Growing up in the ’50s and ’60s allowed us to experience a different world than our children and grand children get to. We were privy to a special time in life, a carefree time of playing in the mud and not having to worry about anything besides penny candy and winning the next game of jacks. Yes, being a child during The Good Old Days was quite different than it is today. Thinking back on our childhood memories, we realized how much different it is for parents these days. When we were young, we had much more freedom, and we made the most of it! Here are some of the things we remember our parents let us do as kids… what else do you remember?
1) LETTING YOUR KIDS PLAY IN THE STREETS UNTIL DARK
Like many of you probably do, we have fond memories of playing with the neighborhood kids in the streets. Whether it was baseball (or stickball), hopscotch, or marbles, we always had a blast; and the only thing we had to worry about was getting home before the streetlights came on!
2) SENDING YOUR KIDS TO THE STORE WITH A NOTE
Oh, the power a note from your parents used to have! We definitely remember being sent to the corner store on a few occasions to pick up special groceries for our parents. Everything from bread to milk, and sometimes, even cigarettes! The best part was when you’d get a nickel to pick out some candy for yourself.
3) GIVING KIDS THE GARDEN HOSE UNATTENDED
With all of the concerns about water quality, you would be hard-pressed to find kids these days drinking water straight from the hose. Growing up, we drank from the hose all the time! We didn’t care about bottled water (and if you ask us, that hose water tasted fresher than anything else). When we weren’t quenching our thirst, we were busy running through the sprinklers or filling up water balloons.
4) CORRECTING OTHER PEOPLES’ CHILDREN
While this is a much more sensitive topic, one thing we vividly remember is, if you didn’t have manners, you would be reprimanded! Growing up we were taught that having manners and respect for your elders was the most important thing. And while getting yelled at was never enjoyable, we like to think it made us into the people we are today.
5) TEACHING YOUR KIDS HOW TO USE THE STOVE/OVEN
Some of our best memories involve getting to help out in the kitchen. Spending quality time with mom was great, and getting to learn how to use certain appliances and tools was so important! While our parents weren’t irresponsible — they waited to do this until we were old enough — they recognized the value of being self-reliant. While kids today might still do this, chances are they’re more likely to use the microwave.
6) LETTING YOUR KIDS RIDE IN THE BACK OF THE CAR
We have so many good memories of riding in the back of the station wagon during a road trip! Come to think of it, riding in a car for kids has changed in many ways. How many of you remember a time when there weren’t always seat belts in the car? We would slide around in the back seat at every sharp turn. Not only that, but who remembers getting to sit on dad’s lap and help steer while he drove?
7) SENDING YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL WITH BAKED GOODS
Now we don’t want to sound bitter, but doesn’t it seem like there are much more allergies these days? As kids, we never had to worry about peanut allergies or gluten. Our mom would bake cupcakes to bring to school for birthdays or bake sales, and our classmates loved them!
8) SPINNING YOUR KIDS REALLY FAST ON THE MERRY-GO-ROUND
Playgrounds really were the best when we were kids. If we got a few bumps and bruises, it was worth it because of all the fun we were having! Maybe this was just us, but we fondly remember our parents spinning us around on the merry-go-round. Getting to go that fast was a blast, and the slight dizziness we felt afterwards was the cherry on top!
We know being a parent is never easy, and we also recognize that kids these days get to experience a lot of thing we never did (like the ability to call your friend from anywhere at anytime). That said, we wouldn’t trade our childhood in for anything! Did we forget something on this list? What was your childhood like? Share your memories with us in the comments below!