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jabag11's avatar

To older people, do you regret the way you treated your parents when you were younger?

Asked by jabag11 (673points) January 27th, 2011

You know like when you were anywhere from age 15 and up…? please state your age and why you do or do not regret the way you treated them…

I’m 19 and am male, and am curious to know what you guys would say.

thank you..

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30 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

No not at all! Anything less than total respect was hazardous to your health especially my butt.

I’m old enough to be your dad

tranquilsea's avatar

No, I was a respectful teenager and worked hard, got great grades and helped my parents out.

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wundayatta's avatar

No. I think I was a pretty good kid. We did not always see eye to eye about what I should do or how I should do it, but if I was mean or nasty to my parents on occasion, it was not enough for me to remember it, nor for me to regret it. A certain amount of friction is to be expected. Between any people, not just kids and parents.

I’m 54.

janbb's avatar

I have always regretted the way I treat my mother but even more I have regretted the way she treated me.

Austinlad's avatar

I don’t think my memory is misled in the “mists of nostalgia” when I recall that my parents treated me wonderfully, and except for the usual kid stuff I pulled on them, I reciprocated in kind. At any rate, my mom’s in no condition to remember, and my late dad would have to make too-long a distance call to confirm my recollection.

DominicX's avatar

Back in my day, we treated our parents with respect and if we didn’t, we got a whoopin’. We were all good kids back then. Why it was back in 1952 when I…

I’m 19 as well, so I’ll get back to you on this question, but I honestly feel like I treated my parents pretty well. Sure, I got in a couple fights with them, but what kid doesn’t? All in all, we had a good relationship and we still do.

Earthgirl's avatar

While I don’t like to think of myself as, hhhharuummmph, “older people”, I am definitely older than 19, ha ha. So I will answer your question. I think I was always respectful, but not appreciative enough of my parents when I was younger. The whole process of separating yourself and gaining independance is challenging for some people. For me, it was difficult because my parents were conservative and religious and I didn’t share their viewpoints on certain things. I was the only one in my family of 7 kids who would bother to fight with my father over current events. I didn’t agree with his views on gay rights and other things. I would challenge him and be forthright about my opinion and it would lead to a fight. Sometimes the fights were at the dinner table because that’s where he would provoke me by reading an article from the newspaper and making comments that I would disagree with. My siblings’ attitude was generally, “why bother fighting with him? You’re not going to change his mind?” You know what? I am glad that we “fought”! I prefer it to a mendacious silence. I think he felt closer to me because I was honest with him and challenged him. But I did do it in what I felt was a respectful way. I argued but it was a debate, not hateful in any way. If it had been, then yes, I would regret it. I realize that my parents made sacrifices for us and I am thankful for that. At the same time, I have to be true to myself. If something is going to cause pain I would not throw it in their faces, at the same time, I need to be my own person.

aprilsimnel's avatar


I was the emotional caretaker/parent of my guardian; the caretaker/child relationship was seriously dysfunctional. I did my best at that age, is all I can say.

tedibear's avatar

I don’t have anything to regret about how I treated my parents when I was a teen. I was respectful for the most part, nothing beyond the usual teenage stuff.

However, my dad lived eight years after my mom died. I do regret not going to visit him more often than I did. In my meager defense, he did make it difficult with his constant right-wing diatribes. (And I would have been equally annoyed by a left-wing diatribe.) As well, one of my sisters was living there and she never cleaned the house. I would go to visit and end up cleaning the house. Then there was the playing of the guilt card when I was leaving.

lovespurple's avatar

Not at all. I was a good kid.

Meego's avatar

I was a good kid and I don’t regret the way I treated my parents. I sometimes thought they could of treated me better, but who knows I seem to have turned out fine…

tinyfaery's avatar

Looking back, I guess I could have handled things better, but I was a child with abusive/neglectful parents. What was I supposed to do? Like @aprilsimnel, I did the best I could. I know I hurt them with the things I said and did, but I was reacting the only way I knew how—the way they taught me.

36 years old.

nicobanks's avatar

I don’t regret my behaviour. I’m not saying my behaviour was always good – sometimes it was truly terrible, and I know that I hurt them at times, maybe deeply – but I don’t really see how I could have behaved differently, or why I should be expected to have. My parents weren’t perfect and, consequentially, I was not a perfect child. So what? It’s all water under the bridge. We get along well now, and we’re apparently well-adjusted, happy people, so what’s to regret?

I’m 29.

geeky_mama's avatar

No, I was a good kid. Very independent, helpful and did all that was expected of me.
I moved out (to university) at 17. Was completely financially independent (and living abroad) by age 20. I’m coming up on 40 now and have a teenager (and other younger kids at home). I think our teenage daughter seems to be on a very similar course (independent, adventurous, academically doing well) ..and I’d be thrilled if her teen years are like mine were..

stardust's avatar

I definitely wasn’t appreciative enough of all of the sacrifices my mother made for me when I was a young teen. Now, I’m so grateful and we’ve got a wonderful relationship.

YARNLADY's avatar

There are a few specific incidents that I would change, but in general I respected them.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I was a good kid, and my parents demanded respect that they really didn’t deserve. I should have stood up for myself more.

Sunny2's avatar

I’m over 70. I was a pretty straight arrow and always respectful to my parents. I didn’t like my mom’s temper tantrums or my dad’s thinking he was always right about everything. I never yelled back or insisted on my point of view. I followed their rules, but I cheated a bit. They didn’t want me staying out late, so I’d stay overnight at a friend’s house and stay out late (which is pretty tame by today’s standards.) I think, as a result, when I left for college, I never looked back. We didn’t have a close family . . . ever, which is too bad.

AmWiser's avatar

There were many things I did not like about my parents (or so I thought) but we were brought up to respect and honor our parents. I think back on my younger years and I’m happy to say I’m proud of how I treated my parents, then and now.

starsofeight's avatar

Life is full of regrets, many of them very small – we could have been so much bigger. Life is not an easy thing to learn, but an open hand is always better than a fist.

I am 58, and I have hurt most people in my life – or at least, I have annoyed them. I regret that I did not express my love any better than I did.

Likeradar's avatar

This is a very good question.
When I was a teenager, I believed my parents were lame and stupid (are we ever smarter than we are at age 17?). Now that I’m older I realize just how awesome they are and how hard they truly tried to be great parents, and reached that goal the vast majority of the time.
I don’t think I was ever truly terrible to them, but I wish I had let them know at the time that they were very appreciated.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’m 26 and they deserved it.

ETpro's avatar

Definitely. After bringing up 3 of my own and now watching 12 grandchildren com along and learn, cooperate, rebell, screw up, and try again; I wish I could get a do over with my own parents. As a youth I was so impatient to dive right in to life. They tried to counsel me to take it easy and wait to mature before acting grown up. They were absolutely right. Of course, I learned a lot that sometimes finds its way into my writing by having been somewhat of a wild child. And I managed to get through my teens and twenties in one piece without doing jail time. So I could have been a much worse kid. I just wish I had been a better one. THey were wonderful people, and I owed them that—but I didn’t see that then.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’m 60 and I’m so sorry for all the bad things that I did when I was 4 through 9 years old. I made my Mother’s life miserable. My Dad died when I was 4 and my Mom worked 2 jobs and was either at work or sleeping all the time. I had no adult supervision. My 2 older sisters tried to take care of me but couldn’t control me as I ran wild. I did poorly in school (flunking 2nd grade). I lied. I cheated. I stole. I had a violent temper. It seemed to me that I was a non-entity and the only way I could get any recognition or verification of my existence was when I did bad things. I was a very unhappy little guy. Luckily some positive role models popped up here and there in my life and helped me to understand the principle of cause and effect. I learned at a young age that it is easier to work hard and do good than it was to be lazy (do bad) and make everyone feel bad. I realized that I was going to have to “pick myself up by my bootstraps” (old folks used to say that a lot back when I was a kid). I graduated from high school not hardly missing a day of class and I worked my own way through college to earn a BA degree.

Perhaps the best thing that my Mom did for me was to give me the many opportunities to fail and to learn the lessons for them. She let me work out all of the anger, frustration and bitterness inside of me. Then she also let me to get back up on my own feet to try to do good things in the future.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Like @tranquilsea I do not regret how I treated my parents in my youth. I am now 56 and my children are grown and I have more regrets about how I treated my children when they were young.

everephebe's avatar

Corporal punishment would not have made me behave any different, maybe worse if anything. In fact I wish I went to a school with that kind of punishment instead of the school I went to, which just skullfucked you mentally.

Physical pain is temporary. Mental anguish can be for life.

I do have regrets for the way I treated my family, and about the way my parents acted. Divorce always sucks way more for the kids, even if it’s a good thing for the adults.

I was a good kid. I just went to the wrong school, and raised in a completely bullshit religion, as opposed to the mostly bullshit religions. My parents have failed me in many ways, but religion and school choices were the big ones. I still love them though. They’ve done their best, and I have in many ways been very lucky, to have them for family.

FutureMemory's avatar

I remember doing really stupid shit to my mother, like calling her into my room to flip the cassette or turn up the volume on my stereo. Lazy little shit… just didn’t want to get up and do it myself.

dakid05's avatar

One one hand I may have just been the only way I could be given my mom’s own selfishness and instability she brought into the home after my dad died; regrets are more like sadness in the present, she is old, makes no sense, and some day she’ll be gone. Any regrets I have and I can come up with the time I bought my own dress for a dance and she was hurt I didn’t let her go shopping with me (“I would have paid if you took me”)... But really my sorrow is more a present thing as I approach 60 and see life differently.

LiveWithNoRegrets's avatar

I am currently 15 and think that yes at times, I can be a bit rude and should listen but on the other hand I’m better behaved then my siblings.

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