12 people share the things their parents did that are totally weird in hindsight.

Image: Modern Family.

As children, so many of our ideas about the world are shaped by the behaviours we observe in our parents. If Mum and Dad do something, your developing mind figures it must be perfectly normal.

However, the transition to adulthood (and conversations with people who aren’t blood relatives) can bring you to the realisation that a lot of those seemingly normal family habits were actually batsh*t crazy. And that they happened in your home and your home only.

A recent Ask Reddit thread dove into this topic with hilarious and completely puzzling results. One brave soul posed the question, ‘What’s something your parents did when you were a kid that you didn’t realise was weird until you grew up?’ and these are the best responses:

1. Not ovary helpful

“Whenever I would lose something I would always ask my mother if she knew where it was. Typically she did because that’s what mums do. But she wouldn’t just tell me where the lost item was. She would pause for a moment and close her eyes and say, ‘let me use my uterus to find it.’ It was obviously a joke, but I had no idea what a uterus was as a child. I have no idea how many times I suggested someone else use their uterus to find a lost item or told people my mother used her uterus to find lost objects…” – geoffersonspin

Watch: Mamamia staff share their opinions on smacking as punishment. (Post continues after video.)

2. Christmas traditions

“My dad did this thing around Christmas time, that was called ‘Mr.Tree’. Basically, my mum would bring us to the window and he would stand behind the Christmas tree and pretend like the tree was talking to us. After Christmas, they would tell us that Mr.Tree went back to the Christmas tree farm. Imagine my horror when I learned that Mr.Tree was not a thing that other kids had.” – kickingandsinging

“Our favourite part of Christmas was the ‘beatin sticks’. We’d take the empty wrapping paper rolls and wrap them top to bottom with duct tape. Then we’d have a family battle royal until all of the beatin sticks had deteriorated and fallen apart.”. – cexshun


“Reuse wrapping paper/bows/ribbons from Christmas for years and years and years. I still get the same label on my presents as I did when I was a child and I’m 30!” – imasilky

The Griswolds certainly had some interesting Christmas traditions.

3. Swimming lessons

"Before I was totally competent swimming by myself, my mum would put a life jacket on me, tie a long piece of nylon rope to it, and chuck me in the river. She'd basically swim me on a leash down the river for fun." - thangle

4. Silence is not so golden

"As punishment my dad used to do a long-term silent treatment-type thing. The longest he went without speaking to me was 2 months (I think I had said I hated him when I was in 5th grade). When my brother was in 9th grade my dad did the silent treatment for 3 months because he cried in front of my dad or something stupid like that." - its_chill_ (Post continues after gallery.)

5. Tippers make great poets

"We would write poems for our waiter or waitress whenever we ate at restaurants." - Rachalyn

6. When Happy Birthday gets weird

"When singing Happy Birthday my family harmonises like professional singers. Didn't think it was strange until my older brother's girlfriend literally burst out laughing the first time she heard it." - jared_number_two

"We have a family verse to the birthday song. Took me a number of years to realise how odd that is:
Happy birthday [name], Happy birthday,
This is your day to have a lot of fun,
So blow out the candles on your cake and make a wish,
Serve everybody's favourite dish dish dish,
So Happy birthday [name], Happy birthday,
This is your day to have a lot of fun. Hey!" - techniforus

Who doesn't harmonise during Happy Birthday?

7. Sharing is caring

"My parents used to make my siblings and I sleep in the same room with them. We had other rooms in the house but they made us share the bedroom till I was 14. They would even have sex at night when they thought we were asleep." - funnystory_06

8. Some like it hot

"My mum would microwave orange juice for me when I was sick. Everyone else thinks hot orange juice is the strangest thing." - RunRabbitRun49

9. Pee sting

"When I would get a bee sting on my hand my mum would pee into a plastic bag and put my hand in it and then tape it closed around my wrist so my hand would rest in the pee. I thought this was completely normal and one day when a friend asked about the bag around my hand I explained that it was just my mum's pee to help with the healing of the bee sting." - alziebop

OK, over to you - what are your weirdest family traditions? 

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