There’s a thing with children. It’s that even with the best intentions and brilliant 200-IQ strategies, one cannot understand them. That’s because some children won’t want to be taught important life lessons by their parents. They. Just. Won’t. Listen.

Recently,  Reddit user -Don-Draper- asked parents to share the times their lessons completely backfired, they sparked a whirlwind of a discussion that had us giggling at the fantastic sense of humor The Universe flexes whenever we desperately want something to work.

We further spoke about how to best communicate with kids with Samantha Scroggin, who works in government communications and is the founder of the ‘Walking Outside in Slippers’ blog for parents. Read on for her insights.




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“Although kids constantly vying for our attention can be grating, I think it’s important we put down our phones sometimes, look them in the eyes and say, ‘Tell me all about that cardboard robot you made.’ Kids want our undivided attention on occasion, and to hear how proud of them we are,” Samantha said.

Now that’s something all parents should take to heart. This might just make your kids more open to learning the lessons you want to teach them in the future! All that remains is hoping The Universe doesn’t find some way to prank parents again.

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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, then lock his door so his room couldn’t get dirty as he slept in the hallway.

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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 arms 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.

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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 convice 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.

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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. Grumble grumble damn kids, etc.

Anyway, he was way more tech-savvy than we were, so he was able to bypass the parental controls, and stay on-line 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.

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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.

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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.’

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Sucessfuly taught my child to question authority. Forgot I was an authority.

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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.

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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.

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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 a cemetery at the same time”.

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Not a parent, but when I was little I noticed my sister was writing her name on the walls with crayon. 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.

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Not a parent but when I was around 12, my father suspected that I stayed up late playing videogames, even though I didn’t. One night he went into my room and told me that I shouldn’t play my Game Boy Advance past bedtime, because I needed to rest. That’s when I realized I could play my Game Boy Advance past bedtime, and I’ve suffered from insomnia since then.

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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.