People are sharing the parenting trends that absolutely ‘need to end now’

Here are 21 of the best responses.

parenting trends
via Pexels

Not all trends in parenting are a good thing

It’s tough to quantify whether today’s parents are stricter or more permissive than previous generations, but the overall sentiment seems to be that parents are more lenient than they were a few decades back.

A poll by YouGov found that younger Americans are more likely than their elders to have been raised by “not very strict” or “not at all strict” parents. Thirty-nine percent of under-30s say that their parents weren't very strict or not strict at all, compared to only 15% of over-65s.

Nicola Kraus, author of “The Nanny Diaries,” believes that it’s a natural outgrowth of the fact that we know a lot more about children than we did in the past.

“We are deeply aware that our children are cognizant, conscious humans in a way previous generations weren't aware. Children were treated like pets or-worse-release-valves for their parents' stresses and fears, then expected to magically transform into healthy, functional adults,” she writes.

But this change in parenting has encouraged other trends that many think are creating a greater number of entitled young adults who can’t fend for themselves. These days we have helicopter parents, bulldozer parents and dependent parents whose overinvolvement in their children’s lives renders them incapable of becoming fully integrated adults.

Reddit user u/qquackie asked the online forum "What parenting 'trend' do you strongly disagree with?" and got an overwhelming number of responses from people who think that today's parents are raising entitled children.

Many of the responders think that parents are being too sensitive with their children and they don’t provide firm boundaries. They also think it’s a big problem for kids to think they’re the center of the universe.

Here are 21 of the most popular responses to the parenting question.

1. Pretending that not parenting is parenting

"I won't tell my child to stop kicking your leg repeatedly because i don't want to crush his spirit!' — StoicDonkey

2. ​Denying your kid any negative experiences or emotions

"They are a normal part of being a person, teach them to handle negative emotions now before you send them out into a world they are not prepared to handle." — IAmRules

3. Fake “gentle parenting”

"You hear and see so many parents letting their children do whatever they want, no matter how destructive, rude or hurtful their behaviours are. Parents find themselves beholden to the whims of their childrens’ emotions in the name of gentle parenting, instead of true gentle parenting where (so I hear) boundaries are set alongside validating emotions." — candianuk

4. Not setting clear boundaries

"You are the adult, not the kid. Children benefit sooo much more from clear rules and consequences." — NorthWeight3580

5. The “bulldozer” parent

"The parent who removes all obstacles/challenges from a child’s life so they don’t learn about perseverance, problem solving, failure (sometimes you can try hard and still not get the reward) and learning from mistakes - unless the goal is to develop a highly anxious person - then, being a bulldozer parent is great." — spinefexmouse

6. Stage-mom syndrome

"Abusing the talents of your child just to boost your self image in society." — sweettooth_92

7. Nonstop supervision

"Hovering over them at every turn. Whatever happened to tossing them in a play area in another room and letting them create, explore, and get the occasional bumps?" — ansibley

8. Not believing the teacher

"'My kid never lies to me.' Seriously. Parents absolutely should be their kid’s biggest supporter. But support sometimes means holding the kid responsible when they don’t do the right thing." — jdith123

9. "No talking back!"

"If this also counts... Parents who punish their kids for speaking up or otherwise explaining something, saying that they're 'talking back.' I honestly don't get why most parents refuse to admit they're not always right sometimes. Besides, what if their kid one day comes up to them and says another adult is touching them inappropriately?" — EntryRepresentative5

10. Helicopter parenting

"Kids need freedom to explore the world, get dirty, engage in free play. I am not advocating putting the child outside on a Saturday morning and telling them to come home when the street lights come on, but an age acceptable level of freedom." — Cat_Astrophe_X

11. Pushing them too hard

"Pushing them too hard in sports, academics, etc. Like pushing til they need therapy or get injured, no free time, no downtime. FFS, they only get to be young & without excessive responsibilities once." — Oh-Oh-Ophelia

12. Tablets in public

"Loud cartoons and games on tablets in public places." — StarrCreationsLLC

13. Potty training too late

"Oh man, I’m a nanny and work in daycare. I can talk so much about this. One is late potty training. Waiting to potty train a child is more and more common. Which I generally agree with. Wait until they’re 2.5-3 and knock it out. Some take longer, some are probably ready earlier. Better than rushing it and causing issues. What this has turned into. Not potty training. I nanny a 4 year old that is still in pull ups. She is more than capable of using the potty. Our 4 year old classroom just installed a diaper genie because so many 4 year olds are starting preschool in diapers. My best friend who is a Kindergarten teacher had 2 kids start kindergarten in diapers. Luckily they’re potty trained now." — cleaning-meaning

14. Kids on social media

"Creating social media channels for your children where they proceed to upload videos and photos of their kids. Perfect place for pedophiles." — AJSK18

15. Too much structure

​"I guess the overall trend of prioritizing academics/extracurriculars and college admissions over everything else. Give your kids some chores and let them hang out with their friends outside of structured sports and musical activities!" — hausfrau224

16. Tablet addiction

"Constantly giving your kid(s) a tablet or cellphone to keep them busy because you can't be bothered to actually be a parent or pay attention to them." — ZRuneDemonX

17. Letting the kid make all the choices

"I believe kids should have reasonable choices, like what their snack is and the character that's on their bedspread, but you can't let your 3 year old decide when you're allowed to leave your house. The world doesn't work that way." — cihojuda

18. Silence

"Saying 'what goes on in this house, stays in this house.' I know hundreds of victims of abuse, go through years of pain because of this phrase." — Dixie_Maclant

19. Birthdays

"The social media trend that keeps upping the expectations for birthday parties and any celebration connected to a kid. When I was a kid, birthdays consisted of a handmade invitation made by me, a cake from the grocery store, food that my Mom cooked and then inviting some friends and family over for games. Today's expectation is that every monthversary and half-birthday consist of a huge arch of balloons that will end up in the trash, a customized three-tier fondant cake, gift wrapping that color-coordinates with the themed party favors and of course, a very intentional outfit for the numerous photo ops that will take up most of the day. Anything for the 'gram, right? Don't even get me started on gender reveal announcements." — littlebunsenburner

20. Parent, not friend

"Trying to be your kid's 'friend,' not a parent. A parent is there to provide guidance and responsible behavior to model. Yes, sometimes making their actions have consequences and setting boundaries can be difficult and they'll not be too happy with you. That's part of the job. Ultimately I think that will result in a healthier relationship than being the "cool" permissive parent. I've seen results of that style of (not) parenting with very sad outcomes." — DataPlenty

21. You're not special

"Perpetuating the myth that one's children are somehow special. With about 97% certainty, they are not. Teaching them that they are just sets them up for crushing disappointment down the road. It's far better to raise kids to believe they are ordinary people with a few gifts, but also some flaws and weaknesses." — AssistantToTheSensei

This article originally appeared on 2.20.23


3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.

“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes


1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)


1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4


1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano


1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics

O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4


1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)


1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics


A boy told his teacher she can't understand him because she's white. Her response is on point.

'Be the teacher America's children of color deserve, because we, the teachers, are responsible for instilling empathy and understanding in the hearts of all kids. We are responsible for the future of this country.'

Photo by John Pike. Used with permission.

Emily E. Smith is no ordinary teacher.

Fifth-grade teacher Emily E. Smith is not your ordinary teacher.

She founded The Hive Society — a classroom that's all about inspiring children to learn more about their world ... and themselves — by interacting with literature and current events. Students watch TED talks, read Rolling Stone, and analyze infographics. She even has a long-distance running club to encourage students to take care of their minds and bodies.

Smith is such an awesome teacher, in fact, that she recently received the 2015 Donald H. Graves Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing.

It had always been her dream to work with children in urban areas, so when Smith started teaching, she hit the ground running. She had her students making podcasts, and they had in-depth discussions about their readings on a cozy carpet.

But in her acceptance speech for her award, she made it clear that it took a turning point in her career before she really got it:

"Things changed for me the day when, during a classroom discussion, one of my kids bluntly told me I "couldn't understand because I was a white lady." I had to agree with him. I sat there and tried to speak openly about how I could never fully understand and went home and cried, because my children knew about white privilege before I did. The closest I could ever come was empathy."

Smith knew that just acknowledging her white privilege wasn't enough.

She wanted to move beyond just empathy and find a way to take some real action that would make a difference for her students.

She kept the same innovative and engaging teaching methods, but she totally revamped her curriculum to include works by people who looked like her students. She also carved out more time to discuss issues that her students were facing, such as xenophobia and racism.

And that effort? Absolutely worth it.

As she said in her acceptance speech:

"We studied the works of Sandra Cisneros, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Gary Soto, with the intertwined Spanish language and Latino culture — so fluent and deep in the memories of my kids that I saw light in their eyes I had never seen before."

The changes Smith made in her classroom make a whole lot of sense. And they're easy enough for teachers everywhere to make:

— They studied the work of historical Latino figures, with some of the original Spanish language included. Many children of color are growing up in bilingual households. In 2007, 55.4 million Americans 5 years of age and older spoke a language other than English at home.

— They analyzed the vision of America that great writers of color sought to create. And her students realized that our country still isn't quite living up to its ideals. Despite progress toward racial equality with the end of laws that enforced slavery or segregation, we still have a long way to go. Black people still fare worse than white people when it comes to things like wealth, unfair arrests, and health.

— They read excerpts from contemporary writers of color, like Ta-Nehisi Coates who writes about race. Her students are reading and learning from a diverse group of writers. No small thing when they live in a society that overwhelmingly gives more attention to white male writers (and where the number of employees of color in the newspaper industry stagnates at a paltry 12%).

— They read about the Syrian crisis, and many students wrote about journeys across the border in their family history for class. The opportunity particularly struck one student; the assignment touched him so much that he cried. He never had a teacher honor the journey his family made. And he was proud of his heritage for the first time ever. "One child cried," Smith shared, "and told me he never had a teacher who honored the journey his family took to the United States. He told me he was not ashamed anymore, but instead proud of the sacrifice his parents made for him."

Opportunities like this will only increase as the number of children from immigrant families is steadily increasing. As of 2013, almost 17.4 million children under 18 have at least one immigrant parent.

Smith now identifies not just as an English teacher, but as a social justice teacher.

ethnicity, responsibility, empathy

Teaching in a racially and ethnically diverse world.

Photo by John Pike. Used with permission.

Smith's successful shift in her teaching is an example for teachers everywhere, especially as our schools become increasingly ethnically and racially diverse. About 80% of American teachers are white. But as of last year, the majority of K-12 students in public schools are now children of color.

As America's demographics change, we need to work on creating work that reflects the experiences that our students relate to. And a more diverse curriculum isn't just important for students of color. It's vital for everyone.

As Smith put it, "We, the teachers, are responsible for instilling empathy and understanding in the hearts of all kids. We are responsible for the future of this country."

This article originally appeared on 12.07.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.


Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

@allieandsam/Instagram, used with permission

Moms Allie and Sam Conway answer the questions the commonly get a lesbian parents

Despite society having made a lot of progress when it comes to same-sex relationships and alternative families, it’s not so commonplace that many queer parents are still presented with questions about their lifestyle from straight people.

And while queer parents probably (rightfully) grow tired of answering certain questions day in and day out, having open conversation helps break through the lack of understanding which causes stigma and misconceptions in the first place.

In a now-viral video shared to their Instagram, lesbian moms Allie and Sam Conway answer commonly asked questions they get as a queer married couple with twins.

Of course, they started with the age-old question:

“Who’s the real mom?”

Though people by and large are able to differentiate biological connection from emotional connection (like with adoptive parents or step-parents to take on an active role in their step children’s lives), this is still a question that same-sex parents face regularly. And it’s a fairly harmful one at that, as it implicitly undermines the non-biological parent’s role in the family.

So, to Sam’s point: “We’re both the mom.”

Allie also told Upworthy that the usual response to this answer is "oh my gosh! That’s amazing!" Which makes her—and us—"smile so much."

Next up:

“Who’s the dad?”

To which they replied: “there isn’t a dad.”

This is also a question fused with negative connotation, as it suggests a father figure is necessary for raising well-adjusted kids. But research shows that kids born to same-sex parents fare just as well as the children of straight couples, indicating that what’s really necessary for a child’s development is two healthy, loving parents. That’s it.

Okay, this next one actually had an answer that surprised some folks:

“Who carried them?”

Though Sam wanted to be the one to get pregnant, Allie agreed to try after Sam’s “long fertility journey” of three IUI’s, three embryo transfers and multiple chemical pregnancies with one miscarriage.

However, the couple used Sam’s eggs, and Sam did the breastfeeding.

How the heck did that happen, you might wonder. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. So did lots of viewers. Sam underwent induced lactation, which tricks the body into thinking it’s pregnant and producing breast milk—it’s something often utilized by adoptive mothers.

Lastly, a fun one:

“What do the kids call you?”

“Mummy and other mummy,” Sam quipped. “We’re rotating all day,” Allie added.

Without proper understanding, stigma persists. That’s how myths like “queer parents turn their children gay” or “children of two-mother families are more likely to be bullied” continue. And while it’s certainly not the responsibility of parents like Allie and Sam to educate folks on the realities of queer parenting, it’s great that they do offer genuine insight.

And thankfully, they are usually met with positive reactions from people, Allie tells Upworthy. Which only further encourages them to answer more question and offer glimpses into "different types of families."

At the end of the day, families are made up of people who love and support one another. Everything else is just window dressing.

Check out even more heartwarming family content from Allie and Sam on Instagram.

This article originally appeared on 3.15.24


Men are asked what secrets they keep from their spouses, and the answers are surprising

A rare glimpse of what actually gets bottled up inside.

two men smiling near trees

Men sometimes get labeled as the gender more likely to keep secrets for selfish, manipulative purposes. But just as often, men might keep certain things to themselves due to the effects of gender norms: wanting to hide insecurities to appear strong for their families, hoping to shield their partners from hurt, not feeling safe to show emotion, and so on.

Reddit user Teen_dream91 recently asked: “What, if anything, are you unable or unwilling to share fully openly and honestly about yourself with your spouse?” and the answers are a prime example of this.

These long kept secrets—some hilarious, others heartbreaking—a rare candid glimpse into exactly what many men feel compelled to keep bottled up inside.

Check them out below:

“I keep the ceiling fan on at night because she farts in her sleep and it's so bad it wakes me up.” JackassWhisperer

"When I go grocery shopping, i often buy a fresh rotisserie chicken thigh for myself, and wolf it down on a parkbench on my way home like a homeless caveman. I have no idea why, but it's my little me-time ritual." -Sternsson

"My self-doubt is something I conceal. I strive to be her rock and revealing my vulnerabilities seems counterproductive." -AdhesivenessGlass978

"When she asks to go out with her girlfriends or away on an overnight with some friends, she thinks I’m upset I’m not included. In reality, I’m praising the lord for a day or two alone."Bobo_Baggins03x

men's health

A man sitting on the couch, alone.

Photo credit: Canva

"While I love my spouse deeply, I struggle to fully share my childhood traumas. The memories are painful and sometimes I feel like shielding her from that darkness."Slight_Policy3133

"My child (18 months) is legitimately well behaved, compliant, and enjoyable to be around when she’s not in the home and it’s just he and I. When she’s around he’s combative, whiney, rude, and a little terror."D00deitstyler

"Deep down, I really just want to be lazy.I don’t want to go to work, or cook that much, or change the bedding every week, or find part time income streams… Like, in my heart, I just want to lounge about, get a bit drunk and read books or watch youtube videos. I do as much as possible so that she’s comfortable and happy but don’t want to admit that I don’t really WANT to do anything useful."

"The sheer amount of stress I'm under. I do share, but I can't articulate how bad it is." -Herald_of_dooom

“Sometimes the things she says to me in arguments break my heart.” -justVinnyZee

men's psychology

A woman looking at a man with his eyes closed.

Photo credit: Canva

"I served in Iraq and lost my leg. As a result I have severe PTSD…A couple of years after I got out I met my wife. She is an Iraqi Lady and has helped me through the best and worst times. She's given me beautiful children and a reason to carry on. However…her parents moved from Iraq before she was born. Every time I go to her parents house or there is a wedding on her side of the family I attend whilst suffering in silence. Sweaty palms, heart palpitations, shredding feeling where my leg was etc. It drove me to be extremely disrespectful by secretly carrying a hip flask with spirits and cocaine in as it just took the edge off and made it all manageable. Her parents are extremely religious and alcohol and drugs of any kind are heavily frowned upon and banned from the house.The worst is going to her parents house as so much of the decorations reminds me of the house I got dragged into after stepping on an IED. I keep this hidden because what can I do? Make her choose between family and me? Absolutely not. Prevent my kids from having grandparents and extended family? Absolutely not. My mental health and my foolish decisions at 16 are not going to be any form of potential wedge." -Greenlid_42

"That I sometimes buy $20 scratchers when I do the shopping and occasionally throw $60 at large Powerball/MegaMillions jackpots even tho I publicly say 'lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.' I do this because I like to dream of a day we don’t have to work and we can follow our passions." -wembley

"The fact that she wont let me put any of my hobby stuff (mostly miniatures and random knickknacks) in our shared spaces without it being in an approved location, meanwhile the entire house is her canvas for her aesthetic. Makes me feel really lonely and small sometimes and like she doesn't care. It's been a topic of conversation, she just doesn't get that delegating me a tiny shelf in her curio isn't the same as letting me actually decorate some." -Kimblethedwarf

“That she is bad at taking criticism, even about the most minor of things. And even saying so is itself a form of criticism she cannot handle. And this has very much hindered our ability to talk to each other.”Aechzen

men's health

A black-and-white photo of a mane and woman looking in opposite directions.

Photo credit: Canva

"I keep my regrets from her. I worry she’ll think less of me if she knew all my past mistakes."Suspicious-Factor362

“Literally anything that isn't within the realm of her personal interests. Otherwise, she makes it clear that she's not really interested in what interests me. Sometimes I do, because I can't keep everything to myself forever, but it just feels like I'm a child bothering their parents talking about how cool their toys are.” ChefBillyGoat

“I’m scared of not being able to provide a half decent life for her and my kids. Life’s getting so expensive and challenging.”Arent_they_all

men's psychology

A man in a suit with his head in his hands

Photo credit: Canva

"Sometimes, the food she cooks isn't great. I will never tell her this because she goes out of her way to cook, and I'm not ungrateful. I can live with bad food that night over her getting upset." -CaptainAwesome0912

"That if I speak to her the same way she speaks to me she would probably spend her whole day in tears. It’s definitely a case of “familiarity breeds contempt” as she does not speak to any of her friends like this (who come over to help with furniture moving, for example), and occasionally it comes out with her family, but the unfettered torrent of complaints and abuse is reserved only for me, regardless of what I do. It’s like she looks for imperfections and mistakes just to point them out." -MusicusTitanicus

“How sad I am that my life isn't a grand adventure but a series of choices i made in order to be able to form and provide for a family…I know there's adventure and excitement to be had still, but I wanted to continue my family line. And dearly love my family. Anything available in that vein will come at cost to my wife and children. So I'm stuck playing rise through the ranks, build the better mouse trap and look good to the suites for another raise or step up the ladder. It's going well, but as it goes well it feels more hollow. I could become head honcho, or start my own enterprise and find massive success, it'd still all been to just provide. Collecting wealth is such a boring pursuit, I hate our society.”BodyRevolutionary167

men's health

A man with a beard looking out a window.

Photo credit: Canva

"I let the kids play Roblox beyond their allowed time." -chelhydra

"She's always in the way. If she's in the kitchen when I'm cooking, she's always standing in front of the next place I need to be. If I'm working outside, she's always in the next place I'm going to go. If I'm fixing something, she's always standing right in front of whatever I'm going to be working on next. If I'm trying to leave a room, she's always in the doorway. I realize she wants to spend time with me, but I really wish she'd just get out of the way when I'm doing something." -Lonecoon

"That when I’m not with her, I put ketchup on my hot dogs." -bipolarcyclops

men's psychology

Someone putting ketchup on a hot dog.

Photo credit: Canva

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We live in a world where strangers help one another.

There are many things that can shake our faith in humanity, from the inane bickerings of people on social media to the fact that humans are still trying to war their way to peace.

But amidst the negative news and division-pushing algorithms, we find glimpses of hope, gems of human decency and kindness that don't make the headlines but are happening every day, all around us. There are so many people who are willing to go out of their way to help out others—not just their friends and neighbors but perfect strangers as well.

Someone on Reddit asked people to share the nicest thing a stranger has done for them, and it's a mood-boosting, faith-restoring collection of human goodness.

The question was posed with a story of a mom who was at the mall with her toddler, watching a train ride that you could ride for a $1. She was broke and didn't have any cash, but her kiddo was content to watch. A group of loud teens went by, and then one of them came back to put some money in the machine for her son, saying, "I always liked watching trains too." Her son lit up, and the teen went on his way.

"I never would have expected that action from a stranger, let alone a teen with his friends in a mall," she wrote.

Another parent added a similar story, but from an older couple instead of a teen.

"When my son was a toddler he loved the mini merry-go-round that operated for 50 cents or something like that.

We happened to be at the mall, and this elderly couple asked if it would be okay that they could pay for a few rounds for him to play on it cuz they just wanted to enjoy watching a child play.

That memory has stuck with me as clear as day even though my son is now a young adult. I have every intention on being that kind of elderly couple." – ThatCanadianRadTech

The teens are often more helpful than we'd expect, though, as another person shared:

"One time my wife was at the mall with our autistic then 4 year old. They went to get on the escalator. My wife thought she was there with her, but at the last moment she backed off, and didn't realize until she was well on her way up.

This is one of those escalators where the up is not right next to the down, it's on the other side of the hall.

My wife is freaking out over our kid stuck at the bottom, who's afraid to come up on her own, but my wife doesn't want to leave eyesight to go around to the down.

A rowdy group of teens walks by, sees what's going on, immediately stops being rowdy and helps our girl go up the escalator.

The teens are alright." Helagoth

basketball booth at a carnival

Carnival basketball is a losing game, but not for man who shared his prizes.

Photo by Documerica on Unsplash

It's amazing how a simple kindness shown to a child can make a lasting impact.

"When I was maybe 6 or 7 I was trying to win a mini basketball at cedar point at one of the basketball carnival scam games. I obviously failed and then this guy next to me was like “great shot kid, you deserve this” and gave me a mini charlotte hornets ball he had just won. He had a bag of them he had won and was going around giving them to the kids that were playing and failing. I’m 39 now and never forgot this. And because of that one random day I have always made an effort to gift any random prize to a kid so maybe he’ll do the same for someone else. The only thing I’m any good at is claw machines so I’ll hand off my prize to anyone that’s trying and failing or anyone that stops to watch me try. But random carnival basketball savant changed my life for the better just a little bit." – TheMayb

And it's even better when you're single parent struggling to make ends meet.

"When I was a single mom going through my divorce, I saved up enough to bring my 4yo to an amusement park. At the light show my kiddo asked for a cotton candy I couldn't afford.

An older couple was sitting behind us, he tapped me on the shoulder and asked if they could get my daughter the cotton candy.

I turned to thank them again after the show and they were gone.

25 years I've never forgotten that."A-typ-self

And it's even more heartwarming when it's kindness from one kid to another. Those kindnesses stick with us forever.

"When I was a kid, I remember going to this girl scout event that had a bunch of different stations with activities and crafts and all that jazz, and we each got a balloon to take home too. We didn't have a helium thing at home, so we never had balloons so getting a balloon to take home was the shit. (Remember when Applebee's used to give a balloon to every kid to take home? Them were the days.) Anyways, my mom came to pick me up, and as we were walking across the parking lot to the car the balloon string somehow slipped through my fingers, and my precious balloon was lost to the sky. I was devastated. I'm pretty sure I even cried. And then this little girl who was also leaving with her mom walked over and gave me her balloon. I'll never forget that.

Such a small act of kindness, and from another child. We have such power to brighten a stranger's day, and it truly takes very little effort from us to do that. We should all strive to be just a little bit kinder to each other. It could make such a difference."k_shon

someone holding housekeys

Sometimes the key to kindness is an actual key.

Photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash

Kindness doesn't always look like doing something for someone, but simply opening your home to them.

"My coworker's mom let me stay at her house overnight on the weekends between my work shifts as I used to live an hour away from my workplace (my old job did me dirty on the schedule change). I used to go to her house at midnight and leave at 4 AM the next morning, and she never charged me. I had my own room and key to come in and out without disturbing her and her husband.

Before, I was bouncing around sleeping at Airbnbs, motels, and even my workplace for several months, whatever I could afford. I couldn't leave my job because I was under a two-year contract. My coworker's mom let me stay at her house for 8 months, but I only met/saw her once when she gave me the key to her house during that whole time before I finally broke my contract.

I will never forget her kindness to literally let a stranger into her home." – 8-bit-butterfly

Sometimes just having a stranger notice when we seem to be struggling is enough to touch our hearts.

"I was having a bad day and was trying not to cry in public but sometimes it's hard not to when I get amped to a certain point. I was just coming home from integration course and was having a hard time dealing with estrangement from my family and adjusting to life in Germany at the same time. Unfortunately the sniffles started coming out and another young woman stopped and asked if I was okay. I really appreciated her kindness even though it was embarrassing. I eventually got home and ugly cried." karmamarmafarma

And it's just as touching even if we're not actually struggling emotionally.

"Was going towards the bus stop at like 6am on a freezing winter morning, it was dark, the wind was biting into my cheeks. I'm super sensitive, so immediately I started sniffling, trying to keep my nose from running, but my eyes went straight into water mode. Usual for me, just put headphones on and thanked the inventor of waterproof mascara.

A young woman walking the opposite direction saw me, and in a split second was next to me, hand on my arm, asking if I am alright.

I still think about her to this day and I hope she is doing well. The pure concern and care of a stranger really moved me, and I am thankful for pure beautiful people like her." – TaoKitt

And it's extra touching when kindness comes someone who's been there and knows exactly what you need in the moment.

"The day my wife died, I left the hospital to go home to meet our families. On the way I realised that after 20 days going in and out of of the Icu my presses were bare of food and such. I pulled into the local supermarket to pick up some essentials. I remember walking into the store and completely blanking Just standing in the aisle. It was as if the adrenaline or something just vanished.

Suddenly a elderly lady hooked my arm whispered in my ear, 'I know that look, let's just get you some essentials.' Picking up milk tea etc. Paying for it, walking me back to my car where she hugged me telling me that she was sorry for my loss. I never got to thank her and for months I went to the store on the same day at the same time hoping to see and thank her. Nine years later every so often I go to the store at the same time looking for her. I can never forget her kindness."ben0368

As another commenter put it, we never seem to hear enough about the good people of the world. If that seems true and if you enjoy collections like these, Upworthy's book "GOOD PEOPLE: Stories From the Best of Humanity" is full of them. It's coming out in September and is available for pre-order now here.

A man walks on a golf course.

For most golfers, the game is as enjoyable as it is frustrating. It’s one of the few sports where, for the most part, you’re playing against yourself. The goal isn’t usually to beat your buddies but to play a few strokes below your last game. It’s all about measurable self-improvement. When you feel like you're getting worse, you get a strange desire to chuck your putter into the nearest pond.

Golf is so challenging that only 50% of people who pick up a club can break a score of 100, which isn’t exactly impressive.

In a heartbreaking Reddit post, a golfer who goes by the name Drumsurf on the forum shared how he learned to enjoy every moment of an unimpressive round because he realized what the game was all about: hanging out with friends and, to put it simply, just being able to play.

Sadly, his great realization came on the final of his life.

“I’m 53 and have been playing since I was 19-20. Love the game. Got diagnosed with stage IV cancer in 2020 and kept playing between chemo sessions, surgeries, etc.” Drumsurf wrote on a May 15, 2024 post. “My cancer has gone nuclear and I took I turn for the worse 2 months ago. I can no longer physically handle playing 18 holes or so much of anything that’s active.”

But that didn’t stop him from playing one last round with his friends. His game started strong but quickly faltered.

“I went today with two long-time friends and managed to play the first three holes 1 over par, but then my lack of fitness caught up to me,” he continued. “I took a double on 4, hit my drive in the water on 5, and spent the rest of the round riding in the cart and nursing a Transfusion. Fun to hang with friends and be out of the house, but I’m done with the game. Brutal, really, as I will miss it greatly.”

He ended his post with a message for everyone who’s ever had a hard time on the course. “Next time you get frustrated with golf remember those of us that can’t play any longer. Hit ‘em straight boys!” Drumsurf wrote.

The piece was a welcome wake-up call to many of the duffers on Reddit’s golf forum who’ve all experienced frustrating rounds.

"Thanks, man. It really puts it all in perspective," Helloholder wrote. "We are all one golfer. You’ll always be out there with us," Downwithflairs added.

"I’ll drive one into the water for you," Head_Attempt joked.

"I will not get mad the next time I hit a garbage shot. I’ll think of you and take inspiration. We are with you, my friend," KbPHoto wrote.

Some people paid tribute to Drumsurf by writing his name on their golf balls to remember his wisdom on their next round.

byu/drumsurf from discussion
byu/drumsurf from discussion
byu/drumsurf from discussion

After the post went viral, Drumsurf updated it by thanking everyone who chimed in with messages of support. “Thanks for all the well wishes,” Drumsurf wrote. “My battle is over. Stopped all treatment last month and started hospice care last week. I’m 100% at peace with it all.”