Things your parents did or said to you that really stuck

I’m still learning that one. :wink:

In a fit of anger, my father yelled “I don’t believe you’re my son!”

Yeah, it stuck.

Not as “important” as most gems in this thread, but my dad told me “Keep your eye on the ball.” I don’t play baseball at all anymore, but it is as true as “Water is wet.”


“Keep your mouth shut” Sometimes you can keep yourself out of trouble by not volunteering information. Also, you can often times learn more then you realize by shutting up and letting the other person talk, even if you already know everything about it and they’ve got it all wrong. Just let them talk, you’d be surprised sometimes.

“Sometimes you win by letting the other person think they’ve won.”

“Pick your battles, some arguments just aren’t worth it” (That goes along with the above quote)

I didn’t really get good advice but some things have stuck with me.

My mom once said the laundry mat is a good place to shop for clothes.

We stopped at a corn field in the country once and helped ourselves to fresh corn, after all its god’s bounty, he’d want us to have it.

My favorite from my stepdad; If they really cared about it, they’d have put a better lock on it.

It takes longer but you can learn from negatives.

Every judgmental idiot I know should have known your mom. It seems like common sense, but some folks just don’t get it.

“Lies have very short legs. Sooner or later, someone’s going to catch up to them.”

What stuck with me was not what my dad said.
It was that he trotted out that line every time he caught me lying … and didn’t whenever I got away with it. :dubious: So thanks, dad, for the lesson about paternal pompous pontificating!

Lots of things, both negative and positive.

The lying thing did not work, since they told me lying was the worst thing, and then lied to me repeatedly about both large and small things, and kept lying well into old age. I came to the conclusion on my own that it was better to tell the truth when possible.


  • Look out for number 1. And this was never said in words, but in actions and deeds.
  • Likewise, be a tough independent woman. This took me years and years to perfect since I am a soft sensitive girl but from the start I’ve always been a bit tougher. Which is weird, because they tried to raise me to be obedient to them no matter what, even in irrational decisions.
  • Look at the world with clear eyes.

Mom saying I was a whore - kanjari - has never really left me, and probably never will.
My mom never picked her battles, and flipped out over every one, so in return, I learned to pick mine. I also learned to keep my mouth SHUT as she said whatever hurtful thing was on her mind.

My parents were a mixed bag, certainly.

“Never, ever, under any circumstance, pay interest on your credit card. Pay it off every month.” -I follow this one.

“Protect your skin- wear your sunscreen.” -I didn’t used to follow this one, but I do as an adult.

“For the right amount of money, you can “enjoy” just about any job.” -I don’t follow this one.

And one that he didn’t actually say in so many words but taught me by general discussion and example: “Let them underestimate you, then impress them.” For instance, in a business meeting, just because the other guy is in a $1200 suit and a Rolex doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to keep up with you and your $300 suit and a Timex. Put more energy into preparation and less into superficiality and you’ll be victorious because they won’t see you coming.

Two things about marriage from mother that have stuck:

Marriage is not a reform school.

Your spouse is the most important person in your life. He/she takes precedence over your children, parents (although after I got married, she seemed to forget that one), everyone.

Two valuable lessons I have never forgot.

“close your mouth when you’re breathing.”

I dunno, I was kinda slackjawed as a kid. Now when I see people doing the mouth-breathing thing, I am instantly reminded of my stepmom telling me to stop this, and am immensely grateful.

No, you really didn’t. Were your parents career criminals or something?

My mom was always a big lecturer. Don’t do this, stay away from them, etc. She was often right, but I usually blocked her lectures out because they didn’t engage me in conversation. One night, she looked off into the distant and quietly said,“The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life was quit smoking”.

I sat very still and digested that. I was maybe a sophomore or junior in high school at the time. Here she was, an immigrant who spent her childhood poor and hungry, struggled to learn English, finished medical school in 3 years, one of only three women in her class…and quitting smoking was the hardest thing she’d ever done?!

That rang in my head anytime anyone offered me a cigarette. I had less than zero desire to try one because of a statement she said without thinking.

“Stand up straight!” I don’t, though. I know I’d look better if I did.

I used to hate, hate, HATE “Life’s not fair”. But it isn’t, and you might as well know it.

“Pick up your feet when you walk” My dad has actually fired people for dragging their feet. I’m sure it was for more then just that, and he might have been in a pissy mood when he did it, but I’ve learned that people who don’t pick up their feet when they walk tend to be lazy employees.
It’s one of those thing that no one will notice if you do pick up your feet, but everyone will notice if you don’t.

“Don’t say ‘Trust me.’ You sound like Richard Nixon.”

Just one of my dad’s random admonishments, but one that really stuck.

Mom’s example: Liquor makes everything better. (except it doesn’t)

Dad’s words: Sometimes, I bite my tongue so hard my mouth fills up with blood. At least I know I’m right.

My dad always said, “Never overlook an opportunity to keep your mouth shut”.
Sorry Dad.

From my dad: “The only really important things in life are family, and knowledge [e.g. education]. Keep them at the top of your priorities and you’ll have a good life.”

“Close your goddamn mouth when you’re eating!”

“Why did I pay money for all those goddamn lessons?!”

“You’ll never amount to a goddamn thing!”

“I’m through being your goddamn meal ticket?”

“What the hell took you so goddamn long?!”

“Goddammit, why can’t we ever have anything nice around here?!”

“Clean your goddamn room!”

“Wash your goddamn face!”

“Squeeze that goddamn pimple!”

“Wash your goddamn hands!”