#TBTMemory 50: Are Rules Made To Be Broken?

Maggie provides us with today’s Throwback Thursday questions.

This week, I thought we would talk about rules and family hierarchy, and child/parent relationships.

I was lucky in that I wasn’t abused by discipline, so this doesn’t trigger me or anything.

Who in your family was the person who made and enforced rules? Mom. Dad wasn’t around for a good portion of my childhood, but even when he was, Mom was the enforcer.

Did you grow up with many rules, or was your life a little more flexible? Not a lot of rules, and yes, things were more flexible.

Were you a rule follower or a rule breaker? I was a rule follower, and maybe a little too conscientious about it. It carried over into my adult life.

How were discipline and – in contrast – rewards managed in your household? On a case-by-case basis.

Were you given the opportunity to plead your case in matters of disagreement? Not that I can recall.

What tools did your parents use – ‘I’m going to count to three‘ or ‘don’t make me get up‘ or a time-out chair? Mom was a great one for saying “If I have to get out of this chair…” I asked her once what would have happened. She said she didn’t know.

Did fear of discipline curb your desire to break or bend the rules? Yes.

Did your upbringing influence the way you (as an adult) managed rules in your own home? We don’t have any kids, so no.

Were you ever ‘grounded’? Do you want to share the story? It was weird. I was a sophomore in college and went with some friends on the 4th of July to see fireworks, then we went for pizza and beer. I got home after midnight, and was informed that I was grounded. For what, I don’t know. I thought she was kidding. No, she wasn’t. Like I said, weird. (Now that I think about it, she was pregnant at the time.)

Did you break rules your parents never knew about? Want to confess and leave with a clear conscience? No? I don’t think so. I was too much of a rule follower. We didn’t have that many “thou shalt not”s, but more than a few “thou shalt”s.

See you next week!

Tally-ho and away we go!
See you next week with a brand new show!

13 thoughts on “#TBTMemory 50: Are Rules Made To Be Broken?

  1. Well, your mom seemed like a good mom and you turned out to be a good person because of it. My mom was the enforcer too. She used the same “if I have to get out of this chair” bit with me too. It worked.

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    1. She was a good mother, and we got a lot closer as I got older. She asked me to be her executor, which meant a lot (and it was a hell of an educational experience). I still miss her 22 years later (2000 was a rough year: both Mary and I lost our mothers). I don’t think you ever get over it…

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  2. I always enjoy what little bits you display after you give your answer. No truly meant no in our household. My brother and i knew better than to challenge my mom who was the enforcer. My dad, when I was a teen could be harsh with his words but he was not the enforcer. Mom was and she rarely had to enforce. Funny, we never had a curfew or be grounded. I never knew what that meant but if I got out of hand, I got a spanking and I deserved it! She never took our pants down, used a belt or slapped our bums so hard that we couldn’t sit down, she just spanked so we could feel it. I was more embarrassed by my actions. Discipline means love. My friend, we may have 10 or 12 yrs old said her parents don’t love her. I was telling her they do because her mom makes all the nice clothes for her, whatever she wants and her dad pays for her figure skating etc… but she was adamant that they don’t. So I said the same…thinking how my dad talked to me. She said no..they love me. I asked her how did she know and she replied, ” they Discipline you.” I didn’t know how to respond because, I didn’t get it. Only much, much later did I understand. She was only 10 or 12…wild

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    1. They say the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. Discipline and rules means that your parents are paying attention to you and what you’re doing. If your parents don’t care if you set the house on fire or raid the liquor cabinet, they’re probably so self absorbed that they couldn’t care less what you’re doing.

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  3. John, your memes were so perfectly suited this week! I reread twice because they made me laugh! I am a rule follower, too, and sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t have been a bit more rebellious?

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        1. I was always such a coward when dealing with her. I would bend too easily and let her change my mind too much. Jim took a lot of crap that was probably intended for me…

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