What is something you regret telling your children?
I tell my family the truth even if it is hurtful. I decide things cannot be done. When my son was 14, I broke down crying because I told him, and my younger daughter overheard, that we don't have money for university. There is no university in the US, other than free options, that I could afford to pay out of pocket. (I have looked - yes there is a university in Florida where tuition is only $4,000, but what about living expenses? I can't afford my own household expenses, how do I pay for three?).
My son, who has had perfect grades since middle school, became valedictorian and had perfect SAT and ACT scores. He is attending an Ivy League school (he had a choice), and they are generous enough to pick up most (>80%) of the cost. He also works part time. There was no other way to do it. That was his approach, if his dream was to be an engineer.
My daughter who is herself at the 98th percentile nationally and also had perfect grades in middle school, made another choice because of our situation. She did not form a goal in part because we don't have money, and did not plan on university. She's at community college. Her future remains to be seen. Bringing her out of Japan did not improve her options as a woman. At least she wasn't forced to study like urban Japanese children, and she had time for Girl Scouts, band, hula, piano, robotics, Cyber Patriot, Science Olympiad, tennis team, Japanese club, cooking, the Internet, work, arts and crafts, and time with her friends. (Those activities were all her choice.)
Loans and military service are not an option for school. In fact, my children joining the military would be considered grounds for divorce to my Japanese wife's family. In addition to being Japanese, they consider my wife's deceased mother to be an A-bombing victim.
I have told my children they are qualified to teach English in Japan, with no need for a visa. (As an American, I needed a university degree. They only need to be 18.) They could have the life we had in Japan where we had money, and not bad looking used houses could be had for under $30,000. They are not interested.
In Japan, people consider houses like this undesirable because they look down on rural areas and people, and don't like used houses. I love clean air, space, seeing plants and trees, and having peace and quiet. I love Japanese traditional looking architecture.
This happened recently, and the regret kicked in almost immediately.
My son has been having trouble remembering to flush the toilet. I have walked into the bathroom to find the toilet looking like a scene from trainspotting many times. Usually I take it with grace and remind him (ie. Make him stop what he is doing and go clean his mess).
So, last week I encounter a defiled toilet and tell him to go clean in.
Our conversation goes something like this:
Son: "It wasn't me!"
Me: "Really? Because your brother has never left the toilet like that and I know it wasn't me. Who else is left?"
Son: "No Dad, I used the upstairs bathroom"
Me: "Well, I know your mess and your memory, so unless you're pooping with portals you used the downstairs bathroom"
*internally killing myself laughing at dad joke*
Younger son *singing*: "You're pooping with portals, you're pooping with portals..."
Internal me: "Fuck..."
When my girls were very young, (around 4 and 6), my eldest had a habit of coming to me with every new word she heard.
The conversation went thus:
"Dad, what's abortion?"
"Ask your brother."
"But I don't a brother!"
Sufficiently confounded, she went away, and I had hoped that she would forget about that word within a few minutes.
Imagine my surprise when I got a hellfire and brimstone phone call from the neighbour from down the street who had a wailing daughter of mine in the background a few days later.
She hadn't forgotten the word, and had remembered that short conversation to boot!
N.B. There was no abortion, I was just being a smartass with a kid who had FAR too much memory and curiosity for her age.
I regret telling my daughter about Mcdonalds!
After 3 solid years of her not even knowing what a Happy meal is, I finally gave in when she was sick and I couldn't get her to eat.
Now there is no turning back !
I should have just stuck with my personal motto that a child can not miss something they have never had!
Not something i told my children, I don't have any, but something my parents told me.
My parents never let me believe in santa claus.
They never said he was real, the presents said "from mum and dad" and they even flat out told me "santa doesn't exist, he is a lie, we don't like liars."
I was quite sad that he didn't exist but I never was told he was real, so I didn't miss something I never had, then when I went to school (I was homeschooled) everyone said they believed in santa/still believe in santa, and nobody said otherwise.
It made me very confused.
"When will you stop smoking?" My sister asked my mom.
"I don't know," she snapped. "When are you gonna stop eating chocolate?"
My poor mother has never lived that one down.