I’ve recently started watching a show set in England during the 50s, called “Call the Midwife,” which has shocked me beyond belief at the parenting styles of the time. I had to call my mother-in-law, who’s English and ask her if this was all true, because I really could not believe it!
“Oh yes, but do remember that crimes weren’t the way they are nowadays and in areas, where people didn’t have too much, like London East End, where that show takes place, people also looked out for one another. Here are a few shocking child care practices that took place in the bygone age (some points mentioned were not in the show, but did happen in real life):
- left outside of the door of the homes in their pram (strollers)
Moms and dads were in the house, while the babies were outside “getting some fresh air.” This is just something you would not do nowadays. In the U.S. you could face time in prison for child endangerment along with the list I’m about to go through below.
- Lack of safety tools, such as locks in medicine cabinets, gates for the stairs, etc.
Children were free to roam around as they wished, getting into cabinets, toilets, and climbing up and down the stairs.
- Children are unrestrained in moving vehicles
Car seats were unnecessary. Moms carried the babies in their arms, while the dads drove off or toddlers were allowed to stand up and play on the dashboard, while the car was moving. Wow! We would not only get a ticket for this nowadays, but could face serious trouble!
- Dangerous toys
Toy regulations didn’t exist at the time and weren’t so that any safety was a concern. Small children could easily swallow parts of toys that were small or even hurt themselves for various reasons. Toys sold on the market now are labeled for each age group, based on every possible scenario.
- Kids and even toddlers were left home alone
Some parents left their small children and even toddlers, if they had to leave to get somewhere.
- Smoking and drinking during pregnancy
Women used to smoke and drink and wasn’t a shock at all during the times. Anything they wanted to do to keep themselves comfortable. Of course, that is definitely not allowed now. We are given some of the best prenatal care, where medical professionals are able to detect even the slightest signs of danger to ourselves and our baby.
- Hygiene wasn’t an issue
At the time, people weren’t very educated about hygiene and how susceptible children, especially infants, to illness caused by germs and viruses. Nowadays, we even sterilize bottles to make certain our babies’ health are safe.
Despite the lack of education and parenting unawareness, we are all still here because our ancestors have managed to survive so that we could all be here today. We know a bit more than we did more than 60 years ago, yet we still live in danger every day. Our children and parenting styles are still questionable in many ways. What are your thoughts about childhood practices in the bygone age? What about the current child care practices?