(WSYR-TV) — Those who lived in the 80s certainly hold some unforgettable memories that no one else can fully understand. The 80s were filled with poofy hair, vibrant clothing, rock n’ roll… and a lot of unsafe or unethical actions that were legal at the time.
In today’s world, parents are much more aware of the dangers that can come from things they went through when they were younger. Some people look back at the experiences as “character building” moments, but others might see them as inhumane or morally wrong.
Either way, whoever grew up in the 80s survived through some bad ideas — which influenced some things on what not to do as a parent.
Below is a list of some of the craziest things allowed in the 80s that aren’t allowed today.
1. Having kids buy your cigarettes and lottery tickets
Shorenewsnetwork.com shares that it was totally acceptable to have your children go into a store to buy a pack of cigarettes for you. During the time, children as young as ten could go and pick up a few lottery tickets as well. Today, you must be at least 18 years old to purchase either of these — usually, regardless of age, the cashier will also ID you.
2. Allowing your children to play outside unsupervised, only yelling for them when dinner was ready
During the 80s it was not uncommon to go outside unsupervised, and many kids would stray from their homes. Playing outside could mean going to your friend’s house down the street or to the local playground. Usually, the only actual rule you may have had was to stay within ear range so that way you could hear when you were being called inside by your parent for dinner!
Another sign for kids to get home would be when the street lights started turning on. If you came home too early or too late, you may have gotten the next thing on the list!
According to throwbacks.com, the idea of “spare the rod, spoil the child” was considered a totally reasonable method of discipline. Christianity.com explains that the term derives from a term pitted in The Bible’s Book of Proverbs: “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.”
This aphorism is used to help support the idea of physical discipline towards children. If a child was being unruly, it wasn’t uncommon to see a family member, friend, or even a teacher spank the child.
In today’s world, parents who discipline their kids physically could end up in jail on child abuse, they could also land on Child Protective Services radar, leading them into a lengthy family investigation.
Although hitchhiking was more prominent in the late 60s and into the 70s, there was still hitchhiking in the early 80s. Hitchhiking is obviously very unsafe, but back then, if you really wanted to get somewhere and couldn’t get a family or friend on board with your plan, hitchhiking was the way to go.
Today, society has become more aware of all the dangers that comes with hitchhiking, including abduction and murder. By the end of the 80s, hitchhiking faded out of style, possibly because of Hollywood creating movies like “The Hitcher” and the HBO series “The Hitchhiker” as shorenewsnetwork.com cited.
5. Riding in the back of a pickup truck
In today’s society, people are not allowed to ride on main roads in the back of a pickup truck as it is highly dangerous and could lead to death. However, in the 80s, people would ride in the back part of the truck anywhere, including on highways. Parents would allow their children — and even their children’s friends — to ride in the back of the truck if they needed to go somewhere and didn’t have enough seats in the cab of the truck.
Nowadays, people still can do this if they are going a short distance like at a beach or in a park. However, according to shorenewsnetwork.com, riding in the back of a pickup truck can result in fines and points on your license. Those who are 18 and older can still ride in a bed of a truck. Dui.info explains that those of legal age can consent to riding in the bed of the truck. If anyone 18 and younger is found in the bed, drivers will automatically be guilty of misdemeanor and will receive violations.
Some states still allow you to ride in the back of a pickup truck with no issue: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
6. Car Safety
According to throwbacks.com, a lot of safety regulations were more like suggestions… Suggestions that most people ignored. Although seatbelts were invented in the 19th century, some people didn’t have seatbelts in their cars until 1968. It took until 1995 for all states within the U.S. (besides New Hampshire) to enforce the “Click It or Ticket” laws.
A lot of children in the 80s would ride up front and without a seatbelt — which inevitably meant that if the car were to crash, the child would ultimately be launched forward. This could be fatal.
Today, all cars require seatbelts and car seats for children of age. Parents can get major violations against them if authorities witness this act.
7. Giving children beer for fun and for pain relief
Although not everyone participated in giving children alcohol for “fun,” this was still happening in the 80s. According to vinepair.com, some parents would give their children alcohol to help them “calm” down. For those who had teething babies, they would stick with the old whiskey on the gums idea created in the 1800s. This would allegedly act as a numbing agent to help the baby with their teething pain.