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Dansedescygnes's avatar

Were your parents more strict or more permissive/lax (in general)?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) May 5th, 2009

I think I would have to say my parents are more permissive/lax. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules in my house and my sisters and brother and I just do whatever the hell we want all the time, but listening to other people’s stories about date restriction and internet restriction and TV restriction and regulation dinners and all that…just didn’t really have that with me. Mostly because there wasn’t really anything to cause them to do that.

And you know, a lot of kids know my parents. My mom is big around the school, she knows all the teachers, she knows tons of kids, even plenty I don’t hang out with. Plenty of people know my dad too. I feel like my parents, esp. my mom, are more “in tune” with that kind of thing than most people’s are.

My parents’ parenting styles are based largely on what my mom’s parents’ parenting styles were like. They’ve worked for two generations. I liked the way my parents were and I hope that if I ever have kids, I will be like them. I will at least start out following that pattern and change according to specific situations and needs. No one parenting system works for all kids.

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24 Answers

cak's avatar

Depends on what time period you are asking about….they were permissive, at times. Other times, very strict. After my sister really started having a lot of problems, things became a lot more strict in my household. Here I was, straight A’s – excellent behavior and punished, because she was out of control.

We aren’t permissive, basically – earn our trust. Violate that….it’s an uphill battle; however, our children are really figuring out that we mean what we say. Tell us the truth and we’ll work with you – there might still be some anger, but honest, well – it’s buys a lot of goodwill!

May2689's avatar

My parents were ( they’ve lighten up over the years) really really strict!!! I am the oldest child, so maybe that had something to do with it. I remember that when my boyfriend invited me to the movies, my mom wanted my boyfriend to drive on his own car and me to drive in another car!! And when it came to going out, if I skipped curfew, they would call me like a million times and sometimes they might even show up wherever I was. It was horrible!!!
That lead to a whole lot of sneaking out of my house at midnight.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

My mom was more strict and my dad was more relaxed, generally. I had two older brothers who were, essentially, “golden children,” so, by the time I came along, they weren’t really worried about being strict, because they’d had it so easy with my brothers. I was the only girl, however, which may have not worked as much in my favor, but I was able to use the fact that my older brother got to do something as justification for me doing something. The thing I appreciated most about my parent’s style of parenting was that there was rarely ever the moments of ‘because I said so.’ Everything was logical, almost everything was some kind of democratic, collective decision. They obviously held more influence in these kinds of discussions, but they listened to what I had to say (sometimes more than others) and valued my input when constructing rules.

My mom was a little more strict though; for example, she would be upset if I came home late (though I never had a set curfew), whereas my dad didn’t care as long as I was safe and told him, at some point, where I was or when I was getting home. I did get away with some stuff for sure.

Mtl_zack's avatar

My mom is extremely reserved and is kinda strict. My dad was a hippie in the 70’s and knows what it’s like to rebel, and he’s more lax. My mom is always in charge of the home, and when I was younger, as in before I turned 19, I always had to check with her. Now, she’s becoming more relaxed and she’s giving me more space. For background on my situation, you’re welcome to see my older posts. Whenever there’s a party, I always pray my dad will pick up the phone when I tell them I’ll be home late.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Everything was logical, almost everything was some kind of democratic, collective decision.

Same with me really. I hate seeing all that “because I said so” crap in the TV shows. I never could fathom it either, because my parents never did that.

My parents are big on curfews too. Usually, my mom doesn’t go to bed unless we’re all home; that’s just kind of her policy. Sometimes when there’s a late-lasting dance and I’m not home to well after midnight, then she might go to bed, but usually, she waits for us to come home. And you know, aside from those situations, I don’t go past the midnight curfew. I did once…lol…to TP someone’s house…my mom was not happy…I was an hour late and she kept calling me.

El_Cadejo's avatar

My parents were always pretty lax with me. As long as i didnt give them a reason not to trust me in the first place, and told them what i was doing or where i was going, they never really cared.

YARNLADY's avatar

My parents were extremely strict.

Jack79's avatar

My parents were quite strict, and also had different standards for me and my sister. I was allowed more things (I was older and a male), but at the same time they had more expectations. Even at school, my sister could always get away with bad marks because “girls can always just get married off”. But she had to be home by midnight even at the age of 18, whereas I was allowed to stay out late as early as 14.

I have a 4-y-old daughter and I’m very strict about things that have to do with her own good (ie crossing the street, touching cables, playing with glass or sharp objects). I also insist that she tidies up her room and generally follows my rules, so overall I’m quite strict in that way. But at the same time I give her all my love and attention (or at least did when I had the chance to), answer all her questions, sing her songs and tell her stories.

I’d say I’m stricter about things that I believe matter more (eg my parents always made a fuss about us smoking, but it was mainly on the lines of “what will other parents say” rather than “it’s bad for your health”). I never let her bend the rules or get away with things like my parents did for me, but at the same time I give her a lot more affection in return, so she knows, even at this age, that I do it all out of love. My parents were more detached from us and belong to the old school of “work first, children later”.

MacBean's avatar

I was always a quiet, well-behaved, reasonable, rational kid. I didn’t really need rules. So when I got to my teen years, my parents trusted me. I had some general guidelines. For example, if I went out with friends I was expected home by midnight. But if something happened that meant I’d be out later than that, I would just call to say who I was with and what was going on and when I thought I’d be home and there was no problem. I was also allowed to skip school a few times in high school, because I always had a reason for it and I always told my parents about it, so they trusted that I wasn’t running off and doing whatever I liked all the time.

qashqai's avatar

My parents were extremely strict, and I am extremely proud of it.

I owe them almost everything I’ve learned.

cak's avatar

@MacBean – I got punished for my sister’s wrongdoings. Later, she was diagnosed as bipolar…turns out, some of the stuff – well, it was a cry for help. I was a well-behaved child, (and teenager) and one could really say I didn’t need rules, either. I had them, though. I didn’t have a curfew until my sister really went down a bad road. I skipped school, only for a few classes on the “sanctioned” senior skip day.

My parents weren’t mean or meaning to be overbearing, they were just scared.

We gauge our daughter’s level of activity based on her responsibility – she has “guidelines/rules” and adheres to them.

Sometimes, parents don’t set out to be overbearing, mine didn’t. Circumstances took over and they were afraid.

jrpowell's avatar

Too much info. Removed by self.

MacBean's avatar

@cak—I’ve always counted myself lucky that my parents didn’t set rules for me based on my sisters. Or… maybe they did. My sisters both had much stricter rules than I did, because they needed them. But having rules just made them act out even more. Maybe my parents thought if I was given more freedom, I wouldn’t feel the need to take it…?

aprilsimnel's avatar

Strict. (For those who don’t know, I was raised by an aunt. Unfortch, she has mental issues. Instead of therapy, she went fundamentalist Christian in an attempt to gain some control over herself. Apparently, that’s common, I’ve learned. But it didn’t help.)

No sleepover with school friends (as a child)
No hanging out with friends from school (choir rehearsal with the kids from church was acceptable – too bad I wasn’t in the clique with the pastor’s kids in it :( )
No dating
No rock music (including watching MTV or Vh1)
No going to the movies
No phone calls from boys (and any from my female friends was a “privilege” that could be revoked at any time)

I only got on sports teams after major cajoling and was expected to turn over my paycheck from my job as a teen, but I’d only give her some of the money so I could have some for myself.

I didn’t go nuts when I finally left and went to college, either. I remained a “good little obedient girl” well into my 30s, even I after I cut off ties with her at 31.

KatawaGrey's avatar

My mom was never really that strict. We never really had rules in the house, but that didn’t mean I ran around doing whatever I wanted. Instead of rules, my mom trusted my common sense. If I didn’t do my homework, I would get lower grades in school and if I got lower grades, she would revoke some of my privileges. My grades were never that low so she didn’t check my homework or make sure I was doing my projects on time. if I didn’t tell her where I was going or who I was with, I would get in trouble when I got home. I guess these could be considered rules to an extent, but since my mother never spelled out exact consequences or told me what I could or could not do, it was not so bad. Basically everything was analyzed on a case by case basis. If I was going out, depending on who I was with and where we were going, then she would tell me when she wanted me home.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@Dansedescygnes It sounds like you live in a good household. You will be able to pass on good parenting skills to your own kids.

My dad was more strict than my mom was, but she still kept close tabs on me, too. About the only thing she demanded was to know who I was with & where I was.

dynamicduo's avatar

My parents were not strict, but they were not lax. They were awesome parents who let their children explore the world and decide things for themselves. I was not indoctrinated religiously as a child. I did not have arbitrary restrictions placed on me, although I did have a curfew and a pathetic allowance. Luckily my work ethic was allowed to develop, I still remember my first “job” delivering Avon books with my sister, and my dad following us on the walk. I do remember a few childhood injustices, such as not regularly eating unhealthy sugar cereals, not being allowed to create an ICQ chat account, and my dad being strict on keeping things clean, but in the grand scope of things, these were tiny inconsequential issues that are all resolved now that I’m an adult. I am extremely grateful that my parents gave me such a wonderful opportunity to grow and become who I wanted to be in place of becoming what they wanted me to be.

casheroo's avatar

My parent did everything they could to try to control me, because I was a very unruly teenager.
I think they gave me an inch and I ran a mile.
They were pretty relaxed though. They didn’t/don’t care that my brother and I smoke pot. They knew we drank (as teenagers)...well, they might not have known the extent of it. My parents would take me out to early morning breakfast as a punishment for drinking.
My parents are very liberal, and probably didn’t expect to have such a “bad” child. I think that threw them off.

gimmedat's avatar

My dad was totally lax. I literally had no rules. He was a single parent, I am the last of six kids…he was done. It’s all good, though. I’ve turned into a pretty decent person. I’m trying really hard to maintain a good balance of strict and lax with my kids. I figure that they can’t get away with a whole lot, they’ve got some pretty street wise parents.

cak's avatar

@MacBean I would have given my eye-teeth for 15minutes of the freedom.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

These are all great and interesting answers, guys.

And what you @KatawaGrey said was very similar to my situation.

Another thing I thought I would add is that my parents know that I drink sometimes (and my sister) and really, it doesn’t seem to be much of a problem. My parents know that I don’t drive drunk or get in the car with a drunk driver, nor do I get super drunk or hammered. I’ve only come home drunk once and I was grounded (the one and only time I’ve ever been grounded) but I mean, I could’ve easily gone through high school pretending that I never drank and my parents would’ve bought it.

And thanks @jbfletcherfan!

Zen's avatar

One the former, the other the latter. Guess who did which.

SilverFang77's avatar

My mom was the one who set down rules. I didn’t have a lot of rules. I listened to the music I liked and watched what I liked on TV, but my mother did insist I keep passing grades and did insist on knowing whom I was out with and that I be home by around dark.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

“My mother did insist I keep passing grades and did insist on knowing whom I was out with and that I be home by around dark.”

Same with me. :)

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