84 Of The Weirdest And Strictest Rules People Had When Growing Up, As Shared In This Online Thread

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“We’re just trying to protect you! We only have rules because we love you!”

Kids need structure, and it is their parents’ responsibility to ensure that they are safe and well taken care of. But there is a difference between providing love and protection and creating an authoritarian regime in your household. 

If you grew up with strict parents, you are likely either an expert at lying and sneaking out, or you’ve never broken a rule in your entire life. The effects of strict parenting can vary, but one thing’s for sure: strict parents are extremely creative with their arbitrary rules and punishments. Below, we’ve gathered some of the most ridiculous rules people who had strict parents shared in this Reddit thread, so you pandas can either bond over being raised in a similarly harsh home or be thankful that your parents didn't ground you for coming home at 8:03pm. Keep reading to also find interviews with parenting educator and coach and the woman behind the Word from the Bird blog, Hillary Gruener, and Editor-in-Chief of Parent for Brain, Pamela Li, MS, MBA.

Be sure to upvote the rules you find particularly silly, and let us know in the comments what household rules you were required to obey growing up. Then, if you’re interested in reading a Bored Panda article discussing harmful ideas parents should stop teaching their kids, check out this story next.


My mom wouldn't let me have any female friends growing up. Joke's on her, I'm gay!

Image credits: vozami

To hear from an expert why strict parenting is not the best method of raising kids, we reached out to parenting educator and coach Hillary Gruener. First, we asked Hillary what some of the problems with strict parenting are. "Connection should always come before correction," she told Bored Panda. "Strict parenting leans more towards constant correction, and unhealthy expectation of a child to perform the 'right' way. This can lead children to feel inadequate in the eyes of their parents, possibly causing them to struggle with lifelong insecurity. It can also lead to people pleasing or rebellion."

"But when parents can guide and teach their child through example and loving discipline, it gets our agenda out of the way, and has the child’s best interest at heart — for them to have genuine hearts instead of perfect behavior. Strict parenting misses their hearts and becomes hyper focused on behavior," Hillary explained.


Have a friend who isn't allowed to go out if "he's already had too much fun this weekend." That's the only reason, they think he'll become corrupted if he has too much fun and that he won't know how to work. He's in college

Image credits: Nilocallen

We also asked Hillary why parents sometimes feel the need to be too strict with their kids. "I know for myself, it’s convenient when my kids listen, are well-behaved, and things are peachy," Hillary shared. "Sometimes, being strict gets the job done, but it often misses the heart. My desire to control any given situation can often cause me to become more strict, have unrealistic expectations, and forgo the heart of the matter — for my kids to have genuine hearts."

"I think most of us desire control in some way or another," she explained. "It’s human. So other than it coming from that, it can also be a result of how we were raised. Unhealthy cycles are repeated when we don’t address them and do the work to be humble and apologetic to our kids, while also making changes where we need. Misbehaved children are a call for us as parents to look within and make sure their behavior isn’t a result of something we need to adjust in our parenting."


I wasn't allowed to say "i died" on mario. I "lost one of my chances to succeed".

Image credits: zaqhavok

We also asked Hillary if she had any advice for parents who are tempted to be extremely strict with their kids. "Always have your child’s best interest in mind," she said. "As the adult, it’s your job to set the tone of your household. Ask yourself, 'Do I want to raise genuine hearts or people-pleasers? Do I want my children to fear me when they have done something wrong or feel safe to come to me with anything?'"

"Set realistic boundaries and hold to them to keep everyone accountable, including yourself," Hillary continued. "You can come up with a family guide and list out all the things you expect of one another. For example, be kind, be gracious, put your dish in the dishwasher when you’re done eating, etc. Personalize it to your family. Give your kids clear ideas about what they CAN do, instead of focusing on all they are doing wrong."

Finally, Hillary shared, "Give your kids grace. So much grace. And the most important, if you mess up, simply apologize. There is so much power in your children seeing you own your mistakes."

If you're interested in hearing more wise words from Hillary about parenting, you can find her blog Word from the Bird right here and her Instagram account right here.


I was not allowed to watch Pokémon because it "taught evolution." Hahah.

Image credits: tacoflavoredkisses94


For every minute I was late coming in from curfew, I got grounded a week. I once spent ten weeks grounded due to a sobriety check point.

Image credits: Silly_Christians

Being a parent is an extremely difficult job. There is so much pressure to do and say the right things to ensure that your children grow up to be kind, productive, intelligent, well-adjusted, contributing members of society. It’s natural to desire a little too much control over your children’s lives, as you just want the best for them, and you may fear that something will go wrong if they have too much freedom. But we have to allow kids autonomy. They are individuals, after all, and we can do everything in our power to guide them, but we cannot control them.

I grew up in a relatively strict household and attended a very strict private, religious school as a kid. I felt like there were rules everywhere I went. I never felt safe to explore, share my feelings or even ask questions, as it was so ingrained in me that I should just think inside the box and color inside the lines. Eventually, I attended arts school as a teen, and my whole world opened up. I was exposed to different kids of people, new lifestyles and ideas, and I met kids who weren’t scared of their parents or breaking the rules. Suddenly, the pendulum swung, and I felt the uncontrollable urge to rebel.  


I was not allowed to talk to boys. One Christmas Eve Day, I was doing last minute shopping in the downtown of our little town. I ran into two male friends from my German class and we talked for several minutes and wished each other a Merry Christmas. Oh I was fifteen at the time. My older sister drove by and saw me, told my parents I was " hanging out with boys " . When I walked in the house both my parents were waiting and the yelling began. Some Christmas Eve.

Image credits: mevoxdez

I’m not saying that having strict parents turned me into a delinquent or anything like that, but it certainly did impact who I am as a person. (Just ask my therapist, she’ll tell you!) And while I think I turned out just fine, there is no denying that growing up surrounded by strict rules and the fear of being punished or disappointing your parents has an impact on a person. In fact, according to VOA, overly strict parenting can cause long-term psychological consequences. 

One 22-year-old accounting student opened up to VOA about how having extremely strict parents who place huge amounts of pressure on her has led to struggling with depression and feeling like she has limited freedom to make her own decisions. “There’s no emotional attachment between me and my parents at all,” she shared. She even noted that each morning, she is met with a tirade of harsh words from her parents as they demand perfect academic performance from her. 


I wasn't allowed to cross any streets until middle school. Thus, my best friends were the ones who lived on the same block as me.

Image credits: anon

Not every strict parent is concerned about grades above all else, though. Some are more worried about their children’s appearances, worried they will go down a path of substance abuse, fearful their kids will be poorly behaved or get arrested, worried their own reputation will be tarnished by their children or simply believe that because they are the adults, they should be in charge of all of their children’s decisions.


My dad wrote a whole manual on his rules. Most unreasonable was "you must tear the bread, you cannot use a knife to cut your bread."

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My dad didn't believe in periods. And when I cried that I needed feminine products gave me food stamps to buy them. I was humiliated

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To gain more insight on this topic, we also reached out to Pamela Li, MS, MBA, bestselling author and Editor-in-Chief of the online publication Parenting for Brain, to hear her thoughts. First, she laid out some of the issues commonly associated with strict parenting. “Children who are raised by strict parents often display externalizing behaviors or internalizing behavior,” Pamela told Bored Panda.

“Externalizing behavior occurs when rebellious children act out,” she explained. “They are at risk of behavioral or anti-social problems, such as aggression and delinquency. Internalizing behavior happens when children turn their negativity inwards resulting in mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.”


When I was in 5th grade I wrote some stuff in my diary about masturbating, and like a month later, my mom went through all my stuff. She would randomly go in my room, tear it apart, I'd always get in trouble for SOMETHING, and then I'd have to clean up the mess and be grounded for whatever amount she felt like that day.

So anyway, she found that diary entry. She picks me up from school and won't talk to me. I get home, my door was removed from my room, that diary entry was taped on the wall, and I was threatened with a belt if I didn't answer all her invasive questions.

F****d up.

Image credits: Lipstickandpixiedust


I had a ton. I think the most unreasonable was that we (my siblings and I) weren't allowed to know where we were going during car rides. If we'd ask we were told "Business", and figure it out we were going to the store, etc. only after we arrived to our destination.

This lasted until I moved out.

Another was asking for permission to use the bathroom every time. This didn't last as long.

Image credits: Tankadin


I got grounded from an end of year party at age 11 for getting a B on a paper, even though I still got all A's. I was devastated. It was thrown by my best friend... and I had been looking forward to it all year. I had the perfect dress to wear because my aunt's mother took me shopping and bought this cool dress that made me feel like Molly F*cking Ringwald. I was never allowed to wear it before, and it had been in my closet since September! I was seriously having a Cinderella moment—although I honestly related more to Jane Eyre because I was adopted and a bookworm.

The day of party I was bawling. I was a good kid. I tried to be perfect every waking moment... then I was grounded from my best friend's party.

The mom of my best friend knew how tough it was at home. I was screamed at, belittled, hit all the time. This party was a f*cking beacon.

Arlene, the BFF's mom, barged in my house, and told me to get ready and get my stuff together to spend the night. My mom protested.

Arlene said, "How about I call CPS about the 50 f*cking cats in your house?"

I went to the party, and Arlene taught me to be a badass.

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“Children with strict parents also tend to have inflexible thinking, lower self-esteem, peer rejection, and relationship problems,” Pamela continued. “Strict parenting backfires when parents try to control their children’s academic performance. The more they force their children to follow rules in doing their homework or getting good grades, the less motivated they are. Those who enforce rules by taking away privileges will run out of things to take away sooner or later, and their children will still not be motivated.”


I had to write essays on tv shows that I wanted to watch, in order to have them unblocked by the parental controls. I remember writing a riveting piece on the educational and cultural benefit of Disney's That's So Raven. Also, I wasn't allowed to watch PG-13 movies, even after turning 13.

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No shoes on in the house under any circumstances. Was super uncomfortable when my brother's friend, who had prosethetic legs and always had shoes on, came over and didn't take his shoes off. Mom got really mad and confronted him.

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My parents once grounded me for two years for getting a B on my report card. They took everything out of my room besides the bed, and I wasn't allowed to do anything with friends. A year-and-a-half into it I asked if I could be un-grounded. At that point they had actually forgotten what they grounded me for, but they refused because "I must have done something bad."

They also refused to let me stay up past 8 pm. Even in high school.

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We also asked her why parents feel the need to be so strict. “Many strict parents were raised by strict parents themselves,” Pamela explained. “The irony is that those who grew up without control crave control over their children. They suffer from inflexible thinking, just like their children. Their belief is that having strict rules is the only way to raise children who can meet their high standards. Any deviation from them is unacceptable. They are stuck in the either-or thinking, either the child follows the rules or they will be ruined and a failure as a result. For them, there is no middle ground.”


I wasn't allowed to swim in public swimming pools because I would catch AIDS. My P.E. class would go to the pool one week per year, I had to walk laps around the pool because I couldn't participate.

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When I was in first grade, I had a writing homework assignment. My dad used to be weird about me erasing, because he wanted me to do it right the first time. I ended up erasing a lot on this homework, and my dad took the paper from me, ripped it in half, and told me to start over. Turned out it was the last sheet of paper in the entire house, and I don't remember why but for some reason we couldn't go and buy more paper that night.

So ironically, I ended up having to completely erase an old homework assignment to have a sheet of paper so I could start over... I'm 22 now, and still give him crap about that.

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I was not allowed to use the money cheat on Sims growing up because that's not how the 'real world' works. I used the cheat once and couldn't explain where all the money I had came from so I was grounded and had Sims taken away.

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We also asked for any advice she has for parents who feel the temptation to be very strict. “The first step that parents can take if they realize that they are too strict is to talk to their children and get their perspectives,” Pamela shared. “For this to work, they must be open to feedback and criticism. The parents must understand that many things can be accomplished in more than one way. Instead of imposing extremely strict rules on their children, they can find a balance. Strict rules won’t help their kids succeed, but will only damage their relationships with them.”


We could not listen to music with guitars in it. I will never forget the day my brother was listening to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and my father took the radio and threw it through the window. Spent my childhood listening to Richard Marx and Michael Bolton. Thanks dad.

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No trends, or 'passing fads'.

Pokemon, banned. Barbies, banned. Beanie babies, banned. Playstation/Gameboys? Banned. Anything particularly fashionable, or popular *regardless of actual merit* was met with derision and we'd be mocked for even suggesting interest.

We were achingly frumpy kids with interests and cultural references (or lack thereof) that isolated us from our peers and they wondered why each of us were bullied.

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I refused to greet my sister's new boyfriend with more than a, "Sup?" so later that night my mom Hulk-smashed my laptop, double-fist style.

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“It is not easy for people with rigid thinking to realize their own problems,” Pamela added. “If this is difficult for them, it is good to seek professional help. Experienced counselors can help them see more possibilities in any given situation so that they aren't trapped in black-and-white thinking.”

If you’d like to hear more wise words from Pamela, be sure to check out her website Parenting for Brain right here. And if you’d like to read an article she wrote on the topic of strict parents, you can find that right here.  


I couldn't drink water from my bathroom. My bathroom genuinely had colder water and the best water in the house. Mom got suspicious when I'd leave to my bathroom for a few seconds every few minutes. I don't know what she possibly thought I was doing, but no more bathroom water. I had to drink lukewarm peasant water like the rest of my family.

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I attended Church three times on Sunday at 9 am, 11 am, and 7 pm, followed by Bible study Tuesday nights and youth group Friday nights. I can count on one hand the times I missed attending from birth until I moved out at 17.

I haven't been back since.

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My parents were horrible parents in general, but the most bizarre rule that my siblings and I had to follow was that we weren't allowed to sneeze multiple times in a row. One sneeze? Fine. Another sneeze after some arbitrary number of minutes later? No problem. Two sneezes in a row? I would get yelled at for being unhygienic... and for having no manners. God forbid if you sneezed thrice or more in a row...

I have seasonal allergies, and one time my dad was in a particularly bad mood and caught me in a sneezing fit. He grounded me for a week.

Image credits: asphodelic

So what’s the healthy alternative to strict parenting? According to Dr. Laura Markham at Aha! Parenting, the ideal style of parenting is authoritative. “I call this parenting style ‘Empathic Limits’ to get across the point that we do set limits, just like the Authoritarian (strict) parents, but we do it with empathy, just like the Permissive parents,” Dr. Laura explains. “Children thrive on Limits and Age-appropriate expectations, but only if they're set with empathy… What we're really aiming for is the expectations and limits that keep kids functioning at a high level, combined with the warmth and support of ‘Permissive’. That combination of empathy and limits is the sweet spot that raises amazing kids -- and makes for the best parenting.”


My mom was paranoid, and she thought everyone and everything was a kidnapper. She hated the mailman on our route. So when I was young, around three or four years old, my mom told me it was illegal to be outside when the mail came.

Around 11:15 am every day I'd see that truck coming. I'd high tail it inside the house, terrified I would be spotted.

Fast forward 30 years. I still genuinely feel a tinge of panic in the recesses of my brain when I see the mailman arrive. Only now it's overpowered by excitement over the latest Amazon package I don't really need.

Image credits: ajustice83


My parent were pretty slack on everything except one thing

No video games console ever, and no online games on the computer because that how you get virus and make the computer run slow ....

So I was playing my mmorpg when they were sleeping, in a hidden file, in a file, in another file, in another file and I was changing the appereance of every file icon


Females of the family must cook and clean on holidays while males watch tv. Must buss male's plates every night.

No visiting friend's houses no friends over at our house all the way through high school.

Hair cannot be cut at or above shoulder.

7:00 pm bedtime. Not curfew. Bed time. Through junior high. Strictly enforced.

Needless to say, I rebelled strong and hard.

Are these responses reminding you of your own childhood, or are they teaching you what not to do with your own kids? Every parent goes about setting rules and expectations their own way, but I’m sure we can all agree that overly strict and arbitrary rules will not yield the best results… Keep upvoting the replies you find most ridiculous, and then let us know in the comments what the craziest rules your parents set for you were. And if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article highlighting things parents should stop teaching their kids, check out this story next. 


Was forced to drop out of school in the 5th grade because my grandmother believed that most people have no souls and were demon possessed.
She said that the world was unsafe to roam freely because Satan was trying to corrupt God's children. This lead to a very sheltered life and very silly things like having to pray over every individual item that entered the house. Food, toiletries, dish soap, you name it. I'd get woken up at 2am to be screamed at for 3+ hours over something 'God' had told her that I did wrong.

So yeah, I guess the most unreasonable rule I grew up with was not being allowed to leave the house.

Edit: ok I get it......apparently my life was binding of Isaac's storyline.

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I have too many to name growing up in an Asian household but the one that was the most embarrassing was I was not allowed to shave my legs or armpits and I hit puberty at an early age. So I had really hairy armpits and legs and was forced to wear shorts to gym class. I was so embarrassed about my legs that I would wear shorts with opaque pantyhose which just made the whole situation worse and was the butt of many jokes in middle school. My mom has apologized thousands of times since, but it still brings back crappy memories.

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Dad was a narcissist... Biggest rule in the house was not to make any noise around him. If he was home the whole house got quiet and tense. Even my mom used to eat her cereal in the bedroom because she'd get in trouble for chewing crunchy food. Now she's long rid of him and married to a way better guy, but she still apologizes for eating crackers.

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Mom hits me with kitchen utensils and yells that "i am not allowed to put my hands up to defend myself from her strikes"


I was not allowed to use public restrooms. I "ruined" our Disney trip because of how many times we had to go back to the hotel when I was six. And I quite honestly had accidents when I was far too old to do so because my parents had my teachers reporting bathroom use to them, too. There was no place I could safely use the restroom other than home without getting into trouble.

Finally I got to use public restrooms without punishment when I f*cking went to college. I got pretty good at hiding restroom use in high school because the high school refused to report it to my parents. Why did none of these teachers spot the abuse? How?


My mom was insanely controlling about food. Weird rules were in place like "one slice of lunch meat per sandwich." No one but her was allowed to cook. She'd make one giant batch of spaghetti or something and we'd have leftovers for days, so she only had to make dinner twice a week. She did not work or anything, just didn't like cooking every day. Breakfast was cold cereal and you'd only be allowed a small bowl with just enough milk to moisten it. Occasionally she'd bake something she called Corn Toasties which was simply cornbread baked in a sheet pan. She'd cut them into squares and fill the freezer with them and we could have one of those for breakfast as an alternative.

Once when I was fourteen I bought a pack of hot dogs at the store, snuck them home, and lit the grill. I was almost done cooking them when she came out screaming about fire hazards and swatted the plate out of my hand. She had been making spaghetti, what an ungrateful little bastard I was.

So then she orders a pizza for the rest of my family, wraps individual servings of spaghetti in freezer paper, and puts them away. She tells me that I will be eating nothing else until it's all gone. Took about two months to choke it all down. Went without eating a lot of days. I was also grounded for over a year.

But I sure learned a lot about "consequences."


If my father yelled up the stairs to me, I wasn't allowed to yell back "what?". Instead I would have to come down the stairs to see what he wanted... even if it was just to tell me something or ask a question


A friend of mine wasn't allowed to wear shorts to school unless it was already over 80 degrees when she had to leave. School started at 7:40 AM so this almost never happened even on days when it reached over 90 mid day. The school didn't have air conditioning.


I wasnt allowed to shrug, or say "I don't know"

if anything tech related went wrong, it was assumed that i broke it on purpose, even if the only reason anyone knew it was broken is because I was trying to fix it.

Birthday parties were a no go, christmas was a no go, any party whatsoever was a no go

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I had a friend who wasn't allowed to say the word "stupid," and tried to report me to the teacher when I said it.

Teacher yelled at me and then told me it was okay in private and "not to say it around that one kid." Nice guy, though, just had a helicopter mom.

EDIT: Thanks for all the support. For anyone who thinks I'm s******g on the guy, let me remind you he was a very close friend. I eventually caught onto the concept of a helicopter mom thanks to this kid, so I just rolled with all the weird things his mom made him do. I also remember he would complain about the school lunch because it was too unhealthy.


I could watch the Fairly Odd Parents, but not Wizards of Waverly Place because it featured magic. Maybe they thought that because Fairly Odd Parents was a cartoon, it was obviously fake? I don't know. I still watched every show they didn't let me watch when they weren't in the room.


My dad wouldn't let me use straws because he said it could cut through my tongue or cheek like a hole punch. He also got mad at me when I said "What the.. ?" when I was 11. Didn't even finish with anything, just "What the... ?"


I had a friend who wasn't allowed to sit on the couch. No matter the circumstances. That was the first time I realized something was really wrong in his house. The kicker - it was a crappy couch, so it's not like he was going to ruin it.

Edit: responding to a gazillion people at once.

To the folks looking for logic, you'll find none. No, the parents weren't saving the couch for company. No, the kids didn't have a history of damaging the couch. No, the kids weren't little troublemakers - they were surprisingly well-behaved teens (surprising because of how they were raised). This is about control, not logic. Domestic abuse is always about exerting control. Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise.

Even after adding a note about child abuse, I'm still getting jokes about how my friend must be a dog. Thanks, Reddit.

Image credits: DecoyOne


In the 1970s, my extremely conservative Mormon mother would take the masks from out grocery-store plastic Halloween costumes (those wretched ones with the thin elastic string to hold them on) and widen they eye holes with scissors as much as she could without destroying the mask.

When we asked why this was necessary, she informed us that "in our church, we don't like masks because it was a group of masked men who murdered Brother Joseph (Smith). So we want to be able to see your face clearly enough even with your Halloween masks on."

Totally pointless and ineffectual dogmatism, except that whatever that is was never any kind of LDS dogma.


I was/am not allowed to do the following: use the washing machine, wash the dishes, pull the weeds, vacuum outside of my room, I must ask to use the vacuum, I can't cook a meal, I can't have the remote, I get instructed on how to use the microwave that I've been using for years and if I ask where we are going I get told " out" and I have to dress in jeans, a shirt and running shoes no matter how hot because he doesn't like shorts. and no jacket no matter how cold.


Where do I start? Pretty sure my dad was a psychopath. There were unwritten rules with him that he'd make up on the spot, so my siblings and I never messed with him. I didn't ask him for anything ever because you wouldn't get it and he'd beat the s**t out of you for daring to ask him. That meant no school trips, no gifts, no birthdays, basically none of the stuff other kids had.


I'm sure plenty of you can relate: no sleepovers, no matter what age you are, and if you want to hang out:

>"Where? When? What time? With whom? Why? What will you do? What're their phone numbers? Dads' numbers? Moms' numbers? How long? Names? Are they good kids? How do I know? Do I know them? What are their grades? Do they get in trouble often? What type of parents do they have?"


My siblings had to eat 10 olives every day at dinner. I am the youngest so I guess my dad forgot about that rule.


No dating till marriage.


Long list. Dad is a Baptist preacher. A few of the ones I hated most:

Could only listen to gospel music. (No country, rap, pop, etc.)
No Harry Potter. (Witchcraft is of the Devil.)
No staying at friends' houses on Saturdays. Church was on Sunday.
No long hair or spiky hair.
No Spring break trips. Even after I moved out, I had to endure advice and lectures about how going on these trips hurt my testimony. We weren't even drinking; just wanted to go to the beach.


We had to duck when opening the door for strangers just in case they were holding a gun at our head-level


Not my parents, but my best friend's parents were insanely strict growing up. When we were pre teens and sleepovers were all the rage, if we wanted to have one (we literally lived on the same street, it's a 2 minute walk between our parents' houses), we had to plan it at least a month in advance, if not more. Even then for whatever reason her parents would only agree to them rarely, so really we'd only get to have like 2-3 a year.

One time I started getting sick at school on a Friday and we had planned a sleepover (ages ago as usual) for that night. I was feeling absolutely awful but tried my best to stay at school because obviously if I went home sick the sleepover would be called off. Made it to lunch and then the teacher called me over and said I was white as a ghost and burning up and had to go home. My best friend and I were devastated. Sad day.


Not allowed a key until I was 18 (or was it 16? Can't remember), yet nobody would be home once I got back from school so I would spend a lot of time 'hanging around' outside. I would usually be expected to be waiting outside, though sometimes it was forgotten this was a rule so I would go to the local library.

Even once I was given a key, I wasn't allowed to stay home alone and had to vacate if they were.

Once, I lost my key (turns out my cousin had it in his pocket but he forgot). My Stepdad said we would have to change the locks as 'someone might find them and rob the house' and when my Mum got home, she demanded I go and look for the keys again. I refused as I'd spent hours looking and knew I wouldn't be able to find them. She then demanded my phone, so I refused and sat on it.

So then she gave me a long, hard look, picked up a box of trinkets on my bookcase and turned it over while staring at me. After I didn't react, she trashed more stuff in my room until I started to scream and shout at her, swearing (I didn't usually swear at her but the years of abuse meant I would burst into anger when she started on me), asking her what was wrong with her.

While I screamed at her, she stopped and laughed at me incredulously, asking me in a calm voice when was wrong with ME. Then she said in a low threatening voice "find your f*****g keys" and left.

So yeah, not the only ridiculous rule they had, but one that sticks out the most.

Also, my bag was searched every morning before school and I wasn't allowed to wear short puffa jackets or jackets without arms.

Edit: omg, I think this is my highest rated comment. Thanks guys!


No dragons, no fairies, no trolls, no witches or magic. No holidays- no eating the holiday candies and cupcakes at school or even in those packages. No saying the pledge of allegiance. No dating until 18, which was meant for marriage and had to be with a chaperone. No "worldly" friends over. No loving my grandma too much because she wasn't going to 'paradise' with us.. I could go on.

TL;DR my mom was a strict Jehovah's Witness who followed all the rules to a T.


There were a lot but the most ridiculous one to me was they didn't want me volunteering during high school. I was visiting the elderly and they said it was too dangerous to be around strangers like that and the time was taking away from my studies.

Most extra curriculars I wanted to do they had a huge problem with but it didn't hit me how absurd it was until it was about senior citizens.


My parents were slack, my best friends parents were so strict. She would escape to my house for freedom.

12th grade. Prom. Her parents allowed her to go to prom but said she wasn't allowed to dance.
We all went to prom, had fun dancing. Until she saw her parents standing at the back watching.

She then moved out for university. After her first year, she came home to work for the summer. She had been on her own for a year and supporting herself and her parents gave her a 9pm curfew.
She spent a lot of time at my house that summer. She was married by the next summer and didn't have to deal with it.

Edit: this is a small selection of the intense upbringing my friend went through. Tiny even.


I changed my mind, I guess my parents weren’t so bad

Edit: Wow, went for a hike today out of cell service and returned to 9k karma and 30+ comments.

Since a couple people asked what I was going to say:

It sounds pretty lame now compared to the rest of this thread, but I’ll explain a few. We weren’t allowed to swim in rivers, we were rarely allowed to go to friends’ houses unless the parents knew each other, we weren’t allowed to go anywhere on our own until we could drive (which was 18 for me), and just the usual strict-parent pushing to get all A’s.


Individuality was almost a cardinal sin in my parents house. You wear what they like. You eat what they like. You do what they like. You DO NOT under ANY circumstances act like a human being with hopes, dreams, and opinions.


Indian Parents, I could stay at a sleepover until 2am, but couldn't actually sleep at that persons house LOL


30 mins of internet time a day and 99% of the time, that was supervised--as in mom looking over my shoulder and commenting on conversations. We had webtv (RIP) & when they weren't home, they would literally lock the keyboard in a toolbox.

My sis and I could never have friends stay over because "the house is a mess." No amount of cleaning satisfied mom, because the real reason was she wanted to be able to fight with my dad at-will.


Oh god.

I wasn't allowed to go out, like ever. If I was gonna hang out with someone it had to be on the weekend planned at least a week ahead, and my parents had to meet their parents and drive me there. They would come get me before the sun went down.

Not a rule, but if I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night or was reading because I couldn't sleep, my mom would come screaming up the stairs "WHY ARE YOU UP??" And sometimes hit me.

I wasn't allowed to close the door in my room.

There's more but that's what I can think of right now. Mostly my mother would just yell about everything.


I was not allowed to wear makeup or shave until 16.

My mom was controlling about food. Everything was kept track of.

I had to be in marching band in order to get my permit.

I had a job, but even if I worked second shift (which I did) and came home at 11, I would have to clear the plates from the table for the dinner that they ate.

If I asked to hang out with a friend in the presence of said friend, the answer was automatically no.

I was only allowed to do things if the friend or their parent was paying for it.

The straw that broke the camels back (and ultimately made me move out at 16) was that I had to live like a boarder. Showers cost five dollars, a load of laundry was $1.00 for washer, $1.00 for dryer. Telephone time cost $.25 per minute.


Currently on holiday in Japan...have to message every hour to update them on what I am doing


My stepmom decided that I was using too much shampoo, she would get a little medicine cup before my shower and pour the designated amount into it. It wasn't ever enough becuase I had hair down to my butt. I also wasn't allowed to use conditioner. Screw her.


Well, I pretty much couldn't do anything at all. I wasn't even allowed to put posters on my wall. I'm not sure whether it was to protect the wall or some other silly reason. All I wanted to put up was a cute poster of a cuddly seal. So I ended up sticking it behind my door.

My dad once told me that he was going to 'ground' me due to my poor performance in school. So I simply responded with, 'go ahead, ground me. It's not like I go anywhere anyway.' His dead silence after that was an acknowledgement that he knew I had a point there.

My radio was taken away during exams. Because I had to 'concentrate'. THE RADIO HELPED ME CONCENTRATE.


No TV or rock music. Both were of the Devil.

I did watch some TV when at a friends house and I mostly listened to the music I liked but I did miss out on some TV series that my friends talked about.


My moms curfew was 7pm and her brothers was 12am. Her brother was about two years younger than her and my Grandaddy's logic was that "Girls get themselves into more trouble than boys."

My poor mother only ever attended church functions for fun until she graduated from high school.


I'm a few months away from turning 18 and moving out.

I'm still not allowed to sleep in the same room as my phone


Once got electronic access taken away because I don't "Share myself."

Jokes on them I'm still a recluse, can't fix what ain't broken.


"Even if I'm wrong, I'm right."
This caused a lot of confusion on my part and rage on theirs. I got my head knocked through a cabinet door for eating a grape wrong, and even more trouble when I cried.

Thanks dude, for the gold, I cheesed too dang hard.
In short, yes I still see my parents regularly. I'm at their house with my daughter. Yes, I've always known they were kinda f****d off in the brain, I've learned to take no s**t though, my husband has been there since we were 16, and I attribute my take no shitness to him.


Was only allowed 45 minutes of computer time daily.

If anything happened to the computer, it was *the video games* fault, not the shady links my mom still clicks on 14 years later.

Edit: I'm getting a lot of cool responses, but I can understand where my parents were coming from.

I'm originally from Poland, which as a lot of people know was a communist country for a while. Everything was heavily regulated for quite some time. Even after '91, the "practices" were still common up until ~2003 (at least in the area I'm from), so I got a chance to experience "mild" communism, though I was a bit young to grasp politics.

Coming to the U.S, they felt they had to regulate everything in the household, just because that's how it was since they were born. Since then, they've really cut back and for the most part, they're pretty relaxed about everything, thought I feel like I got the short end of the stick.

Growing up, I wasn't allowed to hang out outside of school(even during high school) and in High School I wasn't allowed to date so my social experience was pretty pathetic to say the least. After graduating, my parents saw "no real threat from letting people hang out or date" so my brother got a smooth ride through high school.

It's better now, although I still have issues meeting new people. I've kept a small circle of 2-3 friends that I talk to, but hopefully that changes next year if I move into NYC for school.


At least I still have Runescape. :D


My father was very very strict. I wasn't allowed to have alone time with my mother. He beat the s**t out of me constantly. But the oddest thing that still bugs me to this day, is that he would burn all my things as punishment. And I get it, seeing my Toys and valuables burning sucked, and I probably learned some lessons. But he not only burned toys, he would burn EVERYTHING.
Every year or so for school we would go to Meijer and buy me new school clothes and shoes. He would also burn those, like sometimes days after he bought them. At 8 years old I remember thinking...you now have to buy me more clothes. But that wasn't the point I suppose.
He once took me to the palace of auburn hills in Detroit to see the globe trotters one year and during the night he bought me a globe trotters basketball and jersey. We had a fun night.
The very next day, I had left something on the floor in my room and his punishment, among other things, was to burn the basketball and jersey he bought for like 150 dollars less than 24 hours earlier. It just never made sense to me.
My friends would joke about it all throughout middle and high school.


"You cant have privacy" literally quoted from my dad


Not my parents but I had a friend who got it pretty bad:
"If you want to play for 1 hour, you have to also practice piano for 1 hour."

These and other such rules were posted on his bedroom door.


No matter how right you are even if they are just flat out wrong they're always going to be correct just because they're you're parents

Source: Filipino Parents


I have a ton.

One was that I had to always give 24 hours notice if I wasn't going to be home for dinner any night of the week. Because you know, dinner plans are never made the day of...this lasted until I moved out when I was 19.

I thought that would get better, but it actually became worse. My sister and I go to dinner to our parents every Sunday, and now they need 72 hours notice if we're not going to be there.

Also had 10pm curfew every day of the week until I moved out. Sleeping in was never a thing, 9am wake-up call otherwise.

Parents had sensors on our doors so they could tell if we left our rooms in the night. Cameras covering every inch of outside. We weren't allowed to use the bathrooms after midnight. My stepmother came storming out of her room one night when I went to the bathroom at 230am because, you know, sometimes you wake up and need to go and I was sick of peeing in a bottle because of their rule. She stormed out and confronted me and looked like she was about to hit me. I said 'I f*****g dare you' as I was ready to hit her back.

So many.

Edit: spelling

Edit 2: at one point, they cut off power to our rooms at 10:00pm every single night. This lasted less than a month, but still happened.


My wife's parents are still strict and it's annoying whenever we visit. You're not allowed to sleep in even if you're off work and you can't lounge around in your PJs and have to be fully dressed in the morning, again, even if you don't work. S**t doesn't make sense.

Edit: The majority of people replying have been asking why we put up with it. Well, we barely stay over. It's usually just holidays so it's not like it's all the time. It was more prevalent when my wife still lived there when we first met. We just go along with it to stay on their good side as they help us out when we need it.


no sneezing or yawning b/w 1230pm and 430pm


Not my parents, but my highschool friend had very strict parents.

This was shortly after 9/11 and the anthrax scare. It was halloween evening and a group of us were supposed to head out and light fireworks around the neighbourhood. Well, my friend wasn't allowed to come out that night because his mom was worried about terrorists bombing our city with anthrax. We live in Canada.


I was interested in learning about Wicca, because I was young and in highschool. Early 2000's. When Harry Potter was still happening and all that stuff. My mom and step dad found out by reading an email I sent to my cousin. It was the summer and they freaked out. Took everything. I couldn't read, I couldn't listen to music, I couldn't watch TV or movies with the family, I couldn't hang out with friends, couldn't talk to my cousin anymore, basically anything that might bring me pleasure was taken. They made me do chores all day, would go on family outings without me. Soon I became a shell of a person. I was going to kill myself, I wanted to I just was scared of death so I decided not to go through with it. So I turned myself off.

They hated it. They weren't getting a rise out of me anymore, anything they said to me, to extending my sentence I wouldn't react to. Since thier narcissism relied on a victim, I wasnt a source anymore. So they extended my grounding even further. They could have told me to go pick up dog s**t in the backyard with my teeth and I wouldn't have flinched.

My step dad's family (just as terrible) would come over and belittle me as well. I was told to "smile". So I'd humor then and flash an empty smile for a second and return to my blank expression I had to find solace in.

All this to "save me from going to hell" the only thing that saved me that summer was my visitation with my dad. My mom and step dad tried to paint him in a bad light like hr was the abusive one. Even as a kid I knew my dad didn't make me feel as bad and empty as they did. I eventually got through it.

Years later, (about 4 years ago now) I ended up working at a job (unexpectedly) with a girl I used to play with in the neighborhood. I always wondered why she stopped showing up. When I wasnt home, or in another part of the house, she came to the door and asked to play. One of my parents opened the door and told her I didn't want to play with her anymore.

I always wondered why she never hung out with me, or talked to me. Even finding this out in a more recent term, I cried and apologized to her.

I could have had a great friendship. With a lot of people but they just wanted to alienate and control me.

Unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg.
I don't talk to them anymore, but I still llive in the same city as them and I have a lot of social anxiety because of that. One of my roommates, exhibits some of the behavior my parents were so kind as to bestow on me. It's making things difficult to handle.

I just want people to be happy and live in a healthy environment. It's so f****d up that the biggest monsters in the world are the people closest to you.

Edit: thank you kind stranger for the gold!


I was from a large family and discipline was very strict. If myself or one of my siblings broke one of the major rules, my parents would hold a 'Truth Session'.

All the children would be brought to my Dad's study where the guilty party would be given an opportunity to confess. If nobody came forward, we would be hit in turn in order of ascending age. The eldest four were hit with a sewer rod while, in deference to their age, the youngest ones would get a whack of a bamboo stick.

A sewer rod is basically a four foot long flexible rubber rod, around an inch thick and with a metal cap. It would leave the most remarkable welts. Horrendous things really.

Anyway, this would continue until someone admitted their 'guilt'. At that point they would receive the blows that everyone else had received to that point.

So that was awful. I fully acknowledge that. I'm under no illusions. However, that wasn't the actual unreasonableness. No, the unreasonable part was that the person who 'caused' the Truth Session didn't always receive the accrued punishment owed for having their siblings beaten. Sometimes they could just be let go making their siblings HATE them for causing pain to them. There'd be no explanation. The study door would be opened and we'd all be told to leave. That meant you could be rewarded for holding out and avoiding the punishment you'd definitely get if you admitted it at the beginning.

My parents now tell fun stories about how when I was a child and I'd done something wrong, I'd always begin with, 'let me tell you my story.' 'Haha' they chortle at my childish phrasing while I recall the terror that such an approach was meant to stave off.


This one was the most ridiculous- I wasn't allowed to leave the coffee pot out. My mother had a really nice espresso machine that I could never master the art of using, so we had an ancient mr. Coffee machine that I would use. My mother would get super irritated if I left the machine on the counter after I was done using it. My best friends can remember plenty of times my mother would do that whisper yell trick "labeille87 what is that coffee pot doing out?" Once she was actually so pissed about the coffee pot being left out she grounded me for a week. The kicker to the whole thing was once I moved out, I came home to visit and there's my mom's nice espresso machine and a brand new mr. Coffee on the kitchen counter. I turned to my mother "what is that doing on the counter?" My mom "oh your dad bought a new mr. Coffee and it's not nearly as ugly the old one." Her whole reason for getting pissed off for years was because the old one was UGLY.


My mum makes me and my siblings pray even though she never prays. It's messed up. She cooks and cleans but a lot of her day is spent back biting about people on the phone with my auntie. Why the f**k should we be devout Muslims when you don't follow the five pillars and you commit sin on a daily basis? And when I point it out, I'm the one who needs to shut up. Total BS. The worst human beings are the ones who aren't self aware. My mother is the worst human being I have ever met. She plays the victim so she she can find a perpetrator. All my parents have taught me is how I shouldn't conduct myself. That's the only bright side to this.


I was called at a friend's house at 11 PM at night because I left 2 T-Shirts slung over the chair in my room vs. hanging them in my closet. I had to go back to my house and then I was grounded for a week. Upon getting home, my mother had gone through my entire room and tossed every item out of my dresser. She claimed they were messily put in the dresser.... Fun stuff.


Lots but the most annoying one was 1 hour of electronics a day. My parents always used to take away the cords to the machine when they would leave the house and so one time my dad went to rip out the cords like usual but he ended up taking the Wii cords instead of the Playstation. I was in awe that he couldn't make the distinction between the device that was black,lit up, and making noise and the idle white machine...


When I think back on it, there weren't really any unreasonable standing rules. More like every now and then my parents would explode on something minor to make up for the lack of parenting.

I love my parents, but they don't seem to get the idea that not being around much f****d their kids up a bit. I was *extremely* shy and withdrawn, and my brother is a narcissist. It would take quite a few paragraphs to explain, but suffice to say their lack of checks and balances on him, and my family's doting on him legitimized his belief that everything revolves around him.

On the other hand, nobody paid attention to me, which is partially on me. I'm quite happy to fade into the background in any situation. I hate attention. Maybe cause I didn't get any when I was young and when I did it felt weird? I don't really know.

But yeah, I specifically remember the few times where my dad was shouting in anger at me, and neither made any sense. Once, he told us, during the middle of summer, when we were about 13 and 15, not to go outside while he was out. Mind you, we were 13 and 15, and literally every single day during the summer, no one was home, and we were outside unsupervised all f*****g day. So my brother was like 'rules don't apply to me' and goes outside. Dad came home, starts screaming at him, then starts getting pissed at me and whacks me for not stopping him. At the time, dude was like twice my size, and no one could tell him s**t, so...

Another time, on my birthday, all I wanted was a remote controlled car. So I got one. Brother proceeds to take it out while I'm not there. Dumbass tries to control it and ride a bike at the same time, runs it over and breaks it. Puts it back, doesn't tell anyone. I find it, get pissed, dad of course thinks I'm lying to cover my own a*s, and I get whacked a bit. Brother thought it was funny. Instead of parenting, dad went the easy route, assigned blame and punishment, went back to doing whatever the hell it was he was doing.

Fast forward 20+ years. Brother is rapidly heading for a divorce that he just can't believe is his fault. Haven't said a word to him in maybe 3 years? Honestly lost track. I can't talk to him because he'll blame random bad s**t that happened to him on something I or my best friend did like 25 years ago. Dad is disabled, lays around all day, can't understand why no one comes to visit. Mom (love her to death, but she's an idiot) makes excuses for both of them. I used to idolize my father and I glossed over a lot. Been thinking a lot about him lately and coming to terms with the fact that he's an a*****e, much like my brother. Which sucks, but the truth is the best policy.

TL;DR: The lack of consistent rules was, for me anyway, worse than a strict environment.


I think it was when I came home for summer break during university and they tried to reimpose their 11pm curfew... That was the last summer.

Edit: Thanks for being nitpicky :)
That was pretty amateur haha

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