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Five things you miss from your childhood, and five you are glad to have left behind!

sadpapercourtesan · 26/01/2022 16:49

Just being nosy, really Grin. I'll start: I was born in 1977, for context.

Things I miss:

  1. Playing out in massive groups of kids and having the freedom to wander, play really long elaborate imaginative games etc.
  2. The sense of collective excitement when something was happening on TV, like a new Dr Who or something - everyone knew, everyone was watching it.
  3. Clapping and skipping games/rhymes, and the whole pre-digital subculture of children.
  4. Cadbury's chocolate that tasted like chocolate
  5. Great children's TV - I know not all of it was great, but more so than today's offerings. Grotbags, Superted, Chocky etc.

    Things I am happy to see the back of:

  6. Leaving kids/animals in cars for hours in all weathers. I remember whole Sunday afternoons sweating and crying, jammed between warring siblings in the garden centre car park.
  7. Violence against children in school and at home - and in public sometimes, without much risk of being challenged.
  8. The practice of feeding really awful food to kids that you wouldn't touch yourself; tinned meatballs, tinned hotdogs, Smash and beans while the adults ate steak or ordered a Chinese takeaway
  9. Thatcher
  10. Compulsory praying and hymn-singing in school (I know there is still legally a collective worship requirement, but most non-church schools no longer force kids to pray)
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Awwlookatmybabyspider · 26/01/2022 20:16


Strong community spirit.
Where neighbours knew each other and were like family.

Heavy snow.
It never seems to stick these days
Mind you not that I'd want to stick now.

The top 40 charts on a Sunday.

New Brighton Baths
(Open air swimming pool) in Merseyside.
If I remember correctly it got destroyed by severe winds and was never built up again.

Staying at my nan's (Dads mum) and getting spoiled. Mums mum was a bit more strict.

Glad to see the back of.


Having no control

Sunday night TV

Parents arguing.

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Holothane · 26/01/2022 20:19

The charts on a Sunday. Christmas best holiday of the year.

Glad to see the back off all of it.

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ClaudiusTheGod · 26/01/2022 20:36

@sadpapercourtesan I could have written both of your lists myself!

We’ve lost something with modern childhood, I reckon. See also: the thread on over-involved parenting. It’s swung too far away from the ‘eat this bag of crisps and don’t bother the adults while you’re in their car in the pub car park’.

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TheChosenTwo · 26/01/2022 21:04

the idea of being allowed to eat all my Easter eggs on Easter Sunday! (I don’t think I could let my kids do this Grin )
Going out to play
Christmas (I still love it but as a child it’s far more exciting and none of the hard work!)
Proper sized chocolate bars
10p crisps

Glad to see the back of:
Living in quite an unhappy (and stinky Smokey) home
‘Sunday night’ dread
No seatbelts in the back of cars
Microwave/freezer/readymeal type dinners
Stars in their eyes and you bet! Worst things on telly for sure Grin

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ClariceQuiff · 26/01/2022 21:05

I'm about three years older than you, OP.

Things I miss:

  1. Excursion trains - getting a rickety old compartment train to Weymouth or similar, and curling up to read an Enid Blyton in a corner seat.
  2. Teletext - the thrill of getting a Teletext TV for the first time!
  3. ITV idents - all the different regions that have now been amalgamated with their own little introductory tune and graphics.
  4. Taping the Top 40 of a Sunday night!
  5. Rotary phones - knowing all your friends' numbers and sitting for as long as you could get away with in the hallway, doodling on the phone book and having pointless conversations full of in-jokes.

    Don't miss:

  6. Corporal punishment - being whacked until I bruised for minor infractions at home, and this being normal.
  7. Unreliable and expensive televisions - if it broke it was away for weeks being repaired; they were too expensive to replace as you might do now unless the TV was fairly new.
  8. School milk. I hate milk and had to get a note from my mum to excuse me from it, which was embarrassing. I was never a fussy eater and I still can't drink milk so it was upsetting to be made to feel faddy. I'm no Thatcherite but 'milk snatching' was the one good thing she did IMO.
  9. Threat of nuclear war - always feeling this was imminent in the mid-80s.
  10. Retro-fitted rear car seatbelts, It's good that my safety-conscious dad put them into our 1980 Datsun long before they were compulsory, but, my goodness, they were uncomfortable - no adjustability to them at all, you were strapped in like a parcel.
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TheChosenTwo · 26/01/2022 21:06

Ps I work in a church school and while prayer is always openly invited to everyone at the end of collective worship the only expectation is that everyone is respectfully quiet if they choose not to partake.
I think it’s right that it’s down to individual choice now too, when I was young my mum refused to send me to the (nearest) ‘bible bashing school’ and I had to walk miles to the school she chose Grin

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NoLongerTroels · 26/01/2022 21:15

  1. Grandparents.
    2.Nana buying me ice cream on a Friday night
    3.Family summer holidays
    4.Singing with my best friend with hairbrushes as microphones
    5.Spending summers horse riding.

    I don't miss.
    1.Being treated as less as I was a girl.
    2.Sunday school
    3.School in general. (bullying in juniors)
    4.Being poor.
    5.IRA threatening bombings.
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IBloodyLoveMichaelJackson · 26/01/2022 21:28

Roller skates
Playing out all evening with friends
Not worrying about adult things
My Grandad

Don't miss:
Being bullied / feeling awkward
Bedtime rules
Sunday dinners
That awful scary teacher
PE lessons

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MakkaPakkas · 26/01/2022 21:39

Having no responsibilities
The 1980s level of technology (no email, text, WhatsApp, messenger, mobile phone etc.) I feel like current technology is hassling me all time. That or its enabling me to waste my time on quite pointless stuff like this.
Cadburys chocolate
My grandma who was very cool but is dead now
Having a bendy young body

Don't miss:
The boringness of Sundays
Not having enough money (more the stress it caused my parents than personally)
Casual racism & misogyny
Lack of variety in food types (we were very mince, carrots and potatoes/dumplings)
Healthcare technology has improved now so I don't miss how it was.

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casade13 · 26/01/2022 21:47


The video man coming in his van and letting us pick our weekly movie
Me and my brother watching crime watch and me having a sleep over in his room as we were terrified
Saturday night back to back good old tv
Me and my brother recording the charts on a Sunday on tape 😂
Bike riding out with my mates and getting home before it was dark
Moaning about my dad watching horse racing and the antiques roadshow 😂
Getting a mobile phone and using my credit in 15 mins 😂
Calling my friends on the house phone but hanging up at 59 minutes as an hour was free.

Don’t miss

The gas and electric running out
The bath water running cold 😂
The house stinking of fags
Having to walk as couldn’t afford the bus
Having to spend time with family members who a are complete twats
My dad drunk most days talking nonsense

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Imonaspendingban · 26/01/2022 22:22

The best
My grandad
Having no tv so had to learn to read-and fast!
Playing with my toys
Using my imagination

The worst
School-the bullying and nobody stopped it-in fact I was blamed for ‘allowing’ it
My mother changing and bending the rules we grew up with to suit herself and the golden child
My other grandparents (on her side) they had favourites and they definitely where not us
Having to eat foods I hated-zero choice,you ate what was put in front of you and you ate it all
Dirt-my parents where (and still are) very dirty people-we’d get the blame but they just didn’t clean properly
(I remember dad steam cleaning the kitchen tiles and the sheets of muck pouring down was disgusting-plates would be washed in dirty water if at all and they once paid for the carpets to be cleaned,I remember being so ashamed at the amount of black water that came up,the toilet is thick with limescale and we where lucky to have our clothes washed once a week)

I would never go back to being a child

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Awwlookatmybabyspider · 26/01/2022 22:53

Oh the video van I forgot all about that and video shops.

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Nicknacky · 26/01/2022 23:10

Things I miss.

  1. taking my ginger bottle to the Ice cream van and getting mix ups for the.
  2. hearing the house phone ring and my heart jumping in case it was a boy for me.
  3. prisoner cell block h and crime watch. Plus Saturday night tv.
  4. playing kerby and being out for house.
  5. my parents taking us to the pub every Sunday afternoon and we got Crisps and played pool.

    What don’t I miss…..

  6. frizzy hair and blackheads!
  7. the weird teachers we had. I don’t think you would get away with that now.
  8. my mums lamb on a Sunday. Dreadful and I still can’t eat lamb.

    Im struggling for 4 and 5
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MrsSkylerWhite · 26/01/2022 23:18

  1. No positives.
    Not being hit. Not being hungry. Not being scared.
    Can’t manage 5, sorry.
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Awwlookatmybabyspider · 26/01/2022 23:19


Playing May I

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dipdye · 26/01/2022 23:27


Playing out with a big gang
Fancy hols abroad all the time
Being the brightest
The music
Doing my sport

Don't miss :

Living in a shit town
Going to a rough school
The relentless fucking rain and damp weather
Being fat
The same food all the time

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JustGotToKeepOnKeepingOn · 26/01/2022 23:31


My Dad
Trains with compartments
Chocolate that tasted like chocolate
Living with my siblings
School holidays

Don't miss:
Corporal punishment at school
Having to be polite to my mum's stupid boyfriends
Being teased /bullied for being catholic
The misogyny and sexual harassment at school
My mums cooking

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Avarua · 26/01/2022 23:36

I miss:
My Nana
Hanging with my cousin's, aunts, parents and grandparents
Being able to eat whatever I want without guilt or even thinking about health/calories/nutrition
Being naturally slim/sporty without working on it at all
Not being responsible for stuff getting done

I don't miss:
Well I didn't have a dog then. That's the only additional thing I'd add to childhood to make it absolutely perfect. A dog.

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Enzbear · 26/01/2022 23:42

Pets that are long gone.
The secondary school parties.
Picnics with all the family
Children's books, magic painting etc

Don't miss-
No central heating
Financially dependant on parents
School, especially horrible people at school
Hand me down clothes.
Sunday night dread.

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AgathaMystery · 26/01/2022 23:52

I was born in 1989

I miss:
Roller skating
Huge family Christmases
Going to the video shop
My parents being married to one another

Don’t miss
No central heating
My racing bike
Living in the north of England in a really horrible town with no hope of leaving.
High school (see above)

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Graphista · 27/01/2022 00:35

Miss :

My grandparents 

As you op running around playing in a "gang" we had a GREAT time

The excitement of a new Enid blyton book

Top of the pops at its peak in the mid - late 80s

The Christmases of early childhood when I still believed in santa...

Don't miss ruining every later Christmas via alcoholism

Never knowing what mood dad would be in when he got home

REALLY boring Sundays when there was nothing open and tv was shit and getting dragged to chapel!

Walking to school when it was pissing it down and then spending the day damp and freezing!

Smoking EVERYWHERE inc at home both parents smoked heavily inc in the car and bloody caravans

@TheChosenTwo I LOVED those tv shows! I believe Jason Manford is doing a "stars in their eyes" type show soon I'm looking forward to it

Honourable mentions to :

Bamboozle on teletext
Taping the top 40 (and bartering my wee brother for talking over my favourite track Grin)

Being able to eat whatever I want without guilt or even thinking about health/calories/nutrition

There's a family photo of me maybe a size 4/6 with a mars bar in my gob and a marathon (NOT Snickers) in my hand. I'm now a size 18 Grin can't imagine whyBlush

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Shimmyshimmycocobop · 27/01/2022 00:53


Waking up on the first day of the summer holidays
Having it all ahead of me
Being young, energetic and skinny
Being part of a large extended family, most of whom have sadly gone and most of my cousins don't keep in touch.

Don't miss

High school
Sunday night feeling of dread
Having little choice in what I wore, where I went or what I ate
Findus crispy pancakes and 70's cuisine in general
Being really quiet and unconfident

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Dacquoise · 27/01/2022 18:45

Born 1965


Going to stay with my cousin and having midnight feasts of M&S crisps and Kentucky Fried Chicken. My parents couldn't afford such luxuries.

My nan babysitting and letting us watch Hammer Horror films on the telly.

The countdown to Christmas and the cold dark nights in the lead up.

Playing out on the street with other children.

Saturday morning pictures with our cousin and the jamboree bag with sweeties and plastic toys. Seemed thrilling to us.

Don't miss

Having to go home from staying with my cousin because of the misery of being the family scapegoat.

My mother entertaining her numerous boyfriends in the house whilst my dad was at work.

My dad the control freak who used to go nuts if you knocked the rear view mirror in the car like it was such a big deal to put it back in position.

The frequent violent rowing, frequent house/school moves when my mother was caught out, the competitive nastiness to each other for 20 odd years.

The poverty and neglect of being raised by uneducated and ignorant children for parents.

Happy days!

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TheChosenTwo · 27/01/2022 18:48

@Dacquoise I certainly hope they’re happier now Flowers

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Dacquoise · 27/01/2022 18:50

Thank you. Yes definitely happier now. Lots of therapy and NC has sorted that out.

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