To think there are some things my parents did, that I would never do with my own?

(99 Posts)
gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 13:12:18

Of course, having a baby makes you see you own parents' parenting style in a new light, but...
1. People complain that kids today have no freedom. Well, we had loads. Total freedom, for hours on end, to roam around the neighbourhood in a feral style. No curfew, no set dinner time. This was 70s/80s.
2. My parents never taught (or got anyone else to teach) me to swim. This irks me now. I'm still a bit nervous in water.
3. They would buy me nice books, (first world problem here, ok) but nobody ever read me a story. If some of the books were a bit too difficult for me they just put me off and dented my confidence.
Suddenly these things just seem a bit sad. AIBU?

ElleMcFearsome Fri 12-Apr-13 13:18:37

Every generation parents differently don't they? FWIW, I parents differently to my (mainly lovely) mum, she thinks I'm a horrendously liberal, hippy parent grin I resented her being strict with me as a teen, which didn't work as I went off the rails anyway, so I'm slacker with my teen DDs.

I also now realise that I'm not better or worse than she was - just different.

OTOH, things like chain smoking around kids, common in 70s/80s aren't often done now because we know the effects of it!

However, I think there are moments in parenthood where we reflect back on our childhoods and any gaps we perceive can make us sad or wistful. I think that's ok and normal, in the main.

Do you have a good relationship with your parents now?

Fragglewump Fri 12-Apr-13 13:19:37

I think things were very different when we were kids. Makes me sad sometimes as even though children are no more likely to be abducted killed or other horrid stuff than when we rambled free all day I still struggle to get brave enough to give my kids more freedom. When we become parents we want the very best for our kids but somewhere along the way mistakes happen and life gets in the way and things can't always be perfect. I don't think your list above constitutes terrible parenting crimes tbh and if that's the worst that happened to you then you are quite lucky!!! I speak as someone who is currently feeling sad at being ill all over Easter hols so my dcs have pretty much had to fend for themselves😞 but they have gained some independence and hopefully not been too traumatised by it!!

When I was a kid my mum used to spit on a tissue and wipe my face with it....rather vigorously. Yuck yuck yuck...I would never ever ever inflict my flob onto DS's face but this was the norm back then!

Seriously gross!!

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 13:52:27

Elle I get on brilliantly with them now. They would be horrified if they thought that I was critical of their parenting. Nothing bad ever happened to me, I just grew up very quickly.
Betty! You've just made me remember all the kissing! Not my parents, but my two moustachioed aunties. Bleugh. I NEVER kiss my nieces as a result - they just get a hug.

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 13:54:47

I used to be allowed to have an alcoholic drink on special occasions.
A snowball aged about 7 ... Yummy!

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 13:56:16

betty LOL my nan who is 69 actually did this recently to my mum who's 49! I guess that's something some mums never grow out of doing!

thebody Fri 12-Apr-13 13:59:59

Thank god my patents weren't perfect, can you imagine anything worse than having nothing to blame your parents for.

I do my best as a parent, far from perfect but its my best.maybe not THE best but MY best.

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 14:02:11

I've just remembered an occasion on which I bumped into a classmate while out on some adventure and invited her to come along too. When we ambled back to her house at dusk, we were greeted by her mother, who was crying. She had literally called the police. I was really confused. We weren't little kids, we were about 14. It made me realise that not all families were like mine. Glossy My parents regarded Babysham as entirely suitable for children!

StinkyElfCheese Fri 12-Apr-13 14:04:09

I intend never to leave one of MY twins in the trolley at Sainsbury...... Thanks mum at least you finally came back for me smile

nancerama Fri 12-Apr-13 14:09:51

We have a local wildlife park near us. When I was little they used to charge for entry by the car load, then one summer they changed their pricing to pay per person, with payment taken at the gate to the car park. My mum and her best friend used to take their kids to this park for the day and were incensed when they changed the pricing structure.

Every week we used to head there in mum's friends's Volvo. All the children were put in the boot and a blanket was thrown over us and we were instructed to remain still until we were paid up and through the gate.

No way would I take DS anywhere without a car seat, but in those days taking a boot full of preschoolers down the m4 was totally normal.

Glossy - it's just vile. My mum was the best in the world, but seriously, wtf was she thinking......and the smell!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You saying about the snowball reminded dad used to let me have a sip of his wine and a puff of his cigar!!!

Anyone else remember sitting in a pub garden armed with a coke and a packet of crisps??? smile

Those were the days!

That's the thing, most parents do their best but within the culture at the time. My mum mentionedto my dad in a horrified way about how they'd used to transport me without a car seat. My dad agreed, but then pointed out that when I was tiny he'd bought and fitted a special kit which attached my carrycot to the car. So they always did care and worry, but differnt things were priority.
And I have to admit to licking a tissue and using it ti wipe my (small) children's faces. I do intend to stop grin

Ooopsadaisy Fri 12-Apr-13 14:18:11

My parents behaved like spoilt children because of their loathing for each other. They used me in their battles as a power toy. It was a constant drive for one-up-manship and it was a disgrace.

No - I would NEVER do that with my children.

Our children are our priority in all things and I believe that is how it should be. I don't mean rearing attention seeking little know-it-alls, I mean mutual respect and tolerance and knowing you are loved.

I have happy memories too, but mainly because I knew at a very young age that none of it was my fault and that I was better than that and deserved a good life. I'm a tough bird.

Flobbadobs Fri 12-Apr-13 14:19:57

I parent in pretty much the same ways as my parents did, strict in some ways and more laid back that others. Mind you, they are quite hippyish and so am I. I have to find a happy balance though because DH is as straight laced as they come and a little 'children must be seen and not heard' if he gets away with it. Which is rarely, and usually when I'm not about.

WithASpider Fri 12-Apr-13 14:21:23

YY to the tissue!

I get my DCs to lick the tissue before cleaning their faces <classy>

thebody Fri 12-Apr-13 14:22:07

Oh Betty, one of my favourite 70s memories is sat outside the pub with pop and crisps and rolling down the grass bank as m and dad got merrily pissed. Just perfect.

foreverondiet Fri 12-Apr-13 14:27:47

I can't associate with anything in your opening post - although I am probably the same age as you - my parents were even more overprotective with me and my siblings than I am with my kids - eg first time out alone was coming home on the school bus (5 mins walk from bus stop on my own!) from secondary school and even then my mum was stressing if I wasn't home by 4pm. I was never allowed out to play.

I had swimming lessons - and was taken swimming each week. As well as taught to cycle, brownies, guides gymnastics etc.

They read to me each night...

However I parent in a different way to them - as they seemed to shout at us all the time and compare us - and I try not to do this.

So yes everyone does things differently but I am not sure roaming around the neighbourhood with no dinner time was a 1970s thing more of a class thing - none of my friends would have been allowed to do this either.

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 14:36:44

Forever Yes, my parents grew up in 1950s tenements, where you literally knew everyone around you. They would just be expecting the whole village to raise their child, as it were. Another significant thing that they did was kind of pigeon-hole us, telling us what we were good at at a very young age. It was positive, but we each have a career that perfectly matches the role assigned when we were about six!

Whatalotofpiffle Fri 12-Apr-13 14:37:53

I strive to make my dd's childhood as wonderful as my own. My mum was on her own with 3 of us but we never felt poor. Never wanted for anything. I felt so safe. However, the emotional support fizzled out as we grew up. I realise now that I was never taught to deal with anything, allowed to let people down and be rude. Didn't realise at the time but am now very conscious of not doing the same with dd.

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 14:38:41


As for car seats, our first car, a brown ford fiesta didn't even have seatbelts in the back for me when I was little. I used to love sitting in the middle so I got a clear view of where we were going.
This was years before it was made illegal to not wear one of course.

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 14:42:04

... Oh and family bike rides with no helmets in the summer once took my parents and I onto the very busy A47 ... Dad first then me then mum, until we wondered why lorries were sounding their horns at us did we realise my mum fell off her bike about half a mile back! Luckily she wasnt hurt, she just lost her balance and went into the grass verge ... Can laugh about it now!

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 14:42:15

Ha Ha! We used to stand up and stick our heads out of the sunroof! To be fair, my dad would put a stop to that fairly quickly.

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 14:44:27

... On a roll here ...
When I was really little and we were too poor to keep the coal fire going, some nights in winter when we were watching tv was too cold to go upstairs to use the toilet. So we had a designated wee jug!

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 14:45:13

My dad was a big fan of Elastoplast. When I think about some of the childhood injuries that just has a big sticking plaster whacked on, I shudder. Some of them were definitely hospital worthy! Toughened me up I'm sure.

okthen Fri 12-Apr-13 14:49:04

My parents (who were generally fantastic) smacked- I wouldn't. Whilst wrangling my 2yo a while back, I asked my dad whether smacking was effective... The answer: 'no, but it made us feel better' !!

Also, we were never encouraged to play sport. At all. This is something both my parents say they wish they'd done differently. I plan to encourage it in my kids.

What about the things they did that you swore you'd never do/say/buy- but now do? For me it's all the hippy wholegrain food. Am horrified with self that I buy that suma apple juice concentrate- swore I wouldn't! Also found self saying 'have some fruit or yoghurt if you're hungry'...

Flobbadobs Fri 12-Apr-13 14:49:33

Oh I used to stand up out of the sunroof too! We travelled an awful lot up and down the country and at various times sat in the footwell, the middle seat, the boot with the parcel shelf taken out and on top of sleeping bags grin
My dream is to buy a camper van, pile us all in and take off on a tour of the festivals for the whole summer holidays.
I remember the (still working and used) outside loo rather less fondly though..

themoonandback Fri 12-Apr-13 14:51:55

It does irritate me when people hark back to the wonderful freedom we had. We HAD it, but at a cost: I went to school with a girl who was abducted and murdered. Yes, it happens now but actually it happens LESS than it used to - it's just that it's so much more publicised now.

YoniWankEnobi Fri 12-Apr-13 15:00:13

Yes. My step dad gave me the belt (and smacked us, but he preferred Ti hit us with leather hmm) which I would NEVER do. I don't get how my step dad could hit me with a piece if hard, hurting leather, in fact I don't get how I could willingly hurt my DC!

And I won't let my kids stick a sofa in the van and let us slip all around while sitting in it. It was great fun, we were going in holiday, there weren't enough seats so we took th sofa, but bit really a good idea!

Hhmmm...I wouldn't let my DD clamber about on the roof. Great fun and we climbed out through a skylight on a ladder, and then sat on the tiles and looked across the houses.

Um. I wouldn't kill and cook the pet rabbit! Thanks Mum.I guess it saved money. She only told me when I was 22. I thought Ollie has died in his sleep and they'd buried him so not to upset me. We put a memorial over his supposed grave...

They were good parents (well, my dad died when I was four, so I don't know about him) but quite strict. Apart from the strict thing, they were great and we went camping and had an amazing life. We would spend most f the day out and occasionally run back in for some rope, or to eat something, and we'd spend our time making dens, or making fake trails, and trying to make animal traps (we caught a poor squirrel once...we set it free obviously!) and trying to catch random fish with our hands (never worked) and building rafts for the very shallow lake (we were great swimmers so sinking didn't really matter) and building dune cars. It was great.

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:04:01

themoon I'm not "harking back". Nothing bad happened to me, but it was more out of luck than anything else. I think my parents were a bit (benignly) neglectful. I wouldn't let my child go out to play in the morning and not come back til dinner. Course, these days I would have my iPhone with me!

okthen I was going to wean Dd with only the finest organic veg, lovingly steamed by me in small batches. There seem to be a number of little jars and squishy pouches creeping in!

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 15:04:49

Yes moon very true.
I very much doubt you would get something like the moors murders happen these days.
What is sad though is that it has affected the way we live now, we don't trust anyone these days whereas years ago generally people were trusted, and nothing bad happened.
My dad as a kid used to hitchhike miles to the seaside. He was about 11 and often just came home the next day no questions asked!
No one would ever dare do that these days.

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 15:06:03

I think I overused the phrase 'these days' in that last post!

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:10:49

Yoni shock at what happened to the rabbit! Our pets were really our mum's and she treated them exactly like members of the family. They slept in/on our beds (quite cosy, but maybe not so much for DB who was a bit asthmatic) and we had one tabby cat who spent her entire life sitting on the kitchen table. Tres hygienic!

themoonandback Fri 12-Apr-13 15:15:35

gail - sorry, wasn't having a go at you personally. I was thinking more of those "read this if you're a child of the 70s" type posts that periodically appear on Facebook. Child abductions are very, very rare now - they weren't as rare "back in the day" and abuse of children by adults was sadly all too common. I concede it still exists but we are getting there.

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:17:02

Yeah, glossy, I have a ten year old niece who's scared of strangers (all kidnappers). When I recently suggested that she and her little friend (bored in the holidays because their mums' constant list of "activities" had run out of steam) take a walk, they looked shocked. I was informed by my brother that "kids don't do things like that *these days!*"

ZZZenagain Fri 12-Apr-13 15:19:02

I don't know how to describe my upbringing. I don't think it was benignly neglectful exactly. I think sometimes my parents were a bit unconcerned about real dangers. I remember being dragged through the bush (we are talking about real bushland with wild animals, poisonous snakes etc) for a walk, dad taking us out across the lake to visit his friend (lake full of hippos who don't take kindly to motorboats obviously), canoeing down a river and watching the crocodiles slink into the water as we passed and swim alongside. To this day if I have a nightmare, it is about crocodiles. Sitting in a van while dad stopped for a snack ("nothing to worry about", he said, as a rhino decided to take umbrage and attack). Sitting in the van while the rhino charged it and the whole thing rocked like it was going to go over.

Dad teaching us to shoot and handing me a rifle aged 8 and telling me to go off and practise. Who could think this was a good idea, seriously?

I mean wtf?!

When I was 7, dad put me on his motorbike and showed me how to rev it up and go. He did not tell me how to stop. So after some time of me screaming, "how do you stop this thing?" and him laughing his head off, I just crashed into a bush and that stopped it.

I could go on. Yet they were strict about boys/going out. Weird really, what people prioritise.

JollyPurpleGiant Fri 12-Apr-13 15:19:42

I don't think I parent differently to how my parents did at all. I'm only 27 though so not exactly a 70s childhood.

YoniWankEnobi Fri 12-Apr-13 15:21:23

I know! She just didn't seem to get the pet side of it. He was a lovely rabbit too. Apparently he died quite peacefully hmm We had a farm (sheep farm) and also had chickens (but not bred for meat, we kept them for eggs and then kind of let them act as pets when they were old, or we kept them for breeding other chickens to sell). But seriously?

We had a lot f pets and I promise poor Ollie is the only one who ended up in soup (well, stew). Poor mite. Our guinea pigs were greats though, and I have happy memories of helping feed orphan lambs. But she still killed and cooked the rabbit.

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:22:41

Oh no, no, themoon - I'm glad that I haven't been totally flamed for my OP. I was afraid that I was going to be told that I was actually spoilt and that if my complaints were the worst things that happened, then I should stop being a moany cow. Secretly glad that this has turned out to be quite humorous, though. I'm at home with a stomach bug and can't leave the bathroom house!

blueberryupsidedown Fri 12-Apr-13 15:23:33

Oh dear...
- Gambling. My mum used to drag me to gambling evenings, poker mainly, leave me to myself, I'd fall asleep somewhere on a sofa, drag me back home and made sure I'd lie to my dad and say that she'd won
- Smoking around children. My mum smoked, my dad smoked, both my sisters smoked, most of my aunties/uncles smoked.
- Swearing. A lot, all the time. Goes with the gambling and the smoking I guess.
- Talking inapropriatly about sex.

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:28:59

Zzzena! shock A gun! shock You win!

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Fri 12-Apr-13 15:39:58

I give my teen DDs far more freedom than I had because I bitterly resented (and still do) the way my parents policed my life. I think it is up to them to decide who the good guys are and who the prats are in their lives, and on the whole I think they've done a pretty decent job - they've got some really lovely friends and weeded out some pillocks along the way. I wasn't allowed to make up my own mind; I was pretty much told who I could and couldn't befriend/go out with.

I also wanted to work as a teen, but was told I couldn't (affecting my dad's tax code or something), so I made sure DDs could apply for jobs the minute they were old enough. They love having their own money and the choices it gives them, e.g. being able to go to festivals etc. because, yes, I let them do that, too. My parents were so strict with me that it dented my confidence badly - I didn't even dare ask to go to the cinema with friends till I was about 16 - so I missed out on some wonderful youth experiences like going to gigs, which I'm still sore about now.

That said, I think my DDs think I'm a shit mother! What I think of as giving them freedom, they see as me not caring what they do.

memphis83 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:47:53

Like op I was never taken swimming and am a poor swimmer now and scared of water. Ds will start lessons soon.
I was also given a weekly Babycham and sat between the two front car seats.
My Dad's shotgun was stored under my bed, my mum went batshit when she found out years later.

Dp's dad used to have a van and dp and his friends used to clamber in the back while his dad drove around like a nutter over humpback bridges to make them fall everwhere shock

My mom used to hit me with a stick kept specifically for that purpose! Err I'll def not be doing that with my children!

I also remember being stuck anywhere there was room in the car - the footwell when my dad was bringing a load of glass windows home! Safety - yea right!

iwantanafternoonnap Fri 12-Apr-13 15:53:04

Oh how I hated the smoking. My house and families houses were filled with smoke it was like smog when all the aunts and uncles where there. Whenever we used to go anywhere on a train I used to refuse to sit in the smoking carriage and sat in the non-smoking one all on my own even aged 5! No way would I allow that.

My son (3) is not frightened of strangers as I believe that abductors/sexual abusers are known to them so I teach my child that he is not to go off with anyone unless mummy says and if anyone does anything to him he doesn't like to shout lots and tell me even if he is told not to. Obviously age appropriate.

We used to be out all day and loved it and running about the woods, falling out of trees etc.

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 16:46:32

I randomly managed to fall in with a "good crowd" - kids who went the local church and were nicely clean living. My DP, who had a similar childhood, befriended the patrons of a local sports club, who turned a blind eye to underage drinking and smoking, and not just the smoking of tobacco! I was shocked by this because his dad was a doctor. I'd always assumed that educated people were better parents!

Pandemoniaa Fri 12-Apr-13 16:47:53

When I was a kid my mum used to spit on a tissue and wipe my face with it.

YY to this! Only last night a couple of friends and I were remembering the horror that was the spitty handkerchief. We couldn't decide whether it was worse when your mother used your spit or hers on the hanky.

Pandemoniaa Fri 12-Apr-13 16:51:31

Oh, and as for guns. I was taught to shoot both rifles and pistols at the age of 10. We were not braving the Oregon Trail at the time but living in middle class South East England.

The very idea of letting my dcs anywhere near a firearm at that age still fills me with horror.

RatRatRat Fri 12-Apr-13 16:53:56

Yeah, loads of horrible things.

My parents also thought their own were crap.

Tis all of our right. grin

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 17:01:11

I am thoroughly enjoying this thread too!

gail There's another difference in upbringings between then and now, as my early years school summer holidays were spent 2 weeks with each grandmother, in which there were no particular days out only the local park if I was lucky but the rest of time was spent with my respective nans, enjoying their company, helping them with their shopping, exploring the garden and the scary outbuildings, catching butterflies (yes I really did that!) watching tv and trying to copy my nan with her cross stitching.
My cross stitch nan died when I was 11 and although I thought it was a bit boring at the time I now cherish those memories with her.
When I was older, during school holidays, I entertained myself with children's morning tv (namely saved by the bell!) wading in the local river with a fish net, 6 hour bike rides and picnics with friends whilst my parents worked. I was never given any money to go out and do stuff.
These days (said it again!) parents have to be seen to take time off work to take their kids on activities every day of the holiday.
Not sure if that's a good thing or not. Maybe we just need a happy medium in between!

yoni your poor bunny! shock

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 17:05:04

Oh and my DH's father decided he wanted to make a homemade bomb. I shit you not! He asked his parents for permission though, and his father agreed only if he would do it properly and safely and to follow the proper instructions.
Which he did.
Then went and let off the explosives on a secluded beach.
Don't know how old he was but young enough to still be living at home and needing permission to do so.

whippetwoman Fri 12-Apr-13 17:09:07

My parents would take us on holiday to the South of France to stay in a friends house (water from the well, no toilet, bats flying around inside, middle of nowhere).

They would drive us to a village, eat at a restaurant or commune (there were a few communes near by that would feed you for a small sum), drink loads of wine and then drive back down pitch dark roads that literally hugged the hillsides with a huge drop down a gorge on the other side, owls looming out of the darkness etc. We were stood up on the back seat with no seat belts on chatting away. We loved it but there's no way I'd do that now!

MortifiedAdams Fri 12-Apr-13 17:13:29

My DM wouldnt let ne have a fringe because she didnt like thenlm
She never showed me how or let me shave my legs or pluck my euebrows because I was "beautiful regardless"
I had to sit at the plate was empty.

Thankfully she got all her madness out.of the way with me and when my sister came along seven years later, behaved entirely normal.

Pandemoniaa Fri 12-Apr-13 17:15:44

I see we have reached the explosives stage of the debate. My dm refused to allow me to have a chemistry set because, quite rightly, she feared the explosive potential in my hands. However, I was not discouraged from making small explosive experiments with whatever black powder remained in discharged fireworks on the day after Bonfire Night. All she asked was that I confined my activities to the bottom of the garden lest things went wrong and I blew the glass in the verandah out.

CelticPixie Fri 12-Apr-13 17:18:22

My dad used to take me to the pub with him on Saturday afternoons. This wasn't a family friendly place of the kind we are used to now either it was a proper mans pub! A dive really, but he'd take me with him as a treat some weeks and I used to love it. I'd have a little glass bottle of coke with a straw in it and I'd play with the dominos while my dad watched me from the bar. Sometimes he'd life me up and let me have a go at throwing darts at the dart board grin or pot some balls on the pool table and I loved the fruit machine! I can't have been anymore than six at the time.

VeryObviousBeforeNameChange Fri 12-Apr-13 17:23:18

My dad took me to the local pub and it was on a friday or saturday when they had a stripper/pole dance on. I can only vaguely remember my dad talking to her and us having a bit of a dance! I think i must have been about 3/4/5

Iwantmybed Fri 12-Apr-13 17:26:45

Its funny I've been thinking about this a lot. I think it was actually easier to parent in generations gone by as they didn't have as much "advice" and "guidelines" to be adhered to. I think they took advice from their parents and elders and used common sense. There's a sense of scare mongering around now that almost everything we do can damage our children and parents are to blame for "broken Britain". I think I'd have liked to have been a parent (not housewife though) in the 70s/ 50s etc to have the freedom of parenting without the fear of failure that is portrayed in media.

Iwantmybed Fri 12-Apr-13 17:28:33

Oops went a bit serious there hmm

Good thread op, sorry if I went off on a tangent.

Happydotcom Fri 12-Apr-13 17:33:08

Smoke in the car with dc in tow.

Smoke in their bedrooms

Can't think why I have asthma!!

EuroShaggleton Fri 12-Apr-13 17:35:30

TTC here so no kids yet, but I imagine a huge difference will be smoking. My mum gave up when she became pregnant with me. My dad was supposed to give up when I was born (not much was known about passive smoking around pregnant women back then). He gave up when I was 22 and living in France... The car was often a fug a smoke, as was the living room in the evening. I hated it and used to wheeze when I had to run at school. I don't have asthma, apparently, it was just the smoking! I must have been passive smoking the equivalent about 20 a day through my whole childhood. shock

Oblomov Fri 12-Apr-13 17:40:53

I do alot of the things you lot don't like. And am proud to do so. I spit and wipe. Dh occassionally takes ds1 to the pub to watch football games. Coke and crisps seems like total bliss when you are young. Nothing's changed that alters that.

bettycocker Fri 12-Apr-13 17:47:38

"I used to be allowed to have an alcoholic drink on special occasions.
A snowball aged about 7 ... Yummy!"

Yy, or the occasional Babycham or Baileys too.

Do people still do this?

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 18:01:04

betty I'm donning my flame retardant suit as I type, but I honestly think that mystifying alcohol and never letting them try it before their 18th birthdays will make it more attractive? I'd like to be altogether more French about it!

Iwantmybed I went round a baby shop before pfb arrived and left a nervous wreck. There were so many expensive gadgets designed to help you avoid accidentally injuring your infant. I came out convinced that I'd need a thermometer for the bath and about a hundred other things.

Oblomov Fri 12-Apr-13 18:05:51

Apparently not Betty.

glossyflower Fri 12-Apr-13 18:12:15

gail you do have a point re alcohol.
As I was generally allowed it on special occasions or at home with my dad offering me his lager which I declined as I hated it; when I was a teenager I never did the whole go out get drunk in the park thing. In fact I disliked alcohol and generally avoided it. I did try odd times when out with my mates, but I could never get drunk just sick!
When I did get drunk I hated being so out of control - and then sick later!

My first hangover was aged 11 on Baileys at my aunts house , can't remember how much but doubt it was a lot.. I didn't feel drunk but got the most awful migraine and was sick. I've hated the stuff since.

I'm expecting my first soon and I would allow them to try it at home with a meal when they are older if they wanted.
It's not illegal for an over five year old to have either wine, cider or ale with a meal at home under supervision.

fizzykola Fri 12-Apr-13 18:39:11

My mum smoked throughout pregnancy in the 70s and even lit up while in labour! The doc offered her one to help calm her down shock.

There was also a fair amount of snacking. My parents were overall really good, but I have a strong memory of smacks. And times my mum didn't follow through on a promise eg 'jump in the pool of course I'll catch you...'

Good post OP. too good. I got so absorbed the 3 and 4 yos have run riot and I've just been scraping fecal matter off the carpet. Sure my DCs could claim neglect!

fizzykola Fri 12-Apr-13 18:40:39

*smacking. I don't think snacking had been invented in the 70s

biryani Fri 12-Apr-13 19:00:18

Ah, those were the days! Most people in our community didn't have cars, so we didn't go far, but we could wander about our local mountains to our hearts' content. People were very strict a

VodkaJelly Fri 12-Apr-13 19:08:44

gail734 your op was exactly my childhood too and I was a 70/80's child. No set meal time, roaming the streets for hours. I couldnt swim and when aged 8 nearly drowned in a swimming pool.

And the sunroof also, with plastic fake leather seats!

My kids were dragged to swimming lessons!

Scrubber Fri 12-Apr-13 19:17:59

Glossyflower - my brothers used to make bombs too. The eldest nicked chemicals from school science club. There are still scars on the trees behind Mum's house and that was 40 years ago. They did not tell mum until they were adults!

magentastardust Fri 12-Apr-13 19:19:27

My sister and I were allowed a half glass of wine with Christmas dinner, we used to lie around in the back of the car (pre seat belts) and we used to get a quick shot of sitting on my dads knee and driving the car-on a private road.
We used to play out for hours and swim in the local river ourselves and with our friends from a youngish age -none of these things I would ever do with my dc's.

I remember my childhood as being a lot of fun though! (Hope my dc do too)

magentastardust Fri 12-Apr-13 19:24:20

Oh and I wasn't allowed to wear ankle bracelets as a teenager -as it was the sign of a woman of the night apparently?????

ClaraOswinOswald Fri 12-Apr-13 19:37:35

Well I wouldn't let my kids eat hash fudge for a start, or sell it at festivals. Friends think I'm a bit of a hippy Earth mother type- laid back, liberal, easy going but compared to my parents I'm positively draconian!

nurseneedshelp Fri 12-Apr-13 19:45:38

Cramming into the boot of the car wen we went to the zoo so they didn't have to pay for us kids!

CheerfulYank Fri 12-Apr-13 19:57:50

My dad let me have a go with his rifle when I was 4/5, several times. He did help hold it though, so the kickback wouldn't break my shoulder.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck...was so lovely in the summer.

We were also smacked on a fairly regular basis.

MooMooSkit Fri 12-Apr-13 20:01:52

Not my parents but my OH's parents would let their 13 year old son have his 13 year old girlfriend stay over night in the same (double!!) bed and buy them a bottle of peach schanpps to have in the bedroom shock maybe i'm laid back but that is one parenting approach i won't take!

MooMooSkit Fri 12-Apr-13 20:02:06

*not laid back!

thegreylady Fri 12-Apr-13 20:22:52

My dc were born in 1970 and 1974.
They did have freedom to play out from the age of 7.
They were read stories every night until about the same age when they started to read to themselves though we always had a family 'chapter book' going which we read aloud at weekends.We read Shakespeare plays aloud too and went to Stratford a couple of times a year.They had swimming lessons and ponies.
They also learned to shoot air pistols to take part in Tetrathlon competitions.They started to shoot [at targets and under close supervision]aged 8 and 12.
Pony Club was a big part of their lives but dd also did piano and ballet and ds did Cubs and football.
Neither dh nor I smoked though he liked whisky-he had MS and died when dc were 11.6 and 16.1.
I grew up in the 40's/50's and wanted to be as good a mumas my mum was.

huddlelikepenguins Fri 12-Apr-13 20:27:49

My dad was brilliant when we were little, he'd take us out rock-climbing with the whole rope rigging thing, built us a complete go-kart with motor and engine, had us climbing on the roof of the house when he was repairing it, took us up into the attic with just a ladder etc. etc.

All stuff I'd have no idea how to start with my own kids, let alone carry out safely.

Mind you I'd never smoke 40 cigs a day around my kids either, nor ignore them throughout their teenage years and then try and pass it off as a credible parenting strategy not that I'm bitter

gallifrey Fri 12-Apr-13 20:44:41

My parents totally deny this but they used to go to the pub and leave us in the car!

shockers Fri 12-Apr-13 20:48:36

My parents used to leave me alone in the house while they went to night class in a different town, when I was 6. I still remember sitting very very still, as if somehow, moving would cause something scary to notice me.

My Mother sometimes criticises my parenting... I have to bite my lip.

CheerfulYank Fri 12-Apr-13 21:15:35

Part of it is age too, I think. Some of the things my parents admit to doing when my brother was a baby/toddler...yeeesh! But then I think, well, they were 19, makes sense!

Samnella Fri 12-Apr-13 21:45:37

I was born in the 70's. My sister and I used to wander off all day from a young age. Just returning for meals and bed time. My parents were divorced and we would stay with my dad in North London at the weekends. Most of which was spent outside a dodgy working men's club with a bottle of coke and packet of crisps before he drove us back (drunk). Lots of smacking and shouting too. Also lots of fun and lovely memories from our adventures when roaming about making dens and climbing trees.

sashh Fri 12-Apr-13 23:19:26

Oh and I wasn't allowed to wear ankle bracelets as a teenager -as it was the sign of a woman of the night apparently?????

Me too.

Primrose123 Fri 12-Apr-13 23:33:15

My parents ran a business from our home. When I was about 4 they employed a woman to work from 9 - 2 Monday to Friday. She had a daughter who was a year older than me, and was really nasty, argumentative and aggressive.

She spent every day of the school holidays for the next 7 or 8 years in my house. I was supposed to be nice to her, play with her, share my toys etc. but she was vile. If I ever spent the day at a friend's house, she would still be in my home playing with my things, and then often when I got home things would be broken or ruined.

I always said after that that I would never force my children to spend time with other kids who were mean to them.

Szeli Sat 13-Apr-13 00:28:25

Oh and I wasn't allowed to wear ankle bracelets as a teenager -as it was the sign of a woman of the night apparently?????

I thought that was something my mum made up because she didn't like them! x

deleted203 Sat 13-Apr-13 00:37:04

As a 70s kid my parents were brilliant and I love them to bits.


I would never go to friends' parties/barbecues with my children and merrily knock back alcohol all afternoon and evening, then drive home with them, singing loudly, and waaaay over the limit.

It was a different time!

YoniRaver Sat 13-Apr-13 00:42:48

When my parents visited friends we would be left in the car outside. It probably wasnt long but it seemed like hours and I can remember being bored to tears. I wouldn't dream of doing this with DS's.

glossyflower Sat 13-Apr-13 16:59:50

Oh yes and I remember being very little, my parents used to watch whatever they liked on tv or a video regardless of whether I was present or not. I saw many age inappropriate movies!
I remember once at my aunts she put on a horror movie, and I didn't want to watch it but was too scared to sit in another room alone. Other kids there were fine with watching it but when I cried to my mum she told me off for being stupid!
Think that's the reason why I don't even entertain the idea of any horror or gory movies now!
I remember a movie that included 3 naked people in bed, saw boobs and willies but don't remember seeing any 'activities' going on!
Bizarrely later when I was a teenager I asked my dad to record a film for me, as it had an actor in I liked. Dad watched and recorded it but then decided I wasn't allowed to watch it because a character in it had to have this futuristic chasity belt that electrocuted him every time he got horny.

hackmum Sat 13-Apr-13 17:49:04

I grew up in a family that was very very inhibited about sex to the extent that it made life very difficult and secretive. I made a resolution that I would always be completely open with my DD about sex from the outset, and I have been.

There have been a couple of things (e.g. I resolved not to smack, and not to tell lies) but that's the main difference between my and my parents.

Butkin Sat 13-Apr-13 18:22:47

The Grey Lady you'll be pleased to know that Tetrathlons are still a big part of Pony Club life. DD has been doing them since she was 6 (they throw bean bags until they are allowed to shoot pistols at 8) and loves the swimming, cross country running and riding. I had a pretty carefree life as brought up in the last 60s and 70s but DD seems to be experiencing way more things than I ever did - particularly in competitive sport.

fluffyraggies Sat 13-Apr-13 18:53:24

I had a lovely child hood - but there are a few things i do/have done very differently with my DCs.

The biggest of them is that i have taught them that they do not have to please everyone older than them. Older does not mean better.

I have grown up a 'pleaser'. I struggle all the time with what people think of me and i blame the way i was raised.

Said it.

PrettyKitty1986 Sat 13-Apr-13 19:14:26

My mum has told me that she used to use breast feeding me as an opportunity to have a sit down, a cup of tea and a cigarette. No one batted an eyelid at the time, even when she would do this in a cafe!

fluffyraggies Sat 13-Apr-13 19:29:12

pretty - i've trotted this one out before on MN, but my mum was offered a cigarette by the ambulance man when she was in labour with me shock
and she accepted shock

Lavenderhoney Sat 13-Apr-13 19:44:33

Played outside with all the neighbours children from dawn to dusk from about 4. No supervision. Made dens and hides in the woods, watched the older boys smoke elc.

From 8 had a pony and was out hunting and doing all pony club stuff, camp, shooting, swimming, alone, she used to drop me off and come back hours later. No idea where she went. I would stay with my dc and encourage them.

They also allowed babycham at Christmas and smoked endlessly. They would leave me in the non smoking part of planes and decamp for hours to smoke. I travelled alone from age 5.

Not allowed to choose my own clothes or decorate my room or go out with friends. Totally controlling. I make sure my dc choose their clothes and learn to make decisions age appropriate.

The biggest thing for me is the total ignoring of sex education, social skills. I was told I was taken from outside a supermarket in response to a question of where babies come from!

Now I am older, I talk to my dc, help them with their problems with other school friends, even though they are tiny, and am honest. I believe them too, and don't just automatically back a teacher or a grown up. I hear the full story.

ilovecolinfirth Sat 13-Apr-13 19:51:34

For me, it's taken to being a mum that I've learnt to really appreciate my parents. I hopefully am doing a good job, but I now respect everything my parents did for me. Also, as much as DH and I do make our own decisions, I frequently go to my own mum for reassurance and advice.

glossyflower Sun 14-Apr-13 01:07:02

My mum used to take me to nursery school on her bicycle. Only I sat in the front basket on a cushion. grin

Meringue33 Sun 14-Apr-13 10:15:33

My mum did bf, co sleeping, BLW long before it was fashionable. She also bf me on her lap on long car journeys to keep me quiet - no car seat or back seat seat belts shock

MiaowTheCat Sun 14-Apr-13 10:52:46

The biggest thing I won't do is the pressure and criticism... the "why did you get 99% and not 100%... what was the mark you missed, why did you miss that mark" type thing. It's still pretty much the bulk of what I get from mum - although she tries to tone it down - she can't resist... usually it's a barrage of how "in my day we viewed a clean child as a neglected child" when I'm trying to remove spaghetti sauce from DD1's hands before she starts hugging the walls of the house and replicating cave paintings.

Oh and I'd never make an elder sibling take on as much of a carer role for a younger one as I was expected to - I lost my entire childhood from the age of 10 to that (it's one reason we went for a very narrow age gap so it would never be expected of them).

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