Someone on Twitter put together this “Bingo Card” to see what types of things had been prohibited by their parents growing up. The one posting it, White Cat Prophecy, revealed that they had an X on all but 6 squares, which is … a lot. Here’s the Bingo card, with my apologies for the intro comments & language:
- Red: Disallowed
- Yellow: Varied
- Green: Allowed
- Blue: Not Applicable (or not addressed)
That seems like a more interesting system to me than just a pass/fail, so here are my results:
- Red (Definitely not kosher – 6): Say swear words, Buy anything on Sunday, Date before 16, Swimming on Sunday, Have Sex (FREE!), Play Sports on Sunday (but I wasn’t sporty, so NBD)
- Yellow (ignored occasional scolding on these – 4): Date a non-Mormon (actually, I think this was a race thing, but we weren’t dating, and only dating Mormons would have been impossible anyway), Drink caffeine (this changed depending on our ward), Sleeveless shirts (wasn’t forbidden, but I was told that I needed to “practice” wearing sleeves), Double earring piercing (actually this is not accurate–I was scolded for ANY piercing, and I had 3 in each, but Hinckley was not yet president and hadn’t made this a thing yet, so nobody really cared about the number), Wear 2-piece swimsuit (this varied depending on the decade, it seems)
- Green (12): Dye hair, Say “butt,” Listen to real music on Sundays (some Violent Femmes lyrics scandalized my mom, but it wasn’t a Sunday thing), Homework on Sundays, 1-on-1 dates (would have been OK, but all my dating was in secret), Play with face cards (routinely done, including ward parties), Friends on Sunday (encouraged), Have bf/gf (not an issue, but I liked my privacy and did not bring anyone I was dating home if it could be avoided), Sleepovers (routine & encouraged), Say “sucks,” Kiss anyone, Watch R-rated movies (they took me to my first one at age 11!)
- Blue (2): Spongebob and the Simpsons were later, but I doubt there would have been any objection to Spongebob. The Simpsons might have been objected to on the grounds that it makes nuclear plant workers look incompetent, or maybe that would have been grounds for it to be enjoyed. I’m not sure. In general, no TV or movies were considered forbidden.
There are a few things that weren’t on the Bingo card that I think could have been included:
- Having a job that worked on Sundays
- Skipping church when not on vacation
- Missing seminary or YM/YW
- Not fasting for 24 hours
- Regular clothes after Church
I’m sure there are more, but I’m having a hard time coming up with them right now. How about you?
- What would you add to the Bingo card?
- Would your kids’ card look the same as yours? Did they have more or less “freedom” than you did?
- What’s your score (either Y/N or using the color coded version)?
- Did you feel restricted as a kid due to family / church rules, or did it just feel normal to you?
My score would be 12 on the red/yellow scale. I grew up on the East coast and had about 5 other members in my graduating high school class of approximately 400. I can assure you that I felt much more restricted than anyone I knew, except a fellow member a year older than me. She wasn’t allowed to wear pants, ever, until about 11th grade. At that point, they could only be pants that didn’t have a zipper (no jeans!). The logic of that always baffled me – all the easier to get off!!
I was “allowed” to wear a bikini, but only if I was sunning in our backyard. I was not allowed to wear it in public. I got a big lecture about how disappointed they were when I bought two sundresses (both with super wide shoulder straps). I had to buy all my own clothes from about the time I started high school so it’s not like I was using their money to bare my porn shoulders. When I was younger, I could have a church friend over on Sunday between meetings but couldn’t play with my neighbor friends. As I got older, I never brought anyone – male or female – to the house if it could be avoided.
In reality, all these super restrictive rules just meant that I lied, kept a lot of secrets on the regular, and couldn’t wait to move out.
Early 2000s Arizona teen. Dating wasn’t a huge issue because no-one was interested. I think I had 2 or 3 date in high schools; all for dances.
Red: (16/25) Butt, swear, buy on Sunday, date before 16, friends on Sunday, swim on Sunday, sex, sports on Sunday, sucks, Spongebob, 2-piece (but tankini ok), sleeveless, r-rated movies, Simpsons, date non-Mormons, double piercing.
Yellow: (4/25) Dye hair, real music, 1 on 1 dates, have a bf, kiss
Green: (4/25) homework, caffeine (in soda), sleepovers (but my friends rarely did), face cards
My kids have more freedom than I did. I had to wear nylons to church! I felt restricted but in a self-righteous way and also knew kids who had it worse (like the church clothes all day or 24-hour fast kids).
This is a fun generational study. I married late and my kids are HokieKate’s contemporaries, so let’s just I say I shouted “Bingo!” on the first glance of the card. I am about to get nostalgic…
Yes, face cards were evil back in the day. My Dad confiscated and destroyed them with a vengeance. But we still played. In non-religious ways we had greater freedoms in my generation, as I was raised in small town/rural Utah and parents were happy if you made it through a summer break without blowing something up or lighting the town on fire. Parties were always better with roman candles and bottle rockets. We made knives, recurve bows and gun stocks in shop class and I actually kept a deer rifle and ammo behind the pickup truck seat when I went to high school during deer season. I would have thought a mass shooting was the opening day of duck season and a video game was a game played while watching a movie on TV.
Released time seminary was attended at the local high school, unless the weather was warm and then class size dwindled. Swearing? Heck, our local church leaders were farmers. It was their native language and even crept out in testimony meetings. My upbringing was a bit rougher. The YM had to take care of cattle on the church welfare farm. (I would love to see the deacons of today brand and castrate calves!) Our Scouting program was run by WWII veterans… a very tough but very caring batch of men. The community pool was closed on Sundays, so the closest you could get was a dip in the irrigation canal. Caffeine was tied to the Word of Wisdom, but sodas were considered a luxury. You only bought a case of soda on the 4th of July for the family barbecue. Regular clothes came on immediately after church. Chores had to be completed even on Sunday. Church meetings were long. I do remember little kids coming in their pajamas to the evening sacrament meetings.
But I would not swap places with the teens of today. Our community was rougher but far more loving. I was concussed at a school activity and a teacher carried me into the building. And the whole town prayed for me. Yes, the old timers had yet to struggle through racism and changing views on women. But it was still a good place. We’ve a lost a great deal of the community aspect of our religion. I doubt we will ever see it return.
If the Sabbath bingo card was expanded to include violent video games, Dua Lipa TikToks, and visits to the local Dairy Queen in the hopes of finding a liaison for the evening, I have no doubt that the young people of today would be able to shout “Bingo!” every week.
High School in Southern California in the 1990’s. I was a “goody two shoes” type of girl.
RED: We didn’t swear (or avoid the word “evolution”). It still causes rifts between family members decades later that the family members who “fell away” use “salty language” that offends “super-righteous” siblings. No grocery shopping if avoidable. I didn’t drink caffeine (and now I wish I would have). We didn’t wear bikinis/tank tops/sleeveless shirts in general – but only because we have really fair Northern European skin sensitive to sunburn and skin cancer. We didn’t wear sleeveless dresses to inside activities like church because it wasn’t culturally appropriate for the community we were in.
YELLOW: Some family members did homework on Sundays, I didn’t. Sometimes “real music” on Sundays, sometimes not. Siblings dated before 15 (though I didn’t). Sometimes swimming on Sundays. Some family members drank caffeine in soda – and more probably should have. Some siblings watched “The Simpsons” – I still haven’t. Some siblings kissed a lot of people and dated more people/non-members than I did. I don’t know if any females had double earring piercings. Watching “R” rated movies was a more nuanced deal too.
GREEN: My mom dyed her hair so much when I was growing that we weren’t sure what the natural color was. We said “Butt” and “Dam(n)” when appropriate. We played games with Face Cards whenever. We didn’t have friends over period – but if we had, we would have had them over on Sundays. Tankini’s would have been fine in my family because the main part of the “modest dress code” was “dressing appropriate to the occasion” and “preventing skin cancer”.
BLUE: We didn’t do sports, so Sunday sports wasn’t an issue.
The main thing my parents stressed was “why” (with attendant nuance). Doing “the right thing for the wrong reasons” and doing “the wrong thing for the right reasons” were concepts we talked a lot about in our house.
I was restricted in some aspects, but mostly it was “my” normal. My growing up was weird because I was always more serious and acted more like an adult then a kid from a very young age shepherding my siblings (and others) around.
My children have “different freedoms” than I did. I am avoiding taking them to church and using “church teachings” as sources of moral authority. The teachings themselves might be useful and I do teach them to my children – just not “God said” as the justification.
Ouija boards aren’t mentioned but in my late 60s early 70s LDS childhood they were the gateway to satan’s dark powers.
It will surprise nobody that Bishop Bill was only able to get 4 of the squares covered, even though he grew up in an LDS home. And like Hawkgrrl, saw my first R rated move (Dirty Harry) with my dad at 14! This probably explains a lot!
KLC: Good call on Ouija boards. They were verboten as were Tarot cards, but everyone played “Light as a Feather / Stiff as a Board” and tried to summon spirits–in YW activities! In fact, one of our leaders said she often saw spirits and could summon them. This led to a very hair-raising Youth Conference (in which back-masking was also deemed Satanic by guest speaker / charlatan Lynn Bryson). There was another type of fortune telling card called Shusta cards that weren’t specifically verboten, so we used those instead, as well as face cards. And our seminary class was pretty into D&D (not me personally), but they had D&D parties on the weekend, so watching Stranger Things has been a trip down memory lane.
I came of age in CA in the 1990s, and grew up active and fully participating in the Church, but not super-duper righteously active (my parents never held high-status leadership callings). Though I felt my upbringing was somewhat strict, it turns out I can only check about 4 squares on this Bingo card, and even those might be negotiable. I was aware that there may have been a few LDS families who were a little stricter about their house rules, but nothing too weird; for example, it was totally normal for my family to watch TV on Sunday evenings after dinner, but we knew the bishop’s family didn’t do that, and nobody cared too much either way. My parents occasionally swore when sufficiently angered, so they were forgiving when “hells” and “damns” accidently slipped out from us teens (the unspoken rule was that the F-word was absolutely off limits for everyone). We watched The Simpsons, and my dad watched right along with us. At the time, I wasn’t aware that there were prohibitions, real or imagined, on face cards (my family played a lot of card games). I had never even heard of the idea of staying in Sunday clothes all day after church was over. And for the most part, we were level-headed, moderate, law-abiding kids.
It wasn’t until I went to college at a large secular university (also in CA) and got to know LDS people at institute who were from UT, that I realized that my experience growing up in the Church was actually very lenient. I met folks who told me they weren’t allowed to play innocuous board games with dice (they used a homemade spinner to advance their pieces instead). Lots of weird family prohibitions about dating, entertainment, caffeinated sodas, etc. There was a core group of gung-ho LDS students who abstained from studying on Sundays, but stayed up late so that at 12:01am on Monday morning they could start a group cram session or go out for tacos or whatever; I didn’t go, reasoning that consistent sleep cycles are better for physical health and knowledge retention than late-night binge studying/eating. The “letter of the law” logic behind such practices was just bizzare to me. With years of hindsight, I feel bad for these kids who didn’t really know how to make choices for themselves, and built hedges around the “rules”–even arbitrary, man-made rules that had no bearing on one’s eternal salvation.
Now that I have my own family, I’m fairly lenient in some areas, while more restrictive in others (social media and mobile devices require a different set of house rules that weren’t applicable when I was growing up). But looking at other LDS families with kids in similar stages as mine right now, I don’t really see these families implementing the restrictions listed on the Bingo card above. I would like to think that we as a Church have evolved somewhat beyond the petty rule-following that many of us grew up with. Or perhaps society has evolved to pull us away from such parenting strategies?
I thought of one more thing that could be on the Bingo card that we also never did: praying in a restaurant. I’ve only seen Mormons do this a few times: 1) the MTC, 2) some missionaries in a local taco place, and 3) fictional Mormons on the Apple+ show Physical. I always thought it was more of an evangelical thing, but I have since learned that some uber-ortho Mormons do it.
There was a family in one of my wards decades ago, and the dad made a big deal about how they did not let their kids watch “TV” on Sundays. He was also the GD teacher, and was talking about the kids watching movies on Sunday (e.g. DVDs) which a few of us found confusing, but no, that’s how their rule worked. You couldn’t watch “network / live” TV, but DVDs/movies were A-OK. People are weird. (Also, what kids feel deprived about not watching the news or reruns when DVDs are permitted?)
How about Mormon Adult Bingo? Squares could include:
1. Stop paying tithes and offerings to a bloated investment corporation.
2. Participate in independent religious discussion groups.
3. Avoid all ‘worthiness’ interviews.
4. Ask tough questions; demand honest answers.
5. Decline obvious make-work callings.
6. Retire from the ward janitorial staff.
7. Enjoy loud laughter.
8. Criticize leaders’ actions when appropriate.
9. Bow your head and say ‘no’.
10. Contribute time and money to worthy charities.
11. Add ‘Amazing Grace’ to the approved LDS musical repertoire.
12. Remove ‘Praise to the Man’ from all Mormon hymnals.
13. Smile and walk away from Mormon apologists who are unable to stop pontificating.
14. Allow your children to make independent decisions.
15. Savor your morning coffee.
16. Read non-approved literature.
Feel free to add.
D&D is wholesome and had a proportionately high LDS involvement in the early days.
I guessI grew up strict. I only had about 7 squares that would not be either red or yellow, probably, depending on how you count them. Maybe I’ll list them later when I can type more.
– Face cards in my household were strongly encouraged. Card games were a favorite family past time.
– playing sports on Sunday was not done, but watching sports on tv was my fathers preferred Sunday activity
– The Simpsons was banned, as was “Friends”. So were entire channels such as MTV and VH1. Comedy Central would have been banned if they knew we were watching it.
Love the post. To me this is a callback to the oft debated question on this site of “Is the LDS church a cult?” After really studying cults, I have come the conclusion that most people who were raised in the LDS church were/are not raised in a cult. But some people in the church definitely were/are raised in a cult. To me, one of the key differences is whether you couldn’t do the things on the bingo game “Because our Beloved Leader said no” (very cult-like) or if decisions about the things in the bingo game were made based on one’s own moral compass (not cult-like).
I feel like I was right on the border of being raised in a cult- In my family it was a “No” to 20/25 of the things on the bingo card. But my parents are also the epitome of unconditional love, and never used shame or extreme punishments. I think they were both raised in cult-like households, and they really believed in not doing the things on the bingo card.
My wife was raised in a family where 3/25 things would be a “No'”, and I’d say that we met somewhere in the middle on how we raise our kids. (There’s a definite chance they might grow up and think they were raised in a cult – but I’m really trying to teach them good principles without raising them in a cult.)
A couple of things to add:
A count “wearing a two piece swimsuit” as not allowed for me, because as a male that would have been considered cross dressing, which I think would have been even more verboten than my sisters wearing a two piece, which was also not allowed.
On another note, we were gifted a D&D starter set by my cousins and my parents tried to subtly discourage playing it but perhaps didn’t outright ban it for risk of offending. That’s one win for the kids in a saving throw.
I put more rules on myself than I think my parents would have in response to 1980s youth firesides. In terms of modesty, music/tv choices, dating and caffeine I was quite strict. I have no idea what my parents preferred. I did know they were concerned with “Satanic stuff “, so they were not ok with D and D, oijui boards etc.
We started being quite strict with our kids, especially regarding Sunday stuff. However we loosened up a lot, and so now their nonmormon friends’ parents are more strict. We found the donts didn’t foster our moral reasoning and that is more important to us than these “rules”.
I don’t think we had specific “rules” about any of these. A few of them were just the culture of my family rather than actual rules. On very rare occasions, my father might have dropped a d-bomb or an h-bomb, but otherwise we just didn’t curse, so no rule needed. “Butt” and “sucks” were never heard in my house, but it’s not like they were prohibited–just not part of our vocabulary. I don’t think we usually purchased things on Sunday unless we were traveling. We didn’t swim much at all, but if we did, we would’ve probably picked one of the other six days to do it.
I didn’t date at all as a teenager, so none of the 6 sex/dating squares were applicable. Simpsons and Spongebob didn’t yet exist [Spongebob? Really? What’s wrong with Spongebob? I’ve never heard of not being able to watch Spongebob.]. I don’t remember any shows that were not allowed. I think maybe Laugh-In was not exactly recommended, but I don’t remember a prohibition.
I don’t think any of the others were rules in my house, but a few of them might be attributed to me not being a girl, and to me being a teenager during the ’70s before some of the “rules” entered Mormon culture.
15 red. My parents were very orthodox, and once we moved to Utah, I discovered far more strict than most of our Utah neighbors, all who were Mormon.
Yellow: 1:1 dating allowed but strongly discouraged unless couldn’t get a double date despite valiant effort, friends on Sunday only if doing “Sunday appropriate activities”, Simpsons started only after graduated high school and went to college ( so watched pretty religiously), but I am sure my parents would have preferred us not to watch. SpongeBob only started when I already had a son and I have rarely watched, some of my kids liked it.. The two piece swim suit is not relevant, but I was on swim team and in my day all competitive swimmers wore speedos when racing ,(long before full body suits and then jammers). My mom definitely frowned on this. But when I was about 14, I got up the courage to wear one for a race without telling her. My mom commented on it after the meet, but I think she realized that it made a huge difference in my times and ranking and I was the only one not wearing one and after awhile she seemed fine with it. Some forms of kissing were not forbidden, but certainly full mouth kissing not allowed.
Blue / Green Double earrings not really relevant since I wasn’t interested, but if a girl it wouldn’t have been a problem, this was long before Hinckley.
The rules regarding tv and movies is an interesting issue in church families. Our viewing was heavily policed by the parents. But the restrictions related only to sex-related content, or worldly “adult” humor. Violence always got a free pass – and I think that still holds today in orthodox Mormon culture – but anything sexually suggestive is taboo. Says something interesting about the culture’s strange hierarchy of sins/morality where sex is at the very top.
Bryce Cook, that’s a good point. Also of note: our scriptures are chock full of R-ratable content but the BoM deals mainly in gruesome violence whereas the more sexually explicit stuff is in the OT. Maybe that helps explain why we keep telling our seminary students to read the BoM but keep them away from the OT for the most part.
Did any of your parents haul you to firesides where “music experts” in the church talked about the evils of rock music? My mom dragged my younger sister and me to several firesides against our wills. When the “expert” at the first fireside said that “Puff, the Magic Dragon” was about smoking marijuana all of the tweens and teens in the audience just snickered and we tuned the speaker out. WE were smart enough to know that the song was about the loss of childhood innocence rather than toking on a joint!
Because our mom wouldn’t let us listen to rock out loud in our house our friends who lived next door would invite us over every time the older brothers bought a new album to listen to it. That’s where I gained a deep appreciation for Led Zeppelin, the Doobie Brothers, Three Dog Night, very late Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, the Who, etc. Our friends’ parents had a very enlightened view of rock music for “good” Mormon adults and figured that if listening to this music was the worst thing that their children ever did it was not a big deal. By the time I was 14 Mom had finally relented (thanks to the parents next door) and allowed us to play rock out loud at home instead of having to listen to it with headphones on our own portable radios or running next door every time a new album came out. Our brothers, who were all younger than us, benefited from our encyclopedic knowledge of rock once we were finally free to share it with them and they continue to bless our names to this day because of this. As a result our children have all grown up with a great love and appreciation for classic rock. Those who are married and have children are now passing it on to their own kids.
DeNovo, except for the coffee drinking (the smell made me so deathly sick when I was pregnant that I still gag when I smell it) you could’ve described my entire adult life as a church member. Are you a psychic by any chance? My mom always complained up until her dying day that when she first held me after my birth she KNEW that I was an independent person-like that was THE WORST thing that could ever befall a Mormon female! When I declared myself a feminist at age 12 in the same vein as my grandmother, her mother and older sisters who all marched in parades for women’s suffrage when Grandma was young, Mom knew that I was a lost soul. We never saw eye to eye on anything that related to being a Mormon girl and woman. Too bad.
Sundays of my youth were for extended family or movies at night – I am surprisingly well-versed in the James Bond canon. Born in 1970, 3rd of six children raised in SLC and I think my parents were reliant on the Church and its programs including the fun stuff (roadshows, ward auctions, sports etc) to make us a well-rounded family.
We didn’t have a prophet drafting us all into the youth battalion so I think it was common for the youth in my stake and high school to push the envelope. Mid-week youth activities were quite uncommon. It was a different era, perhaps even the “repent and go” approach to missionary service, as well as the rise of Bon Jovi and a 7-11 at all the major intersections. OTOH we had warnings about tinkering with the factory, satanic music when played backwards on the record player, and the insufferable Miracle of Forgiveness.
I knew a few teenagers who weren’t allowed to watch PG-13 movies, nor the school’s sex education movies. Face cards, of course, were off the table, so to speak. They would have gotten an easy blackout in bingo, but they probably weren’t allowed to play that either.
We weren’t allowed to have face cards at Girls’ Camp so before my first summer at camp my friend and fellow 1st year Beehive Mary Alice figured out how we could play poker with Uno and/or Rook cards. After that we had a running game going from the first to the last day. Candy from the commissary was assigned monetary values so that we gamble with it. I remember meeting a friend’s 3 Hershey Bars and upping the ante with a Snickers and a Three Musketeers bar. When our bishop surprised us with a visit the last night he caught us gambling. Instead of lecturing us on the evils of face cards (he had 9 children so he’d pretty much seen it all) he pulled up a camp chair and played poker with us until dinner. He was a gracious loser and was impressed with our creativity to flaunt the rules. This became a tradition in my ward and was still was going strong when 10 years later I was asked to return to be a camp counselor for my old ward.
Girls wouldn’t get away this now.
I laughed So Hard when I read that bingo card!! Most of it was my childhood in the 60s-70s, which I tried very hard not to repeat with my own kids. However, my kids just reminded me that I refused to let them watch Sponge Bob for a Very Long Time…Oh yeah! until the Kool Aid coma started to wear off. Some of my sibs cards Would be still be Solid Red. Lol.
My score: Red 10/25, Yellow 8/25, Green 1/25, Blue 6/25
No sports, homework or shopping on Sunday…. mostly no TV (I was 17 before my parents bought one) but church videos and BBC Narnia adaptation was approved viewing.. but we did see Sunday TV at my grandparents whenever we visited them on a Sunday evening, leaving me with fond memories of Songs of Praise, Last of the Summer Wine and All Creatures Great & Small.
Some cultural differences with the US means a couple of the language squares and dating squares don’t fit; there was no such thing as a group date when I was a teenager in the UK.. you either had a bf/gf and were I suppose then “dating” (we didn’t call it that) or you weren’t. Going on “dates” with different boys would have been regarded as very slutty behaviour by our peers. Swearing was a no, but replacement words (I recall I said “Rats!” a lot as a teenager) was still actually regarded by our peers as swearing, and as an older teen I just went all out for “damn it!”, and that just made my family laugh… hell/damn are not viewed anywhere near as seriously here as they are in the US.
I don’t recall any prohibitions on kissing, and I think it was assumed we’d follow church guidance on dating age, I don’t recall my parents really discussing the topic at all, all that rhetoric was coming from church.. I did actually sort of have a boyfriend at 15.. he was a trumpet player in a French music school (so also a nonmember) which the youth orchestra I was in did an exchange with, so really we only had a week of joint rehearsals and trips and wrote to each other until the next time we went over to France and he’d obviously moved on .. he was two years older, which I think was quite a lot at the time.. my parents didn’t criticise, which was probably for the best..
I did dye my hair at 17. Nothing drastic. I’d just always wanted red hair like my grandmother and aunt. That’s the only time I did dye it really. Except for a very temporary purple dye for a church dance as a student, that washed out easily.
We didn’t drink caffeinated sodas. I still don’t. I didn’t find it an issue because I hated fizz anyway, found it painful and unpleasant.
And as a student I would wake up at 2am on a Monday after an early night on the few occasions I had assignments I hadn’t finished.
Film ratings are different here, so we generally were able to watch films rated for our age. I recall being very annoyed one Christmas in my late teens by what I considered terrible hypocrisy – watching Mutiny on the Bounty as family ( where scantily clad Tahitian women were obviously cohabiting with British sailors) was not a problem, but my wanting to see Kramer v Kramer was certainly not OK, (because divorce, and rear view of a naked Dustin Hoffman).. it was several years later I actually got to see that film in its entirety, and I can’t see what the fuss was about.
I never did get my ears pierced, I didn’t want to, though I did accompany my mother when she went to get hers done. I was a student then.
I had always heard at church that playing cards were evil, but when my aunt gave me a pack as a birthday present my mother taught me to play patience with them. So presumably that wasn’t something my parents believed.
One thing not on the bingo card is games of chance.. gambling was strictly prohibited… so no fundraising raffles for prizes or anything of that sort… which comes across as very antisocial as every school, charity etc always sells raffle tickets as part of their fundraising endeavours. But also, bingo itself would be prohibited being associated with Bingo halls., the introductory drug to casinos!
Red (2): Say swear words, have sex
Yellow (3): Buying anything on Sunday was mostly enforced, but we didn’t follow it on vacations, and I recall an occasional emergency visit to a grocery store or gas station even when we were at home. Dating before 16 was discouraged but reluctantly allowed. My mom didn’t like her kids saying “sucks”, but we did it all the time without any repercussions except very mild scolding.
Blue (4): Swimming on Sunday was certainly allowed on vacation. I don’t recall anyone in the family really wanting to swim on Sundays when we were at home. I participated in high school sports, but we never really had any practices or competitions on Sunday, so this never really came up. I think my parents would not have liked it, but probably would have allowed it if it was required of team members. SpongeBob hadn’t yet been created before I left home. I know The Simpsons was allowed because my younger siblings watched it. That said, I was very surprised to hear my father blame the Simpsons as one of the main causes of my younger brother being pretty wild in high school, and he regretted allowing him watch it.
The card for my kids would look pretty similar. We definitely didn’t allow swear words in our house and discouraged being sexually active in high school. We kind of took advantage of the fact that we live in a very Mormon community in the Mormon Corridor with the dating age for our kids. I personally feel like the age 16 “rule” is very arbitrary, and some kids are mature enough to date before they are 16 while others are really better off waiting until their 18. We had one child who definitely fit into the mature enough to date before 16 category, and another kid who was better off waiting. Rather than
Oops, key was stuck, and I accidentally submitted too early. Picking up where I left off…
Rather than try to negotiate a dating age with each child, we never expressed to our children our belief that the age 16 rule was arbitrary. Instead, we took advantage of the prevailing Mormon culture, and our kids just kind of all decided on our own that they had to wait until they were 16 to date because that was what so many of their peers had to do. If we had had a kid want to push this rule, we would have been fine with it if we felt they were mature enough.
Both or our kids did have sports competitions on Sundays, and we allowed them to participate.
We kind of had a position on the Sabbath that we, as parents, worked hard 6 days a week and that we really benefited from a day of rest. If any of our children’s activities were going to cause us to have to exert much effort–including driving them around, supervising, etc.—then we were probably going to say no to that. If an activity didn’t encroach on Sunday, mom and dad’s rest day, and our children felt good about it, then we typically allowed it.
We allowed our kids to watch SpongeBob and the Simpsons.