25 Adults Remember The Silliest Rules Their Parents Enforced

Published 4 weeks ago

Parents set rules for their kids to help them understand what behaviours are acceptable. However, some rules might not always make sense. Take, for instance, the rule about not watching TV while lying in bed. If there’s a TV in the bedroom, why not use it?

It’s true that some of the rules we grew up with seemed strange then and still do now. For example, a popular online thread asked, “What’s a rule your parents had that you thought was silly at the time and still can’t quite understand?” The responses highlighted many puzzling and humorous rules from people’s childhoods.

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#1 I wasn’t allowed to have any Ken dolls because my dad didn’t want me to make my Kens and Barbies kiss. He said if I had one, I would become boy crazy and turn into a wh*re. Jokes on him, I just made my Barbies kiss each other.

Image source: Madds-The-Booper, Tara Winstead / Pexels

#2 Why I couldn’t shave or wear deodorant until after I graduated high school. Seriously, wtf?

Image source: LookingForHope87, No Revisions/ Unsplash

#3 My mom regularly shot down my “can I do XYZ with friends” plans because “family time”. Like I pretty much NEVER got to hang out with friends after school or on weekends because “family time”. Except my parents couldn’t stand being in the same room so said “family time” was either me silently watching tv with one parent or just hiding out in my room. And relatives still ask why I’m so introverted and anti-social.

Image source: BroadwayBich

#4 My mother arbitrarily declared that I couldn’t wear shorts unless it was 75°F (24C) outside. Still makes me mad when I think about it.

Image source: Utisthata, Andrew Valdivia / Unsplash

#5 My grandma didn’t like me watching TV while I was on my bed. Why did you put a TV in my bedroom then.

Image source: mike1883, Jagjit Singh / Unsplash

#6 9pm bedtime… Always. Figured out in middle school, it was so they could have ‘no kids’ time, so as long as I stayed quiet in my room, I didn’t have to go to sleep. This is how I acquired a love of reading late into the night.

Image source: MrRGG, Annie Spratt / Unsplash

#7 I wasn’t allowed to wear headphones/listen to music in the house.
Edit: my mother’s reasoning was that it was a sign of depression and she “didn’t want to see it”.

Image source: Kshi-dragonfly, Nubelson Fernandes / Unsplash

#8 I wasn’t allowed to shower until my homework was done. But I also wasn’t allowed to shower past 7pm. So between getting home from school, homework, eating dinner etc…

Image source: bvstvrdChild, Chandre D’Oliveira / Pexels

#9 When I was 11 I wasn’t allowed to buy a black bathing suit. No reason given. When I was 12 and bathing suit shopping, Mother suggested this black one. I said I’d try it but asked when the “no black bathing suit” rule changed, and she denied there had ever been such a rule. So I guess she couldn‘t understand the rule either even though it was her rule.

Image source: Missus_Aitch_99, Leeloo The First / Pexels

#10 I was born in 1993 and my younger brother in 1998. Neither of us were allowed to eat beef when we were growing up, until I’d say 2004/2005? My parents were super strict about this rule too, I live in the UK so most birthday parties around that time were hosted in the party bus at McDonald’s (still miss that bus!), and my parents would always tell the birthday child’s parents that we were not allowed to order a hamburger for our happy meal!

Image source: robin103245, Kevin Lanceplaine / Unsplash

I remember one birthday party at McDonald’s I actually swapped my happy meal with another child who had a burger and on this particular occasion I had to leave early as we had some sort of family event right after it. My parents walked in whilst we were all eating and saw me eating this burger, and boy was I in trouble! I was told if it happened again I’d be banned from going to anymore birthday parties!

What made this rule silly is the fact that both of my parents ate beef!

#11 My father installed a tetherball game in our back yard. We weren’t allowed to play it because we would ruin the grass. It hung there for years and we just stared at it from the porch.

Image source: Blue_Ascent, Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

#12 My mom prohibited using the washing machine between Christmas and New Years, she believed it would bring death in the family in the following year. Never made sense in any way, just a superstition. When I finally moved out it was a really big deal for me to finally be able to wash my clothes in that time period. And as expected, my family was fine the year after.

Image source: TitaniumMissile, Annie Spratt / Unsplash

#13 If you asked to do something the answer was always no. if you didnt ask it was 95% of the time allowed with maybe a few questions.

Image source: LittleLostDoll, Vitaly Gariev / Unsplash

#14 “Yuck” was a bad word. Like, swear word bad, and I wasn’t allowed to say it.

Not because it was insulting to say about food someone had worked hard to prepare. No, it was bad because it rhymed with an actual swear word.

Image source: HawaiianShirtsOR

#15 My mom refuses to use the dishwasher or let anyone use it till this day because she believes it uses up significantly more water than traditionally cleaning dishes in the sink. I’m pretty sure she’s wrong but she swears by it. She’s pretty old school though.

Image source: Lilli_Puff

#16 My dad wouldn’t let me wear studded belts because “that’s what strippers wear”. I’ve never heard of a stripper wearing a belt but whatever.

Image source: giantshinycrab, Simon Doggett / Flickr

#17 Any birthday gifts I received from friends or family needed to be split up evenly between me and my siblings because I was the oldest. While still wrapped my mom would evenly distribute them between the three of us.

Image source: TurquoiseDreamer1, freestocks / Unsplash

#18 “When we have guests over you either sit down quietly or go upstairs. Adults aren’t here for you. Don’t talk to them.” I still can’t comprehend not allowing your children to have a conversation with your friends.

Image source: ShirwillJack, Kampus Production / Pexels

#19 My father was a doctor, I had to answer the phone “Doctor XYZ residence u/Jesture4 speaking.” I can’t tell you how many times people would just talking about all their medical problems and I’d have to remind them, “this is his residence”.

Image source: Jesture4, Reno Laithienne / Unsplash

#20 No backwards caps unless we were camping.

Image source: zerpderp

#21 Not me but my friend’s parents didn’t allow Adidas because they were told it stands for “all day I dream about sex”.

Image source: Immediate_Revenue_90, Jakob Owens / Unsplash

#22 I wasn’t allowed to watch any type of TV. I’m talking no movies even Disney movies, cable, anything etc. I had to secretly watch x files with my dad on the weekend when she didn’t know. Yet my mum let me play video games? I still don’t get that one.

Image source: Ok-Bullfrog5830, Jonas Leupe / Unsplash

#23 My mom was extremely wary of anything related to magic. She wouldn’t allow us to have cats because she thought they were evil. One time my cousin got me a history of magic book for Christmas-confiscated and never seen again. I tried to sneak and play DnD in high school, she found out and banned me from the after school club. She’s not religious or anything, she just doesn’t think it’s a good idea to mess with magic.

Image source: JustSomeBadGas, Peng Louis / Pexels

#24 When we went away for a week for a holiday my parents used to cover every mirror in the house in case lightening would be attracted to the mirror and come in through the closed window and strike it.

No amount of me telling them this was rubbish would change their minds.

Image source: PigHillJimster

#25 I wasn’t allowed to take our dog for a walk outside of his scheduled walk time.

Image source: SkinHunger55, Lum3n / Pexels

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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