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Vintage Parenting Practices That Seem Mind-Boggling Today

Photo Credit: Bert Hardy Advertising Archive / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Bert Hardy Advertising Archive / Getty Images

Parents today often find themselves scrutinized for the different choices they make as they raise their children. However, if these critics saw the ways in which children used to be raised, they would surely stop their hating. Here we have found some old-school parenting practices that just wouldn’t fly today.

Car seat “safety”

A woman and child in a car, the child in a car seat.
(Photo Credit: ullstein bild / ullstein bild / Getty Images)

Here we see a baby sitting in a car seat from 1938. In addition to the fact that this baby is sitting in the front seat, these kinds of car seats were not even strapped into anything. Rather, they simply hooked onto the back of the seat. While they may give some semblance of safety, in the event of an accident, we’re confident these would not hold up.

A young Evel Knievel’s jump

It is no shock that Evel Knievel performed daredevil moves when he was a child. Here, he jumps over five kids while riding his bike off a ramp. We’re just as surprised as the kid in the audience that he would even be allowed to make such a jump, and we hope he cleared all those lying down without hurting anyone.

A family outing spent ice skating

Parents ice skating with their child swinging between them.
(Photo Credit: L. C. Buckley / Fox Photos / Getty Images)

We’re just wondering if that’s an old pair of underwear that is holding this baby up between its parents? Nonetheless, we understand wanting to have a nice family outing, but maybe a picnic would have been a little safer than an ice skating escapade at this age.

A lion is a man’s best friend?

Children petting two lion cubs.
(Photo Credit: Fox Photos / Getty Images)

Here we see a group of children gathered around two lion cubs grabbing and petting them. While they may be just babies, we’re pretty sure rough handling of these cubs could result in some serious injuries. There’s a reason why these creatures aren’t keep as exotic pets, considering they’re definitely not as friendly as your neighborhood cat or dog.

Talk about a night cap

A baby drinking beer from a glass.
(Photo Credit: Gert Kreutschmann / ullstein bild / Getty Images)

We can’t believe that this photo even exists. This child is just a baby, and its mother is holding it steady while another person helps it drink beer. If you’re too little to hold the heavy glass yourself, you definitely shouldn’t be drinking its alcoholic contents

Summertime swimming lessons

Today, swimming lessons typically take place in a backyard or a public pool. However, swimming lessons in inner-city Detroit in the 1960s were a little bit different. This pool was called a “Swimmobile” and allowed for kids to be taught swimming in their own neighborhoods. Honestly, to us, it does seem like an innovative way to give kids a chance to learn to swim.

The original “be home late” text

A child balances on a bike as she uses a payphone.
Photo Credit: Ana_Cotta / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

This kid must have great balance to be able to both reach the payphone and stand on her bike at the same time. Most kids today have cell phones to let their parents know where they are, but before modern smartphones were invented, kids would use payphones to let their parents know they would be home late. We are glad this kid was having so much fun with her friends, but we sure hope she didn’t fall from this balancing act and get a few scrapes and bruises.

A quick sip to rehydrate

One boy pours beer into the mouth of another boy.
(Photo Credit: Charles Hewitt / Picture Post / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

It seems underage drinking was something of a common practice back in the day. Here we see a young boy pour a beer bottle for another young boy. He had just finished a round of boxing in a boxing ring (which is its own issue given his young age), and we guess beer was the drink of choice to recharge for his next round.

Clearly, some strict safety precautions on ski lifts

More from us: People Used To Ship Children Via The Post Office

Chairlifts certainly had a lot of safety precautions in the 1960s! Here we see a mother keeping her daughter from falling to her death on a ski lift simply by using her arm as a safety belt. We sure are glad these people are so smiley and happy in this photo, because we, personally, would be freaking out.

Madeline Hiltz

Madeline Hiltz is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News