Learning and Exploring

Generational, Geographical, and Class Divides with Parental Discipline

I’ve seen a lot of videos some humor, some not about the strictness of immigrant parents or brown vs white parents or middle class vs lower class. Plus there is always the generational difference of the “I had to walk to school up a hill both ways in snow barefoot” which is how we’ve started to respond every time an older person starts “in MY day we had too . . .”

Things that were normal back in the day are considered criminal now. Like my grandmother and her sister were all socked in the face for sassing their mom, and switched/tanned whatever, but they held no hard feelings. I mean there is a whole lot more discipline or “discipline” of that sort going on around here now because country people still are like that. There are so many things about middle class America that don’t apply very well around here, because most people here haven’t been middle class enough generations or are working class middle class.

Even though my background doesn’t really fit the normal middle class narrative (conservative homeschooler stereotype is notoriously harsh/strict), I do feel like more people my age around here were spanked while seemingly there are a lot of people my age in the Western world at large who were treated more like little princesses and princelings, at least per internet stereotypes. I wish there were stats on that sort of thing, it would be really interesting

So, despite being upper middle class millennial, at least me and the next sister after me seemed to be parented by country/immigrant/lower class parents of a generation or so back. At least if you are going by the stereotypes.

I mean there is a limited amount of strictness that public school parents can be, they can’t watch you in school. You are under constant surveillance at home. Lots of people said strictness made sneaky kids, I don’t think so, I didn’t DARE be sneaky, although I think my siblings did a bit (but nothing truly bad). Also, I was terrified of everything anyway.



  • McKayla

    It definitely depends a lot on where you grew up.
    My parents have never been strict, but they’re not lenient either. If we did something bad, we would get punished for it. We were rarely spanked, but I remember having TV time or dessert privileges revoked, being sent to my room, etc.

  • Skye

    My family was weird in the fact that even though my parents can be strict they tend to give in a lot too. And my oldest brothers never listened anyway and did basically what they wanted. I was someone who hated being in trouble and followed all the rules (well mostly) if I did something I wasn’t supposed to do, I tended to be sneaky about it.
    My younger siblings get away with a lot more, but my parents are stricter about certain things than they were when I was growing up. And completely don’t care about things they used to be really rigid about.
    It really depends on the kids I think, because most of my siblings are terrible liars and couldn’t be sneaky if they wanted to.

    • Livia Rose

      That’s me, the terrible liar. Its just easier to confess. I was “bad” in attitude and words. My siblings were bad in sneakiness/just doing what they wanted.

  • Marian

    My parents were pretty strict, but they were also consistent. There wasn’t really much opportunity or interest for me to break rules. I was also taught God was watching me so that was a big motivation to behave. So I guess the strictness was a combination of immigrant and religious backgrounds.

    I did do something sneaky once, but felt really bad about it and ended up telling them. They actually didn’t get mad about it or anything. I think I made it out worse to be than it really was. 😛

    The only bad thing about strictness was, I never felt like pushing back or expressing myself, cause I didn’t know how to do it in a positive way. It would’ve been good for me to talk to them about things and see if there could be a compromise. I tended to bottle up completely. That’s since changed with my younger siblings, they communicate way more, so I think some good has come out of my experience for them.

    All that said, parenting is so hard… I read somewhere that all you can hope is that your parents do their best!

    • Livia Rose

      I definitely remember lying and then confessing, not sure what the point of the lie was.

      Having kids seems to be too easy for the difficulty of parenting.

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