I was born in the mid 70s and grew up in the early 80s. Times were different and parenting was definitely different. There was a huge difference in what people thought was safe and what kids were aloud to do. I thought it would be fun to go over some of the things we did as kids and see how times are quite different now.
Helmets – I’m not sure how many concussions it took for people to realize that it’s probably a good idea to wear a helmet. Bicycles helmets weren’t required until about 1987 and even then we really didn’t wear them. I grew up skate boarding and unless you were going on a large ramp or doing something crazy, we didn’t wear helmets. Same goes for snow skiing.
Riding in the back of a truck – We were just camping this past weekend and about 10 of us piled into the back of a truck just to take us down a dirt road for bit. I was remembering how we used to be able to ride in the back of a truck without issue. At least in most parts of the US, parents wouldn’t think of that now.
Seat belts – My seat belt was my dads arm. Now the restraints and belts, cart seats with specific requirements. The laws are very strict now.
All states have a law by 1985. But even in 1987 only 80% of children used a car seat.
Sunscreen – I grew up in sunny southern california and the only sunblock we put on was maybe a little on our nose if we were going to the beach. My kids now are putting sunblock on almost daily before going to school. Granted my wife is a nurse working in skincare but I see so many kids being lathered up with sunscreen before school.
Grounding – I think there are still parents that do it but it was really prevelant when I was a kid. Kids were getting grounded left and right for everything.
Now you see parents either being much softer of their kids or the approach I prefer which is talking to my kids about right and wrong and allowing more natural consequences to happen.
Playing outside – We simply needed to be back when the street lights came on. I don’t think my parents knew where we were half of the time. Nor did they seem to care. We would ride our bikes miles away, playing in forests. Now parents need to know exactly where their child is and/or be able to see them and keep them close.
Smoking – It was not uncommon for parents to smoke in the car or in the house. I recalled going over to my friends house. His dad smoked and it always smelled so bad to me. So many more people smoked cigarettes back then that it was common.
Dad’s Role – In the 80s, less moms worked. At least where we lived, most of the moms stayed at home or maybe had part time jobs. As we got a little older, my mom began teaching her courses at night. The roles of dads is different now. i think dad spend more times with their kids and being involved in their activities.