Retro | Family | Parenting

6 Things '80s Parents Let Their Kids Do That Would Horrify Moms of Today

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Anyone who grew up in the '80s feels that warm sense of nostalgia when they thinking about CareBears, Reading Rainbow and The Goonies.

Whether we put on a Phil Collins or Bangles record, and danced around in our neon spandex or went on long solo bike rides to the creek, thinking back to our childhood is full of fond memories.

It's not that '80s parents were careless, but parents these days have different feelings about their parenting style. Whether we worry more, or there is increased danger, there are many things that were common in the '80s that we would never let our kids do now.

They Let Their Kids Stay Home Alone

Now we wouldn't fathom letting our kids walk to the park alone, let alone stay at home after school by themselves. The "latchkey kid" peaked in the '80s along with the divorce rate and working mothers. Plenty of kids came home from school, did their chores and homework and even got dinner started on their own.

These days some states set a minimum age for when a child can be left at home alone.

They Let Their Kids Ride Bikes Without a Helmet


While helmets did exist in the '80s often the "cool kids" never wore them. Some parents forced the issue of protective headgear, but it was hard to monitor when the child was out of reach.

Now in 21 states, young riders are now required to wear helmets. Many cities have their own rules as well. With all the horror stories of bicycle accidents, you better bet kids will be wearing helmets now.

They Let Their Kids Skip The Car Seats


Rear-facing or forward-facing? Bucketseat or convertible car seat? There is so much involved in car seat safety that it's hard to believe that our parents went with out.

Remembering the times of the '80s where babies would ride in the front passenger seat instead of strapped in with a crazy latch system that makes a straight jacket look simple. And you can bet '80s parents didn't leave their kids in there for long. By the time we were 8 we were sitting up front learning how to operate the car. You can bet that my kid will be strapped safely a child restraint system in the back until prom.

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