Your parents had lots of rules when you were growing up. Sure, some made sense, but some were annoying or felt weird because such a big deal was made of them. Even if you didn’t understand it or agree with it back then, the truth is that these rules probably made you a better person.
1. You couldn’t have a light snack before dinner.
There were hours before dinner and yet you couldn’t sneak in a snack, even a yogurt or a piece of chocolate. Why? It’s not like you were going to spoil your appetite (or so you thought). It was so frustrating and at the time, it felt like your parents just wanted to watch you starve. Now that you’re an adult, this rule makes sense and has probably stopped you from raiding the fridge before dinner. You have healthier eating habits, for sure.
2. You had to make your bed the minute you jumped out of it.
It used to feel like no big deal to leave your bed rumpled and untidy all day until you had to use it again at night, but your parents wouldn’t budge on this rule. It was a good thing, though, because now you appreciate how a tidy bed is so tempting and it saves you the trouble of making it at night. Plus, research has proven that making your bed every morning can boost your mood, increase your focus, and reduce stress levels.
3. You had to do homework before watching TV.
As a kid, this rule felt weird because in your mind it didn’t matter if you watched some TV before doing your homework, or even while doing it. But no, you could never achieve this balance between work and play under your parents’ watchful eyes. As an adult, this rule taught you to be disciplined and to earn your chill time, which isn’t always a bad thing.
4. You had to go to bed at a certain time, no excuses.
Was it such a big deal to go to bed a bit later? In your parents’ minds, yes! Sticking to the same old bedtime every night felt boring, but it taught you to maintain a healthy bedtime routine every night, which can prevent insomnia. Who knew?
5. You had to eat veggies or you wouldn’t get dessert.
It was sometimes a struggle to get through those Brussels sprouts and broccoli before you could tuck into a bar of chocolate. Now, as an adult, you know that you need your nutrients before having processed food — and it can fill you up so you don’t reach for those unhealthy calories. Smart, Mom.
6. You had to spend time with your family.
When you’re a kid, spending time with your annoying siblings or parents feels like pure punishment. However, having scheduled family time every week taught you to value your loved ones and the importance of quality time with those you love. Now, you treasure the bonds you’ve built with your nearest and dearest and wouldn’t trade them for the world.
7. You couldn’t walk around with socks on.
If your parents ever told you not to walk around with socks on and no shoes, you probably rolled your eyes at them. Age brings wisdom, though, and now you know how dangerous that is, especially when you’re running up the stairs. Eek!
8. You had to use the internet in an area of the home where you could be watched.
It felt like you were in prison when you were only allowed to use the computer in a shared living area of the house. However, there are so many dangers on the internet and your parents saved you from some of the more nefarious people who hide out and exploit vulnerable people online. You probably have smarter internet usage now because of their weird rule.
9. You had to bathe in the same water as your siblings.
If you had lots of siblings in your household, maybe the rule was that you had to share the same bathwater. Yup, it was gross, but it was a way to save water. Chances are that now as an adult you’re much more conscious of not wasting water.
10. You couldn’t laugh while lying down.
If your parents ever told you not to laugh while lying down, it probably made you laugh harder. But this rule was probably set to prevent you from choking, like if you had some gum in your mouth. You’ve learned better social etiquette since then by remaining vertical during a good chuckle, especially in public!
11. You were forced to take naps.
There was nothing worse than being told it was nap time when you wanted to spend time outside or chat to your friends. Parents knew how important it was to score some snooze during the day to replenish your energy reserves, and now you can’t get enough of nap time!
12. You had to wear your older sibling’s clothes.
Hand-me-downs weren’t always fun. Sometimes, you felt embarrassed to wear your older sibling’s clothing, especially if they didn’t match your style. But it made you creative — hey, maybe you even learned how to tailor your own clothes. That, or it made you see the value of secondhand clothing stores.
13. You weren’t allowed to have shoes on your own bed.
At the time this rule felt weird, especially if it was your bed, but the germs you would have brought into the place you slept were obscene! As you grew up, you realized how much dirt and bacteria your shoes track into your home — it’s gross! You don’t want them on your clean sheets or duvet nowadays, and you’re a more hygienic person because of this rule.
14. You couldn’t stand up from the dinner table.
Parents would get mad if their kids would stand up halfway into dinner to do something. Sure, it was a bit of overkill (like, what if you needed a refill on your water?), but it was good in that it taught you to focus on your food and engage in more mindful or intuitive eating.
15. You had to use euphemisms for bad words.
Maybe you had to say “fluffs” instead of the f-word and your parents enforced this rule so you wouldn’t use bad words in the house. The replacement words were funny for sure, but they probably also made you more aware of what you say in front of others so you don’t grow up to be rude and obnoxious.
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