When you are younger having strict parents seems like the worst possible thing to have. You were never allowed to do any of the cool stuff like stay at the park till the street lights came on or go to any sleepovers.
But once you get older, most the stuff your parents forbid you from doing become the things you rather not do anyway. So, thanks Mom and Dad (even when y’all did take it a little overboard).
The following Ask Redditors shared their worst ‘strict parents’ stories.
Curious of more stories? You can find the original thread source at the end of the article.
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 less than 10 mins). My mom demanded I start walking to school, or she’d report me to the cops as truant. We argued. The T.V said school started late that day but I decided to go anyways,because I figured that would be better then the arguing.
My mom then decided I was to stay home for her to call the cops. I shoved past her, to 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. That day I promised myself I’d leave home as soon as possible. I’ve stayed halfway across the country from my mom ever since.
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. Finally I got to use public restrooms without punishment when I went to college (no, I’m not kidding. But 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?)
I got grounded from and end of year party (I was 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 was never allowed to do ANYTHING and I had been looking forward to it all year.
I had the perfect dress to wear because my Aunt’s (via marriage) mother had taken me shopping and bought this cool dress that made me feel like Molly freaking 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 the party I’m bawling. I’m a good kid. I try to be PERFECT every waking moment…now I’m grounded from my best friend’s party.
The mom of my best friend knows how tough it is at home. I’m screamed at, belittled, hit all the time. This party was a beacon.
Arlene (my best friend’s mother) barges in my house. Tells me to get ready and get my stuff together because I’ll be spending the night. My mom protests.
“How about I call child protective services about the 50 cats in your house?”
I go to the party and Arlene teaches me to stick up for myself.
I dealt with a narcissistic and abusive mother. Most of my punishments weren’t huge because I was a really good kid, but on my 18th birthday, because I asked for gas money the day before (the first time EVER), she took mine and her car keys with her to work, and took the shed key (no garage) so I couldn’t even ride my bike, and left a note on the kitchen table saying “happy 18th, now you’re an adult so get out of my house.” I spent my birthday alone, trapped, and miserable – all over $10.
I have since moved out after being kicked out on and off for about a year. I am going on 23 this year and left at 19.
I have no contact with her and never want to ever again.
She had the right to take the car and it was not grand theft auto as the car was registered and titled in her name. But that was something she did on purpose to be able to take the car whenever she wanted.
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 4-year-old head, rather than avoid name-calling, I 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.
My mother is a malignant narcissist, so the rules in my childhood home went from bad to straight up disturbing.
You could only shower twice a week. We lived on a pig farm. I loathed that rule.
I had to wear my clothes at least 2-3 days in a row, regardless of playing outside, working or getting dirty. School was not fun, but I did get in a system where I wore different clothes underneath and shed the outer layers on the bus. Eventually in my later teens she slightly loosened this rule.
No phone calls. If my friends ever called I almost always had to say, “I will see you at school” and hang up.
There was a clean your plate rule. I wouldn’t give a dog what my mother cooked. If I wasn’t finished my meal first she would grab my chair and throw it across the room. I then had to take my plate and go to the chair to finish my meal. I never stood a chance, my siblings could inhale a buffet like a vacuum and she always gave them whatever portions looked the most appetizing first. They were of course allowed to belittle me when this happened.
- If I wasn’t the first person in the kitchen in the morning to set up breakfast I would have to take my clothes off and eat naked while everyone else ridiculed me. My father worked 16 hours a day on the farm and wasn’t around for most of this. When he saw it one day he put an immediate stop to it. The damage was done though. Again, the game was rigged for me to lose. I had severe insomnia for years, laying awake every night for hours going over and over about whatever crap had happened that day and how to fight the next crazy storm coming. I could never wake up in the mornings and just bound out of bed. We were not allowed to set our own alarm clocks, so as soon as the signal went off the rest were already half way down the stairs before I even realized what was going on.
I was not allowed to watch the endings of T.V shows or movies, and what we watched was strictly controlled. This is one that actually left huge mental scars for years. It may seem petty, but it’s also been well proven that children grow much more attached to a story line in T.V and films than adults do. I NEED to know how that last plot twist ends, even if to an adult it is cheesy and predictable. My mother knew this and would always barge into the den at the cliff hangar commercial break and turn off the T.V. It was a form of hijacking information to deliberately keep me confused and reinforcing her absolute control over every aspect of my life.
To this day I find T.V shows I watched as a child and binge the series, just to see how each episode ends.
The word “disgusting” was banned and could have been considered just as bad as saying the F word.
We weren’t allowed to close doors unless we were in the bathroom.
We weren’t allowed to watch cartoon network because it was “garbage.” My parents actually put a parental lock on cartoon network.
The worst punishment was when they decided that we were such bad kids 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. My sister was 14 and I was 12. All of my childhood memorabilia, pictures, clothes, diaries, everything – we burned 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. Out of this world.
I graduated from high school early at 16 and didn’t go to college immediately so I worked a part time job while all my friends went to school. Anyways, when all my friends graduated high school we celebrated by going to the movies.
My friend’s mom dropped us off and another friend’s father was going to be picking us up. My mom was very upset at me going to the movies since it wasn’t going to be over until after 9pm which was my bedtime at the time. Finally she lets me go on the condition that my friend’s dad gets me home by 10pm sharp.
My friend’s father ran into late night construction on the way home with me and several other friends in the van and the closer it got to 10pm the more I started freaking out. Telling everyone I was going to be in huge trouble if I didn’t get home like, RIGHT NOW. My friends father assured me he would speak to my mom and all would be fine.
I was the first be be dropped off because I was panicking so severely. The moment the van pulls into the driveway my mom comes barreling out of the house telling me she was going to kick my butt for being late and keeping her up.
My friend’s dad tries to calm her down and separate her from hitting me, that is when she realizes I’m chewing gum…
Now my mother HATED gum. She said the only reason you would ever chew gum was to hide something. So naturally she makes the assumption that I was late and chewing gum because I was busy sucking my friends dad’s penis. Yup. That was the only explanation in her mind.
She grounded me for 12 weeks. An entire summer. I wasn’t allowed to have a phone, cell phone, T.V or books the entire summer. Every morning my mom would take the cable box, home phone handset, and keyboard to make sure I couldn’t do anything.
Needless to say my friends never invited me anywhere again in fear that my mom would call the cops and accuse me of sucking their dad’s penis.
She also used to report my car stolen if I didn’t call her back when I was in college.
As the eldest son of a southern Baptist preacher, I was held to some high standards. Being seen and not heard, and that my every action was a reflection of my father as a leader to his congregation.
I found music to be a great outlet, but of course any non-Christian music was not allowed and immediately destroyed upon discovery. ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child’ was a mantra ingrained in my daily life.
Once I was into my teens and spankings with stretched out coat hangers was no longer enough to be considered punishment due to my lack of tears, my father moved on to shaving my head. Nothing like the constant reminder of how unworthy one is once their physical source of personal identity is forcibly removed.
I had all the usual punishments.
No video games for a week, no T.V for X amount of nights, no pocket money this week, groundings – you name it, I probably had it at one point or another. One particular punishment tops the rest though, for creativity and cruelty.
One day I was at a friend’s place with my parents, and discovered that if we opened his bedroom window ALL the way, we could squeeze out of it and climb onto his roof. His bedroom was on the second floor of their house and they lived on top of a hill, so if we had fallen, we would have fallen probably 7-8 metres, then tumbled another 20-30 metres to the bottom of the hill.
Anyway, both sets of parents walk outside at one point and hear us talking, from the roof. They flip their lids and call us back inside. We scramble back into his bedroom and are sitting there terrified when our parents storm in.
We get called down into the kitchen and are told to sit down at the kitchen table and await our punishment. My friend’s dad opens up the pantry and starts pulling things out – things to make a sandwich.
Then it hits us like a ton of bricks. Our punishment is to eat a sandwich made of the most ill-complimenting, grotesque food combinations that he had at his disposal.
The final product ended up being an unholy blend of Vegemite, oysters, anchovies, cheese, creamed corn, raw beef mince and hot english mustard.
I actually don’t really recall what it tasted like, other than being awful. Looking back on it as an adult, I reckon it was just as much for their entertainment than our punishment, but damn if it wasn’t creative.
As punishment, my dad would make us face a corner, stand on one leg and keep both arms straight up in the air for a certain length of time. If our leg or arms went down, he’d double the time. Sometimes he’d give you a surprise visit from his belt or shoe if he was particularly pissed. At least I grew up to have fantastic balance.