Pictures Of Parenting From The Past That Will Make You Hold Your Breath

With every few generations, the practices of parenting change. Over time, many parents are becoming more and more concerned when it comes to rearing their children. Many of the ways parents raised their kids in past years would never fly today. Here are some perfect examples.

Concerts Are For Everyone

Picture of a concert
19blackdog72/Reddit
19blackdog72/Reddit

Judging by the scene, we’re going to guess that this picture was taken sometime during the 1960s or ’70s, when concerts might not be the best place for children.

These people didn’t just bring a child but a full-on newborn! Not only that, but they have it tucked into a cardboard box they probably found somewhere.

Hold Tight!

People on a chairlift
I always wanted a Pet Rock/Reddit
I always wanted a Pet Rock/Reddit

This mother and her daughter are on the Snow King Chairlift in Jackson, Wyoming, on June 28, 1965, and it’s clear that safety regulations weren’t a thing.

Being so high up in the air, you would think they would have some kind of harness. But no, this mother’s arm will have to do for her daughter.

He Doesn’t Bite

Kid and a lion
ryanb99/Reddit
ryanb99/Reddit

These days, some parents are afraid to even let a dog into their home for fear of it hurting their child.

However, that’s certainly not the case here. If this mother is willing to let her son get so close to a lion, there’s no telling what other kind of animals they have wandering around the house.

Close Call

Kid on a dirtbike
Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images
Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

What shows a parent’s love more than letting their child try to jump over them on a dirtbike? This is a whole new level of trust, and by the looks of it, it may not have ended very well.

Still, these parents are willing to do anything to make their kids happy. Probably wouldn’t see this level of dedication today.

No Babysitters Required

Picture of baby on ice
L. C. Buckley/Fox Photos/Getty Images
L. C. Buckley/Fox Photos/Getty Images

By the looks of it, back in the 1930s, parents didn’t feel like hiring a babysitter, so they brought their baby with them every even if they were ice skating.

This is a picture of Jack Milford of the Wembley Monarchs ice hockey team, who invented this device to bring his baby on the ice.

Enjoying A Beverage With The Adults

Picture of a baby in a bar
Reddit
Reddit

Although there has been a recent craze of young parents bringing their children to breweries that have games and other activities for them, it’s pretty rare to see a baby sitting at a real bar.

God only knows just how dirty that bar is, and the baby has its hands all over it.

Be Gentle

Girl with a snake
Three Lions/Getty Images
Three Lions/Getty Images

Today, it’s not unusual for parents to keep their young children far away from animals, especially exotic ones like snakes.

However, this mother doesn’t seem to have a problem letting her young daughter have a snake around her neck! At least the baby doesn’t look terrified, because that might agitate the creature.

Swimming Lessons

Kids in a pool
Circa FPG/Getty Images
Circa FPG/Getty Images

Apparently, back in the 1930s, learning to swim included tying a rope to your kid and having them swim in a circle until they got the hang of it.

Now, parents pay big money for their child to have one-on-one lessons with a professional where they are closely watched to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Smile For Mommy

Girl and dad mountain climbing
middle_angel21/ Reddit
middle_angel21/ Reddit

When you go mountain climbing with your daughter, there’s only one way to get her up a giant rock. Throw her on her back!

This father must really trust the equipment that he’s using because one mistake and they’re both probably toast. Funny thing is, the little girl looks happy as a clam.

Light It Up, Son

Picture of father and son
imakethenews/Reddit
imakethenews/Reddit

It’s safe to say that not too many parents these days would care to have their baby’s face incredibly close to a sparkler of any kind, let alone one that big.

To top it all off, the baby’s father is hovering over him while the disaster is about to strike! We guess parents really trusted their babies back then.

The Good Ol’ Days Of Bear Riding

Girl on a bear
Homebrew-Joe/Reddit
Homebrew-Joe/Reddit

How many of us can say that we have ever ridden on the back of a bear, especially as a child? We’re going to assume that the number is slim to none.

But back in the day, it seems like this might not have seemed like an incredibly rare activity!

Safety First

Baby in a car seat
iworkondishwashers/Reddit
iworkondishwashers/Reddit

There wasn’t even an option for babies to ride in car seats in a time not too long ago, so this was considered a huge step forward.

Of course, if there was an accident, this might do more harm than good. Let’s just hope that nothing bad actually happened.

Don’t Lean On The Rails

Picture of a girl
youngbarrister/Reddit
youngbarrister/Reddit

This picture was taken of someone’s mother at the age of four when she visited the zoo in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, in 1970.

Today, most parents might come sprinting to get their child away from the bear pit. But back then, it was the perfect opportunity to take a great picture.

Family Ride

Baby on a motorcycle
fjbuzr/Reddit
fjbuzr/Reddit

When your family’s only means of transportation is a motorcycle, you have to work with what you have.

Clearly, that was the case with this family, as they had to get a baby seat to have their child ride along with them. On top of all this, there’s not a helmet in sight!

Starting Them Young

Picture of kid with lawnmower
Media/ClassicStock/Getty Images
Media/ClassicStock/Getty Images

Although many people have to learn to use a lawnmower at some point, our guess was that it was never this young.

A lawnmower is a highly dangerous piece of equipment, and putting it in the hands of a little boy may not be the smartest of ideas. But hey, it was the ’70s!

Too Close For Comfort

Kid and a tiger
reesmeister/Reddit
reesmeister/Reddit

Okay, having your child next to a lion cub is one thing, but next to a fully-grown tiger?

We don’t care how good of a picture opportunity it may be, there’s no way any parents these days would allow for this to happen. The tiger doesn’t look too happy about it either!

Don’t Cut Yourself

Kid with swords
WhosierDaddy/Reddit
WhosierDaddy/Reddit

Today, some children’s parents might even refrain from letting them have toy weapons for fear that they could turn violent as a result of it.

Well, that’s certainly not the case here. This young boy has more swords than we can count, and they all seem to be real too!

Go For It!

Kids on bikes
Sopherista/Reddit
Sopherista/Reddit

Something tells us that one of the boy’s fathers is the person behind the camera in this picture. In fact, he probably even help them build the ramp to perform the stunt!

By the looks of it, this is going to either end in failure or be a very close call.

Bring Your Child To Work Day

Baby in desk -67564
Redwards2 / Reddit
Redwards2 / Reddit

If you’ve ever seen a parent today that has to bring their baby anywhere with them, it looks like they’re about to go to war with all of the stuff they have.

But not in this case! All this woman needs is a pillow, blanket, desk drawer, and she’s good to go for the rest of the day!

Like Father, Like Son

People fireating
tKeystone/Getty Images
tKeystone/Getty Images

First off, it’s unlikely that many modern fathers are fire-eaters, and if they are, they probably keep their kids well away from it when they’re practicing.

Of course, back in 1960, that wasn’t the case at all, and practicing eating fire was a bonding activity. However, we have to admit, that’s pretty cool.

Fun For The Whole Neighborhood!

Kids swimming
ItsMinnieYall/Reddit
ItsMinnieYall/Reddit

Most people might just stick with spraying their kids with a hose before letting them swim in a trash bin, but even that might be a little too much for parents these days.

Do you know how many germs are in tap water? Well, a lot less than whatever these kids are swimming in.

Children Don’t Stop Chainsaw Work

Picture of a mom and kid
subtyler / Reddit
subtyler / Reddit

Apparently, back in the day, if you needed to chop wood with a chainsaw and didn’t want your kid running around, you just strapped them to your back.

As if using a chainsaw wasn’t dangerous enough, it looks like that baby or the mom could fall forward at any moment!

Calling To Check In

Kid using a phone
BufordTreeJustice / Reddit
BufordTreeJustice / Reddit

Just a few decades ago, it was not unusual for children to tear around unattended by adults, learning their way around the world independently.

With their parents having no way of knowing where they are, the kids had to check in every now and then. We guess this is how some of them did it.

Run!

Woman crossing traffic
Reddit
Reddit

This is a picture taken in Paris in 1969, and it appears that back then, nobody had come up with the idea for crosswalks.

It’s either that or this mother is just willing to take her chances. Regardless, you certainly wouldn’t see a mother pulling a stunt like this today.

Fresh Air For The Baby

Baby in a cage
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Decades ago, when people lived in apartment buildings and didn’t have the time to take their baby outside to get some fresh air and sunlight, this was the next best solution.

People put a lot of trust in these cages, and you wouldn’t catch a parent today coming near one.

Just Hang Em’ There!

Picture of baby
TheWayWeWere/Reddit
TheWayWeWere/Reddit

When this family was trying to take a picture of their two children, they had a perfect idea.

Take the already unsafe car seat out of the car and hang it out the window. Now the baby can’t move around, and they can finally get the picture they want. I hope it holds!

Stop, Look, And Listen

Kid running across the street
Denver Post via Getty Images
Denver Post via Getty Images

As this child sprints across the busy street, the father seems less than concerned about the whole situation.

Today, most parents would be hysterically running after their own children ready to scold them on the other side. This casual dad looks like he asked to see how fast his kid can run.

Wheeee!

Picture of parents tossing child
Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Hey, we know a fun game for parents! Throw your small child back and forth until one of you drops them. Whoever does is the loser!

We’re not sure whose idea this was, but we’re going to go ahead and advise anyone against doing this. Some people can’t catch a basketball, let alone a child.

No Straps Required

Baby In a car
RUAUMOKO/Reddit
RUAUMOKO/Reddit

Okay, we all know that car seats in the past weren’t always the safest devices for children. In fact, most of the time, they could be death traps more than anything.

But this baby isn’t even strapped into anything! It’s just hanging there! The mother doesn’t seem too worried about it, though.

Casual Pet

Picture of kid with lion
spencehord/Reddit
spencehord/Reddit

This is a picture of someone’s father and his pet tiger from back in the 1970s. Yes, you read that correctly. He isn’t at some animal sanctuary, but this lion is his actual pet.

We wonder what else this kid’s parents let him do when he’s not busy taking care of his pet lion!