When you’re a kid, it seems like someone is always telling you not to do something. They’re coming up with this big, dire warnings that are meant to scare you away from things adults think you’re not ready for (or that are actually dangerous) and most of the time they work.

Even so, when you look back on those warnings as adults they can definitely seem out of whack in comparison to any actual consequences, right?

Here are 16 things we were terrified of as kids that actually turned out to be…not that big of a deal?

16. Outdated advice.

Stop playing with the computer you’ll get dumb.

I’m a software engineer now and I make more than all my friends.

15. It’s not a thing.

Getting written up at work.

Turns out that “permanent work record” does not exist, and will not follow you from job to job for the rest of your life.

Or your school permanent record like all the tropes in shows and movies. No one cares that you pushed little billy down in 4th grade.

14. Not if but when.

I was told in D.A.R.E. that people would constantly be offering me drugs and trying to get me high and it would be a constant struggle to turn them down. Imagine my disappointment.

I was told the same thing, except about being recruited into a cult. Like, it wasn’t if it was when.

13. No regrets…except.

Playing with yourself will make you go blind. Sure, my eyesight has declined over the decades but it’s absolutely been worth it.

my mom said some of her friends growing up were told lies like that. one friend was apparently told if she touched herself she would go crazy. my mom told me that this girl did go crazy because she was obsessed with trying to not touch herself, like after she peed she had to make sure her hands didn’t touch anywhere. and this actually drove her crazy.

of course, i don’t know if this is true or just a wild exaggeration from my mom. but she did seem sad when she told me that so i think it might have been mostly true.

12. Nothing is worse than middle school.

How hard highschool is. Teachers always said you would have to smarten up in highschool and you would barely have time for anything. I crocheted my teacher a sweater for his dog in class once. I think ill be okay

I barely did any homework in high school, still graduated with a high 70s% average (which AIUI is still pretty decent in Canada), so when they told me the same stuff about college, I didn’t listen. Protip, at least for a STEM major, they mean it for college.

11. Absolutely not way to predict that.

“If you are not a model student and don’t have excellent grades, you will never amount to anything in life.”

I was a model student and had excellent grades. I haven’t amounted to much due to crippling anxiety and depression. Yay?

10. Still uncommon.

Stranger rape. It still happens and is devastating, but most rapes are committed by someone known to the victim, not by a masked stranger popping out of the bushes.

I think that emphasis on stranger fear discourages people from seeing red flags in situations with people they know.

9. Unless you’re an English grad student.

The amount I’d be using MLA formatting in my life….

8. Spoiler Alert: no one does.

The requirement of ‘having your shit together’

Virtually everyone is in various stages of chaos, even if they give the appearance of having everything carefully planned.

Edit: Didn’t realise this comment would resonate with so many! I typed it without much thought and I’m overwhelmed with the effect it has had. Glad it has acted as a motivator for some of you.

7. And now man buns are in.

Having long hair as a man would mean I never get a job.

6. Double whammy.

If I didn’t do everything that was expected of me, I’d end up flipping burgers.

That turned out to be absolutely untrue.

There’s absolutely no shame in working in the food industry.

5. Sick burn.

Apparently my face will not actually “stay like that” if I make funny faces in the mirror.

When I was a small kid, my mum said that line to me.

My smooth small kid brain asked her “Is that what happened to you?”. My line of thinking was “How could she know that unless it had happened to her before?”

But I soon received a smack.

4. We’re still playing games.

“Just wait till you go to primary school, you won’t be playing games in primary school, you’re gonna be working your butt off.”

euh, okay

“Just wait till you go to high school, you won’t be playing games in high school, you’re gonna be working your butt off.”

euh, okay

“Just wait till you go to university, you won’t be playing games in university, you’re gonna be working your butt off.”

okay I guess?

3. Real talk.

I don’t know how many people can relate to this but I have gone through some mental stuff ever since I started puberty. Mom forbade me to ever tell others about what’s going on with me (even friends) because I might be perceived differently, become a social outcast, etc.

I became a social outcast regardless because of feeling alone and misunderstood, and then the internet grew up to be a cesspit of suicidal memes. Turns out young people have mental issues in all possible colours.

2. Do we care, though?

Television was going to ruin my brain.

The tables have turned because now I have to spend a portion of my time explaining to my parents that the stuff they read on Facebook isn’t true.

They like to argue about things that don’t make sense so whose brain really got scrambled by technology?

1. They’re pretty superfluous.

Movies with age ratings.

It was the creepy kids movies/TV shows that traumatised me, not those movies.


I will 100% still try to frighten my kids away from some things, like smoking and talking to strangers on the internet, though.

I watch too many murder shows not to.

What dire warnings are you going to try on your kids? Tell us in the comments!