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15 Dumb Things Your Parents Warned You About That Turned Out to Be a Control Tactic

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Parents love to warn their kids about all sorts of things, from the dangers of talking to strangers to the importance of eating their vegetables. However, not all of their dire warnings turn out to be true. In fact, many of the things that parents warned their kids about are actually completely false.

1. “If You Swallow Gum, It Will Stay In Your Stomach for Seven Years”

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This is a classic myth that many parents tell their kids to discourage them from swallowing their chewing gum. However, it’s completely false. While swallowing gum is not recommended, it will not stay in your stomach for seven years. In fact, your body is able to digest most of the components of gum, with the exception of the gum base, which is excreted in your feces.

2. “Don’t Crack Your Knuckles or You’ll Get Arthritis”

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This is another common myth that parents often tell their kids. However, there is no evidence to suggest that cracking your knuckles will lead to arthritis. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found no association between knuckle cracking and arthritis.

3. “If You Go Outside With Wet Hair, You’ll Catch a Cold”

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This is a myth that has been passed down through generations. However, it’s not entirely true. While it’s true that cold weather can make you more susceptible to catching a cold, going outside with wet hair is not the cause. Colds are caused by viruses, not by wet hair.

4. “Don’t Sit Too Close to the TV or You’ll Go Blind”

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This is a warning that many parents gave their kids back in the days when TVs emitted more radiation. However, modern TVs do not emit enough radiation to cause eye damage. In fact, sitting close to the TV may actually cause eye strain and discomfort, but it won’t make you go blind.

5. “If You Make a Face, It Will Get Stuck That Way”

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This is a warning that many parents give their kids when they make silly faces. However, it’s not true. Making faces will not cause your facial muscles to get stuck in a certain position. However, it’s worth noting that excessive facial expressions can cause wrinkles over time.

6. “If You Swallow Watermelon Seeds, a Watermelon Will Grow in Your Stomach”

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This is a classic myth that many parents tell their kids to discourage them from swallowing watermelon seeds. However, it’s completely false. Your stomach acid would destroy any watermelon seed you swallowed, and it would never have the chance to grow.

7. “Don’t Swim for at Least an Hour After Eating, or You’ll Get Cramps and Drown”

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This is a common myth that many parents believe. However, there is no evidence to suggest that swimming after eating will cause cramps or increase the risk of drowning. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education found no correlation between swimming after eating and the incidence of cramps or drowning.

8. “Eating Carrots Will Improve Your Eyesight”

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This is a myth that many parents tell their kids to encourage them to eat their vegetables. While carrots are a good source of vitamin A, which is important for eye health, eating carrots will not improve your eyesight. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no evidence to support the idea that eating carrots can improve vision.

9. “If You Swallow Toothpaste, You’ll Get Sick”

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This is a warning that many parents give their kids to discourage them from swallowing toothpaste. While swallowing toothpaste is not recommended, it will not make you sick. In fact, the amount of fluoride in toothpaste is too small to cause any harm if swallowed in small amounts.

10. “If You Eat Chocolate Before Bed, You’ll Have Nightmares”

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This is a myth that many parents tell their kids to discourage them from eating too much chocolate. However, there is no evidence to suggest that eating chocolate before bed will give you nightmares. In fact, a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that there is no link between eating chocolate and having nightmares.

11. Reading could make you blind

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The warning about reading in the dark damaging eyesight might have been more about bedtime compliance than actual eye health concerns. While adequate lighting is essential to prevent eye strain, the exaggerated warning was used as a control tactic to ensure you go to bed on time.

12. Santa Claus Knows If You’ve Been Naughty or Nice

santa
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The Santa myth might have been more about encouraging good behavior than a literal belief in a gift-giving, chimney-hopping figure. This allowed kids to be well-behaved all through the year in order to get gifts from Santa Claus.

13. Crossed Eyes Will Get Stuck That Way

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Warnings about crossed eyes staying that way a control tactic to discourage certain behaviors rather than a genuine belief. It’s a common parental tactic to deter kids from making certain facial expressions.

14. Eating Carrots Will Let You See in the Dark

carrots
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The notion that carrots grant night vision was a creative way to convince kids to eat more vegetables. Of course, carrots have vitamins that are known to improve eyesight over time, but that alone is not enough to make you see in the dark.

15. Don’t Sit on Cold Surfaces; You’ll Get Piles

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The warning against sitting on cold surfaces to avoid hemorrhoids was used as a way to encourage kids to sit on appropriate furniture or to prevent discomfort.

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