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Shippy's avatar

Which things your parents said about you, stayed with you?

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) December 28th, 2012

My mom always used to say that rhyme,

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

She also called me obnoxious, which I tend to agree with.

Which things stayed with you as an adult. Is it true for you? or can you discard it today?

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23 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

My dad said I was a butterfly who didn’t complete things I started. I now try to finish everything I start.

Argonon's avatar

My parents called me the Angel of Death when I was a munchkin because I accidentally killed caterpillars and such when I played with them, but I eventually understood the concept of death and what not so I learned to be gentle with such fragile critters. I suppose the only reason I’ll be the Angel of Death nowadays is for the stuff I write, but I would never harm and actual living thing..

Seek's avatar

“She was a total mistake. I never wanted to have a kid, and then I was stuck with her and married”. —Said to a large crowd of the women from the church at which I taught Sunday School, when she didn’t realise I was standing there as well. I was 15.

My stepfather used to call me “The Mouth of the South”. I’m not entirely sure why, because I was incredibly quiet and reserved. He just hated that I pointed out when he was flat-out wrong about stuff, or made logical statements like “If you’re unhappy with how the county operates you could run for a Commissioner seat. It’s a public office.” He’s also the reason I become seethingly angry when anyone uses the word “bitch” against me, even in jest.

elbanditoroso's avatar

About me?

Mostly stuff like “he’s got a great mind but a lousy attention span” and “you’re a bright kid but you need to apply yourself”.

I’ve tried to improve on those over the years,

ucme's avatar

“Son. you’re as mad as a box of frogs, but we love you all the more for it.”

linguaphile's avatar

My mom has a way with words, both in good and bad ways, but one of the many that stayed with me is calling me an “intelligent flake,” and not in an endearing way.

She also said she thanked God I wasn’t a twin because there would be two of me and that one was almost too much. I always wondered what was so exhausting about me because 90% of my childhood time was spent alone in my own world (books, art, TV, music, blanket forts, playgrounds, etc)

My daughter was supposed to be a twin and just a few weeks ago, my daughter asked, “Would you’ve liked two of me?” I thought about my mom’s phrase, which I will never use, and told her, “I’d love to have 10 of you but the one I got’s the best.” I hope that stays with her.

filmfann's avatar

I will keep that private, since it was something I considered very special.
I will add that it was a kind thing, and I am a little surprised that everyone is mentioning things that could be considered bad.

ucme's avatar

Mine would only be considerd bad if you have a negative outlook, context is key.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

My Mom always used to call me her little soldier, because I wanted to be in the Army just like my Dad, and I continued to want to be in the Army right up until I was old enough to join up. Unfortunately for me, I cannot serve my country – because I’ve never been fit enough thanks to a particular long term illness. If I’d have known that a lot sooner, I would be doing more constructive things with my life, but I was never organized enough to have a contingency plan should my first career choice go down the pan. My stepfather always said I was disorganized and I only ever did half a job instead of finishing stuff. Actually I’m more organized than I ever had been in my childhood, and I’m more prone to getting things done than I ever had been in the past. Even if it means getting things done late but to perfection, I’d still rather finish the job than leave it incomplete.
My Mother though, god bless her, still calls me her little soldier even though I’m a good few feet taller than her!

bookish1's avatar

That I’m a good writer, and that I’m kind.
These are the positive things that I have held on to. And I actually believe them now!

gailcalled's avatar

My father’s axioms;

Stand up straight.
Don’t trust anyone.
Driving an automobile is like waving a loaded gun around. (At my first driving lesson when I had just turned 16. Boy, am I a careful driver.)
Never criticize your mother. She is perfect..(That haunted me for years.)

My mother’s;

Everyone says I am the most beautiful woman in name-of-our-county.
Don’t wear white shoes before Memorial (or was it July 4) or after Labor Day.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@gailcalled They were supposed to be things said specifically about you though.

Ever since I can remember, my mother has told me that no one can ever keep me down because I’m stubborn as crabgrass.

gailcalled's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate; That’s the best I can do.

I was complimented and stroked when I brought home perfect report cards (all the time) so there was an implied specific comment.

My parents tended to lump me, my brother and sister into one unified unit of “the kids.”

AshLeigh's avatar

My mama used to always wake me up, singing “Good morning little sunshine. Why did you wake so soon? You scared away the birdies, and shined away the moon.”
Not sure why, but that always stayed with me.

Shippy's avatar

@AshLeigh That is so adorable

muppetish's avatar

I like this question and.. I wish I could remember more things that my parents have said now. I know that my mum has said many wonderful things to me, but for some reason only three instances really stand out: (1) when she told me to stop crying because it never solves anything, (2) when I overheard her telling my dad that she thought I was a hypochondriac, and (3) when she told my older sibling and I that she hoped that her children would find some belief, whatever that belief may be, so they would be comforted.

The first two hurt, but the last one just made me feel guilty. I still haven’t come out as an atheist to my parents, but they must know by now.

As for my father, two moments stand out: (1) when he announced to the family that he sacrificed his high-paying job so his workers wouldn’t have to be laid off and (2) when he told me, through tears, that he was proud of me after I admitted that I doubted he did.

Bellatrix's avatar

@filmfann, I didn’t consider my father’s comment bad. He was right and he didn’t say it in a cruel way. His comment has encouraged me to change that trait and it has spurred me on to complete things I possibly wouldn’t have finished if I hadn’t heard his voice reminding me not to be a butterfly in the back of my mind.

burntbonez's avatar

We just want you to be happy.

newtscamander's avatar

My mom said I was slim when I was seven or so, I always tried to keep that in mind when I felt as if I was too large.

gondwanalon's avatar

My Dad died when I was four. He didn’t refer to me by name. He always called me “the little boy”.

Nothing that my Mom ever said to me disturbed me more than her silence whenever I made a big achievement in high school like being wrestling team captain of an undefeated championship team. Or won a music scholarship and selected as outstanding senior musician. I practically dragged my Mom to my senior concert where I stood up front and played several solos on my trumpet. On the way home from the concert in the car, she said nothing to me. I was crushed and yet I said nothing to her probably because I was too hurt as I finally realized that she simply didn’t give a damn. From 4th grade through high school I worked so hard to be a good student and to please her. I felt like James Dean’s character in “East of Eden” when the Dad rejected his Son at the end of the movie. The lesson that I learned was not to rely on praise or expect it. Also to work hard and be successful for me not for my Mom.

linguaphile's avatar

@gondwanalon I hope you never lost that drive and enthusiasm to do well. I agree, do it for you, not for others. I like to think it lasts longer when I do things for myself. :D

burntbonez's avatar

@gondwanalon How did you manage to learn to do things for you, instead of for your social context?

gondwanalon's avatar

@burntbonez Well as far as social context, I think that I never really had much of a social context at least with my immediate family. From the time that my Dad died when I was 4 until I was in the 4th grade I was a very bad little kid facilitated by the fact that I had no adult supervision most of the time at home. My 2 older Sisters tried to raise me as Mom was gone most of the time working. I ran wild. I stole, lied, cheated, flunked 2nd grade and did other bad things which made my Mom’s life miserable. In the 4th grade I somehow realized that it was easier to work hard and be good than it is to do bad and be lazy. Unfortunately I guess that I had done too much damage to make up for. Some debts you just can’t repay. But no one can say that I didn’t try very hard.

How did I manage to learn to do things for me? I do not know. I just did it. All of my accomplishments were accomplished by me (with the help from great teachers and sports coaches). I got no help from anyone at home when I decided to try to do good in the 4th grade. It was very hard but I made it all happen. I fell on my face many times but always got back up on my own, each time a little stronger and wiser. This is likely why I’ve never been a good team player. I’ve always been the lone wolf.

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