86 Weird And Disturbing Rules Parents Had Their Children Follow
Every family has its own little quirks. That becomes all too obvious when strangers come to live together at some point in their lives. Think of roommates or partners who suddenly realize the most basic daily things, as well as things people think of as normal and acceptable, vary. And they vary greatly.
No wonder people grow up and realize not everything that went down in their parents’ home was actually normal. Insane cases, family rules, habits, and customs can be super weird.
Think of parents who don’t let their children laugh while lying down or kids who were allowed to take just one quick weekly shower; these are among the countless debatable family rules people confessed in these online threads.
#1My Dad would ground us if the toilet paper was put on incorrectly. He wants it to go under. Now that I'm married and in my own house it always goes over.
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#2I had to chew my food 50 times before swallowing. It is harder than it sounds. Eating soup was a bastard.
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#3No Harry Potter, because of all the wizards.
Now, I could understand the rule except for one thing, I was allowed to play DnD, read LotR, have friends who were literally occultists. But no Harry Potter.
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#4We couldn't eat the butter until we turned 13; only margarine.
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#5I wasn't allowed to date black people darker than me.
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#6Not my family, but my best friend's family would always rinse their ice off with water before they poured their beverage in the glass to "wash off the mechanical bugs"
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#7My mom wouldn't let me touch my brother. A side hug was ok for pictures and making up after a fight but no cuddly stuff. And her definition of cuddly was him leaning on me on the couch when he's sick. He's 5 years younger than me and we rarely got along so anything like that was rare. It kind of messed with me when I was younger, she made me feel like I was being a pervert but I still had no idea what I was doing. Once on a car trip (I was super sick with whooping cough) I was sprawled across the back seat and my head was touching my brother's leg. She flipped out. "No. No. That's not right. Not ok. Get on your side." He was 10! I was 15! WTF mom??
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#8Had to recite the bill of rights verbatim before getting allowance.
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#9Mom's parents didn't let their children laugh while lying down. Whenever someone made a joke, if anyone was lying down, they had to sit up and laugh.
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#10I wasn't allowed to sit on my bed. I would get into trouble if my friends sat on my bed and crumpled he sheets. They had to stay looking crisp and ironed which is near impossible.
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#11I was told that my friends could not sleep over because they may murder me and my family. My parents have always come up with weird excuses to avoid having an honest conversation.
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#12When I was 14 my mum banned me from taking selfies. Said they were unnecessary and self absorbed. This was in 2009 and I hated her for it, all my friends were posting cute 'camera in the bathroom mirror' pictures and I couldn't. Now I am grateful because those pictures are cringey af.
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#13We had to take naps on Sunday. Every Sunday. Now that I'm older I realize that was the only chance my parents had to bang.
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#14I can't leave the house after sneezing and I can't do anything new on Tuesdays because I was born on a Tuesday. Crazy superstitions that my mom refuses to let go.
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#15No wearing clothes that fit, everything I owned was a couple sizes too big because 'I grew so quickly.'
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#16Change into your pyjamas as soon as you get back from school.
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#17Could only have half a glass of milk at a time. I could drink that and then have another half glass. But not a full glass. I was told it was because milk is expensive and they didn't want it wasted.
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#18Not being allowed to cut our hair...it was down nearly to our knees (it was not religious OR cultural, just, idk). Then my mom let my younger sisters cut theirs but I still wasn't allowed. When I turned 18 and finally could, the hair stylist said I had over a foot of split ends she took off.
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#19January was sugar free month. But December 31st was eat as much f*****g sugar as your body will allow.
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#20If we were naughty, we had to stare down the toilet.
Worked a treat - humiliating, non-physical, and in hindsight pretty f*****g funny. My dad is a joker.
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#21During dinner we had each had to discuss 3 things we learned that day. If you didn't have three significant things to discuss you didn't get dessert.
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#22My mum wouldn't let me use the dishwasher well into my teens in case I slipped, fell on the open dishwasher and stabbed myself on knives.
She also didn't like me getting things for myself. If I asked her where the chopping board was she'd not tell me. I'd say "just tell me and I can get it" but no, I had to wait for her to stop whatever she was doing to get it for me. It drove me nuts because if I kept asking to get it myself she's shout that I was being demanding. How is wanting to not bother you and be independent in the simplest sense demanding?
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#23I had to wait until I was 13 to shave my legs. I think I should mention my legs looked like something from caveman days. It was so embarrassing to dress out in P.E.
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#24Not really weird but I was never allowed to say I was bored. If I said it too often I was made to sit down and do nothing for about an hour. I learnt pretty quick though that anything was better than sitting and doing nothing!
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#25-Not me, but my bestfriend who is 18 years old isn't allowed to close her door (even if she is changing clothes) and if her parents catch her door closed, $5 fee. -Also $10 fee if she leaves her bedroom light on. -She's not allowed to watch Harry Potter, Twilight etc.. anything to do with magic, or evil spirts regardless if it is rated G. -Didn't attend Sunday church that morning? Grounded for a week and $5 fee
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#26"Can't costs a quarter!" We weren't allowed to give up on something and say "I can't", and we'd have to put a quarter in this Snoopy bank if we did. She wanted to encourage us to look for solutions and ask for help instead of just giving up. In the long run, I think it helped because I went to school for electrical engineering and am now a web developer where I essentially do problem solving all day long.
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#27Was not allowed to listen to any music that was not Christian. Period. Bands I liked before this rule that they were previously okay with? Banned. Anything not already on the list of approved bands, such as Jars of Clay, had to be thoroughly vetted. Otherwise they would break the CD in front of you, even if it was borrowed from a friend. Genre didn't matter, as long as they were Christian, which meant bands like Underoath and MxPx were cool.
There were plenty of others, but this is the one that still f*****g gets to me over ten years later.
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#28My McDonald's potato chips intake was limited to the number of my age.
When I was 4 years old, I was only allowed to eat four chips every time we went to Maccas.
When I was 5, that meant I could eat five chips, and so on. This continued until I was around 12.
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#29A "sock tax".
In retrospect, smart. I hated it at the time.
So, I left my dirty socks around the house. I don't know why I would be taking socks off all over the place, I was a damn kid. I guess I was sloppy and it just happened and the socks had to be off right then and there. Parents got fed up with this. And so, to get my dirty socks back, I had to pay a quarter per sock. Doesn't seem like a big deal at first, but it adds up when you're nine years old. Had to literally nickel and dime my way through a few pairs because I was running out of damn socks, I was kind of a sock deserting addict I guess. Finally got in the habit it of picking up my socks for a while and things seemed fine and then hit a heavy relapse.
Parents gave me a big a*s box of my dirty socks for Christmas that year and a few pairs of new ones. Got better after that. Typing this is making me smile, I really love my mom and dad.
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#30Where do I even begin? We (brother and I) weren't allowed to clip our nails after 6 pm, we weren't allowed to get haircuts on certain days of the week. If we walk very loudly like stomping/making thud sounds, my grandma would say that the earth goddess will curse us. the adults wouldn't eat leftovers so only the kids were given that.. phew so many more. My family was extremely superstitious and religious and guess that explains it.
#31We couldn't use the word "fart." It was "fluffy."
#32My mother has always had a white couch. Big, fluffy, inviting sectional type.
No one can sit on this couch, or even breathe near it. God forbid i forget to mention this to company coming over.
I have often wondered why the f**k its even there.
#33We only ever had one bathroom for everyone to share. Anywhere we moved. Always one bathroom, therefore, if someone was taking forever in the bathroom and you had to use it, you would go sit on the bed of who is in the bathroom until they got out. So if you happen to pee yourself.... After a couple incidents with a 6 year old, nobody took more than 10 minutes in the restroom. Ever.
#34We weren't allowed in the lounge room, which was like 40% of the house, as we may mess it up - It was only later in life that the lounge room was open to usage again.
Even worse, my Mum used to make the carpet pile stand up with a broom (it was 80s shag pile carpet) and used to make us walk on the edge of the carpet near the wall so we wouldn't trample it....
#35no black policy. i mean, no black clothes or shoes.
i don't even understand why. and of course, only me and my sister were blamed by teachers if we had no matching black shoes for our school formal wear... "what's wrong with you? why are these brown?!" sure, children's fault. /s meh.
edit: once i managed to get an ugly secondhand sweater of the color black and my mother was yelling like mad and my father looked very pissed off either.
#36No flushing the toilet at night
You could have an afternoon snack at 3:30 sharp, if you missed 3:30 (like 3:35, you were SOL and had to wait for dinner)
If the weather forecast read anything under 70ºF (21ºC), long sleeved shirts the day after. You were allowed to wear shorts if the forecast read over 80ºF (27ºC).
I had a set of "home" clothes and "outside" clothes. Had to change right when I got home from anything, school, errands, etc.
I couldn't read "Seventeen" magazine because I wasn't 17. I couldn't watch PG-13 movies till I turned 13.
I'm sure there are others, but my mother was strict and controlling and had such a strange set of rules.
#37We were not allowed to walk through our dining room. Nothing made my mom angrier than having footprints through her OCD vacuum lines in the carpet. It was easier to cut through dining room from the hallway to get to kitchen. Sometimes after mom was asleep, my brothers and I would sneak through. The older we got, she seemed to get crazier about it. I remember all three of us being grounded for a week for one of us walking through, since she couldn't tell who was the guilty one. It's so strange because other than this rule, and not being allowed to sit on our beds, she was lenient otherwise.
#38My family had three valid excuses, and if one of those fit a situation, you were no longer in trouble. You still had to deal with the consequences of your actions like cleaning up a mess or whatever, but no extra punishment.
1. Dad... In my defense, you weren't supposed to find out.
Maybe my parents were supposed to be out of town until Sunday, but they came back a night early and found my friends and I shit faced and a mess everywhere. "Dad, you weren't supposed to find out. I was going to clean it all up and you'd never know." No longer in trouble.
2. Dad, in my defense... it was funny!
This one mostly covered pranking each other. No punishment, but you had to be ready for them to one-up you.
3. Dad... in my defense... there were snakes...
#39Our weirdest rule was the Underwear At the Table Rule. Me and my three sisters were big fans of being naked when we were younger, so from ages 3-8 whenever we'd come home from preschool or school, everything would just come straight off regardless of who was home. So my mother instituted the Underwear at the Table-rule, stating that during dinner everyone needs to be wearing underwear at the very least, otherwise no dinner.
This worked for a while and was later complemented by the rule stating that if you have chest hair, you have to wear a shirt (that one applied more to my dad than to us)
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#40We weren't allowed beef products for the longest time as kids. Parents were scared of the mad cow disease epidemic.
#41We were only allowed to play computer games or SNES if it was nighttime or raining. Also, during summer we weren't to be in the house between lunch and dinner.
#42In my household we never got a shower before 8:00pm. We always took showers at or around night time; nobody would take morning showers either, always the night before. No idea why we did this.
#43I wasn't allowed to go to a friend's house unless my parents talked to their parents and made sure we'd be supervised the entire time. This was a rule up until I moved out at eighteen. People thought it was weird, so I didn't have any friends and I literally ate my lunches alone in a bathroom stall. Thanks mom and dad!
#44I wasn't allowed anything remotely entertaining, TV, mobile or toys in my bedroom until I was 16, and that only changed because I bought my own entertainment and convinced my mum that because I bought it and was old enough it shouldn't be a rule anymore. All I had in my bedroom were books and my bed, really bland room.
When I was a young child my toys were in the spare room next to my room, my own play room. I soon outgrew toys and spent most of the sunlight out with friends. when I was 15, the Xbox 360 was released and they got one from their parents and rather play Xbox than come outside, it got lonely quick. I didn't and even if I did I wouldn't be able to use it much because my dad would always watch tv, and I wasn't allowed my own tv. So I got a job as a pizza delivery boy saved the money and bought my own Xbox 360 and tv.
I was adamant that I was old enough to have own tv and whatever in my room, even girls. Bought the Xbox 360 and tv, took them home set them up in my room and started playing, around 2 hours later, mum comes in to tell me dinner is ready, then she spots my tv and goes apeshit. So I stood up and I told her, I worked my a*s off to buy this stuff, I earned the money doing a job and that if I'm old enough to work, I am old enough to have a tv or whatever in my room. She walked off, probably to tell my dad then 1 hour later came back with my dinner on a tray and said I was right, I have grown up and that she was proud of me for getting a job and earning money for myself, I can have whatever in my room. JUST DON'T STAY UP ALL NIGHT PLAYING GAMES!
#45Kids may not talk back to adults and adults are always right. Meaning when an adult tells you to do something you have to do it without question.
When an adult f.e. says something you know is a myth you have to act like you didnt hear it or its true because otherwise you get massive s**t on like "Yeah, that may be right, but we are adults and a little brat like you won't talk back to an adult little brats have to shut up!"
Or when adults came to dinner you had to sit on the table and eat with them but had to be silent all the time. Everyone was talking but when you tried to get a conversation LIKE EVERYONE ELSE you get reprimanded that your just a brat and have to shut up when adults are talking.
I was 'allowed' to 'take part in conversation' when I was asked a question.
Like "Blablabla, 457kthnx is really good in school, right 457kthnx? "Yes, thats true" "What grades do you have" "As and Bs" "He's best in class. blablablabla [I had to be silent again for when they continued and they talked long]".
The thing is I wasn't really 'allowed' to answer the question. That was just an euphemism for an order. I had to. It was more like your military sergeant from 1960 asking you something. That also wasnt a conversation. It wasnt enyoable.
Still haunts me as an adult. I never was that good at making friends in elementary school and after elementary school when you needed social skills to have friends and not just a game or a football I lost my old friends and never got new ones.
#46My parents never let me look at people kissing on tv when i was a kid. Not sure what they were trying to teach me but i guess i should thank them for my adult awkwardness in PDA situations including my own.
#47T-shirts absolutely couldn't be inside out when doing laundry. My mother was always pissed off when she found one, as if it makes any difference, there were no prints on the shirts. I now wash all my t-shirts inside out because it actually makes a difference with all the prints I have. Also, that'll show her. I often think back to this stupid rule when hanging them out to dry. Inside out of course.
#48Working from sunup to sundown every weekend. Coming home from football practice and working until you couldn't see. Dad didn't like spending money, even though he had plenty. We grew our own food, or hunted it. I didn't eat beef until I was 18 and in college. My dad made six figures, but still drove a car he had from 1987. It was just me and my dad, remodeling the house from sunup to sundown every day in the summer, while all my friends were at the lake. I'm still not good at having friends, but I know how to work hard.
#49This one isn't weird, but oppressive might be a good word to describe it. When I was young I had to finish my food, no matter what it was or how much it was. Most of the time I didn't serve myself so I was basically served a big heaping plate of misery and over fullness. I would understand the rule if I served myself and I got way too much, but what the hell?
#50If you get beaten at school and don't fight back, you get another one at home.
#51If any family member or any person in general asked me a question about my mom I was only allowed to answer with "that's a big people question, you should ask her."
#52Once you get home from school, you don't go out. It's been like that until I moved out the summer after high school ended. My mom just never allowed it or did it herself, once she got home from work she wouldn't go out to buy anything, ever, no matter how much one of us needed it (New calculator, lined paper...). She'd go buy it before coming home after work the next day. We'd buy ALL our food on Saturday, hundreds of dollars of it, and wouldn't buy a thing during the week. We never had friends outside of school because of that. I still have a really hard time with the dynamic of simply meeting people outside of work/school where we all have to be.
#53My parents had a perfect house and yard. I mean PERFECT. Everyone in the family spent hours to create this perfection. We had a lot of pine trees too. Huge, mature, 40-year-old pine trees. About 15 of them. However, pine cones were not allowed. There was to be no pine cones under the pine trees. It was one of my jobs to make sure that I scooted under these trees and picked up all the pine cones about every weekend in the spring, summer, and fall. It was usually done when we mowed the lawn and did the trimming. I specifically bought a house with no pine trees because it gives me flashbacks.
#54My mom would scold me if I ever said "k" or if I said "like" in any way that wasn't it's original intended use. Basically if I sounded like a 14 year old
#55No drinking while eating your meal. You are only allowed to drink before or after eating dinner. They thought it was unhealthy for some reason.
#56my father didn't allow me to cut my hair short nor dye it until I was 18. I wasn't allowed to shave till I was 14. I wasn't allowed to wear makeup or paint my nails until I was 15. To this day I am not allowed to sleep over anyone else's home.
#57Not allowed to go outside barefoot.
Not even to stand on the front porch, check to see how the weather was, get the mail, anything. I had to have shoes on when I went outside even if it was just slippers or flip flops.
#58I couldn't drink my mom's "special vitamin water"
Turns out it was vodka. RIP
#59We had so many. For example, if we have the coughs, we weren't allowed to go inside the house unless all the phlegm is out of our system (supposedly).
Also, if I lick my lips in public (without covering it with my hands), it means I'm initiating a kiss from someone.
Also, no playing with our toys unless we drink about half a gallon of water.
#60I was doing some online courses while I was in highschool. We had terrible Internet, and no internet access anywhere but the family computer, so I convinced my mom to let me go out and get a wifi router. She allowed it after some time, but any time I wasn't activiley doing my online courses, the router had to be shut off. She said she didn't want the house filling up with the wi-fi...
#61They made my brother and me switch bunk beds at the beginning of every month, even though I liked the bottom and he preferred the top.
#62For the longest time, my mother made sure I couldn't watch any movies with anything remotely sexual or 'scary'.
For example, if there was any kind of kissing, cuddling or foreplay in a movie, she'd come charging in, demand I look away, and basically taught me to shun all things sexual.
Another time, she freaked out when my friend's dad said we were watching Tremors, which was PG13, and we were 12. If anything, my friend and I felt like total badasses going to see 14A movies at age 12.
But most of all, for years, she was very adamant that I could NEVER see The Hills Have Eyes. She eventually relented on some other horror movies, even watched Alien with me, but that was the one I could never see. She straight up told me I wouldn't know that it was just a movie, and I'd end up with long-term damage.
Eventually, I watched it through the power of the internet, and you know what? I survived, and I thought it was great, if you like horror. And the look of defeat when I told her I had seen the movie was hilarious. Eventually, she gave up.
#63My father told me that if I went to a friend's house and my friend's parents offered me anything to eat, I was supposed to refuse. I took this rule very seriously. I remember once a friend's mother offered me a slice of cantaloupe, and when I refused, she tried really hard to coax me to eat it. It got embarrassing.
My father grew up in poverty on a farm in the south, and he lived through the depression. He always had enough to eat, but there were some kids in the neighborhood who didn't. These kids were always hungry, and would try to scrounge food from neighbors. Neighbors would feed them, but they hated having to do it, and they blamed the kids' parents. So the parents of the hungry kids had a bad reputation; the neighbors assumed they were (and maybe they actually were) alcoholics, or just generally lazy good-for-nothings.
So my father's fear was: if I accepted any food from anybody, or if I appeared to be hungry at all, people would think I wasn't getting enough food at home, and therefore my father was a bad provider.
My father, by the way, had lots of paranoid ideas.
#64I couldn't shower before 7am or after 9pm which, in high school, made it virtually impossible to shower at home. I had to be to school before 7 and usually I got home and had to eat dinner and wash dishes So I always used the locker room.
#65Since my mother is obese, we were never allowed to say the word "fat." Her weight, and the weight of my sisters, was the elephant in the room. We were not allowed to address it, or face punishment in the form of a hit to whichever body part was easily accessible at the time.
I was also not allowed to refuse my parent's requests and orders. Thankfully, neither one did anything like molest us or otherwise take sexual advantage of us. However, the requests were downright lazy and stupid. Most of my childhood, when I was indoors, was spent fetching things for my mom. I would constantly be running to the kitchen to fetch her a drink or snack, or to get the remote off of the table that was 5 feet away from her.
The second part made me really dependent on authority figures, and I still have difficulty denying requests and orders from my family and from others. It takes a conscious effort on my part to question authority in any form. I'm getting better in my adult years, but the process has been slow.
#66I couldn't say the words "dumb", "stupid", or "hate". I'm 22, and my mother still says, "Justin! Don't say the S-word!"
#67We weren't allowed to eat any food that came out of a can. My grandmother had some weird vendetta against the Jolly Green Giant.
#68For a good part of my youth my mom wouldnt let me buy or play with lego. She thought its "not good for creativity" we lol'd a few years later at it.
#69Half of my in-laws have a long standing rule that there is to be no liquid at the dinner tables except for gravy and there is no drinking during any meals. No water, no milk, no kool-aid, no tea, no beer, no liquor, NOTHING.
How they live with that i have no idea.
#70We were not allowed to sing at the dinner table.
I needed to be reminded nightly that this was the case. I guess when I was younger the music was just INSIDE of me, and I had to just SING.
#71Turns out my step mother had a rule that only she or her daughters could eat the 'nose' on a wedge of brie (or some such like cheese) which is often considered the best part. Visiting one weekend, my sister and I did not know this rule and so on permission to start eating, my sister cut some of the nose off and put it on her plate. This resulted in my step mother fleeing the room crying and one of our step sisters throwing a plate at my head.
We were banned from visiting the house for a month and until we had individually said sorry to everyone. No idea how I became part of it.
*Edit I should probably clarify that I was 10, my sister was 12 at the time. My step monster is still with my dad and I don't have anything to do with either of them any more. The final straw was when I went over from some supper one night to find that the monster had hidden prawns in some pastries and not told me. I'm extremely allergic and she nearly killed me.
#72When stirring a glass (adding sugar to tea, chocolate to milk, etc) NEVER LET THE SPOON CLINK AGAINST THE SIDE. ITS LOUD AND RUDE. There was no punishment involved or anything but I'd always get a stern "stir properly!" It was worse with the rest of my mom's side
#73Not allowed to touch electronic devices Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. To keep us focused on school? Yeah I don't get it either. Now I'm obsessed with phones and video games
#74In my house it was always very taboo to take a shower at night.
#75Last one in locks the house up.
It seemed logical then, but if someone was out till 3 AM, the rest of the family was sleeping in an unlocked house. I wouldn't dream of doing that now.
#76My family is from South Africa & my dad always had this rule about not whistling at night. He would never explain why nobody was allowed & it used to scare the shit out of me when I was younger.
I'm 19 now living alone & to this day if I'm out with friends or at a concert & somebody starts whistling I get tense & I can't really explain why to anybody without sounding insane
#77I wasn't allowed to answer the front door. As a five or six year old, I get that I might not know a stranger from a friend or something but I'm legit turning 18 in less than a month and I'm still not allowed to answer the door, even if I see it's a friend or a neighbor standing outside.
#78My parents didn't let me watch the cartoons and shows that are now beloved pop culture staples of the 90s. I have never watched most of the classic 90s shows, or I didn't watch them until I was in my teens.
My parents weren't religious - they were "intellectualists". They thought that exposure to Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Pokemon, et cetera, would lead to me flipping burgers at age 45. I didn't see an episode of SpongeBob until I was fourteen, and that was because my German teacher showed it in class. My parents got really, really mad at me when I wanted to start collecting Pokemon cards and borrowed Pokemon books from the library. I remember my grandma scoffing at me and saying "Oh no, really? There was nothing better?" when I was reading a Pokemon chapter book.
The only cartoons I was allowed to watch were cartoons shown on PBS or WETA kids. Sagwa, Arthur, Clifford, Between the Lions, et cetera.
When I was in middle school my little brother got a Pokemon game for Christmas from a relative, and then I bought myself the matching game (Diamond and Pearl). I guess at that point my parents gave up, because we were then allowed to watch the shows we wanted and talk about Pokemon (with some exceptions: Adventure Time and Regular Show were not permitted when my mother was in the room).
#79Mexican Americans follow crazy superstitions that somehow become rules. The strangest one that I still follow is not getting a haircut after a meal. I have no clue why it's bad but I still don't do it.
#80my mom also told me to never kiss a girl when the katy perry song "i kissed a girl" came out, so that'll forever be in my head
#81My mom let me watch Southpark, R rated movies, all sorts of vulgar s**t...
But I wasn't allowed to watch Maury or Rescue 911.... because they profited from exploiting other people's negative circumstances.
#82No drumming on the plates with my spoon and fork while waiting for the food to get ready. My dad said it summoned demons. My six-year-old self was terrified. Turns out my dad was just an irritable person. (Grew up to be like him, haha.)
#83I cannot join my 1 year older brother in playing video game outside the house. (He is 10 and I'm 9) Then when I turned 10, I still can't. Like hey mom! I can't beat my brother's age!
EDIT for clarification : Outside the house = Internet cafe
#84I wasn't allowed to watch Catdog.
Apparently it was deemed too stupid.
#85My parents never took me out to dinner ever. Not exaggerating at all. In my 18 years living with them, we did not eat out even once.
The habit was to have 3 meals at home. Even when I was older (in highschool) and deliberately went out with friends, they still compelled me to eat 3 meals everyday at home. When I got home there was my share on the table and I had to finish all of it no matter what.
That meant I had to hold back when I went out with friends, the reason was always "I cannot skip dinner, sorry, you guys go on without me." As a teenager that was a very lame thing to say, or so I thought.
#86"you don't get something if you ask for it"
This is something my Mum would say to me when I asked for something while we were shopping. It didn't make sense when I was six, doesn't make any more sense when I'm 17 (maybe it will in a few years?)