- If you didn't already know, now you know.
We all think we had it worse than the present generation, err, do we this time? Anyhow, the 60s was a crazy time for the kiddos, from the norm of moms smoking and drinking to hitchhiking.
Car Seats and Seat Belts
Or lack thereof. Not only did kiddos sit in the seats unrestricted but they even sat in the front seat. Mom or Dad would fling their arm to catch you for a sudden stop or turn. Heck, my 80s mom even did that. Either that or they would be a lap child, that is, they would sit on someone’s lap. There were some pretty crappy car seats that bigger babies and toddlers could sit in, with only a seatbelt across their lap. (Appropriate car seat regulations and legit seat belts didn’t come out until the 70s and airbags followed in the 80s.
Beyond the constant smoking of a lot of mothers, children continued to grow up in a cloud of smoke throughout the years. But smoking was encouraged within society. Cigarette smoke blew from adults lips in places like stores, on planes, and even at the dinner table. It was all over the televisions as well. Parents even posed kids with unlit cigarettes or pipes on the regular for snapshots. For teens, smoking was seen as the mature and cool thing to do. And besides always being around cigarettes, kids could even buy them. So much as a request, and kids could buy cigarettes for their parents and they were sent to do so.
Knowing what you do about car seats of the 60s, this may not come as such a surprise. But doctors at the time encouraged parents to have their babies sleep on their stomachs, a big no-no. Cribs also had little to no safety measures in comparison to today. The slats were too wide, so much so that infants heads could get stuck in them. There were dangerous drop rails and teeny, tiny places where their little fingers could get stuck, not to mention choking hazards. It took many infant tragedies to lead to manufacturing regulations.
Blood Sisters and Brothers
Proving loyalty and friendship can be done in blood, and it was. You could also keep secrets this way. All you had to do was make a small cut on their fingers and press them together. Friends forever status usually followed, or you could be bound in silence about something. Beware of the blood exchanges, also known as, possible passing of bacteria and diseases.
Kids would often come home to empty houses in a generation known as latchkey kids as moms continued to go back to work. The 50s saw helicopter parents and the 60s kids took care of themselves. They had to feed themselves and watch younger brothers and sisters, unless they were the youngest. Your parents may not have been in any kind of hurry to get home.
I can still see this dark pink/red antiseptic in my grandma’s medicine cabinet and she put it on every owie. And she wasn’t the only one. Everyone had a bottle of this in the medicine cabinet. It wasn’t until the FDA started looking into it more closely that they determined the drug contained mercury. Too much use and it could affect your brain, kidneys, and babies in the womb. This was one of the crazy things of the time.
Going it Alone
Playdates and friend get-togethers are a whole lot of work these days. But back in the day? No problem. Just tell your mom where you’re going and hop on your bike or get to walking. The closer the better when it came to your friends houses. You went over there, spent time and sometimes you’d even get a meal out of it. What a great addition to the crazy things.
To be specific, nuns that hit. If you went to catholic schools, you had exposure to different types of discipline. The classic ruler smacking across your knuckles ranked up there for offences such as speaking out loud, not doing your homework or rough-housing in the classroom. Nuns also pulled kids out of classrooms by their ears. Back then this was common practice, now it would absolutely not be tolerated.
What do you think were the strangest crazy things that happened to kiddos in the 60s? The whole car seat thing is pretty crazy compared to now.