20 Old school parenting photos that wouldn’t fly today

September 16th, 2020

Back in the good ol’ days, before safety became a thing of paranoia and faith was running strong, parents were a lot more lax with their kids’ upbringing.

Don’t get us wrong, you were sure to meet the switch or feel the hard smack of reality coming from your parent’s strong hand if you misbehaved. But, as long as you minded your P’s and Q’s and didn’t act up too much, a lot of parents gave their kids the freedom to learn life’s lessons on their own.

Today, in the age of the internet, many parents are hyper-aware of the dangers that seem to be lurking around every corner, often whether those dangers are real or not.

Thankfully, there are millions of photos out there that can take us back to yesteryear and show us what our parents and grandparents really had to live through, and some of them are pretty hilarious.

Here are 20 parenting photos from back in the day that would never fly in the 21st century.

1. Growing up Down-Under

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Reddit/truthcrusade Source: Reddit/truthcrusade

“Me Back In 1991 Just Your Typical Aussie Kid Drinking Xxxxlight Beer (I Wasn’t Aloud Heavies Back Then) And Holding A Baby Crocodile.”

Beer wasn’t always reserved just for adults. Apparently, neither was playing with crocodiles. Don’t judge- he could have been the next Steve Irwin!

2. When being 13 was considered a man’s age

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Reddit/Jason Platz Source: Reddit/Jason Platz

“My Hilarious Father (With The Magazine) And My Grandfather, Grandmother, And Uncle At His Bar Mitzvah In 1972.”

It looks like his Uncle was a late-bloomer.

3. Swimming in the 30s

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Reddit/cheml0vin Source: Reddit/cheml0vin
“The Pinnacle Of Parenting: 1930s Swimming Lesson.”
Well hey, now. Let’s not be unfair here- clearly they had a well though out fail-safe in place…

4. Keeping it family friendly

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Reddit/areyoufknserious Source: Reddit/areyoufknserious
“Infant Me, My Mother & Father At A Bar Because That’s How Parents Rolled In The Early ’80s.”
Back in the day it was easier to squeeze in family time and fun time all at once. Kids just rolled with their parents, and some parents liked to roll to their local bar. No hypocrisy here, folks!

5. It was a long battle

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Reddit/19blackdog72 Source: Reddit/19blackdog72
“California Marijuana Initiative Rally 1972. That’s Me In The Box And My Parents In The Picture.”
While people might still be outraged at the idea of bringing a baby to a weed rally, in the long run, his parents’ fight finally paid off. Just goes to show you that persistence, peaceful protests, and smoking the reefer really can make a difference.

6. The original safety bar

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Reddit/thisisanendtable Source: Reddit/thisisanendtable

“My mother and grandmother demonstrating safety standards in the 1960s.”

Because who the heck needs a safety bar when you’ve got the Mom-Arm?

7. The car seat of terror

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RedheadRanting Source: RedheadRanting

“Back In The Day. 1960s To Be Exact. Checkout That Car Seat.”

There’s a reason your parents seem tough as nails. They had to be just to survive an average outing on a day to day basis.

8. Joe Exotic would be proud

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Reddit/reesmeister Source: Reddit/reesmeister

“Just A Photo of Yours Truly (at 11 yrs.) Petting a Full Grown Tiger. My Mom Calls it Her “Bad Parenting Moment””

We wouldn’t go that far. We bet he developed a very strong appreciation for Tigers, and that’s something the whole world could use a little more of right now.

9. Oh, the things we know now…

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Pinterest Source: Pinterest

Proof-positive that you should never trust what the pharmaceutical companies are telling you.

10. They made their own fun

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Pinterest/Martha Cooper Source: Pinterest/Martha Cooper

“Children playing in ruins or in clunkers, in a part of New York City that looks like an european distric after the World War II”

See how lucky we are to have movies, arcades, and fun houses to go to? Back in the day, you had to make your own fun and make due with what you had. After WWII, there wasn’t much but trash.

11. This is all wrong

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Pinterest Source: Pinterest

Well…that didn’t age well.

12. Something to celebrate

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Imgur Source: Imgur

“My mom in the hospital after giving birth to my sister. Canada 1978. Smokes and roasted chicken eh!”

Now, that’s how you celebrate, right there. We’d be willing to bet that if this were still a thing, people wouldn’t hate going to the hospital so much. Aside from the non-smokers, of course.

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Shorpy Source: Shorpy

Nothing to see here. Just a baby riding in the front seat of a Harley without a care in the world. What could possibly go wrong?

14. Growing up on the ice

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Reddit/Gar1986 Source: Reddit/Gar1986

All we can say is this child was a true survivor. And- we can’t help but wonder if this is how the idea for the ‘Johnny Jumper’ was formed.

15. Nothing beats a mother’s love

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Istagram Source: Istagram

“If Your Mum Didn’t Lay On The Ground Making Herself Into A Ramp For Your New BMX, Did She Even Love You? 1980’s.”

The answer is no. No, she did not.

16. Rolemodels

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Reddit/DrSalted Source: Reddit/DrSalted

“Princess Yvonne And Prince Alexander In Germany, 1955.”

Well, that explains a lot.

17. Because fire is fun

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Reddit/imakethenews Source: Reddit/imakethenews

“My Dad showig off his parenting skill. 1985”

It looks like Dad was showing off a lot more than that in this photo. But we bet his kiddo never feared the fireworks!

18. That’s just how it was done

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Reddit/themudone Source: Reddit/themudone

“My mom showing off her parenting skills 1978”

This is how you make a baby feel accepted.

19. Nothing like a little R&R

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Reddit/ickeyray54 Source: Reddit/ickeyray54

“1958, relaxing after my bath with Toby, I was never again this cool”

Don’t worry, little buddy. Now, no one is “this cool”.

20. Just a nip

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Reddit/stevierayfrog Source: Reddit/stevierayfrog

“13 y/o Dad having a taste while the grownups are busy playing cards; upstate New York, August 1954”

Okay, let’s face it- this is still totally a thing. Just, maybe not in the time of “social distancing”.

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Source: Reddit/Shareably