26 Things Your Parents Did to You But You’ll Never Do to Your Own Kids

While our parents may have had the best intentions when raising us, as time goes by and science uncovers more about effective parenting methods, we realize that they may have done some things incorrectly. However, how you were raised doesn’t have to dictate how you raise your own children.

Giving them Whiskey to Help with Teething Pain


Teething is rough for babies, and in the absence of modern soothers and pain relievers, some parents resorted to rubbing bourbon on their gums (yikes!) Today, we have safer and more effective ways to soothe teething pains, like pain-relief products and teething toys.

Punishing them Depending on Your Mood


Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon for parents to treat their kids based on their own moods. If they felt bad or had a rough day at work, they might punish them harder than usual. 

On the flip side, if they were in a good mood, they might treat them well, which could confuse the child about their parents’ feelings towards them. Modern parenting advocates for greater self-awareness of emotions and not projecting them onto kids, but rather giving them fair treatment according to each situation.

Biting them Back


Decades ago, some parents believed the best way to teach kids not to bite was to, well, bite them back! Luckily, we’ve moved on to more positive reinforcement techniques that doesn’t involve too much baby ‘violence.’

Physical Punishment 


The use of physical force to cause a child pain or discomfort in order to correct or punish their behavior is known as physical or corporal punishment. This can include actions like spanking, slapping, smacking, or hitting with objects such as sticks, belts, or canes. 

Nowadays, parenting steers away from this approach, focusing instead on fewer physical punishments and more constructive methods.

Letting them Ride Unrestrained


For many years, children rode freely in the backseat, and seatbelts weren’t even mandatory in many places. 

Thankfully, times have changed. By 1985 in the US, for instance, all states had adopted laws requiring child restraint systems. This shift prioritized safety, ensuring little ones are properly secured and protected during every journey.

Smoking around them 


Cigarette smoke curling around the dinner table? It might sound strange today, but for many parents in the past, smoking around their kids wasn’t uncommon. In fact, it wasn’t unusual to see parents happily smoking indoors, with little regard for the health consequences it posed to their children. 

Thankfully, our understanding of secondhand smoke exposure has evolved dramatically. Today, creating smoke-free zones around children is a top priority for most families.

Let them Cry themselves to Sleep


The idea of letting babies cry themselves to sleep for hours might seem unthinkable to most parents today. Yet, in the early 20th century, it wasn’t considered unusual. 

Modern parents now understand the importance of responding to our babies’ needs, and this certainly doesn’t involve letting them cry themselves to sleep!

Allowing them to Watch TV All Day


The golden age of after-school cartoons is probably a thing of the past now. If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, chances are you logged some serious screen time with little to no parental supervision. 

Today’s parents, however, are more mindful of limiting screen time and incorporating a wider variety of activities for their kids. They’ll likely be healthier, but some might argue they won’t have as much fun!

Giving them Soda as a Healthy Supplement


Organic baby food and water bottles filled with fruit slices are staples in many households today, but can you believe that in the 1950s, 7Up was actually advertised as a healthy supplement for a baby’s diet? 

Parental perspectives on childhood nutrition have undergone a major transformation since then. Modern parents are much more conscious about offering their kids healthy options from a young age. Sugary drinks are a thing of the past for most little ones, replaced by water, milk, and nutritious alternatives.

Placing them on their Stomachs


Decades ago, placing infants on their stomachs for sleep was standard practice. However, today, many safety-conscious parents find this notion unsettling. 

The introduction of the Back-to-Sleep campaign in the US in 1994 led to a remarkable decrease of over 50% in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases nationwide.

Giving them Alcohol to Sleep Well


Can you imagine giving your child alcohol to ensure a good night’s sleep? In the 1920s, some experts even recommended hot toddies for infants! 

Most parents nowadays would be shocked at the idea of giving their kids alcohol, as we now prioritize healthy sleep habits for our little ones, with other healthier options to help them sleep like angels.

Allowing them to Consume LOTS of Sugar at Breakfast


Those sugary cereals that tasted like dessert? Probably not making it onto today’s kids’ breakfast menu. Modern parents are more mindful of balanced nutrition, even at the first meal of the day. 

According to modern research, any child who doesn’t get enough activity and eats too many unhealthy foods, sugary or not, may be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, particularly if they gain weight. 

Putting them In a Clothes Basket


Modern recommendations emphasize using a crib or a secure sleep environment with a flat mattress devoid of pillows or covers, but this wasn’t the case in the good old days. Can you imagine putting your baby down in a clothes basket, like they did in 1916?

Bathing them in Oil


In the past, the ritual of a baby’s first bath involved oil rather than soap and water. Although there’s ongoing debate regarding the choice of oil, medical advice leans towards avoiding oil baths for infants under four weeks old.

Threats of Punishment


Empty threats like ‘wait till your father gets home!’ were seen as a scary tool to get things done just a few decades ago. 

Now, modern parents know that positive reinforcement and clear communication are far more effective tools for disciplining the child in a way that doesn’t stick with them traumatically!

Allowing them to Cook Alone


While childproofing reigns supreme in most kitchens today, encouraging kids to explore cooking from a young age was more common in the past. So those unsupervised batches of cookies you’re whipping up now were actually encouraged back in the day!

Washing their Mouth with Soap


Washing a child’s mouth out with soap for bad language? Nope, that’s old-school parenting. Today’s parents are all about teaching respect through consequences, not resorting to harsh punishments for bad behavior.

Letting them Have Sleepovers at Any House 


Sleeping over at a friend’s house, even if your parents didn’t know their family well, is a thing of the past. These days, most parents take the time to get to know their kids’ friends and their families before allowing sleepovers. So, future kids might not have as many adventures as we had. 

Feeding them FULL Meals


Modern feeding guidelines emphasize the importance of exclusive breastfeeding or formula for the first six months. However, this wasn’t always the case. In the 1960s, introducing solid foods much earlier was a common practice. 

Since then, parents’ understanding of infant nutrition has evolved significantly, realizing that feeding babies full meals is not the best approach.

Letting them Drink from the Hose


Many of us have fond memories of slurping cool water straight from the garden hose on a hot day.  However, these days we know better.  

Hoses can harbor bacteria and even contain chemicals like lead or BPA. Thankfully, there are plenty of safe and refreshing ways to keep kids hydrated!

Not Wearing Helmets


While today’s parents find the idea of skipping wearing a helmet quite terrifying, it used to be the norm in the past. Today’s parents are much more conscious about safety gear, and helmets are a non-negotiable for many outdoor activities.

Constantly Allowing Fast Food 

Fast food concept with greasy fried restaurant food as onion rings, burgers, and pizza with french fries and popcorn. Junk food concept. Food photography concept. Unhealthy diet eating.

Friday night pizza might have been a staple in your childhood home. While occasional treats are okay, parents today prioritize healthy eating habits for their kids. 

This means more home-cooked meals and a focus on balanced nutrition, setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy choices.

Giving them Corn Syrup for Constipation


Believe it or not, there was a time when dark corn syrup was seen as the cure for childhood constipation. 

Now, modern approaches to digestive issues are much gentler, with doctors recommending increased water intake, extra fiber, or age-appropriate remedies available over the counter.

Blackmailing them


You won’t hear ‘Eat your vegetables or no dessert!’ much on modern tables now. Today’s parents understand the importance of fostering healthy relationships with food.  

Positive reinforcement and setting a good example are more effective ways to encourage good choices at mealtime.

Unrestricted  Web Access


The early days of the internet were a wild west of unrestricted access. Today’s parents, however, are much more cautious. With online safety a major concern, most parents use parental controls and monitor their children’s online activity to ensure a safe digital experience.

Still, monitoring online activity might not be the most fun for the kids, who might end up throwing an angry “Mom, why are you following me?”

Not Giving them Hugs and Kisses


Strict parenting styles used to emphasize emotional distance, but that’s a thing of the past. Nowadays, we understand the importance of physical affection in fostering a child’s emotional well-being. 

Hugs, kisses, and cuddles are essential for healthy development and help avoid any emotional or mental issues as they grow up.

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