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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?

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

Fairydogmother Fri 12-Apr-13 15:47:55

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

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