Wednesday 27 February 2019

A child of the 70's parenting in the 1990's.

This is me, born 1971, most photos are either in B&W or sepia. In most of my childhood photos, I'm not wearing any clothes.

On a beach in Wales on our annual holiday. Around 1974.

Fast forward 30 years. One of only a handful of photo's we have of all 5 of the kids together.
On a beach in France.
These are our kids, child 5, 3, 2, 4 & 1. Born in 1988, 89, 92, 95 & 99.

My parenting journey started in 1992, child 1 & 2 are my step children who were added to my family in 2000.

When my first son was born I had to pay to have a seat belt fitted in the back seats to secure the baby car seat. That car seat kept all 3 of my kids safe and was used by friends also.

In 1999 I got my first mobile phone, I was 28. It was also the year my last child was born. It had no camera or internet access. I had internet in the home but it took ages to connect and load and if the phone rang, it cut out mid 'Ask Jeeves'.

We didn't have SKY or BSB as it was back then till 2002, but we did have a more than the 3 TV channels I grew up with, there was no bedtime hour and if we wanted to record something to watch later it was on VHS.

When I was a child we didn't get VHS until I was 11 and I was the TV remote control.

Cinema when I was a child and a rare one, the first movie I remember seeing was ET, I was 11. 
For my children a trip to the cinema was for a special occasion. 

We had no one to compare our child's development with other than family members, local play groups and in school.

When we weened our children they ate the same food as us, just pureed, there was no stress about bottle or breast, no one judged us for our choices.

We lived in a small village and used local playgroups, we all attended the same anti natal classes and saw the same midwife and health visitor. We were pretty much all of the same when it came to finances and lifestyle and parenting styles.

We got in a car with our kids and drove for hours on an annual holiday, camping or in a chalet for which we saved up the cash, packing the food from the fridge, with maybe 1 night in a restaurant, but always taking picnics on days out. 

If an unexpected bill came up, there was no annual holiday.

We had 2nd hand furniture and didn't replace curtains and carpets just because we didn't like the pattern and we didn't redecorate just because.

We managed these journeys without tabs and electronic devices to entertain the kids with.

We didn't have google to find '10 things to do with kids on a car journey' or "kid friendly restaurants' We planned our trip before we left home and had a picnic on route.

We baked crispy cakes without a recipe, we used cardboard boxes and plastic bottles for junk modelling without reading a blog post for guidance. We let the kids play in the garden with plastic tubs and water, we didn't call it a 'mud kitchen' 

We explored the local woods, collected twigs and stones, but didn't call it 'educational play' 

We used the TV and VHS as a baby sitter. We visited our neighbours taking the baby listener with us.

We let the neighbours kids take our kids over the park for hours at a time and just yelled for them when dinner was ready.

We bought 2nd hand baby items and had hand me downs. We swopped maternity clothes.

We shared day care with our neighbours around our work hours and often had 6 kids between us. We bathed them and they stayed over night even as tiny babies, sharing beds.

We saved up for Christmas and birthdays were held in the home, with pass the parcel and musical bumps. We made sandwiches, home made cakes and poured jugs of squash into plastic beakers. 

We borrowed crockery and cutlery from the neighbours and carried chairs across the cul de sac on Christmas day.

We held weddings and christenings in the local social club, with everyone contributing a dish or two.

We were a lot less stressed, there was less competition, there was little comparison.

I'm grateful I'm not parenting under the glaze of social media.

My parenting differed little from how I was raised other than my kids had seat belts and car seats, I stood in the footwell on car journeys and sat up front without a seat belt.

My parents didn't have mobile phones, but neither did my kids so they knew what time to come home and if they were late we'd know where to find them.

My children will face new challenges when they become parents. I don't know if they'll get dragged along with the latest trends or whether they'll be creating new ones.

All I know is the advice I received as a new parent on the 'do's and don't's' such as co sleeping, or lying a baby on it's back or side' whether to bottle or breast feed, will have changed and who knows maybe they'll receive the same advice I did, because it's back in fashion.

How much do your parenting styles differ from your parents with you? Are there any similarities?


  1. I really enjoyed reading this throwback post, a lot of the memories made me smile despite I'm a late 80s baby that grew up in the 90s, now raising young children of this generation - where tablets are their own personal, portable TVs and they can be cyberbullied by the age of 5. It scares me to death just how internet focused children are now days. #itsok

    1. thank you, it puzzles me why so many parents allow and rely on social media, tabs etc when it wasn't something they had in their childhood

  2. Ahh! So many memories and so many changes.
    When I was a child there was way less electronics and no social media at all, there was less judgement, less drama and everyone seemed nicer. I don't know my neighbours to speak to which is so different from how it used to be.

    1. exactly and therefore i can';t help but wonder why parents who grew up without technology allow their kids to use it so much

  3. Great post and has prompted me to get going with a blog idea I have had for a while for Mothering Sunday perhaps. We do out best and I think those "Back in Time for .." shows on the telly show us that we adapt to changing times and probably most children end up OK in the end. Also it is often our flaws that our children love us for most I think. I am hoping that in the future children will look back and be "Mum, Dad, how come you spent so much time on screens back in 2019?" #TriumphantTales

    1. my kids are always going on at me about the amount of time i spend on social media, far more than they do

  4. What a lot of great comparisons! I was born in 79 so appreciated a lot of these - especially the birthday parties! #ItsOK

    1. I love the parties at home and hope my kids continue with them

  5. My kids use to hate the fact I made their birthday cakes as other people had bought ones but all the kids that came loved the novelty of my home made cakes.
    We use to sit on the landing in our block of flats with a cuppa leaving the front doors open so we could hear if any of the children woke.
    Christmas and birthday presents were often from charity shops.
    My kids were also my first remote control and yes video was awkward to find the start of your programme, we use to have our own videos so if they wanted a programme they taopd it on their own tape.
    My kids also had baths in other people houses and vice versa and friends stayed over night with no problems, 6 or 8 kids to a room was a lot of fun.
    We did what modern parents do as you say without having a name for it, mud play was just done for fun not for the blogging/instagram glory.
    Mine were lucky they had BT phone cards which allowed them to phone home if they could find a pay phone and had an issue.

    1. one year I asked my son what cake he'd like for his birthday and he replied 'shop bought'

  6. My own childhood similar enough to yours ... I just recall as a kid being out the door on non-school days and coming home for tea at 6 - and no questions asked!! #GkobalBlogging

    1. it was grand wasn['t it and i'm grateful my kids had the same opportunities

  7. Amazing the comparisons and to read the differences
    , what a difference time makes X #triumphanttales

    1. it sure does, i cannot imagine how my kids are going to do it

  8. I often think about this too - the positives and negatives of parenting in today's times versus a couple of decades ago. Thank god for electronics (as you said, HOW did children - and parents - survive long journeys without them???) and disposable nappies! But times were much less stressful and more carefree then, there was so much less pressure on both kids and parents and it was a much more innocent childhood. Today's kids might be smarter as a generation but are also losing out on so much of their childhood because of that. Thanks for joining us on #itsok

    1. But we did survive without the electronics, we definitely spent more time together as a family before gadgets came on the scene in their teenage years

  9. Its really frustrating as the age for when the NHS recommends weaning changed in the two years between Ben and the twins. It's crazy how times change so quickly and so vastly too!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow.

    1. i know, advice changes so quickly, but I tended to stick with what i knew and had worked for me before trying something new

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