The internet has allowed us to post footage from the past, even as far back as the 1900s. Suffice to say, it is the closest we will ever get to time travel, for now.
One of the most fun parts about looking into the past is comparing it to nowadays. However, it can be pretty startling to see how familiar and different parenting styles were back then. It seems kids in those days had lots of leeway despite the numerous risks they were innocently unaware of.
Let’s take a look at how old-school parents took care of their kids back in the day.
1. Every baby needs a bottle or rather a beer can.
It’s a story we’ve all heard: whenever the grown-ups get together, the alcohol flows. Kids, always curious, can’t help but want a taste from the glass bottle. Parents being parents, what’s one swig going to do? This Australian child in the early 90 is drinking like he just crossed the outback.
2. Nothing puts hair on your chest like a swig of hard liquor.
Boys always want to fit in with the men. A 13-year-old boy at the left takes a swig of whiskey while the men play poker in upstate New York, August 1954.
3. Even kids back in the day wanted to kick back and smoke a cigar!
People back in the day view smoking in a very different light. Tobacco was sold and treated like chewing gum, which calms the nerves after a hard day’s work. One man posted a photo of himself as a toddler back in 1958, chewing on a cigar, relaxing after a bath.
4. When Junior wants to be just like Daddy, even with the cigarette.
It cannot be understated how differently people saw smoking. Admittedly, it does look cool. And when you’re a kid, there’s no one cooler than your Dad. At some point in our lives, we want to be like our fathers, right down to the cigarettes.
5. Ride or Die.
Granted, it’s just a photo; it’s not like they’re on the road. Still, nothing screams the early 80s louder than the motorcycles, except maybe the hairstyle—although they do look stylish.
6. When the baby calls “shotgun!”
As children, we all have fond memories of the mystical passenger seat, where you could see the whole world rush by in front of you. The baby was lucky—and maybe unsafe—to sit there at such a young age.
7. Peace, Love, and all the naps you could want.
The 1960s and early 70s were prime hippy days. The counterculture movement advocated for peace, love, and mind-enhancing drugs. The baby-in-the-box couldn’t care less about the rally when it could nap snug as a bug.
8. Baby, will you light my firework?
Fire knows how to grab children’s attention, especially when it sparkles. Fireworks are fantastic but also dangerous for an infant to hold. The only thing riskier than having a sparkler is that crop top.
9. Don’t look down.
Many things didn’t exist in the 1960s, the internet, smartphones, and safety rails. Kudos to the mother for providing a safety arm for her daughter.
10. Quality literature for the whole family!
The 1970s was quite a risque decade, with littler filtering for children, as is the case for this boy at his bar mitzvah in 1972.
11. Parenting lifehack, 1937 style.
There have always been little shortcuts parents like to use while raising their kids. Let’s hope one of them doesn’t slip up.
12. Please do not feed the animals.
Seriously, did OSHA not exist in the past? Zoos have always drawn kids in. This 4-year-old in 1970 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is having the time of her life with the bears. Don’t worry; the rails didn’t break.
13. When the family decides to dine out for the night.
Family night holds a special place in our hearts. The options are endless; you can go to the park, a family restaurant, or the local pub! Ah, the early 1980s, so many possibilities.
14. Trauma builds character.
We all know those parents, whether through experience or from a friend, the kind that believes hardship, no matter how traumatizing, can build character. Practice makes perfect, but it can leave behind some scars.
15. Playing with the kitty gets extreme.
It can get annoying when your mom takes pictures of everything while on vacation, especially when it endangers your life.
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