I think your being very general about things. I think parents in England are TERRIBLE. You see kids smoking at age 8, or being held on by leashes. They are either super strict, or wicked lazy. I think everywhere is sort of different.
My parents were pretty strict with me, but understood that sometimes I needed my own freedom. They would allow me to do many different things, but I got the shit kicked out of me when I fucked up. It was simple. I was scared of my dad. But now that I can talk to him, I sort of know why he did what he did. He kept me in line, and im a better man for it.
I found that being raised in the country help me be alot more independant then alot of kids. I got to learn how to drive at a younger age, and was very comforable around machines early on. When it came time to get my licence it was very easy for me to drive on the road, and passed everything with no difficulty.
When i moved out of my house, and started living on my own it was not as big of a deal as my other friends from the city. I knew how to do laundry, to cook/clean for my self, and to handle my financess. ( i know spelling, but im french so im going to blame it on that) I was thought those things at my house pretty young. I didn't really have video games, and just played outside in the woods alone alot. That freedom just allowed me to be comfortable alone.