People Who Grew Up In Strict Households Detail Their Craziest Rules Or Punishments

A crying kid
Unsplash | Luz Fuertes

Every family is different, and as a result, everyone grows up a little bit differently. Some folks grew up in permissive households, while others had parents who were incredibly strict.

We're not here to debate which is the better path. We're just here for the stories. An r/AskReddit thread on the topic asked Redditors who grew up with strict parents about some of the stuff they had to deal with.

This could be a sneaky way to avoid homework.

A kid doing homework
Unsplash | Compare Fibre

"When I was a kid, I had dysgraphia, but my parents didn't know that. So I used to take time to do my homework. My mom would threaten to throw my homework out the window if I wasn't done by a certain time. I lived in an apartment block and this window was into a service shaft."


When you're grounded for the bulk of your childhood.

Angry-looking kid wearing a bike helmet
Unsplash | Mick Haupt

"My parents were more strict than the average parents and any deviation from what they deemed as normal resulted in grounding. So I would go to venture each year there was about 1.5-2 total months grounded.

The worst is when I stayed with them over summer during my undergraduate years, I had a bed time and a curfew."


Computer time could get pretty competitive.

A desktop PC setup
Unsplash | Alienware

"One hour of computer time a day judged to the second , when the hour was up the computer was turned off at the wall and the computer was plugged into an extension cable that ran to the lounge so I got exactly zero warning when the time was up. My step father would stand next to the power switch and turn it off when the second hand hit the hour regardless of what I was doing."


When an intense new rule comes out of nowhere.

An open door
Unsplash | Phil

"My mom was never really crazy strict but one day she started making us close all the doors in the house and it became a new rule. My sister got yelled at and punished for not closing the bedroom door when she left. If any door was open then someone was getting yelled at."


When you grow up in a no-magic household.

Person doing a magic trick with playing cards on fire
Unsplash | Julius Drost

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


Would he have been okay with paper straws?

Plastic straws in various colors
Unsplash | FLY:D

"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.'"


When you're strict with a grown adult.

A landline phone
Unsplash | Annie Spratt

"My mom was lax and dad was strict, so I didn't get anything too annoying until they divorced and dad remarried to someone more in-line with his parenting ideas. They wouldn't let me have my phone on the main floor of their house.

...Which would be understandable if I wasn't 23, a store manager/keyholder, and required to remain within reach. I moved to mom's house instead until I'd saved enough money to live on my own."


Not sure what she was going for here.

Clothes hanging in a closet
Unsplash | piotr szulawski

"I got caught kissing a boy at school when I was 12. My mom took all my clothes away, which I have always been very particular about, and only let me wear solid color long sleeve thermals and jeans to school."


When they micromanage your hydration.

A glass of water
Unsplash | KOBU Agency

"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. Idk what she possibly thought I was doing but no more bathroom water and I had to drink lukewarm peasant water like the rest of my family."


Bad times at Bubba Gump.

Bubba Gump sign
Wikimedia Commons | Tobias Kleinlercher / Wikipedia

"Once said 'whatever' to my dad in a Bubba Gumps restaurant on vacation in Hawaii, he proceeded to scream at me, and yelled at me to 'get out' of the restaurant. I just sat there, mortified and he left instead."


I guess they failed Japanese class that year.

Japanese text on a banner
Unsplash | 金金 陶

"I wasn't allowed to message people in Japanese(because my mom couldn't understand it, and was therefore convinced anything I sent in Japanese was something negative about her). I couldn't even message anything in Japanese to study for my Japanese class. Absolutely no exceptions."


Banned from your own bedroom.

A kid's bedroom
Unsplash | Kenny Eliason

"We weren't allowed to have food upstairs, but I had food wrappers in my trash can so they searched my whole room, ripping clothes off hangers, throwing stuff out of drawers, etc, and for 3 months I wasn't allowed in my room for ANYTHING unless accompanied by one of them. I slept on the couch."


I think that's what they call malicious compliance.

Kid writing on a paper
Unsplash | Greg Rosenke

"My grandmother was a retired English teacher. One day, I called my brother stupid (I was four or so). She filled me in on her rule that, if I couldn't spell 'stupid' but I called someone 'stupid,' then it was really me that was stupid. Thus, I should never call someone a name that I couldn't spell. So in my four-year-old head, rather than avoid name-calling, realized that I DID know how to spell 'dumb,' so that word must be permitted. I spent the rest of the day over-using the word 'dumb' and she wasn't quite sure what to do at that point."


When they just keep moving the goalposts.

Two hands touching while holding cups of coffee
Unsplash | Jonathan J. Castellon

"When I was 13: No dating until uni When I was 18: No dating until I finish uni When I am 20 and about to graduate: No dating unless its someone I choose for you. WTF??!"


Surely that wasn't necessary.

A thermometer
Unsplash | Bianca Ackermann

"One day, the news said school might be closed for a cold day (like a snow day, but for when it's cold enough your exposed skin freezes in <10 mins). My mom demanded I start walking to school, or she'd report me to the cops as truant. We argued. TV said school started late that day. I decided to go anyways, that being better than the arguing. She then decided I was to stay home for her to call the cops. I shoved past her, which she yelled at me was assault, and then locked me out of the house. Halfway to school, I was told the school was closed. I had to call my dad to be let in the house again."


No eye contact either, presumably.

An empty kitchen table
Unsplash | Regular Man

"No talking at the dinner table other than the occasional 'Do you want some (more) of ___ or please pass the ___'

We could not talk about anything at all. No small/idle chat was allowed. First time you did it, you got yelled at. Second time was a whooping and then sent to your room, until the next day, without the rest of your meal."


Getting a B isn't even that bad.

A kid doing homework
Unsplash | Annie Spratt

"My parents once grounded me for 2 years for getting a B on my report card. 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, and at that point they had actually forgotten what they grounded me for, but refused because 'I must have done something bad if they grounded me.'"


When your parents have weird hangups.

Sign for a public washroom
Unsplash | Tapan Kumar Choudhury

"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 (not on site) 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."


This one's pretty messed up.

Silhouette of person watching a large fire
Unsplash | Adam Wilson

"The worst punishment was one time they decided that we were such bad kids (my sister was like 14, I was 12ish) that they took everything we owned and bagged it up into garbage bags and made us carry them out to a burn pile and they burnt everything we owned. All of my childhood memorabilia, pictures, clothes, diaries, everything. Burnt it all. When it was done burning the next day or so later my sister and I looked through the ashes and all that was left were 2 silver rings of hers that we cleaned off and kept."


When getting it right means getting it wrong.

A crying kid
Unsplash | Luz Fuertes

"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. Turns 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 having to completely erase an old homework assignment in order to have a sheet of paper to start over on... I'm 22 now and still give him crap about this."