| Related | June 19, 2017

Throwback ThursdaysQUESTION OF THE WEEK! Our new segment that aims to spice up your Mondays with our weekly question! 

What is the strictest rule your parents had when you were a kid?

Leave your answer in the comments!

Since this is a new segment, please leave suggestions in the comments about what you think we should name it! We’ll pick the best comments and feature them as stories!

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  • Gabby Signs

    I wasn’t allowed to have food or drink in my room, not even water. For some reason, my sister who was one year older could

  • Spree

    Toilet paper always had to go “over” on the roll holder. Not on the counter, or on top of the old roll, and ESPECIALLY not with the paper rolling “under.”
    Otherwise dad would pull all of us in for a family meeting to re-teach us how to correctly put the paper on.

    • Doom Shepherd

      That’s just how we tell people who are human from the Evil Reptoid Invaders. NO human being would ever put the toilet paper so it pulls from the BOTTOM. That’s a sure sign of a reptoid imposter, and anyone found doing so should be destroyed on sight.

      • I am Jenn

        Unless you have cats…in which case, under may be the only way to save your sanity.

  • Flami

    Well, at least this one is actually on a Monday.

    • Deadpool

      But they still haven’t fixed that durn apostrophe.

      • Flami

        Nope, they definitely haven’t.

      • Jackie Fauxe

        They ninja-fixed it!

        • jimfromtx

          The Ninja Apostrophe sounds like a superhero Deadpool would make fun of.

  • EJ Nauls-Poland

    Don’t lock your sister in a suitcase again.

    • Deadpool

      We have a WINNER!

    • Cathrope let’s not be hastey here. I’m sure there’s away to make this work out.

  • No video games in the house. I could play with friends as much as their parents would let us, but my sister and I were never allowed to own any games ourselves, let friends bring their consoles over, or relatives to gift them to us.

    Considering most of my childhood was spent on encyclopedias, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, and running around outdoors, probably for the best.

    • GeminiDragonBadger

      I had a friend whose parents were like that… to a point where her friend left a gaming system there on accident and they purposefully smashed it. She wasn’t playing it, and her friend had accidentally left it at her house. They didn’t apologize to her friend and they wouldn’t replace it either.

      She was also like 21 at this point. I’m honestly not surprised she got engaged and moved across the country.

      • My parents would never do something like that! And they relaxed the rule once we were teenagers and my sister found a working Gameboy sitting in the middle of the street. And we played computer games like Zoo Tycoon and the Harry Potter games.

        • GeminiDragonBadger

          Yeah, this girl’s parents were definitely the extreme. Even though she was an adult, they used to set curfews and insist on meeting people she was going out with.

          My fiance’s parents limited the amount of “media” he could consume on a given day. He just got really good at not getting caught playing games.

          (He also spent most of his childhood outdoors and loves hiking and stuff… but he also loves gaming and will play handheld devices in the car and stuff, so it’s not like he grew up to be a hermit or anything lol)

          • My boyfriend is type-1 diabetic, so his mom had to make him stay inside and play video games during the hottest part of the day growing up to keep him from passing out.

          • mireleta maxime

            I knew friend’s parents anti-technology ( technogoly is eviil) . Anti TV , anti mobile phone, anti- video game and anti computer.
            no luck ,In france, in middle school , we had a subject called “techonology” . And they studied ,among others things ,ICT ( when I was in middle school, it was only office software if I remember correctly,)

            Resultat :good grades in ALL others subjects, but in technology , the overal grade is 5/20 ( 5 it’s D- equivalent) for the eldest.
            The youngest is better in technology but only because the “departmental council” offered a digital tablet at all the students in first year of middle school ,starting from the year where she was in first year of middle school.
            (but it’s 8/20 , a C- equivalent)
            Sorry for my english, I’m French.

        • Laren Dowling

          Same here. After I moved away to college, my folks eventually relented and let my sister get a PS2. But only for “active or party games” like DDR. Years later, they even broke down and bought a Wii while my brother was recovering from knee surgery. I was visiting, and so helped them set it up. Again, however, it was only for party games like WiiSports, Mario Kart, and Just Dance. My brother was allowed to borrow a football game during his recovery.

      • divgradcurl

        I hope the friend pressed charges?

      • 😸Moon😸

        Chat Noir:THEY DESERVE TO BE CATACLYSMED 999999 TIMES!*runs after them*

    • Miksoko

      Yeah, my parents were like that, too. I’ve learned to appreciate it, and if I ever have kids, I’m not sure I would let them have consoles.

  • GeminiDragonBadger

    It was just expected for me to get good grades. My dad came up to my high school for parent teacher conferences and met with my AP US History teacher. My teacher told him I’d gotten like a C on our first big essay, which was a high grade because she was a tough teacher. Every thing else was great and I still had an A in the class. All the other teachers were glowing.

    I got yelled at for getting a C on one assignment.

    • Incognitoburrito

      I was once threatened with summer school because I got a C in English and an A in everything else.

    • I am Jenn

      In 11th grade science, during “bring your parent to school day” the teacher posted a new grade sheet. I had a C, but it was the highest grade in the class. (Obviously, something was wrong with the rubric). I panicked, knowing my dad was going to see this and question me, I’d NEVER gotten less than an A in a science class.

      Teacher took a quiz out of 10 points and accidentally told the computer it was out of 100. It was early enough in the year that 90 points was the difference between an A and a C….I scrutinized the rubric and found it within about two minutes, explained it to my dad before explaining it to the teacher, dad laughed his head off. SO thankful he has a sense of humor…I always put more pressure on myself than he put on me….but I didn’t realize that until much much later.

      • GeminiDragonBadger

        I was probably the same, because I wasn’t really in trouble for the C. I’ll just never forget getting into the car and him being like “why’d you get a C???”

        When I was in college, I took an economic geography class. The professor did 10 pop quizzes throughout the semester based on the reading. At one point, I realized that if I didn’t start getting 8/10 or higher on the rest of the quizzes, I was going to end up with a B/+ in that class and that was unacceptable to me. So I began really doing the readings and taking notes on them etc. I got a quiz back that was 7/10 and the prof had marked one answer wrong that I specifically remembered reading. When I brought it up to him, he said the answer was found in some chart, but I pointed out where it said it in the text and he gave me my point.

        Ended up with an A- in the class.

  • Kimber Highfill

    I could only spend an hour in my room per day. Homework was done at the dining room table, the rest of the day I had to be in the living room with the family. I had that single hour to do whatever private things I wanted, whether it be read a book in a quiet environment or listen to my own choice of music rather than everyone else’s.

  • Ruth Mayfly

    My mum wasn’t particularly strict, though we didn’t have a TV til I was in my teens as she didn’t believe TV was a good thing for anyone.
    One of my mum’s boyfriends who lived with us for a while…he used to try to insist that I ate my spaghetti with bolognaise when he cooked it. For some reason I liked the spaghetti on a plate with butter and a seperate bowl of bolognaise. It used to drive him mad and he argued with me about it every time.

  • Leiko Burningbear

    “Don’t kill your brother.”

    I managed to never break that rule. Blood was shed, but aside from some scars no permanent damage was done. (He gave as good as he got, btw. We kinda hated each other as kids.)

    We get along much better now that we live half a state apart.

    • 😸Moon😸

      Chat Noir:Mew

    • Kryss LaBryn

      Funny, my brother and I also get along much better with half a province between us, lol. Now that we’re on the opposite sides of the country, we get along great! Although we still have certain topics we just agree to not discuss, because each of us thinks the other is an idiot and neither of us will change their mind.

  • Raven Odette

    We!l let’s see here, take your pick

    Wasn’t allowed to have a door to my room
    Wasn’t allowed to have friends over, nor was I allowed to visit friends’ houses
    My allowance for lunch money was not to exceed 2 dollars per day
    Whatever I was given to eat even if I didn’t like it or even if I was full. I had to eat every last crumb set in front of me otherwise I would never be allowed to have it again.
    When I got summer jobs in high school and when I got full time jobs after graduation until! I was in my 20s I was required to immediately sign over my entire paycheck over to my step father, and if I wanted to use the money to buy something I would have to ask him and if he considered it worthwhile he would lend me the money

    • divgradcurl

      No disrespect intended…but why would you tolerate that behavior from your step father even as an adult with a full-time job?

      • LordViking

        Their house, their rules (even if they are as crazy as that).
        I just hope she got the money back when she left the house because it sounds more like he was pocketing it for himself.

        • Raven Odette

          Of course he was, the same rule applied to my mother and her paycheck, and he believed the world would be a better place if everyone on earth did the same thing. His reasoning being ‘everyone but me is too stupid to properly handle money, it could be put to better use being spent on things I want rather than the stupid s*** they spend it on for themselves “

          • LordViking

            Against better judgement I hoped it wasn’t like that.
            I do hope you’re away from that abusive environment now or otherwise soon though.

          • Raven Odette

            He passed away 18 years ago

          • So, too late to file extortion and assault charges?

          • I got the job!

            Well, it’s never too late to file extortion and assault charges. Serving them, however, may be a challenge.

        • Those “rules” were nothing but abuse.

          • LordViking

            I agree with you there, hence the ‘crazy’ part of my comment.
            Though as long as one lives there and doesn’t have the chance to move out they’ll have to put up with it till they do are able to escape.

      • Raven Odette

        Same reason you or anyone else tolerated your parents’ behaviour, because those were the rules. Yoi either obeyed our you get punished, so if I didn’t want too get whipped with a belt. Hit in the face with a broomstick or have my hair pulled out I didn’t break the rules

  • Brittney Pratt

    I grew up on my grandparent’s farm and we had an unspoken rule where we weren’t allowed to be inside for more than an hour unless we were eating, in the bathroom, or playing in the basement. We didn’t have cable so it was boring to be inside anyways. My grandpa owned 6 acres, 4 of which were woods, plus we had bunnies, lambs, pigs, beagles, and horses, and my cousins were always visiting, so there was always something to do.

    • Michelle Trompeter

      That sounds wonderful to me

  • Katharine Carlson

    NO FIRE in your bedroom or we’re taking away your door again!

  • Wormgod

    My father had this rule: don’t make noises when eating. He absolutely hated the noises mouths made and would fly into a rage over those noises. As a child, I had some difficulty adjusting how I chew to be as quiet as possible with teeth growing in, teeth falling out, having a stuffed nose, etc.

    Of course, my father had many other things that pissed him off and would trigger him so hardcore he’d scream at me and my mother, but the chewing one was so bad that I actually got heartburn-like symptoms every day an hour or so before dinner form the anxiety of having to see him and potentially get screamed at. Had to go to the doctor over it. At the time, I didn’t understand, but looking back I get it–why I inexplicably had this odd disease that went away right when my dad left…

    • Kitty

      Dad had issues.

    • Joanne M

      Its actually a well known issue called Misophonia “The literal definition of misophonia is hatred of sound but a person with misophonia does not simply hate all sound. People with misophonia have specific symptoms and triggers and are sensitive to only certain sounds” and as anxious as it made you feel – think about what it is doing to the person afflicted to cause THAT much anger!

      • Miksoko

        Current theory is that small repetitive sounds (think the rustling of grass) triggers a response in the amygdala. Like the rustling grass, which is indicative of a predator, it throws your body into fight or flight response. Since there’s not an obvious threat, fight (anger) is more typical than flight. It’s the same awful feeling that you get in a haunted house or watching a jump scare movie.

        What’s worse is that that response can be triggered by SEEING people chew with their mouth open, even if you cannot possibly hear it.

      • Bonnie L

        Which is why I wear earplugs if necessary. I think part of the anger in misophonia is from not being able to do anything about the noise. I found out I don’t have as much of a problem if I wear the earplugs or, in certain places, give myself permission to leave.

  • MouseyBrown

    Before teenage years–
    Not allowed to have friends over.
    Not allowed to go inside friends’ houses in the neighborhood, even to use the restroom.
    Not allowed to go over to friends’ houses outside my immediate neighborhood.
    Not allowed outside of yelling distance unattended.

    Also, I once got grounded for a month because I “only” made a 92 in English. Which is an A.

  • Larthan Delaponte

    No friends.
    Like, I could *have* friends (they couldn’t stop me from making friends at school), but apparently never allowed to have them over, and I was most CERTAINLY never allowed to go anywhere with any “friends” unless it was one of two people (both were daughters of women my mother knew).

    Of course, being a kid, I would go “to the library” to “study/do book reports/research” and we would meet up there and hang out.

    And of course, any boy it was found out I was interested in, was suddenly mysteriously ‘my cousin’ and I was never allowed to talk to him again.

    Pretty lonely childhood, to be honest.

  • Joe Weatherford

    My curfew until my mid teens was when it got dark. It was ok in the summertime, but in the winter, it sucked. A usual evening for me would usually have me at some point saying “Ok, I’m done with my homework. I’m going over to TJ’s… *look out the window*… awwww man!”

    I tried getting my mom to at least give me a curfew of 9:00 on a school night, but she wouldn’t budge.

    • I am Jenn

      Ours was “head home when the first streetlight comes on.” Until we moved to a new neighborhood, where there was this one infernal streetlight that came on like an hour earlier than all the rest….thankfully, mom was sane, and when we pointed that out, she said “Okay, head home when the SECOND streetlight comes on”

      Also, when she wanted us out of the house for awhile, she’d say “everyone outside until you count 20 airplanes!” That worked great…until the day of the Miramar air show….

  • Prince Gtros

    Holy crap. That’s all I can think reading some of these. For me the strictest when I was a kid was that I always had to be home by 5 p.m. or my friends had to go home around 6 p.m. Both were subject to change if I asked respectfully and it wasn’t a school day.
    The strictest rule I had as a teenager was that I had to call my mom if I was going to be home after midnight (so she didn’t have to wait up for me).

    • Laren Dowling

      When I was a little kid, we lived on post. Every night at 5pm, they’d play the national anthem and retire the colors. After the music stopped (and we could move again, because you stand at attention for that), all the army brats would scamper home for dinner.
      When I moved off of military installations, it was disorienting not to have that call blaring out every evening. Took me a while to remember to check the time and get home when needed.

  • Maybeth80

    Is it me or do some of these seem more abusive than strict?

    As for me…
    Couldn’t leave the dinner table till my plate was empty.
    Couldn’t have food or drink in my room.
    Could only make 2 phone calls a day and receive 2 calls a day. Each call could be no longer than 15 minutes. Breaking these rules meant that the phone in my room was confiscated and I could only use the phone in front of others.

    • Dsru Bin

      I’m vacillating on the “can’t leave the dinner table until the plate is empty” rule. On one hand, I want my kids to eat. On the other hand, I also want them to go to bed, do homework, etc., and Wasting time at the table just pushes all of that off. I’ve gone to a “feel free to be done eating, but when dinnertime is over, there will be no more food until breakfast” rule. It doesn’t always make them finish, but it does cut down on the complaining.

      • Maybeth80

        See, I would have been happy with that. Being forced to sit at the table because there was still food on my plate, till I either ate so much I threw up from being so full, or fell asleep in what was left of my now stone cold dinner, on the other hand….
        That I had a problem with…

        • Dsru Bin

          Agreed. I just have a problem when one of my kids finishes eating, and the other one – who was eating fine until that point – gets distracted by whatever the first one is now doing and decides that he’s done.

          • Maybeth80

            Yes, I can understand that. And it’s worse when it’s the older who is done first. Younger sibs quite often want to do everything older sibs get to do.

        • Kryss LaBryn

          I hid food in my napkin, or got really good at hiding mouthfuls of food, carrying my empty plate into the kitchen, and going to “use the loo” and spitting out the food. I could hold a surprising amount like that.

          I just had a really small appetite, and could be a picky eater. Mum grew up in a British boarding school during post-War rationing, where one had to eat *everything* on the plate, including the fat and gristle, so she considered she was being very lenient letting us leave the fat and gristle; but she’d get really fed up about food being wasted.

          My own experiences of going hungry in college made me a far less picky eater and far less tolerant of wasted food myself; but if my kids can’t or don’t want to finish their dinner, whatever. They can put it in the fridge. But they’re not getting anything else that evening until it’s done.

          Sometimes they go back and finish it off when they see the rest of us having dessert, lol. Meanwhile, though, they’re also learning to listen to their stomachs.

          • Laren Dowling

            That’s a workable solution.

      • Zoha Khawaja

        I just left the plate on the table and told my mother I would finish it when I was hungry. If I wasn’t hungry in a while I would put in the fridge and eat it later.

    • Laren Dowling

      Those all sound like rules my parent had, and I rarely had a problem with them. Except when my mom made creamed eggs on toast. That was nasty.
      I could choke down a spoonful of lima beans or canned corn. I could even breathe through my mouth and struggle through a plate of strogonoff (my mom’s was canned cream-of-mushroom soup with beef served over boiled wheat – gross!). But creamed eggs on toast was just not going to happen.
      Eventually this rule mutated into “Take a little bit of everything, and eat everything you take.”
      That worked so much better! We had to try everything, at least one spoonful. But we didn’t have to have a full serving if we didn’t like it. We just had to finish what we took.
      There was far less food waste and stubborn sit-ins after that.

  • Roq

    No books without Mom reading them first.
    One time I borrowed two whole stacks of books from the library and made her read all of them so I could. She said she didn’t mind, but I think she did.

    • I wish my mom had read some of the books she gave to me as a child. Watership Down, The Clan of the Cave Bear, Sir Apropos of Nothing… A bit brutal for a 12-year-old. But she’d heard that they were good books!

      • Ghostest

        I had a teacher read Watership Down in class when I was in fourth grade but I know that he skipped or summarized some of the scenes.

        • Like, it’s not nearly as graphic as the other two I mentioned, but it was pretty intense. I was a rather sensitive child. And reading it at school got me yelled at by classmates who’d only seen the movie (notorious as the traumatic movie small children were shown by oblivious parents)

      • Laren Dowling

        Yeah, that’s irresponsible parenting. “I heard it was good” doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for a 12-year-old.
        Then again, I’m a fast reader, so keeping up with what my son’s reading isn’t going to be too hard. I look forward to discussing good books with him.

        • Kelly Luper

          My dad thought Tolkien and Douglas Adams was appropriate reading for a 9 year old. Granted the reading level was okay because I was reading at a college level, as far as grammar and vocab. But I was not ready for some of Douglas Adams.

          (I also refused to believe that they were written before I was born. Hitchhikers Guide is still pretty current for Sci-fi, though.)

          • Laren Dowling

            There are some bits of Hitchhiker’s Guide that aren’t really child appropriate, but I don’t have much of a problem with Tolkein. “Lord of the Rings” was written for his sons, after all.

  • Oh, and my 11-year-old cousin is only allowed to take her ADHD meds on school days. If she’s being flown cross-country to stay with us for a week or two, we’re S.O.L.

    • No Days Off

      That’s terrible and could cause her to have even worse problems!

      • Her mom’s a doctor and refused to put her on any meds until their school gave an ultimatum: cousin could only be admitted to the next grade if she was being treated, or they could try and find another school that would accept the feral little beast as-is.

        I love my little cousin but babysitting her is harder than trying to train up a rescue dog.

        • No Days Off

          have you ever tried just letting her run around in the yard? I work at an elem. school and the kiddos seem to be calmer after getting some fresh air. of course, we don’t have any adhd kids, but there’s nothing wrong with getting a little sunshine.

          • Servali

            It would probably help a bit, but if her ADHD is bad, it won’t be enough on it’s own.

        • Jami

          Slip her a half cup of coffee. A friend in school whose little sister had ADHD drank a half cup of coffee every morning and that usually helped.

          • I can think of absolutely no relatives that I could suggest that to and live to tell the tale.

          • Scott O

            That’s because caffeine works as a depressant in pre-pubescent children. It’s a valid approach and would work to mellow the kid as well as whatever their prescribed amphetamine is. Cheaper too.

          • Laren Dowling

            There are plenty of caffeine alternatives that are less damaging than coffee.

  • Shadow

    I was not allowed to say the word butt as a kid. It was a very weird rule especially since butt is the correct term. Me and my brother had to come up with words to describe it, like “behind”, “tail”, “rear end”, etc.

    • Laren Dowling

      “Butt” is not actually the correct term. It’s “buttocks.” “Butt” was a rude term for it (not quite the swear work that @$$ is, but still rude). Over time, it’s grown more common, mostly thanks to TV usage by certain crass characters like Bart Simpson.
      The word “butt” has been used for centuries to describe the thicker end of something, or a remnant (a riffle butt, cigar butt, etc.). However, using it to refer to the buttocks is a far more recent verbal evolution.
      One of my roommates did a research paper on the subject for her linguistics class. Made the teacher laugh.

  • Rey Wilson

    We were never allowed gum because my dad didn’t want us to leave it all over the place. I’m not sure why the rule was ‘no gum’ rather than ‘dispose of gum properly,’ looking back.

    I had gum 2 times before going off to college. Once at a friends house, and once while doing an experiment at school to see how much sugar was actually in the gum.

    Recently bought a gumball from a machine, which I’d only ever looked upon with forlorn longing. The experience was underwhelming.

    • Laren Dowling

      We had that rule too, after my big sister’s gum-in-the-hair debacle that required peanut butter, 3 different kinds of oil, and eventually ended in frustration, tears, and scissors.

  • Toni

    Wasn’t allowed to participate in Halloween, no candy, could only watch educational TV shows, no eating after 7 PM. A weird one for my older brother was that he couldn’t join another activity if I didn’t want to join as well. On the bright side, I wanted to do everything as a kid so it worked out well for him.

  • Kitty

    …”you can buy anything you want with your allowance, except drugs and guns.” I think that was the ‘strictest’ rule.

    • 😸Moon😸


  • My parents’ strictest rule was, Don’t have any more kids.

  • Ana Kerie

    We were not allowed to touch the VCR for anything, for any reason. We couldn’t even hit the “play” or “stop” buttons. By the time I was 11, I found this a bit annoying. I knew how to push a damn button.

  • Stephanie

    I wasn’t allowed to go out looking for the cougar that made it’s way through our ranch every once in awhile. I was really disappointed. I wanted to pet it.

    • divgradcurl

      Those tyrants!

    • Laren Dowling

      I knew a family who rescued an orphan cougar cub (mom had died, and so had it’s siblings before it was found). Since they raised it from infancy, it was basically just a big house cat.
      But, to be safe, they double-fenced around their yard (one chain-link fence a few feet inside another), and put a roof on the inner fence. That way, there was absolutely no chance of some crazy person claiming their cougar had injured their kid.

  • No Days Off

    Probably “How you act in public is a reflection on your family- so BEHAVE!!”
    People still comment how respectful my brother and I are. I wish more parents taught their children that.

  • Miksoko

    No guns. No FPS games, no nerf guns, no finger guns, nothing.
    We were allowed to sword fight with sticks, though, and learn archery. My brother even set up a javelin range in the backyard. But no guns.

    • James Smith

      Ah! Yes, I forgot about this one. No war toys. No toy guns, no GI Joes. I think this is because of my dad’s WWII experiences; he didn’t want to see war made into play. That’s a guess, because he never talked about his service days.

    • Laren Dowling

      It surprises me how many people I knew who grew up with that rule became gun nuts as adults.

  • Victoria Juan

    Was not allowed to listen to any music other than “Christian” music. Also was not allowed to dance unless it was for “Jesus”. My parents found my Rammstein CD and snapped it in half 🙁
    Also was not allowed to watch TV. Or go to theaters. They said Theaters held the bad spirits from scary movies that played before lol.
    But i guess thats just what happens when your parents are Pentecostal…

    • nejg_1988

      At least you were allowed to dance for Jesus, my family told us that dancing, even dancing for Jesus was a sin.

      • Aro

        My mom’s parents thought that, too. Found that out when my parents told Grandma they joined a ballroom dancing class at our church. It’s specifically for married couples, but she still disapproved.

  • Laren Dowling

    No riding bikes without a helmet. Breaking that rule was an automatic two-week grounding, no exceptions.
    To be fair, my mom was an x-ray tech and EMT at a children’s hospital. The things shes seen could curl your hair. It’s only reasonable she try to protect us from easily avoidable injuries.

    • catherine from canada

      Yeah, that’s a rule I can get behind…my son has post-concussion syndrome, which means that instead of going to university and getting an engineering degree, he’s a 37 year old farm labourer. Helmets may give you a bad hair DAY, but brain injuries are for LIFE.

  • Shelby-Kinz Cadwell

    My mom would get upset when I read through books so quickly, so when the 6th Harry Potter came out, she said I could only read a chapter a day. Yeah. Right. She also grounded me from reading when I was in trouble for petty things. That didnt really follow through either.

    • RubyTuesday

      Hey, so did my mom! She learned pretty quick that she could ground me from anything and I would just happily read instead, so she started grounding me from books, and I started reading under the covers with a flashlight lol

      • CCLynn

        Keeping my pleasure-books at school, and when home alone (5 nights a week, as a latch-key kid), I just was most careful to keep the book I was reading on the shelf when she was home, remembering the page number rather than using any of my many bookmarks.

        It wasn’t unusual for me to be reading at least two different books for fun during the same period, one at home and one at school.

      • 😸Moon😸

        Chat Noir:*Thinks of his father* I wonder who was worse, my father or your mother?

      • Laren Dowling

        Ditto! So then she started grounding me to the bathroom.
        I hid books in every drawer, at the back of every drawer, and then *behind* every drawer, in the folds of the towels, and even double-bagged one in ziplocs and duct taped it between the two layers of shower curtain.
        Then she grounded me to the bathroom with the lights off. So I sang. Bathrooms have great acoustics.
        This was about the time my mom gave up on groundings as an effective punishment for me. It still worked great for my big sister, but for me? Nope. I enjoyed it.

  • James Smith

    I’m not sure that this qualifies as a strict rule, but it was an odd rule. We were supposed to respond to a bell. (This goes back to the days when children were not under constant supervision.) When it was time for us to come inside, instead of standing out on the doorstep calling our names like all the other moms, my dad insisted that my mother ring a bell, and when we heard it, it was time to come home.

    Don’t know if this qualifies either, but my dad was pretty strict about pronunciation. He wouldn’t let us drop the G from “-ing” words, for example, so if I said goin’ instead of going, he would make me stop and say everything over again. He also insisted that our patio was to be called a “PAH-ti-oh” and not a “PATTY-oh” like everyone else’s.

  • zizania

    We had to eat whatever was for supper, even if we hated it. I spent more than a few evenings slumped in a chair in front of my congealing food.

    • TheMjohann

      Thankfully i didnt have to eat stuff i couldnt choke down. But i was litteraly told by my mother that “It is this or nothing. You can starve for all i care.” Irony was that years later she started to complain and refuse to eat even if she had agreed to that dinner that same morning and would demand that something else was made. And she might do that when dinner was on the table. To this day i cant understand why my stepfather put up with that for as long as he did.

    • Laren Dowling

      My parents tried that. It didn’t go over so well. Eventually, they switched it over to “Take a little bit of everything, and eat everything you take.” You had to try at least 1 spoonful of everything, and no wasting food. If you cleared your plate, then you were allowed to go back for seconds of your favorite dishes. But again, no waste; you had to finish what you took.

  • From ages 11 to I think 16 my mom had this rule where my brother and I were absolutely not allowed to watch TV or play video games unless we had literally every piece of homework for the week done or it was a weekend, and even then only if we had EXPRESS permission from her, so we were out of luck if we woke up early on a Saturday. Which might be fine by itself, but even if the requirements were met, she still might say we were not allowed, just because she said so. It was always especially infuriating since my mom herself was always glued to the TV in her bedroom, so it was also a hair hypocritical.

    However, she never thought to apply the rule to my gameboy color, so I usually just stayed in my room and played pokemon. And the TV by my brother’s room was far enough from my parents where he’d just watch TV on a low volume.

    The funniest part about it too was you could tell my dad thought it was stupid. If my mom caught us sneaking anything, she would completely flip out on us, but if my dad caught us he’d just say “well okay, just don’t let mom catch you” and go on his merry way.

  • Lord Circe

    You have to wait at the dinner table until you are excused, even if you finish eating. Don’t hit your mother (don’t hit anyone, but mother especially). Don’t throw a tantrum to try and get your parents to buy you something. There were more, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

    • Laren Dowling

      None of those seem like bad rules. After all, dinner is about more than just food. It’s family conversation time.

  • Cathrope

    I swear, 99% of these so called rules are nothing more then mental abuses. If I had any of these rules as soon as I turned 18 I’d be like later Asshats and never talk to my family again. The only rule that makes sense is the “Don’t lock your sister in the suitcase” rule. That stands.

    • Tanqueray Strange

      I DON’T talk to my mom lol

    • Rond

      Well, and “don’t kill your brother.”

      • divgradcurl

        “Except under extraordinary circumstances.”

        • 😸Moon😸

          Chat Noir:Yeah.

      • Cathrope

        But what if he turns into another Hitler?

  • Marisa

    This wasn’t particularly strict, so much as an interesting approach to teach table manners. My dad would give us all (there were four of us) three raffle tickets at the start of dinner. If you interrupted, reached over someone else’s plate, or he could hear/see you chewing, you lost a ticket. My mom says there was a rule that if you lost all your tickets you were done eating until he was finished and left the table, and then we could finish our dinner. I never remember anyone making it to that point.

    He couldn’t stand the sound of chewing, but wouldn’t scream at us for it. We were little, and he just wanted to teach us to chew with our mouths closed. I’m the same way now. I will move seats at my university if I can hear someone chewing gum in the library or in a classroom. The food court can be a nightmare.

  • Lil Tiger

    I wasn’t allowed to go on a date until I was 16 (this was 20 years ago). Not even a supervised date to a movie, with a parent as chauffeur.

    And I wasn’t allowed to hang out at a friend’s place unless my mother approved of the friend, the parents, and their house, personally. If she didn’t like them and want to be friends with them, I wasn’t allowed to either. So, if I were at a friend’s house and some of her friends came over to visit, I had to call my mother to pick me up.

    I didn’t have many friends as a result.

    • Laren Dowling

      That first one doesn’t seem odd to me. The second seems a bit much, though. Although, I guess it depends on her reason for not wanting you around certain individuals. For example, I know someone who is an admitted and convicted child molester. His wife still took him back, and they have multiple children. My son is not allowed anywhere near them, period. And no, I haven’t told him why, because he’s too young to understand. Even once he does understand, he’s going to be in the jabbermouth phase where he tells everybody that so-and-so does bad things to kids, so he won’t be told until he’s mature enough to handle the information responsibly. Until then, he’s just not allowed near that family.

      • Lil Tiger

        The first put me at an extreme disadvantage by the time I was allowed to date. Most didn’t want to go out with me because I was really nervous and inexperienced with dating protocol. My first date was a terrible first experience that should have happened ages ago, when you’re allowed to be a nervous wreck and have no idea what to do.

        The second was mostly a control measure developed by my mother. She wanted a girl who embodied the stereotypical concept of the quiet and dutiful daughter of the 50’s. She got a nerdy tomboy who liked being loud and silly, so she kept anyone similar to myself as far away as possible.

        And for wanting to protect me from molestation, my dad’s a child psychologist and I was taught and reminded frequently about what to do if something like that happens. Also, the friends I was discouraged from having were the ones in my class or GS troop to go to if you were ever in trouble. After all, they were the ones to alert the teacher when one of our classmate’s 30 year old boyfriend showed up on the playground for a visit.

        After I started to press her on why she didn’t want me to be friends with a specific girl, she just settled on “I don’t want you to be friends with ‘those kinds of girls'”. I’m fairly she meant assertive individuals that have the ability to stand up to her unreasonable authority and whims.

        • Laren Dowling

          I still don’t think waiting to date until 16 is a problem. I fully intend to have that same rule, because younger than 16, there is absolutely no reason a kid needs to be dating.
          My folks made me wait that long, too. Wasn’t a big deal. Yeah, a lot of my friends were dating a lot earlier, but I didn’t really miss out on anything by waiting until I’d watched a few years of their idiotic drama before starting to date.
          Then again, I had friends to watch. So that does but a different spin on things. I could spend time with my friends, but once I hit the puberty years, I wasn’t allowed to hang out alone with a guy, as my parents defined the term “date” very strictly. Or go to activities where people paired off in couples. So school dances had to wait until 16, too.
          Most people’s first date is an unmitigated disaster, whether it happens at 16 or 60. Mine was, too. He took me to see the D&D movie, and his two best guy friends also happened to go to the same showing. So they crashed our date, and then invited us over to one of their houses to hang. After a while, I got pretty bored, and the friend’s parents gave me a ride home (I found out later that the dad then went and ripped all 3 boys a new one for their ungentlemanly behavior in ruing my date – good dad!).
          Most of my friends had similarly awkward first dates, and it’s perfectly acceptable no matter what age that starts at. And anyone who’s been out of the dating pool for a while is going to be awkward, too, when they dive back in. Just like any new thing. That doesn’t mean you should start earlier.

          • Lil Tiger

            If that had been my first date, my parents would have grounded me for not going home when the date was crashed by people they hadn’t met. And had we ended up at their house, I would have been barred from dating until I was 18 because I would have been “too irresponsible with my safety”.

            I’m just saying my parents should have been a bit more accepting of the level of my peers’ social development and just supervised the one or two “dates” I would have had at that age. It’s a part of the practice required before you can claim yourself as a mature adult (as opposed to being dropped into adulthood without having training wheels style of supervised practice and attracting people who would take advantage of someone’s inexperience).

  • RubyTuesday

    I don’t know about the strictest, but the weirdest rule I had all through my teens right up until the day I moved out was that I had to be home by 10pm- or not come home at all. I spent a lot of nights sleeping over at friends’ places.

  • Mandy Parkinson

    Don’t paint on the side of the house with blue sparkly nail polish. (I did, panicked and tried to write my sister’s name to frame her. I spelled her name wrong…).

    • divgradcurl

      (thinking quickly)
      “I’ll add my own name, and spell THAT one wrong too! Now some nefarious third party has obviously framed us both!”

  • Jami

    Mmmm – I think just not watching The Omen was mom’s strictest rule. She HATES that movie with a burning passion. And this is the woman who’d make me watch things like The Blob and Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes with her even if I was crying. Plus anything aired on Elvira’s Movie Macabre. (Nowadays I love horror movies. Mostly old school stuff though.) In fact, she actually got upset with me for finally seeing The Omen last year – I’m 40 years old.

    No, I didn’t get punished for it. Just got to hear about how much she hates that movie and how she hates anyone named Damien because of it.

  • MeowCat740

    Me and my sister where not allowed more then one friend at a time over, and as an extension of that no birthday parties. As a kid I thought this was totally unfair since all my friends had parties and I went to those.
    Now I understand that my mom didn’t want to babysit multiple sugar-high kids, plan a party, or pay the expenses that went into one, which I do not blame her for at all.
    I am now proud to say I am allowed to have multiple friends over (I only have about 5 I would invite over anyway and they are all quiet and well behaved) and I’m allowed to have parties (we sit in the basement and watch movies or play games). Basically, now that I can entertain my friends myself mom doesn’t care at all.

    • Laren Dowling

      I throw my son’s parties at the local splash pad, and invite the parents. Yeah, it’s a bit more food. But it shares the hassle, and hey! free activity.

  • SereneVannoy

    In order to leave the dinner table, we had to say “Please may I be excused from the table?” Those. Exact. Words. And we had to wait for my mom to say “Yes, you may.” Or we couldn’t get up and leave the table.

  • CCLynn

    I was to do my own laundry. (shrugs)

    I most certainly didn’t mind doing my own laundry, especially as the fit my stepmom threw before demanding I do so came only a couple of weeks after I found out whom she’d given my favorite pair of skin-tight (but very comfortable!) black jeans and prettiest mid-drift top to. She could have taught me sooner and had me doing my own laundry and that of the boys, and I’d have done it. But she was using doing the laundry to weed through my things.

    Telling my stepmom when I started/ended my periods, and finding her marking such in plain English on the public calendar. WAY embarrassing. Also, made it clear to my dad which days he didn’t want to come molest me. NOT a joke.

    • Baileypup 2001

      I hope you quickly got out of that place!

  • Doom Shepherd

    “Don’t kill your little brother.”

    Believe me, if you’d known my younger brother, you’d know why this was a nearly impossible rule to follow, especially when he was between the ages of 5 and 17. He’s 42 now, and… it’s STILL difficult sometimes.

  • dm3588

    Don’t burn the house down. I was a very well behaved kid, so that was pretty much the only rule I needed. For a while, Mom’s boyfriend tried to enforce the “clear your plate before leaving the table” thing, but Mom objected because she thought it would make us fat, so he eventually dropped it.

    That said, she was very strict about manners. It didn’t really matter what you did, as long as you did it politely. To this day, I get very uncomfortable, sometimes to the point of actual chest pains, if I feel like I’m being rude, or if someone thinks I’m being rude. Poe’s Law makes living on the internet a constant struggle.

  • Aro

    My brother and I weren’t allowed to watch, read or play anything that was rumored to be Satanic.
    This included Pokémon, Harry Potter, Dungeons and Dragons, That’s So Raven, and anything with a witch or psychic portrayed positively.
    Also Twilight, but that worked out okay.

    • Laren Dowling

      So glad my mom asked me about D&D when my little sister wanted to play. I was able to explain that it was just a set of rules for playing “Let’s Pretend” or improve story-telling. The rules kept things fair, so you didn’t wind up with fights like 5-year-olds have: “I shot you!” “No, you didn’t; I dodged!” “You can’t dodge a laser gun.” “Then I used my laser shield.” “Nu-uh!” “Yu-huh!”
      So the rules themselves are fine. It’s completely dependent on the group, most especially the DM, whether or not your kid should be playing D&D. I convinced my mom to go sit in on a few sessions and see what she thought, since I didn’t know the people involved and couldn’t vouch for them. Eventually, she decided to let the kid try it.

  • Emma Emu Wells

    I wasn’t allowed to go trick-or-treating on Halloween because it was ‘ungodly’. So all my friends went out and got free sweets and money and I got to sit in a darkened house watching.
    I also wasn’t allowed to get my face painted because it was a ‘waste of money’, even when it was free at parties!

  • Sunny

    I wasn’t allowed to read books until after 6 pm.

    I dealt with a lot of bullying and depression when I was a kid, and reading was an escape. I had a hard time coming back to reality, and if I was interrupted for any reason I became horribly grouchy. Also, I would read everything, all the time, skip meals etc. so my parents made a rule just for me.

    Other than that.. no singing at the dinner table–three kids all singing different songs at the top of their lungs! Not allowed to watch the Simpsons or Beavis and Butthead–not an issue, we didn’t own a tv. Not much else tbh.

  • Scott O

    “Don’t bleed on the carpet!”

  • Kryss LaBryn

    Well this week is depressing, sheesh! 🙁

  • Gabby Signs

    My stepdad would forbid me to feel. If I was upset about anything, he told he that I was not allowed to be mad because he was in a good mood, which means I have to, too.

    • TheMjohann

      I had somewhat the same. It wasnt a rule but in my home you would never complain about or show pain, sadness and so on. Since mother seemed to have (and still do) a monopoly on anything bad. My first time experiencing depression i could not understand why i felt that way. I was told to cut it out and that I had no reason to be sad and if anyone had a reason to be, it was her and nobody else.

      • Gabby Signs

        Dang. That sounds a bit like my aunt. She always exaggerates her illnesses.

      • Gabby Signs

        Dang. That sounds a bit like my aunt. She always exaggerates her illnesses.

  • Johanna

    It’s not the rule that was strict, but the punishment: the rule was easy – Don’t be late. But, for every minute I was late for anything, whether it was coming to dinner, going to school, or coming home from theater rehearsal, I would get one smack on the rear with my dad’s leather belt. Needless to say, I was rarely late. (Though now, as an adult with masochistic tendencies, I rather miss it.)

  • I’m in my 30’s, and still have a midnight curfew.

  • ieatworms

    I was only permitted to urinate 3 times per day. The bathroom I had was unlocked for 10 min at a time. If I had to pee outside the allotted time I had to wait. If I peed myself I was beaten. I quickly learned to stack paint cans to pee in the laundry sink. It was tough being toilet trained at 11.

    • Baileypup 2001

      What kind of parents would think that would be a good idea?!?!

  • Brian Katcher

    We weren’t allowed to watch ‘Three’s Company’ because it was too ribald.

    • We weren’t allowed to watch “The Simpsons” because Mum thought Bart would be a “bad influence”.

      (Don’t tell, but I snuck a few episodes in while at Grandma’s…)

  • theBlueWitch

    Suggestion: Maybe not pick such a triggery question.

  • Connie McFadden

    Let’s see.
    Not allowed to go to parties unless I took my younger sister along (2 years younger than me with obviously different interests), which soon put a stop to me being invited to parties altogether. OTOH my sister was allowed to go to parties and wasn’t forced to take me along.

    Come straight home from school. No going to a friend’s house, no staying to watch a basketball game between my high school and our rival, etc.. I rebelled once and stayed for an after-school basketball game and my mom backhanded me as soon as I walked in the house, then started screaming at me. I went to school the next day with a huge bruise across my face.

    No inviting classmates home for lunch. That rule came into play after I invited the only black student in my high school home for lunch because she looked sad and lonely and having felt that so often myself I empathized with her strongly.

    Not allowed to buy books as they were a “waste of money”. Library books were fine, but I wasn’t allowed to buy any with the money I had earned myself picking beans and strawberries or mowing lawns.

  • Laura Stimpson

    When I was growing up, our house was right next to a water-transfer canal. (The deep, fast-flowing, perfectly calm on the surface kind.) We kids were separated from it by a highly climbable chain-link fence and a strip of many, very interesting weeds. The ONE AND ONLY rule that ever managed to ground me was “NO climbing that fence.” There was a stray cat over the fence that I wanted to pet, but she wouldn’t come over to me, so I went to her. (I knew this cat, and she was very friendly. We’d played a lot, so it wasn’t like I was just chasing an unknown cat around.) Mom spotted me climbing back over and, knowing I was awful at swimming and the canal was deep, promptly grounded me even from our backyard. It was about the last thing I wanted, since I really loved that cat. (She was my pet and my best friend for about 10 years. RIP.)

    Interestingly, there were no rules about playing with all the interesting weeds in the strip across the fence. Since our hands were tiny at that point, we would pull weeds through and play with them all year. One interesting, tall, lovely plant with a delicious smell, which I decided would be equally delicious and chewed on, turned out to be poison hemlock. As in Socrates. That stuff. To this day I don’t know how I lived with the kind of dose of toxin I received. No rules against chewing random plants, though, since I guess my parents didn’t think we were dumb enough to do it….

    (The other main rule I remember is this one: If you’re playing with water from the hose, and you get called inside, THE RUNNING HOSE CANNOT COME INSIDE WITH YOU. That one only happened once.)

  • mireleta maxime

    personally, my parents are cool, ( not strict, but not permissive) but I remember my mother’s neat freak phase. We had old set of table mats(for avoid to dirty the table) and a day, she buy new set of table mats . Very pretty For several months we had to put new set of table mats and over the old set of table mats , because the new set of table maths was too pretty…
    (Sorry for my english, I’m French)