The reality of our childhood versus how we remember childhood tend to have a stark contrast, especially in adulthood. Our parents' favorite go-to lines (the overplayed sayings they were proud to harp in our ear, and the generational passed down jewels of wisdom they were never shy to share) all made no sense at the time. But as we transitioned into adulthood and began to navigate the path of our own lives, amazingly enough, we found that those damn overplayed lines were actually applicable.

And almost as if our parents knew all along, as if in telling us in our youth was the right time to share the messages, they became extremely helpful and actually saved us from, well…ourselves.

Here are 10 of the things my parents taught me as a child, that I found the most useful as an adult. Hopefully, you will as well.

1. Everybody Aint Ya Friend!

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In contrast to third-grade recess and in complete opposition to the rules of homeroom, everybody is not your friend. I think this concept, at least as a child, was hard to grasp because you wanted everyone to be your friend. It is a natural desire to have. It meant more playmates, more lunch trades, more secrets to tell, more fun.

But just like Tommy from the class across the hall showed you when he stole your place in line, and Demetrious, who shoved you to the ground to beat you to the slide, people are fickle. And when you went crying to your mother later on that day, this was her way of telling you that. 

As an adult, that's been true more than ever. Smiles, invites and well wishes are temporary. And while you may not have an issue with a co-worker, roommate or that individual you share the majority of your classes with, divulging sensitive information and giving them clearance to the intimacies of your life is not the move either. Everybody ain't ya friend, and you shouldn't have to wait to get pushed aside to realize that.

2. Stay Out Of Grown Folks Business

Photo: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

As inquisitive as I am now, I was even more so as a kid. Beyond asking "why?" like a broken track record, I would snoop in on conversations and give my two cents on issues that did not pertain to me. This resulted in my mom yelling: "Stay out of grown folks business!"

Grown folk, young folk, red folk, blue folk… I think the message applies across the board—mind yours. 

Now that I'm 25, I often say that I do not want to know anything that someone does not want me to know. There is not enough time in the day to responsibly do everything you have to do, while caring about someone else's life too. And I've found that through my own experiences, nothing good has ever come from meddling in the lives of others. 

Worry about yourself and deal with the drama on your own plate. Stay out of grown folks business.

3. Don't Be A Tattle-Tale

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Growing up, I wasn't sure why my parents belabored this point to me, but it was one that they never cracked a smile about. Don't be a snitch. Don't be a tattle-tale. Don't run to authority. At the time, my thought process was that telling was what's right—that you're supposed to report wrongdoing. But now that I'm older, it's a concept that has become much clearer. 

Not tattle-telling coincides with minding your business. If someone is going to get in trouble, they're going to get in trouble, and it's not up to you intervene in that process. Also, it's an issue of trust. We didn't know it, but by telling us not to tattle-tale as kids, our parents were teaching us interpersonal politics. No one wants to network, confide in, invest in or deal with you if you cannot be trusted. And it's hard to trust someone who will squeal at every perceived injustice.  

So don't be a snitch.

4. You Gotta Pay The Cost To Be The Boss

Photo: Empire

Oh, how I hated when my mom proclaimed this around the house. "You gotta pay the cost to be a boss," not only had a little cute rhyme, but it was almost as if it was her excuse for a double standard.

If I had to wash dishes immediately after eating and she didn't, I better not bring it up to her, because she paid the cost to be the boss. If I had to go to bed early and I saw her up, I didn't even question why. Because of this saying she had on automatic for instances such as that. She says no sweets before dinner, yet somehow she inhaled some Ben and Jerry's before supper. Yeah, I get it, she paid her dues. 

It wasn't until renting my own apartment, paying my own bills and having my own expenses did it all click.

When my roommates and I have company, I, almost gleefully, demand their shoes to come off. When it's my television or my game console, I have complete jurisdiction over what is played or watched—all because I paid the cost.

When you put in the work, you make the rules. It wasn't until I labored myself when that concept connected.

5. Closed Mouths Don't Get Fed

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The whole time my parents said this to me, I thought they were referring to food. 

If I asked my mom why she didn't pick me up anything from the store, she'd reply, "Closed mouths don't get fed." In high school, if I would pout about needing extra credit, or even at my first job when I needed more hours, my mom would say the same thing: "Closed mouths don't get fed."

Now that I'm balancing this adult life, I find myself using the concept more and more every day. It's not about eating as much as it is about speaking up for yourself and demanding what you believe you deserve. That's something that all of us can use. 

6. You Can't Say Yes To Everybody

Photo: Broke ShowI remember being in my middle to high school years dealing with this the most, and hearing it from my dad all the time. He used to say that everyone does not deserve a "yes," and that an individual's disappointment is far worst than compromising self.

You see, in these years of adolescence, we try to impress others the most. We wanted their acceptance, we wanted them to think we're worthy of their time, of their crew and as a result, we ended up doing things that were counter to what we knew and believed.

As an adult, this practice of saying no has paid off. If the squad is going out and I have work in the morning, I, unphased with the straightest of faces, will tell them "no." Whether it's drugs, the type of people I don't like or even food I don't care to try, "no" has become such a comfort word for me. I got to thank my dad for that.

7. Don't Overstay Your WelcomePhoto: Black-ish

Again, this was a proverb my dad preached that I never quite understood. Whenever I would spend the night at someone's house, visit someone that's out of town or even go and visit someone with my family, my dad always made it a point to be aware of how long you've been there and, even when it's not insisted, to leave at an appropriate time.

What I learned was that this sends a message of respect. When you're someone's guest, they are providing for you, even when you aren't asking for anything. Spending quality time, and still having the presence of mind to leave without being told or hinted, shows that you are someone who can be invited again, and that goes a long way with people and relationships. 

8. Don't Go To Someone Else's House Hungry

Photo: GiphyI don't know if it's the same for any other household, but my parents were really strict about me not going over anyone's house hungry. Whether alone or with them, they always made sure that we had something to eat at all times. 

I never got an official explanation, but as I transitioned into adulthood, I began to understand the concept: you never want to expect anything from anyone. While most hosts will offer, in wherein you'd be free to accept, expecting that someone is going to provide for you is foolish.

I've carried this concept with me throughout my life. I don't expect anything from anyone, and I always make sure I do for myself before I expect anyone to do for me.

9. A Hard Head Makes A Soft Behind

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My grandfather used to say it to my mom, and my mom loved saying it to me—right before she beat the breaks off me. "A hard head makes a soft behind." At the time when I received butt whippings, was taunting to me. My head is a skull, so it will always be hard and my butt is muscle layered in fat…like, it will always be soft. I didn't understand why she was even playing with my emotions like that.

What I came to find out as I got older was that she wasn't speaking about my physical attributes, but rather she was speaking metaphorically—you either learn the easy way (listening) or the hard way (getting a spanking).

This theory of learning from others' experiences and not your own is still one that I'm mastering. For some reason, others' cautionary tales aren't enough, and it's not until the open flame leaves a burn that we understand that the pretty blue magical thing means "hot."

As an adult, I try to surround myself with mentors and people who are accessible and willing to give me advice. While I am always tempted to try things out my own way, my butt has taken too many beatings to not get the importance of trusting the people who lived more than you.

10. A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned

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A penny saved is a penny earned! The time, my pops used to spew it at me the most is when I had my first job. I thought it was something he learned from a dad seminar out in the burbs of "Dadville." It just sounded corny, and besides, you can't take it with you when you die, right?

Oh, man, did the reality of adulthood shake me, though. 

Now, I don't spend until I've saved first. Material things have no value in my life. I know that with every purchase, the money first put away is more expensive than the purchase itself. 

Schools don't teach savings or financially responsibility, so as corny as my dad was, I'm grateful for his teachings.

Parenting is cool because I'm almost positive they knew we weren't understanding half of the advice they were giving us. They didn't even offer explanations half the time. But somehow, they all came full circle. As I go throughout life, I'm sure I'll develop my own adages that I'll make sure to vaguely, and repetitively, preach to my future kids.