Times change and so do parenting techniques. Remember when mom would give you a nickel and told you to be home before dark? Those were the days. Now, parents are under constant scrutiny for the way they choose to raise their kids.
Those old-school parenting tricks would probably land you on the evening news today but hey, we survived didn’t we? Have a good laugh and a walk down memory lane while you look at these vintage parenting skills that would raise some disapproving eyebrows nowadays.
This Car-Seat Wouldn’t Ride Today
Nowadays there are various tests and specs that a car seat has to meet before it can be bought by consumers. Usually, those include the idea that the baby should be strapped in for safety. Looks like that wasn’t really a concern the designers of this vintage car seat had.
This thing looks more like an amusement park swing than a safety device. We do have to point out the mini wheel attached so the baby can learn to drive along with their parent.
Even Lion Veterinarians Took Their Kids To Work
If you had a dangerous job working with dangerous wild animals, would you still take your kids to work? This veterinarian mom in 1959 definitely said yes. This makes sense since her kid would totally be jealous if he knew she was hanging out with a lion cub and he wasn’t there too.
They took this lion cub in as their pet and raised it for two years. We imagine that at that point the little guy would be getting too big to be kept in the house. He had to move out and find actor work on the Lion King.
Mom Will Always Support You…Even If It’s As Your Bike Ramp
Today parents probably will say no if you asked them if you could build a sick ramp to bike off of. Not this 1970s mom. She’ll offer to help build it and even become the ramp if needed for you. Then to top it all off, she’ll adjust to make sure you got some sweet air.
She wouldn’t get roasted online for the ramp, ramps aren’t that big of a deal, but people would probably be concerned as to why she has to be under the kid. Hopefully, she’s got some strong forearms or else this little Evel Knievel is going to squish her.
Is It Safe? Thanks To “The Arm” It Is Now
You’ve likely met “the arm” before. It’s the classic mom move they’ve all done to us when a situation seems unsafe. If she’s ever braked slightly quicker than usual in traffic you’ve felt it shoot across your chest to hold you back. “The arm” doesn’t care if there’s seatbelts or not.
This mom broke out “the arm” to make this chairlift safe for her daughter and we respect it. Nowadays chair lifts don’t always come with seatbelts so this isn’t that shocking.
This Working Mom’s Crib Isn’t So Different From Today’s Standards
Sometimes you can’t hire a babysitter and your work doesn’t offer daycare, so what’s to do? This mom found a smart hack that definitely put two babies to sleep with one lullaby. Today she’d probably catch hate for not investing in a crib though.
Sure this is a file cabinet, but it’s not that weird if you think about it. As long as it’s the lowest drawer to the ground, what’s the worst that can happen? We love that she’s got her papers in there too. That’s a working woman!
You Don’t See A Child Helping With Wine Making Much Anymore
These days unless you live on a vineyard, it’s uncommon for your parents to get you involved in their own process of making wine. After the drinking age in the US was raised to 21, things got even more taboo surrounding kids being around alcohol (even if they weren’t drinking it).
This cool picture shows how fun it could be for a kid to get involved with their dad’s hobbies since it depicts a Reddit user helping the dad make his wine in the ’90s. We bet all they wanted to do was crush the grapes with their feet
You Want To Come Mountain Climbing? Sure, Hop On
Today if you want to make mountain climbing a family activity, we go to an indoor gym where the kids can be caught by safety mats if they fall. For Reddit user middle_angel21 her safety harness was a couple of ropes, her dad’s back, and her own two arms.
This photo would stress anyone out looking at it today since we’re so used to seeing climbers with all sorts of protective equipment and gear. In the 90’s, Dad’s back was the only thing you needed and obviously it worked since she’s still here today.
The Only Kart Kids Get Now Is MarioKart
Maybe you grew up with one of those little toy cars that you can sit in and go around the block at 5 mph before it died. Or maybe you got a literal go-kart that you can whip you and your siblings around in. They definitely don’t sell these on the shelves next to the Barbie PT Cruisers today.
This was taken back in 1993 when Reddit user Morghani got it for their birthday. She swears she only took it at 5 mph when her sister was riding with her…but if we were there we’d obviously want it to go faster.
Sure, 16 Is Old Enough To Motorcycle Around Indonesia By Yourself
We’re all for parenting that lets kids express themselves freely, and that’s exactly what these two did! When their 16-year-old son wanted to motorcycle around Bali and Indonesia for 6 months and these parents didn’t want to go, they just let him go on his own. Fair enough.
He took precautions though — he wore a rubber snake around his neck to scare off wild animals. This was a formative experience for him and he’s been back many times with his kids.
Shred Some Rails And Some Skin, Dude
In this iconic 1970s photograph by Hugh Holland, we can see a pre-teen skating wearing nothing but shorts and a determined expression. Honestly, if we saw this kid at the skate park we’d all want to be him or be his friend. Our parents, on the other hand, would probably chase after him with some shoes and elbow pads.
He must be pretty good at skateboarding since he’s not covered in scrapes. That’s probably a sign that he doesn’t need the pads or clothing anymore anyways. Raaadical dude.
Slingshot Or Baby Carrier For Skating?
The designers of this baby holder for skating couples were lightyears ahead of their time. Nowadays we want to buy products that can do it all — like how our phone being maps, calculators, video players, and games. This person predicted our multi-functional future and created this baby slingshot and skating companion.
This is a great product if you want to skate hands-free but a bad one if you want to protect your kid. Hopefully, neither parent falls.
Robert De Niro’s Dad Probably Wouldn’t Smoke Around Him If He Was Born Today
It’s only pretty recently that we learned about the dangers of cigarette smoke. Back before it was common knowledge that smoking poses health risks, people would smoke all the time, indoors, around pets, and even holding children. Just like Robert De Niro’s father did when he was a young boy.
Robert De Niro turned out okay, so no worries. The only thing the De Niros are currently being criticized for is the height of Robert’s platform Oxford shoes on the set of Scorsese’s The Irishman. Seriously, have you seen those things? They’re like 7 inches high.
Oh, No Worries, My Family Pet Raccoon Is Friendly
You don’t see pet raccoons too often anymore these days — if they were ever a popular pet choice. First Lady Mrs. Coolidge was reportedly a fan of the creatures that we usually see eating our garbage, and in 1922 she even posed with her companion she affectionately named “Rebecca.”
The first lady was also a fan of her dogs, which there are several photos of her and her family playing with. Though today’s mom bloggers wouldn’t reach for a raccoon bring around their kids, they would probably appreciate the balance Coolidge’s dogs brought to the house.
Music Lessons Looked Completely Different
Nowadays music lessons usually happen one-on-one, at home, or in the studio. When you do go to a music school, they’re more likely to teach you the theories and then move you to a practical classroom with real instruments to learn and listen to the sounds.
In this 1947 picture of a piano school, students watch and listen to the hand motions of their teacher while mapping them out on miniature soundless keyboards. This is a good way to memorize the movements, but hopefully, it sounds as good as it feels.
A Sparkler Is One Way To Teach A Baby Fire Is Hot
This old school parenting move probably wasn’t too popular in the day either — mostly because babies don’t really have the grip strength to hold sparklers. This dad wanted to find that out for sure when he handed his lit sparkler off to his baby.
This is definitely one way to learn firework safety and that fire is hot. This technique isn’t super common anymore and thankfully neither are the ’80s dad crop tops.
Anonymous Packages Of Fine Italian Clothing Probably Would Be Suspicious Today
It was a different time back in 1916, like Reddit user TheFlowerCannon shows by telling the story of her 17-year-old grandfather. He was born in Italy but was adopted by a poor family with 10 other children in 1899 who then immigrated to the US in 1910.
His connection with Italy didn’t break there — he would receive anonymous packages of well-made and beautiful Italian clothes every few years. Nowadays our parents would probably make us throw it away. But mommm, can’t we at least see what’s inside?
Swim Lessons Weren’t In A BackYard
Nowadays we’re used to seeing people post a ton of photos of their adorable kids rocking floaties and bathing suits that say “beach please” as they’re taking private swimming lessons in their backyard. These swimming lessons in inner-city Detroit in the 1960s were a little different.
Reddit user ItsMinnieYall writes that this “Swimmobile” was where their mom learned to tread water. Honestly, this thing looks fun! A bonus is that all you need to do is hit the gas to make it turn into a wave pool.
It’s A Christmas Miracle! Now Put A Sock…Around it?
We’re very used to modern-day hospitals where everything is sterilized and people walk around religiously applying hand sanitizer at every doorway. Back in the day, it was a little more relaxed… and apparently festive.
This was how delivery nurse and Reddit user nankie handed newborns out to their mothers on Christmas day back in 1980. This idea is so cute and festive for the occasion but definitely wouldn’t happen in today’s hospitals. This lucky new mom must’ve been on the nice list this year.
A Halloween Costume That’s A Smoke Show
Today’s Halloween costumes are always at the receiving end of a lot of criticism. Whether they’re a cultural appropriation, very revealing, or just plain offensive, we all brace for impact when Halloween rolls around the corner. The 1950s were a little different.
This is a hilarious and well-made costume that definitely made her the coolest kid in school. A great couple’s costume would be her with the Marlboro man. Those two would puff-puff-pass any 1950s costume contest.
Swan Lake But With Babies
Nowadays ballet is the kind of thing we only really see on the big screen or the internet, so if we ever have the opportunity to go it feels like stepping into an alternate and glamorous reality. This 1980s photo of a mother and her child shows a more human side of the art.
A lot of respect goes out to this mom who is making time to be a good parent on the job. Nowadays the baby would probably have to buy a seat to be there. Sir, backstage access is restricted to fans who purchased meet-and-greet tickets.
Party Like It’s 1976, Man
Today when you’re throwing a big party you have to warn all your neighbors, beg them not to call the cops, and then try and manage the music volume all night so you don’t get any noise complaints. You’re the volume DJ nobody wanted all night, but if it’s any consolation things were a little more relaxed in the 70s.
Reddit user KnowYourRole96 posted that this was a high school party their mom attended in 1976 on July 4th. She was one of the many people on the roof.
The Face Of A Happy Kid Who Got A Present
Nowadays the hottest toy on the market is one that’s been tested 100 times to make sure there’s no choking hazards and a bunch of other dangers. If it’s basically bubble wrap it’ll sell like hotcakes these days. Things weren’t that way back in 1989.
Reddit user xDanSolo shares this photo of him opening the hottest toy of the year — the Ghostbusters Ghost Trap. This thing would be really fun to have, but would definitely be slapped with a ton of warning stickers these days. Enjoy catching those phantoms!
Need To Use The Chainsaw And Babysit? No Problem
This multitasking mom definitely would not be a crowd-pleaser in today’s day and age. If the hiking baby-throwing parents gave you a mini heart attack then this interesting way this mom is chainsawing may give you another one.
She’s hauling precious cargo while getting her outdoor duties done. We respect the multitasker in her, and her helpful baby too. This little guy is definitely in her ear pointing out all the places where she can work on her technique. He’ll be a supervisor in the future for sure.
Seatbelts Don’t Exist On Vacation
We’re so used to people nowadays telling us to buckle up for safety reasons that we get alarmed when we see people not doing it. Reddit user jaytheworst’s family vacations had school bus rules where their parents would let them ride in style without the belt. But they weren’t sitting in normal seats…
They would be pretty safe from collisions in this massive vehicle so it makes sense. This epic photo was taken in the early ’90s when their parents would take them to national parks around the country. Say cheese!
Biker Gangs Were Different Back Then
Today we’re used to seeing biker gangs roll by on the road in loud pack that has us covering our ears and shaking our heads. We’re always so curious about what their jackets say too. “Does that say the bread raisers? Oh, it doesn’t matter they’re gone now.”
This tough biker gang leader in the 1970s was Reddit user faitswulff’s mom. This was a rough and tumble customer that you’ll never see around today — only because she’s not wearing a helmet. What a rebel.
This Old School “Mom I’m Not Coming Home Till Later” Text
Today’s kids always have a cellphone on hand. No matter how much people complain about kids being addicted to their phones, they have to admit how convenient it is to have them when you have to shoot mom and dad a quick text. This was the 1970s version of that text.
This kid is going to great lengths and great heights to let his parents know he’s going to be late for meatloaf night. Even though this looks unsafe, not telling his mom would be way more dangerous for his health.
This Is What Band Camp Is For Nowadays
Garage bands are a thing of the past. Back before neighbors would call the cops on you immediately, kids would jam out to their heart’s content. We can’t be mad at those trigger-happy neighbors though, after hearing a badly played “Barracuda” 15 times in a row we would all go a little crazy.
Reddit user HGcardinal55 writes that their mom was dating the guitarist in the white and black T-shirt back in 1984 when this photo was taken. We don’t know what’s more taboo today, the idea of a garage band or the mullets they’re rocking.
Baby, You Got Style
Today parents focus less on their toddlers’ hair and more on things that are more…long lasting. If you put your child’s hair in a ponytail, all you have to do is breathe and that thing will be history. Turns out this wasn’t a problem in ’66 for one hairspray-loving mom.
Even though it may be a little impractical, this is one stylish baby. When the mom drives slowly by the daycare, all the little girl has to do is stick her head out the window and the boy toddlers will be staring. You go, fashionista.
This Vintage Lady Killer
Today’s hype around senior prom mostly focusses on cute promposals that the boys put together to ask the girl in an extravagant way. They’re nice, they’re wholesome, and sometimes they’re funny. They used to look pretty different in the 70s however.
Reddit user AR3SiN captions this photo “my dad before prom in the 70s. His brother is a professional photographer and got this legendary photo.” This is a pretty epic shot but this kind of wedding-themed begging wouldn’t make Instagram headlines today.
Some Things Don’t Change After All
We pick up so many things from our parents. Whether it’s our faces, hair, personality, or even furniture, some days we wake up and ask ourselves if we’re actually becoming them. Reddit user EvilFluffy87 had this moment when he caught himself acting just like his dad.
He decided against using those fancy modern baby rockers and stuck to what he knew worked for personal experience — dad’s arm. Feel the sway and the arm hair tickling your chin.
This Pre-Selfie Iconic Baby Photo
Back before selfies and iPhones, people actually had a hard time getting babies to sit still so they could take their photo. Nowadays it’s a totally different story since your friend with a newborn is posting at least 30 baby pictures a day. We get it Jackie, we really do.
This iconic 1949 photo of Reddit user ent_hugger37’s dad and grandma just proves how hard it was to get a decent take. That is one blurry baby who can’t sit still because there are places to be and people to meet!
Spick N’ Span
If you’ve ever wondered why your dad washes his car every weekend, it’s because it’s a hard habit to break. Back in the day, young men treated their car better than most boys today ever will.
They worked on the engine themselves, changed the oil, and definitely never took it into a car wash.
Carving In Style
If your dad ever cracked a smile when you asked him for your first skateboard, it was most likely because he was a proud father at that moment. Chances are you aren’t the first one in your family to cruise down the street in style.
Your dad was doing it well before you were born and was probably better than you’ll ever be.
Like Father, Like Son
This photo perfectly captures the admiration of a son for his father. This dad looks all business in his fighter pilot outfit, and his son is looking at him in awe.
He even has his own little fighter pilot jacket too so he will blend in with the other men at the base.
Everyone has heard their dad brag about how good-looking they were back in the day. Although time may have done a number on their body, most still keep photos as evidence of their good looks.
It looks like this dad kept an old modeling photo to show off to his kids.
Married In Style
Nothing makes for a better wedding than long hair, motorcycles, and crushing beers. This couple may have the most rugged wedding photos around because traditional weddings are overrated.
We hope they hit the road after this for their honeymoon.
Style Off The Charts
Red Miller Light hat, check. Red Old Milwaukee vest, check. Flannel with a kitten inside, check. This dad has all of the bases covered style-wise, and the kitten tops everything off.
Aside from being more stylish than you’ll ever be, its guaranteed he drank more beer than you.
Rocking A Jean Jacket
After years of dormancy, the jean jacket has finally come back into popularity. However, it’s important to remember who made them cool in the first place: your dad.
Chances are he still has one tucked away in his closet that you’ll never get your hands on. It has too many memories for you to leave it at some party.
His First True Love
Before this dad became domesticated, it’s more than likely that he went on more than a few adventures with this hound. By the looks of it, they have a deep bond and were probably inseparable.
This dog probably rode shotgun long before his wife ever did.
Yes, That Is A Fox
Apparently, laws didn’t apply in the ’80s because this guy is holding a fox. Not only is it a fox, but it also has a collar, showing that it’s domesticated.
If this dad ever told his kids they couldn’t have a pet, all they would have to do is whip out this photo to prove a point.
His Artistic Side
With the craziness of family-life, your dad may not have as much time for his hobbies like he used to. This is a picture of a dad sculpting a profile of his wife’s face in peace, something they had time to do back in the day.
We hope that sculpture is displayed somewhere in their home.
New Christmas Card
Everything about this picture makes it undeniably cool. The guy’s outfit, the glasses, his stoic and loyal looking dog, and of course, the new hip-hop album that he’s going to release in his hands.
We’re not sure if this picture was intended to be cool, but it turned out that way.
Just because this man had a kid didn’t mean that he hung up the old jean jacket and traded in the shades for a pair of cargo shorts and white tennis shoes.
He rose to the occasion and decided to keep his current style and become one of the best-dressed dads around. Good choice.
Big Tech Guy
Believe it or not, technology was around back in the 1980s, and it wasn’t as primitive as you may think. Here’s a dad standing next to his car while simultaneously showing off his portable phone.
However, chances are, his pockets aren’t big enough for it to fit in his pants. He may need a backpack.
Ahead Of His Time
While everyone else was living in the ’80s, this man was looking into the future. He managed to transform a van into a futuristic-looking craft.
Driving around town with this baby is probably how he picked up his wife. This was an ambitious move, but he pulled it off.
Back in the 1980s, style like this wasn’t just acceptable; it was encouraged. It was a simpler time when wearing all maroon while peddling a 10-speed through the neighborhood was the norm.
Hopefully, this dad unboxed this old outfit and wore it to horrify his children.
The ’80s In A Picture
Nothing says the ’80s more than dirty mustaches and oversized glasses. This dad has it all and is rocking it with ease. His son should take notes because this is how a real man presents himself.
The only thing that would make this picture better is if it was a fraternity composite picture, which it very well might be.
His shirt partially unbuttoned, one hand is pressed against the wall as he leans, and his hair is marvelous. This is the epitome of a cool ’80s dad.
We don’t know where he was heading, but he looked dressed for some fun. This dad from Lebanon had it going on.
Got The Beach Look Down
This father could have been a chick magnet. Or he could have just been the creep on the beach who stares at you for too long.
We’re not judging, we’re just giving our honest opinion. At least his mustache is nice and thick. You can’t go wrong with a nice mustache.
Beer Run Level: Expert
Sometimes, it can be easy to forget that your father wasn’t always a dad. At some point, he might have even been unicycling with a case of beer on each shoulder.
Just because your dad doesn’t always tell you about his crazy antics as a young man, it doesn’t mean that they never happened.