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27 Things ’80s Kids Did That Would Horrify Parents Today

27 Things ’80s Kids Did That Would Horrify Parents Today

The 1980s have been sort of wild, guys. Should you’ve seen Wolf of Wall Road or any classic Madonna video, you recognize what I am speaking about. Trend, Trickle Down Economics, and company extra are the issues we criticize probably the most from the Reagan period, however the parenting was fairly wild, too. Parents gave their youngsters plenty of freedom, to say the least, and calling your child a moron wasn’t as frowned upon as it’s in the present day.

Actually, within the unfastened and but unusually conservative ’80s, you possibly can be a cheerful nine-year-old on a motorcycle you constructed your self, sporting NO helmet, roaming the neighborhood in search of random youngsters to play Star Wars with. Actually, you might go inside and play in some stranger’s home, and so long as you have been residence in time for meatloaf, you have been all good. For those who needed to apply your Hulk Hogan strikes in your brother, you have been fantastic so long as you did not get any blood on his Adidas or your mother’s snow globe assortment. And in case you did mess issues up, your dad would not assume twice about placing you over his knee and coming out a critical spanking.

Unusually sufficient, you all survived and appear to assume you turned out simply high quality, so perhaps hands-off parenting is greatest. Simply kidding, you guys scarred your youngsters for all times and turned them into the helicopter mother and father we’ve got in the present day. Do not consider me? Let’s check out a few of these selection ’80s parenting fails.


1. Dad would allow you to “drive.”

These days youngsters experience within the again seat solely they usually’re strapped into automotive seats till they’re virtually in highschool, so it is exhausting to think about a time when mother and father have been comfortable with youngsters driving car-seatless on the driving force’s lap. However again within the carefree 1980s, it appeared a high-quality concept to a lot of the mothers and dads on the market. It was all about educating their youngsters by doing and taking a hands-on strategy. There wasn’t anybody there to ridicule the mother and father for letting their youngsters drive earlier than they have been twenty-one, making it a extra laughable time.

2. Parents did NOT watch their youngsters on a regular basis.

Little youngsters might play out of sight for hours, and fogeys typically delegated the duty of watching toddlers to not-much-older siblings. Parents simply needed a while to themselves. It was a time when the household would go to the seashore and mother would pack ham and cheese sandwiches for the youngsters and they might drink no matter mother would drink. So if mother is having ice espresso, so are the youngsters…and no one thought something was mistaken with that on the time. The lifetime of a father or mother was extremely totally different once they have been capable of take their eyes off their youngsters, say “scram” and luxuriate in their time with their associates.

three. Kids had extra alternative to do illicit issues…

…like having a secret puff with pals, thought-about the top of cool adults actions by 1985 tweens. With all that point out of sight from Mother and Dad, they by no means actually knew what was happening on the market within the social lifetime of their youngsters. It was a time the place peer strain dominated the roost and fogeys have been none the wiser. Nevertheless, it appears awfully unimaginable that Mother did not discover that lingering cigerette odor when washing their youngsters’ garments…


four. Helmets have been for losers.

Head safety simply wasn’t a factor, whether or not you have been driving a motorcycle, curler skating, or skateboarding. In the event you’d worn a helmet whereas out driving your bike (unsupervised, naturally), everybody would have merely thought there was one thing flawed with you. However that is one thing that is been carried on to in the present day as properly. As quickly as youngsters have been capable of experience out of sight from their mother and father, that helmet would fly proper off as a result of it was all about becoming in with their buddies and searching the half. Perhaps not as a lot has modified because the 80’s as we might have thought.

5. Your mother might properly have used tobacco when she was pregnant with you.

It nonetheless occurs now, however everybody thinks pregnant mothers who smoke are loopy and irresponsible. Nevertheless, again within the 1980s it was solely simply turning into taboo to smoke all through one’s being pregnant. So in the event you have been an 80s child born within the 70s, possibilities have been that your mother did. Within the 1980s, the American Lung Affiliation spent a ton on advertisements just like the one above to get the phrase out that tobacco was not a terrific selection throughout being pregnant.

6. Sunblock was a rarity.

Again within the 80s, peeling pores and skin was a completely regular accompaniment to arriving again at college after the summer time trip. The thought of utilizing solar protection–even for tiny youngsters or an extended day on the beach–wasn’t the norm, and solar lotions solely began being marketed for teenagers extensively round 1988. What a distinction this made for youngsters rising up within the 90’s when in comparison with the last decade prior. Then once more, it is sensible as a result of youngsters have been all the time enjoying outdoors anyhow being that there wasn’t actually any know-how to distract, in order that they all the time had a tan base making them much more used to the solar than the youngsters of the 90’s.

7. “Latchkey kids” have been all over the place.

With the rise of divorce and single-parent households, youngsters as younger as 7 got their very own home keys and informed to let themselves into the home after faculty or keep residence alone throughout holidays whereas their mother and father labored. This may typically entail getting ready meals and making an attempt to not struggle together with your siblings or set the home on hearth.


eight. Particular restaurant sections meant that secondhand smoke was rampant.

From the mall to the household automotive, the world of the 80s was typically a haze of smoke. Philip Morris and different tobacco giants knew by the late 80s that secondhand smoke was a carcinogen, however they suppressed the knowledge. It wasn’t simply the truth that many extra individuals used tobacco, it was the best way it was 100% superb in any enclosed area, regardless of who else was current.

9. Kids ran wild!

Fearlessly climbing timber, scaling fences, exploring the woods, and leaping streams have been typical childhood actions, all with no father or mother in sight. The adults would do not know in case you’d fallen and damaged your neck, or given your self tetanus on a rusty nail.

10. Kids obtained to do themselves critical injury.

Again within the day it was regular to have a minimum of one pal in a plaster forged always. This was thought-about a enjoyable alternative to cowl the forged with graffiti, quite than an indication of negligent parenting. Concussions and stitches have been additionally a daily a part of each childhood. Enjoyable occasions!

11. You had entry to extra harmful toys.

Probably probably the most well-known harmful child’s toys ever, garden darts triggered over 6,000 emergency hospital visits and three youngsters’s deaths earlier than they have been banned in 1988. As if that warning on the field that claims, “Warning: not a toy for use by children. May cause serious or fatal injury. Read instructions carefully. Keep out of reach of children.” wasn’t apparent sufficient… It is protected to say that product makers did not all the time assume actuality via.


12. Younger youngsters have been liable for watching even youthful youngsters.

This led to situations during which bands of youngsters would roam the neighborhood with no extra supervision than a 9-year-old might present. Parents would simply say “watch out for your little brother” and certainly, they might all come again to the home crying as a result of…you guessed it…it wasn’t all too protected to let youngsters babysit youngsters.

13. Kids rode within the flatbeds of pickups.

No seatbelts or seats, obv. Or home windows, or roof. Sitting up on the tailgate of a shifting pickup was only for older youngsters, although. In some states resembling Florida, that is nonetheless authorized at this time. However most states made bed-riding unlawful. It is fairly self-explanatory. There aren’t seat-belts again there, so what enterprise does a toddler have sliding round within the mattress of a truck? Think about if the driving needed to slam on the breaks simply as soon as. That child is more likely to crash towards the rear window and break one thing.

14. Playdates have been typically adult-free too.

So you would break a leg at your BFF’s home with out his mother and pop observed both! It was a lot extra handy then to have the ability to ship your youngsters to a buddies home, you then get a while off from parenting, and it wasn’t like they have been watching their youngsters both anyhow. So it solely makes extra sense to have two units of unsupervised youngsters play collectively.

15. Playgrounds have been extra “adventurous.”

Uncovered nails and splinters have been the norms at my native playground. In the meantime, metallic climbing frames inspired youngsters to climb 20 ft into the air above gravel or asphalt. (There have been not one of the tender rubber or wooden chips that breaks the falls of right now’s youngsters.) And does anybody else keep in mind these metallic slides that burnt your legs and butt at 4 hundred levels as you “merrily” slid your means down with a convincing grimace?


16. The cargo areas of station wagons have been handled as freeform play areas.

Yup, not solely have been youngsters pushed round with out seat belts or automotive seats, they have been additionally plopped into the again of station wagons with no seats to talk of in any respect, and left to run free within the vast open spaces–or to get slung back and forth of the automotive, relying on how briskly Dad took the bends within the street. I nonetheless have fond reminiscences of ricocheting spherical with my buddies and pretending we have been on a curler coaster.

17. 1980s youngsters acquired to play with fireworks.

Kids. Explosions. What might go improper? A few of the extra widespread fireworks with 1980s youngsters have been firecrackers, bottle rockets, smoke bombs, floor flowers, and roman candles. A majority of these fireworks principally exploded near the bottom produced however they have been nonetheless able to performing some critical injury.

18. Cooking unsupervised wasn’t uncommon for a lot of youngsters.

When you have been sufficiently old to be a latchkey child, you have been in all probability sufficiently old to warmth up meals on the range earlier than mother or dad obtained residence. This was the beginning of the generations the place dual-income houses have been turning into extra regular. Kids would get house from faculty and they might be answerable for beginning dinner simply earlier than their mother and father walked within the door. No less than this taught the youngsters methods to be self-sufficient a lot sooner than at present’s youngsters.

19. Seatbelts weren’t legally required for teenagers.

Most 1980s automobiles DID include seatbelts fitted, however state legal guidelines did not require you to make use of them till the mid-1980s and even the 90s. Are you able to think about a time the place there weren’t even automotive seats that you simply needed to stuff your youngsters in? They might simply need to be held in your lap the entire journey and that was completely regular for all the opposite drivers on the street to see.


20. Older youngsters have been allowed to hitchhike.

I keep in mind this privilege was often reserved for older youngsters – say, 9 years previous and up. In case you have been actually fortunate you’d handle to hitch a journey within the flatbed of a pickup. This was clearly a time earlier than a few of the most notorious kidnappers and murderers have been caught and publicised. Kids did not know stranger hazard in that decade and if that they had, they might’ve been much more more likely to have walked residence as an alternative.

21. The center seat in entrance appeared a protected place for teenagers to experience.

This was turning into a bit much less widespread within the 1980s, however as a 70s child, the center seat within the entrance was OBVIOUSLY the most effective seat as a result of then you may management the 5 obtainable radio stations, utterly unrestrained apart from mother’s arm which might routinely swing out every time she needed to cease out of the blue.

22. Kids had their very own secret areas the place they’d vanish for hours.

As a child within the ’70s and ’80s, it was a particular sort of enjoyable to seek out or construct your personal secret hideout. It may be an deserted constructing, or a dubiously-constructed treehouse constructed within the close by woods. Both means, it was someplace you’d hang around for hours with none mother and father having the faintest clue the place you have been.

23. “Introducing solids” may imply one thing like this…

The thought was that when toddlers began consuming solids, they might simply need to attempt no matter mother and pop have been having for dinner. Today’s youngsters are coddled much more with tiny items of sentimental primary meals being hand-fed to them. It was an easier time then when youngsters would simply attempt a number of bites of pizza or hen fingers as a result of that was what Mother was making for dinner.


24. Kids weren’t made to put on life jackets on boats.

Again within the 1980s, it appeared extra pure and enjoyable to let youngsters roam free on sailboats with out sporting any cumbersome life-preserving flotation units. Parents thought they have been ok supervisors to let their youngsters run free across the boat, as in the event that they could not probably fall into the water earlier than they have been capable of swim…

25. If mother took you out on the again of her bike, it might appear to be this.

Nope, no helmets, not even when the littlest youngsters have been sitting out of sight on a precarious youngsters’ bike seat behind mommy. To not point out, this is not embarrassing in any respect, proper? To be seen by your mates from faculty being hauled round on the again of a motorcycle being referred to as a momma’s boy? Not the perfect picture.

26. Parents have been ~a lot~ much less apprehensive about youngsters falling off of stuff.

Climbing with out security nets – or grownup supervision – was inspired. My common impression of the 1980’s is that my sisters and I spent 50% of our time in timber. This will likely not have been a lot that youngsters have been allowed to do that as a lot because it was that oldsters simply did not know. Whereas their youngsters have been out and about, enjoying throughout the neighborhood, they would not should verify in till it was time to return residence for dinner. So in fact mother and father had no concept the place their youngsters have been or what they have been busy climbing.

27. This was thought-about a suitable faculty lunch.

Simply throw in a Twinkie and a few Kool-aid and also you have been good to go. It was a easy time earlier than mother and father have been so frightened about their youngsters’ meals consumption. They only slapped no matter deli meat that they had and a few cheese between two slices of wonder-bread and referred to as it a day. It seems boring to us now however this was as regular as might be within the 80’s.


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