Whether you're a young child or a teen, you are bound to be subjected to some set rules by your family. These rules may range from a curfew or finishing one's school work on time. Other times, though, you have some parents who extend their own authority with weird and unconventional guidelines. Here are several examples of those rules that left us scratching our heads.
Wizards Are Bad Except Those Other Ones
“No Harry Potter, because of all the wizards. Now, I could understand the rule except for one thing, I was allowed to play DnD, read LotR, have friends who were literally occultists. But no Harry Potter.”
“Mom’s parents didn’t let their children laugh while lying down. Whenever someone made a joke, if anyone was lying down, they had to sit up and laugh.”
A Tax Of What Kind?
“A ‘sock tax.’
In retrospect, smart. I hated it at the time.
So, I left my dirty socks around the house. I don’t know why I would be taking socks off all over the place, I was a damn kid. I guess I was sloppy and it just happened and the socks had to be off right then and there. Parents got fed up with this. And so, to get my dirty socks back, I had to pay a quarter per sock. Doesn’t seem like a big deal at first, but it adds up when you’re nine years old. Had to literally nickel and dime my way through a few pairs because I was running out of damn socks, I was kind of a sock deserting addict I guess. Finally got in the habit it of picking up my socks for a while and things seemed fine and then hit a heavy relapse.
Parents gave me a big a– box of my dirty socks for Christmas that year and a few pairs of new ones. Got better after that. Typing this is making me smile, I really love my mom and dad.”
Supervision All The Time = Lonely Childhood
“I wasn’t allowed to go to a friend’s house unless my parents talked to their parents and made sure we’d be supervised the entire time. This was a rule up until I moved out at 18. People thought it was weird, so I didn’t have any friends and I literally ate my lunches alone in a bathroom stall. Thanks mom and dad!”
Can And Cannot Do
“‘Can’t costs a quarter!’ We weren’t allowed to give up on something and say “I can’t”, and we’d have to put a quarter in this Snoopy bank if we did. She wanted to encourage us to look for solutions and ask for help instead of just giving up. In the long run, I think it helped because I went to school for electrical engineering and am now a web developer where I essentially do problem solving all day long.”
But Wasn’t The Actual Theory Was Proposed By A Priest, Mom?
“My devout Catholic mum never let me, and still doesn’t let me watch ‘The Big Bang Theory’ tv show because she thinks it’s all about the actual Big Bang Theory.”
“We couldn’t eat the butter until we turned 13; only margarine.”
The Rules Of Shopping With Your Mother
“‘You don’t get something if you ask for it.’
This is something my Mum would say to me when I asked for something while we were shopping. It didn’t make sense when I was six, doesn’t make any more sense when I’m 17 (maybe it will in a few years?)”
Under Not Over
“My Dad would ground us if the toilet paper was put on incorrectly. He wants it to go under. Now that I’m married and in my own house it always goes over.”
No Ifs Ands Or Buts About It
“Kids may not talk back to adults and adults are always right. Meaning when an adult tells you to do something you have to do it without question.
When an adult f.e. says something you know is a myth you have to act like you didn’t hear it or its true because otherwise you get massive shit on like “Yeah, that may be right, but we are adults and a little brat like you won’t talk back to an adult little brats have to shut up!”
Or when adults came to dinner you had to sit on the table and eat with them but had to be silent all the time. Everyone was talking but when you tried to get a conversation LIKE EVERYONE ELSE you get reprimanded that your just a brat and have to shut up when adults are talking.
I was ‘allowed’ to ‘take part in conversation’ when I was asked a question.
Like “Blablabla, James is really good in school, right James? “Yes, that’s true” “What grades do you have” “As and Bs” “He’s best in class. blablablabla [I had to be silent again for when they continued and they talked long]”.
The thing is I wasn’t really ‘allowed’ to answer the question. That was just an euphemism for an order. I had to. It was more like your military sergeant from 1960 asking you something. That also wasn’t a conversation. It wasn’t enjoyable.
Still haunts me as an adult. I never was that good at making friends in elementary school and after elementary school when you needed social skills to have friends and not just a game or a football I lost my old friends and never got new ones”
This Rule Killed Me Once
“Not my parent, but my friend’s father had a ton of rules about not doing dangerous stuff. That’s not all that unusual, but I always liked the way he justified them.
He always said that he once died doing XY. Not almost died. No, he in all seriousness told us he once died. Well, many times actually, because there were a lot of rules.
Example: “Don’t swim under the steps that lead into the swimming pool when diving, I once died doing that!'”
The Other F Word
“My mom said that if I was gonna say “fricken” I might as well just say “f–kin”… she told me this when I was 7.”
Content Might Not Be Suitable For Children
“For the longest time, my mother made sure I couldn’t watch any movies with anything remotely sexual or ‘scary’.
For example, if there was any kind of kissing, cuddling or foreplay in a movie, she’d come charging in, demand I look away, and basically taught me to shun all things sexual.
Another time, she freaked out when my friend’s dad said we were watching ‘Tremors,’ which was PG13, and we were 12. If anything, my friend and I felt like total bamfs going to see 14A movies at age 12.
But most of all, for years, she was very adamant that I could NEVER see ‘The Hills Have Eyes.’ She eventually relented on some other horror movies, even watched ‘Alien’ with me, but that was the one I could never see. She straight up told me I wouldn’t know that it was just a movie, and I’d end up with long-term damage.
Eventually, I watched it through the power of the internet, and you know what? I survived, and I thought it was great, if you like horror. And the look of defeat when I told her I had seen the movie was hilarious. Eventually, she gave up”
This Rule Feels Like It Wasn’t Thought Out Well
“I cannot join my 1-year-older brother in playing video game outside the house. (He is 10 and I’m 9) Then when I turned 10, I still can’t. Like hey mom! I can’t beat my brother’s age!”
Shield Your Eyes Child
“My parents never let me look at people kissing on tv when I was a kid. Not sure what they were trying to teach me but I guess I should thank them for my adult awkwardness in PDA situations including my own.”
A Hairy Predicament
“I had to wait until I was 13 to shave my legs. I think I should mention my legs looked like something from caveman days. It was so embarrassing to dress out in P.E.”
“I had to chew my food 50 times before swallowing. It is harder than it sounds. Eating soup was a struggle in front of them.”
They Grow Up So Fast
“I wasn’t allowed anything remotely entertaining, TV, mobile or toys in my bedroom until I was 16, and that only changed because I bought my own entertainment and convinced my mum that because I bought it and was old enough it shouldn’t be a rule anymore. All I had in my bedroom were books and my bed, really bland room.
Here’s the full story:
When I was a young child my toys were in the spare room next to my room, my own play room. I soon outgrew toys and spent most of the sunlight out with friends. when I was 15, the Xbox 360 was released and they got one from their parents and rather play Xbox than come outside, it got lonely quick. I didn’t and even if I did I wouldn’t be able to use it much because my dad would always watch tv, and I wasn’t allowed my own tv. So I got a job as a pizza delivery boy saved the money and bought my own Xbox 360 and tv.
I was adamant that I was old enough to have own tv and whatever in my room, even girls. Bought the Xbox 360 and tv, took them home set them up in my room and started playing, around 2 hours later, mum comes in to tell me dinner is ready, then she spots my tv and goes apeshit. So I stood up and I told her, I worked my ass off to buy this stuff, I earned the money doing a job and that if I’m old enough to work, I am old enough to have a tv or whatever in my room. She walked off, probably to tell my dad then 1 hour later came back with my dinner on a tray and said I was right, I have grown up and that she was proud of me for getting a job and earning money for myself, I can have whatever in my room. JUST DON’T STAY UP ALL NIGHT PLAYING GAMES!”
They Thought It Was Unhealthy?
“No drinking while eating your meal. You are only allowed to drink before or after eating dinner. They thought it was unhealthy for some reason.”
Trust Issues With Kitchen Items
“My mum wouldn’t let me use the dishwasher well into my teens in case I slipped, fell on the open dishwasher and stabbed myself on knives.
She also didn’t like me getting things for myself. If I asked her where the chopping board was she’d not tell me. I’d say “just tell me and I can get it” but no, I had to wait for her to stop whatever she was doing to get it for me. It drove me nuts because if I kept asking to get it myself she’s shout that I was being demanding. How is wanting to not bother you and be independent in the simplest sense demanding?”
Ask Your Parents
“If any family member or any person in general asked me a question about my mom I was only allowed to answer with ‘that’s a big people question, you should ask her.'”
“My parents never took me out to dinner ever. Not exaggerating at all. In my 18 years living with them, we did not eat out even once.
The habit was to have 3 meals at home. Even when I was older (in high school) and deliberately went out with friends, they still compelled me to eat 3 meals everyday at home. When I got home there was my share on the table and I had to finish all of it no matter what.
That meant I had to hold back when I went out with friends, the reason was always “I cannot skip dinner, sorry, you guys go on without me.” As a teenager that was a very lame thing to say, or so I thought.”
“I wasn’t allowed to sit on my bed. I would get into trouble if my friends sat on my bed and crumpled the sheets. They had to stay looking crisp and ironed which is near impossible.”
A Childhood Without Popular Toys
“I wasn’t allowed to have toys that had commercials. This was the eighties and nineties, so that was most of them.
I wasn’t allowed to eat anything with artificial food coloring. Sugar was extremely limited and monitored.
I had to spend the entire day outside when I wasn’t in school, unless the weather was severe.”
Super Early Bedtime
“I had to go to bed, to sleep, by 7:30 even through my first year of high school.”
The Forbidden Door
“If you were to visit my childhood home, you’d walk through the front door to find the kitchen on your right, the living room straight ahead, and a carpeted hallway just beyond that. If you were to then follow that carpeted hallway, you’d pass the family room, my father’s office, the laundry room, and the bedroom shared by my brother and me, with my parents’ room seeming to complete the tour.
There would be another door in that hallway, though. A closed door.
A forbidden door.
My parents were somewhat strict while I was growing up – mostly out of necessity, given that I was an incredibly troublesome child – but almost all of their various rules made sense. (Even back then, I could see the merits in not playing with knives, for example.) The only exception had to do with that aforementioned door, which I had been expressly barred from even approaching, let alone actually opening. Friends who visited me would occasionally ask what was on the other side, and I’d make up wild tales of prisoners, long-lost relatives, and even magical portals to distant lands… but the truth of the matter was that I didn’t know.
Now, sure, I had vague suspicions about what that off-limits room contained, and I’d even managed to catch a few glimpses from time to time, but it wasn’t until one afternoon when I was about five years old that I finally discovered the terrible secret. On that fateful day, I hatched (what I thought was) a truly diabolical plan: I waited for my mother to distract herself with some chore or another, sent my younger brother off to play ‘Hide and Seek’ with himself, then tripped outside the forbidden door and caught myself on its handle. Having thus “accidentally” opened the door, I peered inside.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
That evening at dinner, I recounted my adventure to my parents.
‘Did you know,” I said to them, trying to keep my tone casual, “that there’s an empty bedroom in this house?’
My father glanced over at my mother with a barely concealed grin. “Really?” he asked. “Where is that?”
‘It’s behind the…” I said, catching myself too late. “It’s behind the off-limits door.’
‘Did you open the off-limits door?!’ my father gasped.
‘Even though we told you not to?!’
I folded my arms in the way that I’d seen my mother do it. ‘Well, you never told me why it was off-limits!’
My father pretended to consider this. “You know what this means, don’t you?”
‘N… no?’ I answered, suddenly feeling very nervous.
‘This means you can have a room of your very own if you want!’
At the time, I mistakenly assumed that because I’d discovered the empty bedroom, I was therefore allowed to occupy it. It took far, far longer than it should have – until I was practically an adolescent, in fact – for me to realize the truth of the matter… and by that point, my parents had probably started wishing that they’d never encouraged me to rebel”
Do Not Chat And Chow Down
“I wasn’t allowed to eat while on the phone…which doesn’t sound too strange but they were really strict about it like I couldn’t even munch on some potato chips and talk on the phone with anyone. They didn’t even make me sit down at the table or anything – I usually just ate in bed which was fine but all hell broke loose if they found out I was on the phone at the same time.”
“Not being allowed to cut our hair…it was down nearly to our knees (it was not religious OR cultural, just, idk). Then my mom let my younger sisters cut theirs but I still wasn’t allowed. When I turned 18 and finally could, the hair stylist said I had over a foot of split ends she took off.”