Being a parent is hard. You bring this tiny, innocent creature into the planet and naturally you want to protect it from everything. When they're an infant, it's pretty easy. You baby-proof the house, keep a baby monitor in their bedroom and you are in charge of all their activities. However, as kids grow older, controlling them becomes a much harder task. Some parents accept this and begin to loosen the reins they hold on their offspring. And then there are parents who keep the leash on their children nice and taut, no matter how old they get. If you grew up with strict parents you know what this is like. The incessant questions, the constant monitoring, the lectures...there's no escaping it. Here are 18 memes you will definitely relate to if you were raised by strict parentals.
Strict parents love kids who stay at home. After all, why would you want to go hang out with friends when you can watch an old episode of Shark Tank with your parents and maybe catch up on some vacuuming? To a strict parent, that’s a pretty fun Friday night. Since conservative ‘rents have such a skewed perception of what a kid’s social life should be, it’s no surprise that they get supremely overwhelmed when their kid asks to go out twice during the same week. Sometimes the time flies by so fast that two times in a MONTH can seem like a lot. Uh, didn’t you enjoy your April outing, kid? Cool it down, Lindsay Lohan, you can go out again in May. Now go to your room and color. Yeah, I know you’re 17, just go and color a few pages and settle down, okay?
17 You can track your permission by clicking the link
There are some things that people with chill parents will never understand. Things like being super quiet when your parents are sleeping or else they'll wake up and yell at you, the fact that a messy room is grounds for punishment and, of course, the excruciating process of asking to go out. While some kids can just flippantly tell their parents where they're going as they walk out of the house, kids with strict parents have to basically put together a presentation. They must clearly outline the event and time schedule, highlight all participants involved in the plan, leave three contact numbers and conduct a Q + A session where all responses must be carefully deliberated. After that, parents generally need at least two business days to mull things over. Obviously.
16 Insert envy here
Growing up with strict parents can lead to some intense friend envy. It’s scrolling through photos from the party you couldn’t go to, listening to stories from the night you had to stay in and generally feeling envious of all of the things your friends are allowed to do that you can only dream of. Sometimes, it can feel like everyone’s having fun but you. The worst is when you’re watching the fun unfold right in front of your eyes and you can’t join in. Yep, nothing sucks more than being stuck at home, nose pressed against a window, watching your friends hang out without you as you do chores around the house…on a Saturday. You want to look away but it's almost impossible. It's downright masochistic, but you can't help it, it’s better to know what you’re missing out on than to be totally and miserably alone.
15 Better safe than sorry
Any kid growing up in a strict household knows that as long as you live under your parent’s roof, privacy is a privilege, and one that can be taken away at any time. One moment you’re chatting on Facebook, answering text messages and scrolling through Tumblr without a worry in the world. The next you’re having a mild coronary attack as you are forced to print out your FB chats, hand over your phone and open up your Likes folder. Yikes. Because these curveballs are thrown at any time, kids with strict parents know they have to stay ahead of the curve. They know that browser histories have to be cleared frequently, FB chats need to be edited for wholesomeness and pretty much every app on a phone has to be deleted before handing that sucker over. Will it look suspicious that all you have on your phone is Candy Crush and Uber? Probably. But better to deal with one question than a hundred of them, we say.
14 It's all about perspective
Strict parents tend to have Type A personalities. They like things to run on the schedule and they don't appreciate when people deviate from the plan. The perfect example of this is bedtime. Strict parents love to tell their children when to go to sleep, even when they're not technically children anymore. While they may not be able to stand over their kids until they actually close their eyes, their supersonic hearing still catches everything happening around the house. Whether it's a phone vibrating or the crinkle of a chips bag, you better believe they're springing up from their slumber just to come yell at you. Yep, while other kids are sneaking out of their house to go to a keg party you can't can't get a simple midnight snack without a lecture.
13 Playing your cards right
Every kid who grew up with strict parents knows that asking to go out is a delicate process that should be approached carefully and intelligently. And considering that strict parents don’t like to be asked for the same thing repeatedly, you know you have to get things right the first time. If your room is messy, expect a quick no. If your homework isn’t done, we don’t even understand why you’re asking. And if you just showed your mom a less than stellar report card, you should just download a movie to watch because you are definitely not stepping foot outside of the house. If none of these things apply to you, however, you may have a pretty good chance of going out. The trick now is to kiss up beyond belief. In strict parent world, that means cleaning up around the house. Do the dishes, clean the bathtub and scrub the toilet. It’s pretty much a part of your going out routine by now.
If there’s one thing strict parents despise, it’s a sleepover. In their minds, sleepovers are for wild kids who go into abandoned fields at night, drink copious amounts of alcohol, engage in premarital relations and dance to the devil’s music. And in many ways, they’re right. Sure, a sleep over can be wholesome, but most of the time it’s the perfect situation for young people to do things they likely wouldn’t be able to in the daytime. What could be better than getting together with friends, not having to go home at any point and being “chaperoned” by two unconscious adults? Nothing really. Strict parents know this and firmly forbid sleepovers leading their children to actively envy all of their friends who are allowed to host and attend them. And don’t even get us started on people who are allowed to have sleepovers with their boyfriends and girlfriends. It’s downright mind-boggling.
11 You can stop now
Strict parents worry an insane amount about their kids. It’s pretty much the main driver for all of their parenting decisions. They frown upon smoking because they’re afraid it’ll stunt your growth, they fear who you hang out with because they know how easy it is to fall in with the “wrong crowd” and they enforce a curfew because they’re afraid you’ll get mugged or assaulted if out too late at night. Because of these fears, strict parents have a conniption when you don’t answer your phone. Yeah, they know you’re at a friend’s house, and yes, you just talked to them an hour ago, but if you don’t answer after three times, they have no choice but to assume you’ve gotten murdered. So, make sure to answer those text messages coming in from your mom every five minutes. Her life depends on it.
10 Cue the cardiac arrest
It’s no secret that strict parenting often leads to the formation of sneaky, deceiving kids. These are kids who have six different hiding spots in their room at all times, deserve an Academy Award for their elaborate lies and know at least three different ways of sneaking out of the house. These people are pretty cunning, there’s no denying it. That being said, they have to stay alert and keep an eye over their shoulder at all times. After all, there’s nothing scarier than being caught off guard with someone of the opposite sex in your room or running into your mom on the street when you told her you were at the school studying for Chem. Yep, nothing gets the adrenaline pumping like seeing the same car your parents have when you’re totally not where you’re supposed to be.
9 Instant regret
Having strict parents can be emotionally confusing. On one hand, they’re your parents and you love them for giving you life and providing you with basic essentials like food, clothes and a roof over your head. Sometimes, it can even feel like you guys are the best of friends. On the other hand, they are extremely conservative, don't fully understand your modern lifestyle and always have their parent cap on, even if it seems like they've put it away for the day. Yep, when hanging with strict parents things can go from lighthearted and fun to seriously brutal in mere seconds. This usually happens when you yourself put your guard down. Telling mom the story about when Jessica got approached at the mall by a model scout seems like a totally fine idea in the moment. That is until she starts lecturing you on human trafficking and not talking to strangers at a mall. Sigh. You tried.
8 Sympathy initiated
Getting a strict parent to let you do something is an art every oppressed kid has to master. Everyone knows you can’t just walk up to a strict parent and ask for something point blank. No, no the process is much more extensive. It usually involves a lot of research, some major chore doing (see number 5), a little sucking up and of course, building sympathy. Maestros of the trade know that reverse psychology is often employed. After all, nothing guilts a strict parent more than the idea that they are emotionally scarring their child. Strict parents want to teeter the line between those harsh nannies on TV and Stalin, but never cross it. Which is why a defeated look and a quick “never mind you’re just gonna say no” is every strict parent’s kryptonite.
7 The tragic farewells
Having a fun and dependable group of friends is the best. They always make sure to invite you to things, they’re there when life starts to get rough and they have your back if someone starts ragging on you. These are also the friends that fully understand how strict your parents are. They’ve likely set up phone calls between their parents and yours and they certainly know that if they get you back to your house past curfew, they’re in trouble too. This doesn’t make it any easier to leave a your crew’s house, though. Especially since you’re always the one who has to go home first. Just imagine it. You’re chilling with your friends joking around and laughing without a care in the world when suddenly your phone buzzes. You look down and suddenly are brought back down to reality. It’s your mom reminding you that you have to be home in 20 minutes. Your friends start gathering around to say goodbye with tears in their eyes. It’s tragic, really.
6 Thanks, BYE
Growing up with strict parents means knowing when to fight for something and knowing when to take what you can get. If your mom let’s you stay out an hour past curfew, you probably shouldn’t ask to also sleepover at your friend’s house. If your dad says you can borrow his credit card to go back-to-school shopping, you should snag that thing fast but don’t go (too) over the spending limit. And if your mom let’s you go out even though your room is messy, you freaking hightail it out of the house, OBVIOUSLY. Dealing with strict parents is all about timing so you gotta know when to take things slow and when to leave at a highpoint. It’s an art, honestly.
5 Watch that mouth
Everyone knows that strict parents have short fuses. They demand respect and if there is even a chance that you are not giving it to them, they flip out. While some kids may get away with slamming doors, muttering things under their breath or even cursing at their parents, you know that doing any of these things yourself would land you in house arrest for a week. Sometimes, your parents can be so quick to crack the whip that they think you’re disrespecting them just by existing! Like that time you got lectured and instead of maintaining unwavering eye contact your mom, you did something silly, like blink. Then before you could even debate whether that was an eye roll or a blink your mom had already smacked you upside the head. Womp.
4 If only they knew
When you're a kid with strict parents it's so easy to be misunderstood. Your parents think you party like Paris Hilton. Your friends think you're a loner because you never go out. And many people simply see you as "the kid with really strict parents." Rough. Because strict parents don't tend to care what other kids are doing, they often get a skewed perception of how someone of a young age acts when unsupervised. While you may very well know that people at your school are getting up to far worse things, your parents are so strict, they think that leaving dishes in the sink is a valid reason to send you to boarding school. Sigh. If only they knew how much worse you could be.
3 The performance of a lifetime
Like we mentioned earlier, strict parenting often leads to the formation of sneaky and deceiving kids. It’s just inevitable. The spectrum for this is pretty wide-ranging from white lies all the way to double life status. Wherever you may lie on this spectrum, we’re sure you’ve lied to your parents at least once in your life. And if you’re lucky, you saw the interrogation coming from a mile away. You know how it goes. You think you’ve gotten away with something when someone tips you off that you actually haven’t. From there, you have two options. You either double over with guilt and nerves and fess up. Orrrr, you start rehearsing like you just got cast for a movie until you know that lie so well, you almost believe it yourself.
2 Times have changed
If you grew up in a strict household, you know how mind boggling it can be to see how kids today interact with their parents. Whether you witness something small like a temper tantrum at the mall or something big like a full-blown cursing fight, you can't help but stare at the scene unraveling before you. How is this mother checking her phone with her child sprawled out on the floor? Is she really counting to ten right now? Does that ever work? You know that if that was your mother, she could've stopped the whole commotion with just one eye withering stare. That look always sent chills down your spine. Pfft, mall kid will probably only get 10 minutes of time out. Kids these days have it easy.
It may not happen often, but every once in a while, years will pass and strict parents will actually transform into chill parents. It certainly won't happen from one day to the next, but the gradual change is pretty astounding. You'll notice this transformation when your parents' behavior starts to surprise you. Maybe they stop snooping around your room. Or maybe they trust you enough to abolish curfew. And then, one day, you'll ask for something outlandish, something you're pretty much asking just to see the look on their faces, and the impossible will happen: they'll actually say yes. In that moment, you'll know you've reached a whole new level. In fact, you've beat the whole game! Congrats. You've earned it.