"Signs you were raised in a strict household"

George Takei just posted this list from Reddit.

I’ve had people tell me my parents were strict, and I always knew our family wasn’t quite like everybody else. But I’m weirded out by how spot-on almost all these points are. To the point that I’m trying to decide which ones are really spot on, and it’s more than half the list, so why bother. The only ones that don’t really apply are 2, 8, and 10. Although maybe I do 10 and call it good relationship skills.

But really: don’t a lot of these apply to plenty of people whether they had strict parents or not? Or don’t they? And is there any significant take-away from having had “strict” parents?

That list makes both my parents and my control freak brothers seem sane :eek:

And that’s with a Nephew who knows perfectly well that “most parents are not so strict, and some of the things they require me to do when I’m doing work at home are actually not how it should normally be done”.

The closest I come to doing any of that is that I prefer to ask for permission but that’s because one, I’d rather not have to guess who the fuck took my [whatever] or did [whatever], and two, IME people who prefer to ask for forgiveness tend to be sorry they got caught.

#2 on that list–

That’s not “strict.” That’s some variety of undemonstrative people and/or severe introversion, depending on the circumstances.

This list is considerably more accurate than most internet lists. However, the issue is that there are several different kinds of strict–religious, authoritarian, etc. There is sometimes overlap, but not always.

I interpreted it as seeing ‘Eddy, honey, please pick up your toys’ rather than ‘EDDY! PICK UP YOUR TOYS NOW!’ or a five-minute rant on the dangers of having toys on the floor. That is, not merely affectionate behavior but affectionate parenting.

Some of the worst yellers/ranters I’ve known were also very huggy. Their kids never knew which Mommy/Daddy they’d be dealing with on a particular day, or what would trigger a change from one to the other. My Idiot Aunt was one of those… still is, but now her kids are taller than she is and can tell her ‘ok, I’ll be leaving now’ when she gets on their nerves.

I think that list only applies to a certain kind of strictness.

One I don’t see on the list: You have a hard time expressing their objections or preferences. Strict parents don’t ask their kids what they want to eat or where they want to go or what they’d like to wear. They don’t give their kids any choices. And that make it clear that their kids’ opinions aren’t important. And that’s what they grow up internalizing. “My feelings don’t matter.”

Whenever I had friends spend the night and they’d make the “mistake” of issuing commentary about something (usually food) within earshot of my parents, I’d always brace myself for the ensuing embarrassment as they’d get torn a new one.

11 is a sign you grew up in an abusive home.

Yes, a lot of those are distressingly familiar. Sometimes I’m a little sad that I can’t really ever trust any parental love, no matter how true it seems. I’m always suspicious of it.

I’ve gotten better over the years.

Many, maybe most of these are just signs of an abusive home, although there’s a lot of overlap at some point.

Uhh…yeah, a lot of those are familiar to me, too, and it’s because my father wasn’t just strict, he was abusive. I’m sure there are ways to be strict in a healthy, loving way, but I bet those ways don’t cause the kind of fallout detailed in that list.

Other signs you grew up in a strict (not necessarily abusive) home:

*You were shocked when you heard your friends curse openly in front of their parents, who didn’t seem to notice or mind.

*You hear about kids (including adult kids still living at home) who never lift a finger to help out around the house, and your mind boggles at the fact that 1) their parents allow them to live like that, and 2) that the kids don’t feel any inclination to contribute to the household running smoothly or the space being clean and tidy.

*Your friends could get involved in the extra-curricular activities of their own choosing, while you had to do what your parents wanted you to do.

*The rules in your household were non-negotiable.

  • your parents’ requirements for schoolwork were pickier than the teacher’s.

*shocked when your peers talk about how their children have boyfriends or girlfriends. Sometimes at a very young age! I know it’s “cute”, supposedly, for a six-year-old to come home and say she has a boyfriend, but in my house that would be a screaming match

*takes you most of your adult life to learn to accept constructive criticism without melting down or getting defensive

–You read this list, recognize a lot on it, but remain convinced that the issue is how you reacted to your parents, not how they behaved?

You never, ever act up in public. Except for playing outdoors, you used your library voice and very best manners. Otherwise you were subjected to the “Polish death grip” in which you were dragged off by your upper arm. I asked another Polish kid if he knew about the death grip and he rubbed his arm and said he didn’t want to talk about it.

Yeah, this isn’t “strict”, this is abusive.

I thought this was going to be that you made your bed every morning, you don’t wear shoes in the house, there are no dirty dishes in the sink, you don’t run in the house, and things like that.

The strictness in Takei’s list is beyond what I imagined.

Oh yes, I had a bruise like this when I did act up in public. In my defense, I was 20 and determined to move out of the house, living in an apartment by myself and trying to land a job at Dick’s Sporting Goods. My aunts showed up at the interview. Part of it included a tour around the store, and they followed me around trying to get me to listen to them, and when I refused, grabbed my arm so hard it left a bruise.

And I don’t bruise easily.

This was my father. He was in the mood he was in and didn’t think about maybe putting a bad mood aside and being nice to his children. So I lead a life of wariness, scoping out how people are and trying to interpret every detail and see how I should behave in response to how I perceive they might be doing.

I don’t call it strictness; he was just a self-centered guy. Unfortunately I’ve inherited some of this.

#12 about never being able to make a decision was my Mom. Her mom would ask her what she wanted and then make fun of what she picked. Asshole.

Is that allowed in the average family?

I had a problem like this with my mom. The solution I came up with to find out what mood she was in was to give a cute little birdlike chirp in greeting. If she chirped back or smiled at the cuteness, she was in a good mood and I could relax a little.

If she ignored it or scowled at me, I knew I had better lay low for awhile.

Years later, she asked me what was up with all the bird noises. She had stopped drinking by that time so I told her. She didn’t like the answer, but there it was.