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  • How permissive were/are your parents?

    The cell-phone thread got me thinking about this. Were your parents strict? Suffocating? Rigid about their rules? Or did they cut you a lot of slack? And how did you (or do you) feel about it?

    Or if you're a parent, how strict are you? And in any case, what's your philosophy about how strict parental boundaries and supervision ought to be?

    * * *

    I'm not quite sure how to peg my parents. It seems they kept a pretty tight rein on me, yet they had few strict standards or house rules. I pretty much did as I pleased, but when I stepped out of bounds, I found out about it. Yet I could probably get away with things many kids my age couldn't, because my parents -- especially my dad -- would shrug or laugh a lot of things off.

    For instance, I remember walking home from high school one day, and my dad surprised me by picking me up. The police had summoned me to the station for semi-official charges of prank phone calls and marijuana use. Without asking, my dad half assumed I was guilty, but he said, "Don't worry about it. Everybody f***s up sometimes."

    My mom tended to get a lot more upset about things, but she was more worried than angry. And I guess her worry and tears did more than anything to keep me in line. I loved my parents and didn't want to disappoint them, so I never strayed to any great extreme without quickly recovering and toeing the line again.

    When it came to day-to-day stuff, I was pretty much free to do whatever I liked. We never had meals together at the table (except maybe on Thanksgiving or something); we'd individually take our plates to the living room and watch TV or whatever. I spent a lot of time in my room, reading, playing games, or daydreaming. If I was out playing with friends, I came home whenever we were done -- usually at a decent hour, I guess. Hard to remember; it's been a long time.

    But if my mom or dad sent me to the store, grumbling and resisting would do me no good; their wrath would drive me to comply, whether I liked it or not. Same when it came to yard work, which I hated. Or if I were on summer vacation and my dad decided I was going to work with him, I was going; I had no choice in the matter.

    In my high-school years and earlier, haircuts were a big bone of contention. Long hair was in fashion, but my old-fashioned parents objected to it and made me get my hair cut very short. I was a laughing stock in school, and when I was sixteen I ran away from home -- for what turned out to be just one night -- in protest. It scared my parents so bad that my dad said on the phone, "You can grow your hair down to your ass if you want to; just come home." I felt pretty guilty about having worried Mom and Dad like that, but the haircut thing was really important to me back then.

    All in all, I guess my parents didn't need to be very strict, since I have a built-in desire to be agreeable anyway. All they had to do was let me know what they wanted from me, and I'd usually do my best to comply. At least until I reached my rebellious years. Around ages sixteen and seventeen, I was automatically rejecting just about anything a parent or teacher would tell me, no matter who was right or wrong.

    Well, enough about me.
    22
    Very permissive
    18.18%
    4
    A little on the permissive side
    27.27%
    6
    A little on the strict side
    45.45%
    10
    Very strict
    9.09%
    2
    --Patrick Carroll


    "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

  • #2
    I would count my parents on the strict side. Chores had to be done and no backtalk, along with good grades. If I towed the line, then I usually got to do what I wanted to do. Hang out with friends, play football and be in the Boyscouts. Backtalk or get bad grades or not do chores(we lived on a horse farm), then the boom was most definitly lowered! Not just grounding either. But I can say that I never got spanked when I didn't deserve it. If I got smacked, looking back on it, I had earned it the old fashioned way. When I got to HS, my mom would let me stay out as long as I wanted provided she knew where I was and who I was with. Proud to say I never broke that rule. I knew a good thing when I saw one. She also kept quiet on the drinking(the drinking age at that time was 18, so who didn't drink?) but knowing where I was at all times actually kept that pretty much in check.


    As a parent, pretty much the same way except for the spanking. Don't know why I don't spank, just doesn't seem right in today's society. I have only spanked my daughter once in my life(she's 21 now). But she really had that one coming.
    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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    • #3
      I think we had similar parents Patrick LOL.

      My folks were pretty hands off for the most part, but in looking back I never WANTED to do anything really bad. Growing up in the 70s this gave me a lot of leeway to pretty much do whatever the hell I wanted most days. As soon as I could ride a bike I was out for hours at a time exploring my neighborhood, at times going 10+ miles away - and all without a cell phone or even telling them where I was going. I'm not sure if it was just because they trusted me, or because they thought I was just around the corner. Back then there weren't child predators like today so there was no fear for my safety. And really, I was never out causing trouble either. Mostly just riding or down by the river throwing rocks.

      They made me eat my vegetables, they made sure I was in bed at a reasonable hour, and they made sure I went to school - but other than those few boundaries I was mostly on my own recognizance. I was really good about doing my homework and getting good grades because I knew that not doing them would bring me the hassle of having to explain things to my parents. I think I was mature for a kid in that my main motivation for doing a lot of things was so that I wouldn't be harassed and I could get on with doing things that I wanted to do. Luckily, my parents gave me that freedom.

      They deny it now, but I distinctly remember spending afternoon hours in my room sweating bullets until my dad got home from work to dole out punishment with "the belt." That was one hassle I learned very quickly to avoid LOL so it was very rare they used it.

      This is pretty interesting as a subject too. I wonder how things would have been different if I had fallen in with the "wrong crowd"? I fell in with a bunch of friends that were good natured and we were more interested in exploring woods near our house, hanging out in caves, or later playing D&D or early computers. I never fell in with drug users, alcohol abusers, or destructive kids. I can't explain why...but I would like to so I can help my son along a similar path. [he's not even 2 yet so I have some time to figure it out]
      Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

      I write books about zombies as E.E. Isherwood. Check me out at ZombieBooks.net.

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      • #4
        I went from one extreme to the other and back. My parents divorced when I was three. My mother remarried an overly strict and abusive a$$hole.

        I remember spending weekends with my dad at his various apartments over the years and whomever his recent love was. He lived in Hermosa Beach with two women for about three years. I basically spent my summers there. He was a total hippie and was very liberal and permissive with me, but I then had to live under the rules of this sick martinet. My mother was the balancing act, able to put her husband in his place when possible and help me understand why my dad was so different.

        Unfortunately, my mother died when I was 11. The abuse by my stepfather worsened. He eventually wanted to adopt my brother and I, but we asked our dad to take us, and from that point on, I had basically no rules at all. I was crazy wild in my adolescence.

        This is how I know how important it is to be involved, be concerned, and most of all BE A PARENT.

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        • #5
          This is how I know how important it is to be involved, be concerned, and most of all BE A PARENT.
          The most important and honorable JOB in the world and it is a job. But very rewarding.

          HP
          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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          • #6
            Growing up it was my Pop who was the disciplinarian in the house. But he never once laid a hand on me or my sister. He didn't need to. He had a voice and stare that would send a cold wave through you.
            That worse thing he could do to us was say that we disappointed him.
            That would hurt for days and much worse I think than any belt could have.

            I was given a long leash as a kid so long as I proved I could get around without getting into trouble or messing myself up. And my Pop had friends of his in the neighborhood keeping an eye out. If my name came up in a situation, it would only be a matter of hours before I would find myself explaining why.
            My parents trusted me to know right from wrong and were there to guide me should I ever question which was which. They raised me well, but I can't remember anytime when they treated me like a child. I recall that at each of their funerals feeling like I had lost not only a parent, but a friend.

            I raised my own daughter the same way. We locked horns a few times over teen issues, but never was it a big deal. I found I had inherited both my Father's voice and stare. More often than not, Sabrina and I ended up talking things out.

            This past Sunday and Monday she and her husband visited Heidi and I for two days. We took the dog for a swim, watched a few movies, grilled on the deck, and laughed over stories families share.

            Early this morning I found a short letter on the desk in my study she must had written the night before. The bulk of it's content stays between her and I, but I'll share part of the last line.

            "...because you've always been my Daddy and one of my best friends."


            And the wheel turns.
            ACG QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
            ¿Cualquier persona fija en el nude? Slug

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            • #7
              My Mother and Father divorced when I was 2, and I was raised by my Dad and his parents. Grandpa and Grandma were pretty cool, but Dad set the rules. Chores were a given, no excuses. Homework was mandatory and good grades were expected. Family came first, last and all points in between.

              When my friends were trick-or-treating, I was standing at the door handing them candy. I went to my first movie without the whole clan when I was a freshman in high school. Instead of after school sports, I was caring for our 'livestock' (guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits...don't ask) and later working in my Dad's landscaping business. I had a short reprieve as a wrestler, but had to drop out because I couldn't go to away games.

              That said, I think I had a pretty good childhood.

              My Grandpa taught me to accept people on their merits, the value of a good practical joke and to cherish a true friend.

              My Grandma taught me to never say never. She was crippled by scoliosis and arthritis and was very hard of hearing, but she cooked and baked constantly, never missed making the rounds of her 'junk stores' on Saturdays and always had time to take my sister and I to a movie.

              My Dad taught me to never be afraid of hard work, that there is never a good excuse for a lie, and to admit your mistakes and learn from them.

              Every Sunday afternoon we would pile into the car and head for the woods. We would hike and climb the canyons and bluffs, run races in the meadows (used to really PO my sister when Dad would outrun her...going backwards) and look for interesting rocks. Dad was an Ozark Mountain boy and he taught me to move quietly, to follow a trail, to read tracks and to lose yourself in nature. I don't get out as often as I used to, but I can still feel all my cares drift away when I go hiking (and I don't mean on a trail).

              Well, that's my Opie life. Hope I didn't bore too many of you.
              All questions are valid, all answers are tentative.

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              • #8
                My mom was permissive unless I gave her reason not to be. I did get grounded, and on occasion when I was wildly out of line, a slap. Mom was indifferent about school, and I'm the only one that finished high school out of us three girls. I'm the only one that has had a long and happy marriage. Both my sisters have been married and divorced twice each. Both have had children out of wedlock. This is not a judgement, but it does raise questions as to why they're so different from me.

                The only difference I fathom in our situation was that I had a very solid and loving relationship with our father until mom and he divorced. My sisters were very young, and their only father figure was the drunken boyfriend she moved in with. I think this has everything to do with the way their lives unfolded.

                I never got into bad trouble, but I sure did do some stupid things. The only things that kept me from becoming a druggie or a delinquent was my religious foundation, my previous relationship with my dad, and the fact that I had a job and was pretty responsible, or maybe it's just because I'm the oldest child.
                Love. Where does it come from?
                from The Thin Red Line

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dolley View Post
                  My mom was permissive unless I gave her reason not to be. I did get grounded, and on occasion when I was wildly out of line, a slap. Mom was indifferent about school, and I'm the only one that finished high school out of us three girls. I'm the only one that has had a long and happy marriage. Both my sisters have been married and divorced twice each. Both have had children out of wedlock. This is not a judgement, but it does raise questions as to why they're so different from me.

                  The only difference I fathom in our situation was that I had a very solid and loving relationship with our father until mom and he divorced. My sisters were very young, and their only father figure was the drunken boyfriend she moved in with. I think this has everything to do with the way their lives unfolded.

                  I never got into bad trouble, but I sure did do some stupid things. The only things that kept me from becoming a druggie or a delinquent was my religious foundation, my previous relationship with my dad, and the fact that I had a job and was pretty responsible, or maybe it's just because I'm the oldest child.
                  Sounds like my parents. I rarely gave them any reason to be strict but my younger brother got away with anything and everything. Always getting into trouble doing stupid crap and they always babied him.

                  When I am naughty I do deserve a spanking though. Dolley?
                  Check out our webpage for our NFL picks http://members.cox.net/mjohns59/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Psycho View Post
                    When I am naughty I do deserve a spanking though. Dolley?
                    Absolutely! And there are some who would ask for a spanking even when they're not naughty...but I digress.
                    Love. Where does it come from?
                    from The Thin Red Line

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                    • #11
                      Add a younger sister to the show, and I could have been Beaver Cleaver.

                      My parent's weren't strict, but my parents were also not permissive.

                      My folks were happily married, they didn't smoke drink and do drugs, they were not casual about just about any social vice. In fact my parents were indeed boring They were church goers, they didn't swear, and there was no violence in the home. I was in by 9 regardless of whether it was middle of summer or not. I was not allowed to do most of what kids today consider "ordinary and expected". When I got grounded for a week, I was actually really grounded for a week, not a couple of days till my parents got bored of my being around and miserable.
                      My dad worked away from home. And he would be gone a few days home a few days in that pattern. Punishment was often being told if we didn't behave, we wouldn't get to see dad when he got home. My dad was perfection, the ideal man.

                      My parents seem so completely different to 98% of the parents out there today. I pity kids today, as so many parents today simply suck as parents.

                      I can always hope I am as good as my dad, but I am fairly sure I will never match him, barely even get close to equalling him. Still, if my son is any indication, I must be well above average at doing the job. I have an edge though, my son has never been in a day care center. I truly think day care is a necessary thing only if you can't accept that you might not get to live as comfortable as you want. My life ain't a bed of roses, but it hasn't been all bad.
                      Life is change. Built models for decades.
                      Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                      I didn't for a long time either.

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                      • #12
                        In a nutshell;

                        My mom knows where the bodies are buried. (she has the lime & shovels)

                        My dad doesn't want to know.

                        "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                        BoRG

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                        • #13
                          My parents graded Yes and No. Dad was always on an oil rig. He would come in and after a day or two start wondering where his kids were and who were these little strangers/untamed savages that needed to be completely turned around! Picture the race to the dining table when Dad was in, to avoid sitting next to him! Dad was "Touchy Feely!", he had a middle finger thump to the forehead that enduced headaches! My Brother, the Redhead with ADDHA used to really look forward to him coming home. He did not act better, but he did disappear for long periods of time.

                          Mom was not a very good disciplinarian. She realised early that her arm would only get tired from whipping us.

                          My daughters were not bad kids. I was always home and little got past me. I was the disciplinarian. I would listen, but then back up my ex in "problems". I found out later my ex was not worthy of the trust, but that is another issue for another day. MY oldest thanks me today for bringing her up firmly, but fairly. She will also tell you I was always there for her and always helped with what I had.

                          Pruitt
                          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by P.V. Mann III View Post
                            In a nutshell;

                            My mom knows where the bodies are buried. (she has the lime & shovels)

                            My dad doesn't want to know.

                            My mom knows where the bodies are buried.
                            I think she forgot one, P.V.

                            HP
                            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                            • #15
                              My parents aren't strict just stubborn.

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