Growing up in your parents’ house basically means it’s their way or the highway. And for people with strict parents, that translated into a lot of rules.
After Redditor alfred_the_whale asked “What’s the weirdest rule you had in your home growing up?” people shared all the strange things that their parents wanted them to do and not do during their childhoods.
Here are some of the nuttiest. Aren’t you glad we’re all grown up?
1. This complete and total ban on seasoning.
Salt was for guests only. The actual use of spices was very very looked down on and seen as a huge insult to my mom and dad even though they were absolutely horrid cooks.
2. This smart way to end persistent questioning.
My dad made up a rule to stop my big brother from asking about getting a dog every ten seconds. We had neighbors on both sides who had dogs, so the rule was that only every other house could have a dog. My brother believed it for a looonnnngg time.
3. This mom’s ideas about leading someone on.
I couldn’t recline or lay my body down AT ALL if my boyfriend was over. My mom thought that me laying down would give them “thoughts” so I couldn’t do it. Once I put my feet up on the couch while my FIANCÉ was over and my mom got pissed and thought I was trying to turn him on.
4. This awful death probably isn’t possible (but maybe we shouldn’t take any chances from here on out…).
My grandmother said not to shit during a lightning storm because a bolt of lightning might strike the pipe and electrocute me.
5. This mom’s sunny outlook on her child’s future.
I wasn’t allowed to put sugar in my tea because my mum told me that when you go to prison they don’t let you have sugar, so it will make prison that much harder.
Thanks for having so much faith in me mum.
I’m pretty sure you are allowed sugar for your tea in prison.
6. This man’s bun privilege (but not a man-bun privilege!).
My dad had diverticulosis (pockets in the intestine) and couldn’t eat sesame seeds (among other things). When we would eat fast food sandwiches, everyone had to give their bottom buns to Dad, in exchange for his top buns. So all my life I grew up eating burgers with 2 top, seeded buns.
This was never explained, and it was from before I born, so it was literally when I was in college that I realized that it wasn’t normal. I thought it was just Dad-Privilege TM to have 2 bottom buns.
7. This declaration left no room for emergencies.
No pooping or peeing within the hours of 2:00 to 4:00
8. This household’s attempt to make food-grabbing a fair game.
At my friend’s house, they had a “no pizza-balling” rule.
There were 3 teenage brothers and when they ordered pizzas (at least a couple larges), tempers flared quickly when people would try to grab as many slices as they could.
The first rule in place was that you couldn’t have more than one slice at a time, and you could grab another once you had the last bite in your mouth. But one of the brothers quickly figured it out that if you ball up a slice he could fit it in his mouth and grab another one. Hence, no pizza-balling.
9. This severe directive.
If you come home at night and the doors locked (even if I have a key ) find somewhere else to sleep.
10. This mom being a control freak about her child’s spending.
I could only buy things if I was buying them for a birthday or Christmas gift for somebody else. Mind you, this was my own money I earned from my job. My mom knew how long it took to get home from school, so if I stopped at the store, she knew and I’d be in trouble.
11. This ridiculously early bedtime.
Bedtime was 7 pm until I was in my teens. I didn’t realize other kids had much later bedtime until I was a teenager. I think it was mostly because my mum’s favorite soapy comes on at 7 pm… We were noisy kids
12. This positively effing wonderful decree.
Cursing Thursdays. You could say whatever you wanted with no consequences. Had someone stay over who knew the rule, opened my parent’s bedroom and said “goodnight motherfuckers”
13. This mom’s war on the war on drugs.
If the DARE officer at school shows you something and it smells familiar, say NOTHING. I will explain it later. Also, If mom’s room smells like incense, it is the best time to ask for something.
14. This dad’s confusion about where they lived.
“I wasn’t allowed to wear my hat backward because my dad thought that it was a gang thing. Mind you, this was in rural Wisconsin in the ’90s. My parents are wonderful people, they just may not have had the best understanding of the world at that time.”
15. This fancy weirdness.
We had silverware with roses on it. Our thumbs had to be on the rose when we used the utensils or we’d have to “practice” after dinner.
Utensils couldn’t make any noise against your teeth or you’d have to practice after dinner.
16. This mom’s hilarious take on horror movies.
We could watch Freddy movies but not Jason movies bc my mom thought Friday the 13th was “satanic” but Nightmare on Elm Street movies was just for fun.
17. This mom’s design dictatorship.
I wasn’t allowed to put any personal touches in my room. No posters, paint colors, pictures of my friends, or any sort of choices – not even my comforter. It was all decorated to my mother’s specifications.
18. This dad’s milk-slurping prohibition.
I wasn’t allowed to drink the milk leftover after eating cereal. Never really got an explanation but my dad would yell if I tried…
19. These people’s aversion to pronouns.
My parents acted like referring to them as “he” or “she” while they were in the room was the equivalent of saying “fuck you”. So referring to my parents with pronouns was effectively not allowed.
20. This Native American superstition.
Not allowed to whistle at night. Was told that you’d hear one back from someone who isn’t there.
Clarification: My mother is Native American, so we have a few superstitions like that. House isn’t haunted. Parents aren’t schizo. Just mild superstition.
21. This cookie ordinance.
After-school treat time was the only time we could have cookies, and we could only have three. It’s not too weird a rule, but it had a significant impact. I’m 50 now and will still have exactly three cookies whenever I have cookies.”
22. This obvious infringement on free speech (and fun).
“We couldn’t say the word ‘fart.’ Ever. It was up there with the f-word as far as bad words in my parents’ world.”
23. This household’s obvious abhorrence to laundry.
“We were only allowed one clean towel a week. We could do whatever we wanted with it, but we didn’t get another clean one until the next week.”
24. This poison paranoia.
“I was never allowed to leave a drink in the car because, according to my mother, ‘someone could poison it.’ She’s always been overly paranoid about safety, but that rule is still my favorite.”
25. This kid’s funny failure to grasp the root of the rule.
“This wasn’t me, but my friend/neighbor: When my dad would get home from work, my friend would have to go home. His parents told him that because that meant it was dinnertime and therefore he should come home; however, him being a child, didn’t grasp that portion of the rule. He only understood ‘come home when the dad gets home.’ This translated in my friend being terrified of my father. If he saw my dad turning into the driveway, he would drop whatever we were doing and sprint home.”
26. And this clear invitation to make up things about video games you wanted to play.
“No violent video games UNLESS they were ‘about history.'”