted well past when all the kids went to sleep. One day, I saw my mom putting away a book called Open Marriage. I asked what that was about and she just said, ‘Oh, um, it’s about being open and honest in a marriage.'”
Death Is Hard For Everyone Around The Deceased
“Funeral services aren’t for the dead: they’re to help those left behind.”
In all reality, the death of a loved one is hard. It’s difficult to process, and gathering to remember passed friends and family is one way to ease the pain.
Cough Syrup Is Nothing Compared To Jack Daniels
“Cough syrup is exponentially easier to take as an adult after taking shots of alcohol. No wonder why our parents would get so frustrated with us when we got sick and complained about drinking it!”
It’s Unfortunate We’ve Wasted So Much Time On It
“Worrying is useless. I don’t like the feeling, but it doesn’t accomplish anything.”
Worrying is a lot like a treadmill: it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t really get you anywhere.
That’s What Movies Were For?
“When the teacher plays a movie unexpectedly they are most likely hungover or otherwise incapacitated.”
Honestly, I respect teachers because the last thing I would want to deal with while hungover is 30 children.
Stay Young Forever, Kids
“Growing up is a trap. When you’re a kid (especially as a teen), you can’t wait to grow up so you can do whatever you want and no one can tell you what to do; then you realize being an adult is all basically just looking for a better deal on car insurance, getting excited about new kitchen gadgets, and wishing you were home instead.”
It Was Not All Fun And Games
“I recently realized that my uncle was not letting me blow the breathalyzer inside his car just for fun.'”
Um, should I start writing a police report on this guy’s uncle?
You Missed Everything Going On In The Background
“One of the main reasons my dad was so angry and hair-trigger tempered all the time was because money was tighter than he let on, and his employment was inconsistent.”
It Wasn’t Always About You
“I felt like a total jerk when I realized that naptime as a kid (which I was belligerent in my opposition to when I was 3) was to give my mom a break; it had nothing to do with me being tired.”
Everything Is About Money, At The End Of It
“I’ve realized everything in America is about making a buck. I went back to school recently, and the entire process just screams how corporate college and grad school is. It’s ridiculous that you have to pay to take a test, then an application fee, and then for classes!”
No Age Group Is Distinctively “Cool”
“When I was five, I thought teenagers were cool. When I was a teenager, I realized I was wrong and believed that people in their twenties were cool and had their ideas clear. Now I’m in my twenties and I’ve learned that nobody has anything clear in life.”
Not Everything Is A Reflection Of Your Actions
“People don’t always push you away because you’re a terrible person. A lot of times, people push you away because they are hiding things.”
Realizing that not everything other people do is about you is a huge part of growing up.
Parents Are Filthy Liars
“I didn’t realize that parents lie to children all the time when I was younger. Sometimes, they’re trying to cover their mistakes; other times, they don’t know the answer, and sometimes they want to get kids off a particular line of questioning.”
Not Everyone Has The Same Funds And Opportunities
“When I was younger I never really realized just how different life could be from adult to adult. As a kid, you get the sense that everyone is on basically equal footing. After all, we all go to basically the same schools and we all get fed and have a roof over our heads.
“I didn’t realize that adult life is basically a free for all, and it’s what you make of it; some people have really bad luck and have a much harder time keeping afloat than others and that security and happiness are far from guaranteed.”