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Growing up, my parents ran a tight ship. While they weren’t the strictest in the world, they were quite strict, and I often found myself frustrated because I felt like I was being treated unfairly. Fast-forward to now, and I realize my parents did me a favor.

However, even if I know as an adult that they did me a favor by being strict, there are some days that I reminisce on how crazy strict my parents were. It got me thinking, I wonder how many people were in the same boat, sharing similar experiences with strict parents. So, I decided to devise a list of things that only people who had strict parents would understand.

1. Being the one kid who had to leave first.

I vividly remember being picked up from almost every fun event before anyone else. My mother would be waiting in the pickup line at school events, and I had a strict curfew when I did go out with friends. My friends would be free agents until midnight, while I had to dip at like 9.

2. Bartering with your parents to do things everyone else easily got to do.

While my friends had no problem getting a yes to go to school dances, sleepovers, and the like, I had to figure out how to barter. First rule: never ask when they are mad. Second rule: you better have a legit reason for why you are going out.

3. Practicing asking your parents for permission in the mirror.

Anyone else? I remember standing in the mirror, pleading with my parents eloquently. Sometimes, I even made a list of talking points.

4. The no boys or no girls allowed talk.

Some of my friends got to have boyfriends and girlfriends pretty early on. When I introduced my first boyfriend to my mom, I had to really, really make him look like the greatest guy ever. Even then, he wasn’t allowed to come to hang out at the house and my contact with him was limited.

5. Striking up a conversation when you knew your parents were in a good mood.

However, I always knew when they were in their best mood and used it to my advantage. Mom just got a raise? Now is the time to ask if I can go to Beth’s house.

6. Not seeing the point in asking again when your parents said no.

While my friends would always insist I ask twice if my mom said no, it meant no. So, I wouldn’t ever ask a second time.

7. Creating stories to tell your parents instead of your actual whereabouts.

Once upon a time, I could craft the best stories. I would have one trusted friend cover for me, and then I would do whatever I wanted. This obviously was not the best choice.

8. Being allowed to get one hole in your ear, and that being the extent of your body jewelry until 18.

When I was roughly 1 year old, my mom got my ears pierced. Unfortunately, that was the only piercing I could have until I turned 18. Imagine my mom’s face when the first thing I did on my 18th birthday was run to get a nose ring.

9. Manners, manners, manners.

Manners were a top priority. If I forgot to say yes ma’am, please, or thank you, my mom was quick to swoop in and correct me.

10. Cleaning the house while all your friends did what they wanted.

Unfortunately, this also meant that many summer days were spent on chores. Meanwhile, none of my friends had legit chores, so they had a lot of fun while I did my housework.