If you’re anything like me, you’ve been raised by parents who have some pretty strict rules and expectations. The rules, curfews and questions all get old and annoying, especially when you’re 19-year-old and still get interrogated before going to a movie night at your friends house. Something I’ve come to realize, though, is that no matter how annoyed I become with what seems like constant unnecessary interrogation, it’s never going to stop. You know the saying, (you’ve probably heard it one too many times by now): “rules are rules.” With strict parents, at age 23, you’ll probably get treated the same way you did at age 13. Your friends with lenient parents never have, and never will, understand the struggle. And most importantly, no matter how much of struggle it seems to impose on you, you have to believe they’re just strict because they actually care, and know that even though it might seem like their rules are ruining your life, they’re doing it out of love.
Despite the fact that it’s all out of love, here are some things only kids who grew up with strict parents know to be true, (and are sick and tired of):
1. There’s no such thing as last minute plans.
You know when you get invited somewhere past 9 pm and your parents are asleep, expecting you to be going to sleep soon too? You wouldn’t dare ask them to leave the house to go somewhere that spontaneously… they’d never let you. Even if they end up letting you go, waking them up to ask is hardly worth the 15 minutes of interrogation you’re going to get about the last minute plans. If you don’t let them know about a plan 3 days before it’s supposed to happen, forget it.
2. Growing up (and still today), you’re the first person to leave social events.
Your friends never understood why you got picked up by 10 pm every time there was a gathering when you were younger, and they still don’t understand why once the clock hits 12:30 am now, you have 3 missed calls and a text that says “come home.”
3. You’ve probably written business-like letters or made videos and shown them to your parents to ask them about sleeping over at someone else’s house.
None of my friends ever understood why my parents were so against sleepovers. Even if it was just going to be at my cousin’s house, the answer was hardly a yes. When it was a yes, trust that a lot of time and thought was put into asking the question and convincing them to let me go.
4. If bad weather is predicted, you don’t expect to leave the house for at least a day before the storm, during the storm, and 3 days after.
This is especially relevant if you have your license. If there’s even one word mentioned about an upcoming storm, you either get driven around until the roads are completely clear, or you’re just not allowed to get in a car at all.
5. No matter how long you’re friends with people, if they have lenient parents, they’ll never understand why “just asking again” or “leaving without permission” isn’t an option.
Most of my current friends actually do have parents like mine, but I used to hang out with people who had pretty lenient parents. Trying to explain to them how much interrogation and tension would result from asking about plans, especially at night, was useless. They never understood why asking “just one more time” wouldn’t make them change their mind (it’d probably only make things worse).
6. You got your phone taken away as kid, and for long periods of time.
When I was old enough to have a phone, getting it taken away was one of the worst punishments out there. When it was taken, it was gone for weeks at time. My friends couldn't believe how long it was gone for some times, but I'll admit that it was a pretty successful form of punishment.
7. If you have a new friend, don't expect to be able to hang with out them until your parents have done a full background check on them.
If you mention a new name, your parents will probably want to know where the person lives, who their parents are, what they do for a living, what his or her GPA is, how many siblings they have, and what their 10 year plan is before you're allowed to do anything with them.
8. Coming home for college breaks takes major adjustment.
When you’re at college, you can walk in or out of your dorm room at any time of the day. If you get asked to go somewhere at 11 pm on a Tuesday, no one’s stopping you. If you go out, there’s no text when the clock hits 12 asking you to come home. When you go home on breaks, you’re not in your own territory anymore. You have to remember the rules you’re expected to respect at your house, and it can be kind of a shock compared to what you’re used to.
9. Despite how annoyed you get with all of the rules and constant questions, you’ll realize when you’re older that having strict parents isn’t such a terrible thing after all.
It took going away to college for me to realize this one. I had always hated having curfews or being expected to get my homework done the second I got home from school growing up, but my ability to manage my time and my self-discipline at college compared to my friends with lenient parents helped me out quite a bit. I'm on my own, but still give myself a time to be in bed by when I have an early class, and always know which assignments I should get done ahead of time.
I may have hated the strictness growing up, (and still at times now), but I’m confident in my ability to live on my own and be in charge of myself, and, honestly as much as I hate to admit it, I’ll probably have similar rules when I’m a parent some day.