People Share The Dumbest Rules Their Strict Family Enforced
Artyom Kabajev/Unsplash

Growing up, my parents insisted that I take my brother with me everywhere I go. The idea was that he, as a boy, would offer some form of protection.

The reality was that all he did was make my life miserable and create dangerous situations.

Now, this isn't his fault. This is 100% on our family, their built-in patriarchal B.S. (sorry latin people, you know I'm right - we have so far left to go) and their refusal to believe in medicine.

My brother was younger than me (by 5 years, that's a good chunk during childhood) and smaller than me, but because he was a boy he was automatically granted more freedom.

He could go out alone with his friends, I could not. He could date, I could not. He could do things outside of school and church, like martial arts classes. I was only allowed school activities or church activities.

What made the whole thing worse, though, was that his younger age and diagnosed but untreated ADHD meant that not only was he not "protecting" me when they would force him to come as my chaperone - he was creating problems.

He was only about 10, his ADHD meant he had poor impulse control and would climb facades on buildings, or rocks, or trees, or the sides of movie theaters. I would often have to grab him before he darted out into traffic, etc. I basically didn't go out or have a social life until college because of my parents rules and obsession with church (six days a week is incredibly unhealthy.)

And no, it didn't keep me out of trouble. It just made me a better liar who felt no remorse for the lies.

When your over-reactions and "Christification" of everything remove honesty as a possibility for anything, you make lying the only form of communication possible.

Reddit user AlePiga asked:

"People who grew up with strict parents, what’s the dumbest rule you had to live with?"

Strict rules clearly didn't work out well for these people:

Rotating Curfew?

"Rotating curfew types so none of them were overused."

"Today is the homework curfew, no going out until its all done AND checked (extra time wasted) Oh, no homework today? well dinner is at 4pm and you cant go out after dinner."

"..And today is the darkness curfew, which is around 4pm, not sunset or actual darkness, just when sunset is kinda starting. Worse during winter months."

"..And today is mom's workout class, you have to stay late at school or get taken along, and no you cant be dropped at home even if its on the way."

"NO you cant go out if you take the bus and get home alone, you have to stay there because nobody else is home yet. Whats that, no homework? well I've suddenly decided you need to read more, you are staying in."

"Yeah Mom was a super control freak for no reason."


Common Cans

"We couldn't drink soda out of the can in public because only 'common people' did that."

"I never understood it as a kid. I'm still not 100% sure why my Mum had this rule."

"As an adult I thought it's perhaps to do with people drinking alcohol outside. I asked her as an adult and her response was 'Well it is common looking' so I still don't know, honestly!"


"At cookouts and parties we have a small town rural District judge who absolutely refuses drinks in cups in public, and only allows himself and his family to drink from cans."

"He said it was about the implication of holding a cup, where the substance inside could be construed as an alcoholic drink."

"Such fun to have them around."


Little Rascals Reaction GIFGiphy

Seeing Other People

"I couldn't see the same person multiple times in a row."

"I had to hang out with a different friend before I could see the same friend again. I still have 0 idea what the logic there was, it was the rule for ANY friend I saw consistently."


"Concerned about you dating maybe? Or just being a control freak."


"Honestly they did this with any gender of friend so I'm leaning towards the control option"



"My phone had to be downstairs and plugged in in our kitchen, my parents had to know my password, and could read or open my phone at any time."

"I used to stay after school for an extra 15-20 minutes before headed home. In many cases since I’d 'Already gotten to see my friends' I wouldn’t be able to hang out when they went to movies, a friends house, etc."

"When I got a girlfriend, suddenly I wasn’t to be trusted with anything."

"I had to go straight home and could no longer stay at friends houses overnight. I was 18 and had my own car."

"I also got my phone taken away for several weeks after some of my friends sent 'inappropriate' memes in a group chat. I had no part in it, which my parents knew since they read everything, but I still got punished."

"When I was 19, and living in dorms, I finally turned off tracking on my phone so my parents couldn’t track my location."

"Not because I was doing anything bad, just because my mother had texted me the night before after I went to pick friends up from a club, and she demanded to know why I was there. I just couldn't handle being tracked any more."

"The next day, while I was at work, my parents drove to my work location and confiscated my car for removing tracking."


Doorway To Drama

"You can't close your door, if you do we remove it."


"In my house, it wasn’t allowed to be closed for sleeping, it was only allowed to be closed if your parent was in the room with you and wanted it closed."

"You want the door closed to change your clothes? Better do it in the bathroom and don’t take too long or the door will be opened. And behave or you might lose your bathroom door privileges."


Trap Door Doors GIFGiphy


"When my dad got remarried I was 17 and had to move, my stepmother had the stupidest rules."

"Everyone had to sit in the same chair at the table, even if not during dinner time. She'd throw a tantrum if someone sat in a different chair."

"No hanging out with friends on the weekends"

"She would, and I kid you not, turn off the WiFi for the entire day if even one person decided not to go to church."

"We weren't allowed to walk through a bathroom - it was the best way to get to a part of the house. You had to walk around multiple rooms if you didn't just cross through that bathroom. I wish I was joking when I say she guarded that bathroom one night."

"Everyone has to go to bed at the exact same time (9:00PM) because the youngest 'wouldn't be able to sleep if other people were awake' - the youngest was 11 at the time."


Gender Studies

"Not being allowed to study certain subjects because of my gender."

"My parents really never accepted the fact that I study criminology. They still blabber about how I should be studying tourism management since it’s more 'feminine'."

"My mom never had the chance to finish tourism college because of having me so she wants me to achieve her dream of becoming a flight attendant."

"She was a lousy mother and wants me to become what she wanted, but I have my own dreams to pursue. I can't live my life like it's a do-over of hers."


pushing air travel GIFGiphy

Jesus And Breadsticks

"When I was 17 I went on a date with a 16 year old girl who was new to my school. She had moved there from Northwest Arkansas. Her parents were really strict."

"When I showed up to our date I was told that we'll be traveling in her parent's car. I had to sit in the front with her dad and she sat in the back with her mom. They talked to me about Jesus the entire ride to the Olive Garden."

"She left a hand written note in my locker on Monday apologizing. No, we didn't end up together."


"Still worth it cause of the endless breadsticks."


Wrestling With Hypocrisy

"No watching wrestling, because it will make you g*y."

"I've put a bike lock on the fridge. no midnight snacks for anyone."

"Read one book everyday. If you cannot, you'll write sentences."

"I'm annoyed at the world. Get off the video games and go outside."

"No metal or classic rock because the Devil will influence you."

"No Trading Cards Because the Devil created it."

"No UFC because it's too violent."

"Basically, my dad made the rules and they were outright pathetic as I reflect back on it. That was only because he was an a**hole, and everything he did was hypocritical."

"He told us never to smoke pot, but a few years later we walk in and see him completely stoned, eating smarties and watching Jackass."

"Good thing I was considered a rebel in his eyes because I would've hated being a tool like him."



"I wasn't allowed to see most of the TV series kids watch because they were 'violent', 'distracting' or 'a bad influence'. Basically, when my friends talk about their childhood series or TV shows the only thing I say is 'sounds interesting'."


"Toooootally relate."

"All my friends' jaws drop when I say I never saw an episode of Phineas and Ferb or, like, Invader Zim. Those Cartoon Network or Disney Channel shows, I was just never allowed to watch them."

"I'm an adult now and it's at that point where I can't really go back to watch them just because I'm not really the 'target audience' and I don't have nostalgia, so they just seem so... childish and I hate that I can't enjoy them as hard as I try."


phineas and ferb GIFGiphy

Hair Cuts

"God forbid I'm allowed to cut my hair cuz I'll go to hell for it apparently. I'm 21."

- I_want_taters

"Omg me too! I cut mine for the 1st time at age 22 after I got married and moved across the country."

- NightZucchini

"Ugh, I'm sorry. I lived in a small town with a church that didn't allow their woman and girls to cut their hair or wear pants. Such brainwashing."

- Upsidedownworld4me

"Yes, this. I can relate. I still have a difficult time cutting my hair. It was drilled into my head that Your hair is your crowing glory to God."

- Amishgrannie

Socially Antisocial

"I couldn’t have a Walkman because it would 'make me antisocial'.”

“ 'Then how come all the kids with lots of friends have them?' went over as well as you think it did."

- ResIpsaLemonCurd

"People (not family members, luckily) always told me the same thing about, dude, maybe if you were as interesting as my book I would look up. Unfortunately you're about as stimulating as a coma"

- knit-witch-96


- fluentinsarcasm_

golden girls headphones GIF by TV LandGiphy

Your Toast Is Too Loud

"don't make loud toast.... yes, toast..."

- shifty_DFSO

"I'm just picturing an anthropomorphic piece of toast screaming bloody murder as you drag your knife across it to butter it."

- OptimusSublime

"Even as an adult living on my own for over 10 years I still twist the handle of doors before closing them and slowly turn the handle back once closed so you can’t hear the click of the latch if you were to just pull it closed."

"Yes, closing doors was too loud for my mother. She never got after me for the toaster though! Only if I accidentally left it on the counter instead of the cupboard or left a single crumb."

- spamix0924

"Wait, like toast you eat or a 'call to a gathering of people to raise their glasses and drink together in honor of a person or thing, or an instance of drinking in this way?' "

- SofaSnizzle

"shhhh shhhh shhhhh toast. It'll all be over soon ..shhhhhhhhhhh"

- ClownfishSoup

Cable Company Helped

"Idk if it was the dumbest but it was funny. I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV or Comedy Central."

"My parents blocked the channels on our tv but the channels were switched sound by the cable company so they ended up blocking the history channel and c-span and didn’t realize it. I watched mtv and Comedy Central whenever they weren’t home."

- Impossible_Town984

"You are not alone I had about 3-4 kids in my grade that could not watch those channels either. Parents freaked out and banned them from watching TV for months if caught on that channel."

- bodacioustugboat3

jim carrey hello mama GIFGiphy


"No Halloween ,Pokémon, Harry Porter"

- Aholenewname

"Also no Yu gi oh My mother burned my brother's whole collection because demons lived in them."

- AuntieFrybread

"Oh yeah, the satanic panic sh*t. My mom was into that too."

"Don't forget D&D"

- Aperture_T

"Add to all of these I couldn’t wear black, cause you know the devil’s color and all"

- Wexylu

Mermaid Man And Barnacle Boy Superhero GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy


"Not allowed to have a dirty clothes pile (didnt have a hamper)"

"Also not allowed to do laundry unless it was a whole load"

- HairyNutsackNumber9

"Wow, there's an impossible situation"

- matou98

"I can understand not making a carpet out of them but like 1 pile in the corner? whats wrong with that"

- HairyNutsackNumber9

"why didn’t they buy you a hamper? where did you end up putting your dirty clothes?"

- nicyole

"because they need a reason to bitch so they just make problems"

"ironically enough i just kept putting them on the floor in the same spot"

- HairyNutsackNumber9

A Bit Too Sheltered

"My husbands mom wouldn’t let him watch SpongeBob or Disney channel and he had a 10pm curfew when he was 19. he was a very sheltered kid"

- straightupgong

"I wasn't allowed to watch SpongeBob either! Jokes on you mom, now I smoke dope all day and watch it in my 20s"

- HamSamich129

"My ex had a literal bedtime as a 19 year old. His bed time was 9pm on school nights and it had just been increased from 8pm for his senior year of high school."

- Champ-Aggravating3

"Had a 10pm curfew till 19 too, i broke it heaps but it eventually magically went away at 20"

- Throwwawayssss

That Was Yesterday

"Something they were fine with yesterday will get me slapped in the face today."

- Toadie9622

"even better, something they slapped you for not doing yesterday will get you slapped today"

- A-Miniature-Cactus

"I know this one, fused with the bad mood projection. It makes a 'am I in trouble or it is a good mood day?' sixth sense"

- akotoshi

"Even after said something was agreed upon or discussed MULTIPLE times prior."

- ItchyInvestigator174

Raising A Liar

"I'm not allowed to spend any money I worked for unless I have a job. That isn't a bad rule, aside from the fact that I can't buy a $2 bottle of chocolate milk from a gas station without my mom getting all upset that I'm literally gonna spend all $35k in my bank account. Also, I'm a full time student, so it's not like I'm doing nothing."

"However, I know the real reason is that my control freak mom can't bear the thought of her kids having a better home life than she does while they're living with her. I have long since started having Amazon packages delivered to a drop off point for when I go to school, and I use cash to add to my Amazon gift card balance that I get from doing cash back when I use my debit card to pay for gas so my dad, who has access to my account, doesn't see anything other than money being spent on gas."

"Moral of the story to you parents: strict parents raise sneaky kids who are good at lying. All there is to it."

- SilverLugia1992

"Yep, all it does is teach the smart kids how to get around rules."

"I wonder how many creative accountants got their start that way...?"

- Just_Aioli_1233

Lying Bounty Hunter GIF by DefyTVGiphy

Strict rules typically come from a place of love (and fear) - we get that. But maybe try counseling instead of ... this?

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