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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!

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Apr-13 14:16:03

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.

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