Ugh, strict parents really do ruin a lot of things for us; they ruin our sense of trust in them, they ruin a lot of fun times, they ruin so many outings and experiences. Whether it’s the constant anxiety from always feeling the need to sneak around or constantly having to keep track of the lies that you tell so you can actually do the things you want to do. Let’s be honest, having strict parents sucks really badly so let’s get into it.
- Living in a constant state of anxiety:
Doing things behind your parents’ backs – especially when they’re pretty mundane things – is very nerve wracking because you feel like you’re doing something wrong and that you’ll get caught and punished for nothing. They’ve demonized anything they have not experienced themselves and decided that they’ll punish us for their inability to understand us.
- Constantly feeling like you’re under surveillance:
Constantly feeling like someone is watching over your shoulder no matter what you’re doing sucks. You could literally be making a sandwich and you can’t get rid of this feeling. It destroys any feeling of possible trust or normalcy or safety or privacy in our homes.
- Bye-bye experiences:
Whether it’s forcing you to go home early, not allowing you to go out in the first place, or blowing up your phone every 10 mins to ask for a shared live location or proof you’re with friends. We’ve missed out on so many experiences just because we have strict parents. The thing is, we’ll never get a full experience that isn’t tainted by the fear and anxiety of either getting caught or having someone constantly breathing down our necks for doing nothing but living.
- Yeeted parent-child relationship:
There isn’t mutual trust (or respect, or privacy, or safety) which entirely ruins whatever relationship we might have with our parents. We can’t go to them when we’re in distress because we fear getting in trouble and we don’t go to them for the minor things that seem pretty mundane – like failing a quiz – because we fear whatever consequences are to come. Trust is mutual, if you show your kids that you don’t trust them then they are not obligated to trust you (or listen to you, or take your advice, or respect you, or love you).
We learn that the truth will get us in trouble so we lie. We know if we tell you I’m going out with a person of the opposite gender alone – even if it’s strictly platonic – you’ll say “it’s not proper” or “fen sohabko” or “la2 mayenfa3sh” Leh? “3alashan”. We learn that Mohamad is Mona, Farida is Farag, Daniel is Dania, Ziad is Zeina and Rawan is Ramy. We know that if we tell you that we’re going to Mori Sushi ma3 3atef/3abla at 6 you’ll tell us no, we know that you don’t care who 3atef/3abla is. You care that there’s a different genital between their legs so it’s an automatic no. Telling me that I can’t do the things I want to do or the things I’m doing doesn’t stop me from doing the things, it only encourages me to do it behind your backs.
- You learn to contain yourself:
You can’t necessarily be yourself at home, you learn to be the version your parents approve of and you find it hard being comfortable with yourself and expressing yourself. You can’t express how you feel in the general safety of your own home so it becomes hard for you to express your emotions in general. You learn to make your personality palatable to your parents. We live as shells of ourselves, and it’s beyond unfair.
- Demonizing mundane acts:
When you are brought up believing that the normal mundane things you do are bad there is a sense of shame and fear when you do them. You feel the need to hide the fact that you’re talking to this friend or that you’re seeing this person, because you have made the mental connection that this is bad and I should hide it.
- Rebellious phase meets disaster:
When you’re told you can’t do this and that and that and this and this and that and this, you really want to do these things and the reason you don’t do the things you want to do is because you’re scared of the consequences. Now there are no bounds to what you can and can’t do so you say screw it and you go all out. Your actions are no longer regulated and most of the time they are irresponsible and reckless but you can’t help yourself; you’ve been restrained for most of your life so now that you’re not you don’t have limits. There are no boundaries and rationality exited the train at the last station. You can’t live your entire life restrained and then suddenly expect to fly along and
- Consequences who?
Hear me out, when you are not allowed to make tiny stupid mistakes you don’t get to learn from them. When you live in a constant state of being told exactly what to do and when to do it, you don’t get to make the tiny stupid mistakes that we get to learn from. You don’t get to forget to do your homework this one time, fail that quiz because you didn’t study, forget your lunch, or even not clean your room for too long. You don’t get the chance to learn from your mistakes because you are never given the chance to make the mistake in the first place.
Strict parenting really tainted out teenage years with the bitter and unmaskable taste of distrust and restraint. My heart goes out to all the teens with a diminished sense of trust, respect, safety, and love due to this very harmful parenting style that impossibly proves itself more harmful everyday.