15 Times When Children’s Attitudes Far Exceeded Their Parents’ Expectations
Children grow by leaps and bounds. Sometimes, by being with them every day, we don’t realize how fast time goes by. However, there is always a moment when they surprise us with their humor or attitudes and we stop thinking of them as children and start seeing them as mini-adults.
At Now I’ve Seen Everything, we have fun with these anecdotes and ask ourselves: Did the same thing happen to our parents with us? What was your experience?
- I was playing hide and seek with my youngest daughter recently. My wife was counting and the 2 of us ran off into the house to hide. We both hid in her room and for the life of her, my wife couldn’t find me. She did find our daughter though. She asked her where I was. Innocently she said, “I don’t know, mommy. Let’s go find him!” Took her hand and led my wife away. I could hear her running interference the entire time, reassuring her mom that she didn’t know where I was, and tried to innocently redirect her from double-checking her room. When she did go back to her room and find me, my daughter let out a surprisingly devious laugh and ran to me, gave me a high 5, and said, “Yeah, dad! I didn’t rat you out! Did you see how I lead her away!?!” We all laughed, but now we know we’re going to have to really keep an eye on her. She’s way too sneaky and way too good of a liar for a 4-year-old. ©openletter8 / Reddit
- My husband and I had had a few passing conversations about a close family member who is struggling with depression. To our knowledge, we hadn’t discussed it in front of our kid and we hadn’t mentioned any names. But the next time we went to see that person we later found out that our son took him aside and told him, “I love you Uncle J. I’m sorry your heart is sad.” So so sweet that the kid was trying to help, but wow, my husband and I were embarrassed. We learned that day that the kid hears EVERYTHING and we cannot assume that he’s engrossed in an activity and not listening to us talk. ©KingOfSnorts / Reddit
- My daughter was always “the quiet one” and “the shy one” and “we’ve got to get her out of her shell” “she gets intimidated too easily.” When she was 4, we moved an hour away, she changed locations for her 4-year-old kindergarten (in Australia) near the end of the school year so she went into a class where friendship groups were already established. She buddied up with a little girl who no one played with, for relevance to this story, this girl has a large birthmark on her face. Within 2 weeks I was called into the teacher’s office because “her behavior was unacceptable.” Turns out this boy (who over the year has been repeatedly picking on her friend) told her friend, “I think you have the ugliest face in the world” and my daughter replied, “No one cares what you think, you’re not important.” The teacher wasn’t overly impressed with me because my response was a very flat, “But no one should care what he thinks about someone else’s face.” And talking with her about it afterward was the point where I realized that she wasn’t intimidated, she was just a listener, she told me everything this boy had said to her friend over the past 2 weeks, she took it all in, and she reacted in a way that we felt was actually appropriate. As she’s gotten older it’s become more obvious that that’s the case with her, she picks up on things very fast because she’s always listening and taking everything in, she’s not shy or intimidated. ©t12aq / Reddit
- When my kid was about 3, we were at a playground about a 2-minute walk from our house. I had put dinner in the oven and it was almost time to take it out. My kid wanted to keep playing on the climby thing. So I said, “Come on, Jay! Let’s go home and eat fish for dinner! You love fish!” He didn’t want to come down, and he said: “I don’t want to eat fish. I want to eat... dolphin.” The way he said it made a group of big kids on the playground bust out laughing. I realized that he had, indeed, said it specifically to be funny and that he did it to make the group of big kids laugh. I realized then that I was out of my league with this kid, and he would probably be the funniest person I ever met. ©GingerMau / Reddit
- I was folding laundry and she was fussing. I went over to give her my undivided attention for a bit and I was leaned over her playpen talking to her and playing with her. She’s started “giving” me things lately like her washcloth/napkin or crackers during meals. Then she hands me her small stuffed bunny and I make it hop and give it back (back and forth for a bit as I’ve learned this is how she plays this game with me) and then, she takes her pacifier AND NEARLY SHOVES IT IN MY MOUTH! I was... not expecting that lol, but I caught it before it went in my mouth and mimed like I was sucking on it for a few seconds before giving it back to her and thanking her for being so sweet and thoughtful. ©TinkeringNDbell / Reddit
- I spent the night in the hospital with my youngest while my eldest stayed home with grandma. We spent almost 10 hours at the hospital. I was awake for 26 hours by the time we got home. Then I had a couple of hours of sleep until my mom had to leave for work. A few hours later I just couldn’t keep my eyes open so I asked my child to quietly watch some TV and eat some snacks. I needed to take an hour-long nap. I woke up to a spotless house. Every single book and toy had been put away. He was so proud of his efforts. And as the mother of a 5-year-old, I was so proud I cried. I’m a single mom so putting the toys away doesn’t happen often, as other chores take priority. It still astounds me a week later that he did that. He could have sat back and watched Paw Patrol for the hour but he chose to help mommy and clean up... ©brungup / Reddit
- I love my son, but for a good long while he was a deep sighing, eye rolling, obstinate, obnoxious little weasel. As an early teenager, when he barely spoke to me or his father, I was pleasantly surprised to learn he was spending a lot of time with close neighbors of ours, an older couple with an empty nest who went to our church. He went out and formed a friendship with the nicest people on the block all by himself. He even helped them with chores! I couldn’t get him to clean his room under the threat of death and he’s out there taking out another woman’s trash! I was never so pleased or proud. ©Maxwyfe / Reddit
- When my daughter was 3, she said she liked moons. I said Earth only has one moon, but some other planets have more than one. We were walking to the store at the time and she suddenly burst into tears. She wouldn’t tell me what was wrong and we sat on the floor and had a quick cuddle. When we got to the store, she begged me to get a Teddy bear. It was a week before Christmas and I told her she didn’t know what she’d be getting from family or from Santa. She said it was a present and that she had to get it. Walking to the counter to pay she said, “Moon is lonely and my stuffy stops my loneliness.” The guy behind the counter refused to charge us for it and a lovely lady behind us asked us to wait. She bought my daughter a chocolate bar and a card for the moon. When we got home, she said we needed to write 2 letters. We wrote one to Santa asking him if he could collect and deliver the bear to NASA, if he was going past that way. The second was to NASA, explaining that if there was room on the next rocket to the moon, could they please take the Teddy bear to the moon so it wouldn’t be lonely. I addressed it to NASA and I put on our address and an email address. Me, the shopkeeper, and the lady in line weren’t the only ones touched by this because we heard back from someone at NASA! They sent a photoshopped picture of Teddy on the moon and explained (for my eyes only) that they would donate the Teddy to a children’s hospital. They said they were very moved because they never thought that the moon might be lonely and that it was very sweet of my daughter. She’s always been a sweetheart to her friends and family but after that, I realized just how big her heart really is! ©MamaBear8414 / Reddit
- I recently had to put my dog down that I’ve had for 17 years and I was (am) devastated. I tried to explain to my 4-year-old son, in an appropriate manner, about how he needed to say his goodbyes and have a talk about death. He still doesn’t quite understand because he’ll make comments like, “Oh! She forgot her collar!” However, even though I can tell he doesn’t understand fully what happened, he does understand that I was grieving and he felt like he needed to comfort me in my grief. Due to COVID, I had to take my dog to the vet alone and I came home sobbing but put on a brave face for my son. My son, who’s normally extremely independent, immediately began asking me if I wanted to play with him, and he normally doesn’t ask it like that. It continued to where he wouldn’t leave me alone (in a good way) and he constantly asked me if I wanted to play with him, go outside with him, go hiking, read books with him, do puzzles, and play in his room and I always took him up on his requests. After a few days, his requests to play with him went back to what they were before. Even though my son couldn’t understand the death of our beloved dog, he knew the things that made him feel better would also make me feel better. ©ISeaStars19 / Reddit
- I just bought a car after not having one for a while. It took most of my money. I had mentioned to my 10-year-old that I needed to buy a car seat for her 2-year-old sister, but that I’d have to wait until I got paid again. My oldest offered to give me the $20 her grandma gave her for her birthday to help pay for it. Obviously, I didn’t take it, but that was just such a sweet gesture. She was always a caring person but it really made me happy to hear her say that. ©Om*gimaweirdo / Reddit
Do you know of any more stories like these? Why do you think children’s attitudes often far exceed their parents’ expectations?