Unsplash | Bogdan Yukhymchuk

People Reveal The Weirdest House Rules They Had To Follow As Children

Everyone's upbringing is different. Some parents have very strict rules, and others take a more laissez-faire approach to raising children. Either approach can work for different children; however, some parents can employ very strange rules.

One person took to Reddit to ask people what some of the weirder rules people had to follow were, by asking, "What was a house rule you had as a kid that you thought was completely normal until you grew up and realized not all households followed?"

Below, please find a collection of some of the strangest, most baffling, and occasionally funniest responses that the question received.

Hide And Seek, But With Punching?

Unsplash | Bogdan Yukhymchuk

"If you couldn't find something, and you asked someone for help (sibling or parent) and they found it for you, they got to punch you in the arm." — dahaoab

That seems like a surefire way to encourage children to feel comfortable asking for help when they need it. Well done.

Eating In Silence

Unsplash | Christiann Koepke

"My father never let us talk around the dinner table. Once when I was 15 I asked everyone around the table how they were doing and how their day was. My dad got up angrily after hurriedly finishing his meal and said: 'I can't stand people talking around a meal if I wanted to talk to you I would.' We finished our meal in silence." — Morb2

This person's father sounds like a wonderfully rude person. If they were so against talking while eating, then they should eat on their own, I'm sure everyone would be more happy with that arrangement.

"Night Night Bell"

Unsplash | Luís Perdigão

"When I was really young I had a 'night night bell'. It was this old clay bell(?) that hung in the kitchen, and when I had to go to bed I got to ring the bell and everyone would come say goodnight and then I would go to bed. Not really a rule, but a weird little ritual in our house." — motorbike-t

This one is adorable. I actually had a friend who used to sound a gong for when they were having their dinner, it was small but deceptively loud!

Murder Quota


"My dad made a rule that I had to kill seven flies a day during my summer break." — mosaicevolution

This person went on to explain that they would keep the bodies throughout the day to show to their dad later on. This is one hell of an effective way to raise a serial killer.

Waiting Till Morning

Unsplash | Martin Kníže

"When I was going out for a party as a teenager, I had to choose between coming back home at 1 am or waiting until 7 am. I can tell you that I slept many nights drunk in the garden, waiting to have the right to enter my house." -sousmar1


Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

"My mum used to pay me to be my own babysitter between the ages of 10-14 or so. The rule was that as long as I didn't make a mess and I'd put myself to bed by the time she got home then I got $10 in the morning." — anxiousjellybean

I'm not too sure how I feel about this one. I mean, it must have been quite cool as a kid as you could get up to all sorts, but also pretty dangerous.

Zero Tolerance For Injuries

Unsplash | Bradley Dunn

"If I got hurt doing a certain activity I wasn't allowed to do that activity again.

"My mother ended that rule though when I broke my wrist snowboarding when I was 16 and didn't tell her until a month later when I couldn’t move my wrist at all and it required surgery with a bone graft to repair." — _njhiker

A lot of people shared similar stories about this sort of rule. The most popular injury-inducing activity that people were banned from was skateboarding.

Assemble The Council

Unsplash | Gabriel Gurrola

"We had 'family council' every Sunday night after dinner. We would sit and say good things that happened that week, share our grievances if we had any (we always did), make a dinner menu, and assign chores.

"Frankly, it was stellar parenting. Though, if I mention it to my mother now, she will brag about it for a solid 20 minutes before we can move on." — Illarie

While it might seem a little strange to some people to have a 'council' meeting for your family, I can imagine that this built up a good atmosphere in the home.

The Four Commandments

Unsplash | Samantha Gades

"I had SUPER laid back parents but there were a few certain things that they were randomly crazy strict about. No gum. No play-doh. No cereal with sugar as one of the top 3 ingredients. No Simpsons.

"I had basically no rules growing up, but those four things would make them lose their goddamn minds. I still get anxious when I’m chewing gum and I’m 35." — SiFiWiRi

I cannot imagine a childhood without The Simpsons! Apparently, this person's mother found Bart to be too "disrespectful".

No Eating At The Table

Unsplash | Louis Hansel

"If you don't get A's you don't eat at the table. I legit thought this was normal until I had dinner at a friends' house and my friend brought home a devastating report card. His parents were so supportive and loving.." — GreatGooseGimbo

This is absolutely horrific. There is pushing your children to do better in a healthy way, but this is just mean. They went on to say that they had to eat in their room or in the laundry room in such instances.

Belly Button Lint

Flickr | WilsonTwins

"My mom would make my sister and I lay on the couch and clean our belly-button with a Q-tip every morning before school." -30Crabapple

No Curfew

Unsplash | Anubhav Saxena

"No curfew as long as I told my mom where I would be. I was always honest bcs I loved being 16 with no curfew." — Ushouldknowthat

That shows an incredible amount of trust between parent and child.

Stringent TV Regulations

Unsplash | Aleks Dorohovich

"We weren't allowed to watch anything remotely sexual like if people were kissing on-screen my mom would freak out and run to cover the TV with a pillow and go 'blah blah cough cough' loudly until it was over.

"Once I tried to see a pg13 movie with my friends and my mom cried and my dad called me horrible for making her cry. I was 14." — Dameunbatido

This is a bit extreme, to say the least. Sheltering your kids from the world like this can actually have negative effects on their growth.

Skip School

Unsplash | Feliphe Schiarolli

"Maybe it's not a 'house' rule. But when I was six my mom told me that if a behaved she would let me skip school on Saturdays and Sundays. One day my teacher said 'see ya Monday' and I knew." — missdontcare_

I think that everyone must have had a boss at some point who thought it was hilarious to make a joke like this. Something to the effect of, "Take two days off for all your hard work this week."

No Sleeping In Bed

Instagram | penybanc_fields

"When I was sick I couldn't be in my bed because it would make it dirty. My mom put a towel in a corner on the hardwood floor and I had to stay there until she dee!ed me better enough to use my bed." — Zenosparadox1

This person went on to say that they would never dream of treating anyone in their family like this. Sick children need to be cared for, not cast into the corner to sleep on a wooden floor.

No Adverts!

Unsplash | Loewe Technologies

"My mom freaks out about hearing commercials on TV. The second it goes to commercial break it has to be muted. She also mutes it if she thinks it's about to go to commercial, even though sometimes she's wrong. And she doesn't really pay attention, so she doesn't notice a lot of the time when the commercials are over so she leaves it on mute when the show is back on. It's very difficult to watch TV with her." — code_name_jellyfish

Blanket Table

Chad Madden | Unsplash

"My family had a thing we called the food blanket. When we'd eat casual meals, we'd lay a blanket on the living room floor and eat on it, like a picnic. My parents didn't want to get any food on the carpet. Instead of 'set the table,' my mom would say, 'go lay out the blanket.' I remember being really confused when I learned every family didn’t have a food blanket." — llamallama-duck

As it turned out, a lot of people commented to say that they did this sort of thing as well. I can't say it happened in our house, but it sounds adorable as hell!

Where Can I Wash My Hands?

Unsplash | Catt Liu

"Not mine but my mother in law and her sister will fuss at you if you wash your hands in the kitchen sink. I think that's weird. If there's a sink and some hand soap I say wash away. My wife isn't like that." — singuslarity

A lot of people commented that they saw the logic behind this one. There were many people explaining that the kitchen sink is for food and dishes only.

No Walking On Certain Areas Of The Carpet

Unsplash | Annie Spratt

"We weren't allowed to walk in our dining room unless we were using the room for a special occasion. The carpet always had that 'just vacuumed' look so it was a dead giveaway if anyone walked across it." — secretagentsquirrel1

I can see the reasoning of not treading dirty shoes through carpeted areas, but if you're in socks then it should be fine surely?


Unsplash | nrd

"We weren't allowed to get into the fridge or the cabinets without asking permission. My family was very poor and we had a limited food budget, so eating something without permission very possibly meant eating one ingredient of a meal my step mother was planning on cooking within the next few days.

"I went to friends' houses and they just ate whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted." — badhairguy

This one actually makes sense in the context of the reasoning behind it. If they had more money but were still not allowed to eat, then that would be weirder.

Whistling Restriction

"No whistling!!" — bepisbabey

I was never allowed to whistle under any circumstances growing up as my mother cannot stand the sound of whistling. It was strangely freeing being able to whistle when I moved out.


Unsplash | Marvin Meyer

"Every Tuesday and Thursday, my parents wouldn’t allow us kids to use electronics in any shape or form.

I thought there was some kind of law against using electronics on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When I was actually old enough to decide to question the rule, my dad told me the truth and I was shocked." -AHerribleSpeler

Off The Couch

Unsplash | NeONBRAND

"I wasn't allowed to use any of the furniture. We had a beautiful dining table, couch, easy chairs, etc., but I watched TV and ate dinner sitting on the floor. I thought furniture was largely for decorative purposes to an embarrassingly late age." -LiteraryMisfit

No Playing Out Front

Unsplash | Sven Brandsma

"No rollerblading in the driveway, and no playing in the front yard. My dad was extremely anal about keeping everything perfect looking. I also had to take my shoes off before I got into his truck and set my shoes on a separate mat in the back." -sampage89

No Flushing

Unsplash | Kolar.io

"We lived in a small house with three bedrooms on the top floor and one bathroom. This was the only bathroom in the house.

Once my dad had gone to bed we were not under any circumstances allowed to flush the toilet. Even if it was for a number 2.

It’s been a really hard one to grow out of, and even now If I use the bathroom in the night I have to remind myself this is my apartment and I can do what I want." -philliamm96

Happy Birthday

Unsplash | Adi Goldstein

"My parents straight convinced me that it was up to them whether I had a birthday and therefore would progress to the next age." -ristianchrathke

The Rake

Unsplash | Ran Berkovich

"My parents entertained a lot, so we had a fancy living room we couldn’t enter. If there were any footprints on the carpet, my mom would make us rake the entire carpet with this special plastic rake. We soon learned after we would run through it, to just rake the footprints before she saw them." -VariousFeedback0

Goodbye. I love you

Unsplash | Matt Popovich

"If we had fought/etc, matter how upset we were at each other, we always said I love you and goodbye if someone had to leave.

My parents were cops so they never wanted to leave us with bad last words just in case." -briibeezieee

Cutting Nails

Unsplash | Brett Jordan

"No cutting your nails on Sunday. It was bad luck. No real lined out repercussions just bad luck. Honestly, I still don’t cut my nails on Sundays. I think it’s just ingrained in my personality at this point." -DorkWng

No Showering Alone

Bence Balla-Schottner | Unsplash

"I wasn't allowed to take a shower if I was home alone.

"I also learned at age 7 that other households closed the bathroom door when using the toilet and keeping it open was weird. I learned that by keeping the door open at a friend's house, a friend walked by the bathroom, saw me, told their mom, their mom called my mom, and all of a sudden the new house rule was we close the bathroom door when using the toilet." — gothchrysallis

Not being allowed to take a shower when you're home alone is actually quite a common rule for parents to enforce apparently. However, not being allowed to close the bathroom door is definitely not common!