Old-School Parenting Photos That Probably Wouldn’t Fly Today

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

baby in a car seat looking stressed out
Photo Credit: therealjakeg / Reddit
Photo Credit: therealjakeg / Reddit

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

kid mom lion
Photo Credit: coolkidsofhistory / le-fils-des-etoiles-tumblr.rssing.com
Photo Credit: coolkidsofhistory / le-fils-des-etoiles-tumblr.rssing.com

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.

Heads Up, Baby Incoming!

parents hiking with baby throwing the baby across a ravine
Photo Credit: TwoLeggedMonster / Reddit
Photo Credit: TwoLeggedMonster / Reddit

It can be hard traveling with kids as a parent — your vacations either don’t happen or turn into what feels like a constant hunt for a public bathroom to change the child. These parents found a workaround for the child traveling troubles that when they took their kid hiking with them. We should actually say “throw-around” in this case.

Yes, that’s a baby and those are its parents. Don’t worry, everyone survived the trip. Rumor has it the dad even discovered a new love of playing football wide receiver.

This Child Needed A Cigarette After Stealing And Crashing This Car

kid smoking cigarette outside crashed car
Photo Credit: Gonerill / Reddit
Photo Credit: Gonerill / Reddit

We don’t understand what’s fully happening in this photo but something feels wrong about it. There’s no parenting here that could be criticized today, though most people would confiscate the cigarette before snapping the photo.

You can tell by the way he’s not looking at the camera that he knows he’s in some deep trouble. He’s hoping that the longer he doesn’t make eye contact the less likely they are to notice him standing there. We’ve all tried, that’s not how it works.

Mom Will Always Support You…Even If It’s As Your Bike Ramp

kid biking over mother
Photo Credit: therealabv / Reddit
Photo Credit: therealabv / Reddit

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

mom and son out for a gondola sky ride
Photo Credit: thisisanendtable / Reddit
Photo Credit: thisisanendtable / Reddit

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.

Just A Taste Test Son

dad feeding baby beer
Photo Credit: Reddit / shfiven
Photo Credit: Reddit / shfiven

Sometimes you have to chase your baby formula with a beer — we’ve all been there, it’s some strong stuff. Nowadays though nobody would post a photo of their infant doing this unless they want their computer to explode with angry Facebook comments.

Apparently, a teaspoon of beer is an old cure to give babies who can’t burp. That’s probably what this dad was doing since there’s no way he would give a baby Coors just for fun. He’d treat it right and serve an IPA.

A Sparkler Is One Way To Teach A Baby Fire Is Hot

dad giving baby firework
Photo Credit: imakethenews / Reddit
Photo Credit: imakethenews / Reddit

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.

This Working Mom’s Crib Isn’t So Different From Today’s Standards

working mom with baby in desk
Photo Credit: Redwards2 / Reddit
Photo Credit: Redwards2 / Reddit

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

kid helping father make wine
Photo Credit: cheesecurd_bambina / Reddit
Photo Credit: cheesecurd_bambina / Reddit

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

dad rapelling with daughter
Photo Credit: middle_angel21 / Reddit
Photo Credit: middle_angel21 / Reddit

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.

Cribs Are Usually Inside The Window Now

baby in the cage
Photo Credit: Fox Photos / Stringer / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Fox Photos / Stringer / Getty Images

Back at the turn of the 20th century before people knew the cause or the adequate treatment for many respiratory illnesses, a belief that babies needed to be “aired” out was common. Fresh air was thought to provide a lot of good benefits for infants. So what were people living in high rise apartments without backyards to do?

Hang these “baby cages” of course. Common sense is probably yelling in your mind that this wasn’t safe, but this was a pretty commonly accepted solve for getting babies their fresh air. Hopefully, no birds ran into them.

The Only Kart Kids Get Now Is MarioKart

kids on go kart backyard
Photo Credit: Morghani / Reddit
Photo Credit: Morghani / Reddit

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.

Grandmas Nowadays Would Smack The Cigarette Out Of Your Mouth

party kid smoking with family
Photo Credit: crushyajr / Reddit
Photo Credit: crushyajr / Reddit

Back in the day people just didn’t know how bad smoking was for you and you can’t fault them for that. So if Junior wanted to share a smoke with his grandmas and aunts then so be it. He could come and relax as long as he brought his own.

I bet the family looks back on this picture and laughs. The kid probably felt so cool hanging out with everyone too. That smug face says enough. Hopefully, he didn’t keep up the unhealthy habit!

Sure, 16 Is Old Enough To Motorcycle Around Indonesia By Yourself

guy biking around indonesia
Photo Credit: marcusbondi / Imgur
Photo Credit: marcusbondi / Imgur

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

skating vid
Photo Credit: earthmoonsun / Reddit
Photo Credit: earthmoonsun / Reddit

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?

baby in slingshot ice skating
Photo Credit: Gar1986 / Reddit
Photo Credit: Gar1986 / Reddit

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

young robert de niro with dad
Photo Credit: robaco / Reddit
Photo Credit: robaco / Reddit

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

first lady and her raccoon
Photo Credit: Spidey_Pug / Reddit
Photo Credit: Spidey_Pug / Reddit

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

piano school lessons
Photo Credit: mr_rook_na / Reddit
Photo Credit: mr_rook_na / Reddit

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.

Anonymous Packages Of Fine Italian Clothing Probably Would Be Suspicious Today

man posing black and white photo
Photo Credit: TheFlowerCannon / Reddit
Photo Credit: TheFlowerCannon / Reddit

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

swimmmobile pool in shipping container
Photo Credit: ItsMinnieYall / Reddit
Photo Credit: ItsMinnieYall / Reddit

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?

baby in christmas sock
Photo Credit: nankie / Reddit
Photo Credit: nankie / Reddit

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.

Times Change, But Dads Messing With Moms Certainly Doesn’t

kids with beer and cigarettes
Photo Credit: itsgettingcloser / Reddit
Photo Credit: itsgettingcloser / Reddit

The drinking age may have been raised to 21 since 1970, but what’s stayed the same is the universal husband drive to annoy their wives. Reddit user itsgettingcloser posted this iconic photo with the caption “Dad, Let’s take a picture that will make Mom angry.”

They definitely succeeded and the pure joy on their faces say that they know it too. We don’t know what she’ll be most angry about: the fact there’s beer or the brand he’s giving them. German imports are expensive… save it for the adults.

A Halloween Costume That’s A Smoke Show

cigarette costume
Photo Credit: NoneDareCallOrdinary / Reddit
Photo Credit: NoneDareCallOrdinary / Reddit

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

mom bottle feeding babies
Photo Credit: jcorbier / Reddit
Photo Credit: jcorbier / Reddit

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

party people on the roof
Photo Credit: KnowYourRole96 / Reddit
Photo Credit: KnowYourRole96 / Reddit

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

mom and kid with toy happy
Photo Credit: xDanSolo / Reddit
Photo Credit: xDanSolo / Reddit

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

baby chainsaw mom
Photo Credit: subtyler / Reddit
Photo Credit: subtyler / Reddit

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

kids and parents in a winnebago
Photo Credit: jaytheworst / Reddit
Photo Credit: jaytheworst / Reddit

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

kid on bike
Photo Credit: faitswulff / Reddit
Photo Credit: faitswulff / Reddit

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

kid hanging from telephone
Photo Credit: BufordTreeJustice / Reddit
Photo Credit: BufordTreeJustice / Reddit

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 band
Photo Credit: HGcardinal55 / Reddit
Photo Credit: HGcardinal55 / Reddit

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

toddler in a crib
Photo Credit: watchyaflavors / Reddit
Photo Credit: watchyaflavors / Reddit

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.

Even Babysitting Can Be Fun

mom partying with baby
Photo Credit: tigger3370 / Reddit
Photo Credit: tigger3370 / Reddit

Raise your baby and your glass to this mom who didn’t let having a kid stop her from having a good time! Today we’re more inclined to pay for a babysitter than to bring our kid to the shindig, but if they’re not going to judge people there turn off the music then what’s the harm?

This mom is out and about and having a great time doing it. Even her kid seems to be enjoying themselves since they’re eying that liquor pretty enviously. Only milk for you, Junior.

This Vintage Lady Killer

guy in vehicle laughing ladies
Photo Credit: AR3SiN / Reddit
Photo Credit: AR3SiN / Reddit

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

babies sleeping
Photo Credit: EvilFluffy87 / Reddit
Photo Credit: EvilFluffy87 / Reddit

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.

Pass The Chips, Dad

baby and dad with chips and beer
Photo Credit: Pducloksknott / Reddit
Photo Credit: Pducloksknott / Reddit

Kids will always want whatever you’re having — they’re a lot like pets in that way. These days a lot of parents advocate for their child eating non-GMO, vegn, no sugar, and no grease. That just wasn’t a thing back in 1992.

This cool dad and his son are enjoying their time together relaxing and mucnching on some Krinkles after a long day. Honestly, we can’t judge them because they look so cute together. What we are curious about are the Krinkles…where can we get them nowadays because they seem like they taste delicious?

This Pre-Selfie Iconic Baby Photo

mom and kid posing for photo
Photo Credit: ent_hugger37 / Reddit
Photo Credit: ent_hugger37 / Reddit

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!

A Smoke To Ease The Pregnancy Stress

pregnant woman smoking
Photo Credit: Vxxpx / Reddit
Photo Credit: Vxxpx / Reddit

Smoking seems to be a common thing we’ve all slowly learned that children…and pregnant women… shouldn’t do. We have to remember these were different times and people weren’t aware of the dangers of doing it. Take this mom who’s balancing an ashtray on her pregnant belly while smoking.

Don’t worry, the person who posted this online said it was their mom so they’re alright. If anything, let it serve as a good warning for our safety today.