They say our parents have our best interests at heart.
We say, punishing us for every small misstep is actually extremely detrimental to our psyches. But nobody listens.
Parents that take disciplinary action against their children for small things build a fear of living in the world into their child, who internalizes that not being perfect is met with worse-case-scenario fiascos. That severely changes the course of the child's life.
Here were some of those brave souls' answers.
Judging A Fish By Its Ability To Ride A Bicycle
In grade 9 I took Spanish in school. In general I was a below average student, but I excelled at Spanish.
The final exam came along and the majority of the class failed. I got 80%. Since so many kids failed, the test was deemed unfair, and so the marks in all the tests were doubled. Some kids still failed. I got 160% on the final test as a result.
So my final mark in Spanish was notably high, and I was incredibly proud. I was not used to getting such good marks.
I took home the test to show my parents, and they got angry at me for focusing too much of my energy on useless classes, and that I must be intentionally slacking off in other classes because if I had the potential to do this good in one, I should excel in them all. I got grounded for not doing as well in other classes. I was also not allowed to take languages, or choose my own classes because it might ruin my education by distracting me.
Instead of raising my marks in other classes, I started purposefully lowering my marks in classes I was doing well in so I wouldn't be pulled out of them or have expectations placed on me that I couldn't meet. In all, my education suffered, and I missed out on a lot of opportunities.
An Abusive Hamster Wheel
My parents required me to let them know where I was at all times. They wouldn't get me a cell phone because they're cheap, so I had to go home and leave a note, or make plans in advance. My friends at school weren't keen on the latter, and they weren't going to wait a half hour for me to walk home, write a note, and come back.
"Well Aperture you handsome devil," you say, "why don't you borrow your friend's phone?" Unfortunately, my parents didn't answer to unfamiliar numbers, and they didn't regularly check their answering machine, because "why would they need to. It's not like I can call them since I have no phone."
"But Aperture you dashing rogue, why don't your friends give you a ride home first?" Well, my dad had this thing about my friends knowing where we live because if something that had happened before.
A few years before, with permission, I invited a bunch of people over for my birthday (including the girl I had a crush on). A few nights before, somebody egged our front door, so the next day my dad made me cancel the whole thing because it must have been one of them, and not an unfortunate coincidence.
Anyway, tangents aside, when my parents gave me sh*t for never going out and doing anything, I explained the problem. Then they told me I was exaggerating, and got angry at me for blaming them.
A Prison Of Corn Flakes
I used to get grounded if I opened another bag of cereal when there was already one open. Like 2 weeks of grounding, no tv, just sitting on the bed with the door open.
My *sshole step dad at the time would always have a bag of corn flakes open and somehow, when it was running low, a new corn flakes bag would be open the next morning before we could open another.
One day, I came home from school and wanted fruity pebbles but there was still corn flakes left. I went to the back yard, poured it over the fence and came back thinking I would get to enjoy some yum yum cereal for once. Halfway through the yard, I look up and my stepdad had come home early and saw me do it because he was standing on the back porch. I've never been more afraid in my life. Grounded for two weeks and doomed to another 6 years of corn flakes.
How Should I Read Your Mind, Mom?!Giphy
One time I came home at curfew. My mother insisted I should have been home an hour earlier even though it was a standard household rule. I was kicked out of the house for over a month and had to finish high school sleeping on the couch at a friend's.
I was in 8th grade and made a MySpace page (all of my friends at school had one, and coming from the religious family that I did, I was never allowed to hang out at friends houses or have friends over, unless they were "church friends," and even then we were always supervised).
Anyway, I had a school friend help me make a MySpace page— which my mother had previously made very clear that she was completely against (there was talk in those days about the dangers of cyber bullying, or kids selling drugs over the internet or something— she had it in her mind that MySpace was bad news).
So, not seeing the harm in it myself and wanting to fit in with the other kids, I thought I would make myself a page, and let her know a week from the day that I made it what I had done and what it was all about, having seen for myself.
I had an email address at the time linked to Outlook on the PC in my room (how I was allowed to have a PC in my room I still don't know— but we had an "open door" policy at my house— I was never allowed to have my bedroom door shut). One day just before summer vacation (and having had the MySpace page just under a week), I came home to learn that my mom had gotten on my computer while I was at school and checked my outlook/ and had seen the emails from MySpace verifying that I had created a page.
She was pissed.
I apologize over and over and tried to explain that I was going to tell her after I'd had the page for a week, but she wouldn't have it.
I spent that entire summer before my freshman year of high school grounded/practically under house arrest— no TV, video games, computer, friends over or going to friends houses— nothing. She claimed it was because she couldn't trust me, but in hindsight it was just a way for her to exert total and unparalleled control over me.
Long story short— my entire childhood was filled with things like this— overblown reactions from my mom at the smallest things which she took as gravely injurious/ personal offenses. Any attempt I ever made to be an individual/ create an identity or have a life that didn't revolve around her was severely punished— if I had an interest, it was her interest too, and before it was mine— having friends was out of the question, too— her jealousy would never allow it— no one was going to take her child from her.
Classic pathological/parental narcissism.
At 27, I'm no longer on speaking terms with her— and I don't plan to ever be again.
Now I Have Adult Fun
Having too much fun.
I was allowed to hang out with friends, but there was an invisible fun meter that my parents kept track of. Once I hit the max amount of fun, I wouldn't be allowed out until my parents decided I was allowed to enjoy life again. The reset time could range anywhere from a day to two weeks, but if I tried asking to go out again before my parents deemed it okay, I would get grounded.
It's Not About You, Mom
When i was 16 i dyed the bottom 10cm of my hair red while my mum was watching tv. She threw a huge fit and cried and screamed because "i can't trust you anymore" "you have ruined your life" "what next?? you'll come home pregnant with tattoos and piercings????"
Also my sister had really long beautiful hair, one day she cut it to shoulder lenght and bangs (she was 18) and my mum didn't stop crying for 3 days straight because "she ruined everyones life".
Don't know what her problem with our hair is.
So I Can't Even Have Fun AND Now I'm Grounded?Giphy
Was grounded once for a weekend when I was 16 because my parents told me to not go into my girlfriend's bedroom during a very family-friendly party my gf's folks were hosting. All the kids were hanging out in my gf's room playing cards, and I was the awkward wallflower standing in the doorway. My mom came upstairs to check on me, and she said my foot was over the threshold into her room. Mom snapped, made a scene, and we left the party.
Eating ground beef, steak was fine, but hamburgers were forbidden until I was 18. Caffeine was also off limits.
Banned words included fart, gas, booger, shut up, zit, anything with butt in it, beer. When we sang 100 bottles of beer on the wall it had to be 100 bottles of milk or else.
Any toy weapon was basically a sin. No squirt guns, no finger guns, no cardboard swords, no whip to go with my Indiana Jones costume. When my mom would drop me at a friends house she would tell the parents I was not allowed to touch any toy weapons which sucked because all my friends had cool nerf guns.
Calm. It. Down.Giphy
I can't describe it exactly, but just being at ease in general. My parents **hated it** when I was just relaxing.
Like, I'm playing my N64 and they walk in the living room once... it's okay, but f*ck I know what's about to come.
They walk in the room twice... oh sh*t, it's about to boil over.
They walk in the room three times and it's like G*DDAMN WHY ARE YOU SO LAZY GO STACK SOME FIREWOOD!!!
I stole that exact quote from South Park but that's kind of how it was. I got in trouble for being idle.
Joke's on you Mom and Dad, my wife and I make more than you ever even thought you might and we watch Netflix and play video games all the time. Just kidding but that's true. I love you but f*ck you for everything you said and did to me. But you're good people, I love you.
Parents Love To Lose Their Minds
I know I'm late to this, but this happened when I was about 7:
I needed glasses from an early age, and I had to always keep them in the case when I wasn't wearing them. One day in the summer, my mom dropped my friend and I off at the local pool to play for the day. To swim, I had taken off my glasses, put them in the case, and stuck the case underneath my towel. When I came back, the case was dented (I guess someone had stepped on it or something) but the glasses were fine. I told my mom what happened when she picked us up, and she lost her absolute mind. You remember how embarrassing it was to have your parents scold you in front of your friends? Times ten.
I still have no idea why she was so mad and I don't really want to bring it up.
It's Because You're Both Jerks
I was chilling at home on a Saturday. My friend calls me and asked if I wanted to go to go watch Spider-Man (2002) opening weekend. I asked my mom. She went off on how I don't do anything and then calls my dad to go take me to work.
That event and others made me not want to go out my whole high school life because I felt like I was going to get in trouble. Then once I was 18 they asked me why I never went out or was more out going like bros, really!?
Me and my brother would stay at our father's house for the entire month of July as kids (parents divorced) and we only had two friends in our father's neighborhood. If we would spend more than 3 hours hanging out with the friends, we would get guilted and sometimes grounded for "taking away time with father."
This would extend to many things. Since we primarily lived with our mother in a town 30ish miles away, if I was involved in sports (for me, soccer), I would miss maybe 5 days in the 31 days of July to do soccer practice, when I would return to my father's, I would be in trouble for taking away his time. His punishment was usually ignoring me and instinctively saying "no" to any request I would make. Also, while my brother was odd and did not listen to music, I was a huge music fan as a kid but we were forbidden to listen to music at our father's. I remember discovering that my digital clock also had a radio tuner in it and got caught listening to music and was grounded and the clock was removed for the whole summer. Dad sucked.
Everybody Needs To Calm Down
Once, I spent the day at the State Fair with my best friend and her family. I was there from 10am ish till it was dark out (in the summer). I got grounded for letting her parents buy me lunch.
Another time, a friend of mine from school couldn't pay for her school lunch, so I used my mom's card ($5 total). I told her as soon as I got home, and she started screaming about how I'm an ungrateful b*tch and that she should kick me out of the house so I learn to be less selfish. Granted I shouldn't have used her money without asking, but I still feel like it was an overreaction.
Rub It In
Went to a private (catholic) middle school. In 7th grade religion class, I forgot about a take-home quiz; got a 17 from the questions I answered while the teacher was collecting it. School policy is to get it signed by parent/guardian when you score under 70. Mom signed it, grounded me, and I returned it the next day (which was the last day before Christmas/Holiday break).
One month later, my teacher remembered she had the signed paper and gave it back to me.
Now, because of the quiz, my mother would search my bag every day. I didn't see the need to hide the quiz because she already signed it. Well, she found it, and accused me of forging her signature. I was STILL grounded from when she first signed it. My dad was thankfully on my side.
Here's the kicker: I have suffered from CMT (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease) all my life. It's a degenerative neuromuscular disorder that primarily affects my legs and arms. The important detail here is my penmanship: it's catastrophic. I can't even duplicate my own signature, so I mostly just scribble after the first letter. My mother knows ALL of this; in fact, she's been my number one advocate my whole life when it comes to my disabilities.
It's been 13 years and she still insists that I forged it.
Not Everyone Is You, Prudence
I was grounded once for probably the dumbest thing I've ever gotten in trouble for. I wanted to leave school at lunch to go get fries, and needed a note. My mom put on the note that I had permission to go with Nicole Johnstone, however my friends name was actually Nikki. My mom lost it when I tried to correct her because it was inconceivable to her that someone would name their kid something like Nikki.