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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?

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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