When you’re small, adults are constantly warning you off of doing anything that seems, well, fun. As a parent, I think that my boys must think I’m always saying “be careful” or “don’t do that, you’ll get hurt,” and if you think about it, that doesn’t change much as they grow into teens – the things that will hurt them or that they need to be careful of just change.
Some of those warnings, though, turn out to be greatly exaggerated, and yet adults still foist them onto kids like they’re gospel.
Here are 15 things people say are actually no big deal, so maybe scaring kids with them isn’t the answer.
15. Nothing is worse than middle school.
My 8th grade teacher kept telling us how scary high school was and how unprepared we all were. She told us that freshman were to be hunted at the beginning of the school year. She told us that we’d probably get beaten up just because we were new.
She told us that we’d have to run from class to class because we’d be a target. She told us we’d all be back visiting her and saying how sorry we were and how much we miss middle school. Her “source” was her daughter who was like 3 years older than us.
Fast forward to my first day of high school…I got assigned two seniors to show me around the school and be my buddy for the first couple of months. Literally one kid tried to mess with the freshman and like the whole school was like “dude what are you doing?”
14. Watch out for the people you know, too.
Stranger danger is a real thing, but you’re much more likely to be abused by someone you know. Even someone your own age.
I sometimes wonder if I was educated on this as a kid if I’d have told a teacher what a classmate was doing to me for years and gotten some help earlier in my life.
13. Bad stuff happens all the time.
My mom was obsessed with the idea that all bad stuff only happened after midnight so that was my iron clad curfew.
Guess what Mom? A ton of bad stuff has happened to me in broad daylight.
12. I don’t think anyone keeps those.
Your permanent record. I’m 55, and nobody has ever asked me about the time I was sent to the principal’s office when I was 16.
I got a job and they didn’t even bring up that I had my own assigned seat in detention. It’s almost like i wasted all that cool kid cred.
11. We all have lingering questions.
I really thought the Bermuda Triangle would play a stronger role in my adulthood.
10. I’m pretty sure they’re right.
I’m 35 and I am about 90% sure I could just lie about having a bachelor’s degree. Literally nobody has ever asked to see my diploma or thesis or anything.
By this point in my life it’s just assumed you have one if you say you do, especially since I went to a really small college most people have never heard of. They’d never check that unless I was claiming a graduate degree maybe.
9. We all fell for that one.
Turning on the light in the car.
Turns out it’s not illegal but is actually distracting for the driver. So dad could’ve just said “The glare is distracting don’t have it on for long”
8. Wilderness fears.
The infamous quicksand, but also being stuck in the alps and having to drink alcohol from a Saint Bernard’s necklace.
Also, cannibalism. Was a huge concern in late elementary to early middle school days.
It was highly unlikely we’d ever crash in the Andes or that our wagon train would get stuck in the mountains in winter, but for some reason all the kids in my school were concerned about it. Should we eat someone? Could we actually do it if we had to? Who should we eat first?
The fat kid will keep, but we don’t want the muscular guy to lose too much weight.
7. A lie well worth it.
My parents both smoked before having kids, and my mom raised me on stories about how the first time she smoked a cigarette, she coughed so badly that she threw up. It made staying away from smoking cigarettes pretty easy, because I didn’t want to puke!
Once I was in college I brought up the story to her and she blinked like an owl caught in the sunlight. “Wait, you believed me?” She said. “I was just trying to get you to not smoke. If smoking made me vomit, why do you think I smoked for 15 years?”
Good job, Mom!
6. She wasn’t wrong.
Mom warned me to “avoid any girl who wanted to stick her tongue in my mouth (‘French kiss’) because it would lead me astray.”
5. Stop, drop, and roll.
My school made me believe that I would be set on fire frequently. It has obviously not happened yet.
4. This happened to my 3yo.
Swallowing chewing gum.
Although when I was 5, I did that many times and ended up with terrible constipation. I had to have X-rays for the doctors to check out what was going on. Our neighbor was a nurse and helped my parents give me an enema.
3. I mean, it is still dangerous.
talking to strangers online… hello internet friends!!
I am 100% serious: every single aspect of my adult life is because of joining a single local Yahoo Group and going to a gathering. Everything from where I’ve lived, to who I’ve been friends with, to the man I married, to the children I have raised has all stemmed from two people I met in that group.
I just teared up looking at my best friend thinking how I wouldn’t know her except for me having met those two people.
2. We buy this for way more years than we should.
When my 5th grade teacher told us that 6th grade would be a lot harder
Haha, so true. I heard this lie throughout my entire school life.
“Laugh now kids, because once you’re in ($CurrentGradeLevel + 1), your teachers won’t put up with this kind of behavior!”
1. Actually pure moments.
Drug dealers. I thought people would force that drugs down my throat untill I was a broke addict.
I have been offered it a few times in high school but funny enough they were all very wholesome interactions. My favorite was a guy who I had never spoken to, who had just learned I was chronically ill and he said that if I ever wanted to try anything he would give it to me for free and would help me to do it safely since he knew I didn’t do drugs.
It was just a very pure moment and I will never forget that look of kindness and concern in his eyes.
I’ve since been around many, many drug dealers (I think everyone in the Netherlands has) and have never been forced, tempted or manipulated to do drugs.
I have to agree with some of these, and really, does trying to scare kids away from something even work?
I think not.
What’s something like this from your childhood that confused you as an adult? Tell us about it in the comments!