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11 Insane Things That Were Acceptable for Children in the 1960s

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Many of the behaviors that were deemed ordinary for children in the 1960s would be mortifying to people today. If parents from the ’60s were to raise their children in the same manner in today’s world, they might find social services knocking on their doors. As time progresses, so do parenting methods and the level of supervision and exposure provided to children.

The world has become less safe, and individuals are now more vigilant about health and safety than they were back then. If you grew up in the 1960s, you’re likely to recognize some of these norms and practices.

1. Corporal Punishment

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Kids today know their ‘rights’ and may even recite them for you, but most of the 60s kids grew up knowing beating was never an empty threat.

Punishment by beating was common, but it was not the best form of discipline as many parents weren’t very reasonable with it. Many kids grew up fearing their parents because of this.

2. Running in the Streets

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Parents let kids run in the streets as much as they wanted without much supervision, and they were deemed pretty safe. Today, even sending a child to the mailbox is a nerve-wracking errand in some parts of the country.

3. Smoking Around Kids

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You can barely smoke around non-smoking adults today, but smoking around children was pretty common in the 60s.

Many people didn’t know about secondhand smoke dangers, and even pregnant mothers and new mothers smoked around their children. Crazy!

4. No Seatbelts or Car Seats

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The airbags we swear by today and the car seats we can’t be allowed to leave the hospital without were not invented until the 70s and 80s.

Kids could ride even on the front seat without a seat belt arm. Mom’s arms were enough to hold them in place when she needed to apply emergency brakes.

5. No Nets on Trampolines

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Trampolines today are like armored vehicles, impenetrable in all ways. Well, the kids in the 60s didn’t enjoy trampolines with netting all around; kids were around to jump around, and hopefully, they wouldn’t break their necks or ankles.

6. Walking to School

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All those escapades the boomers tell you about their going to-school trips are true (walking 1 hour in the snow uphill); there was barely any being dropped off by a bus, carpool, or a parent.

Kids mainly were sent on their jolly way to school by themselves.

7. No Helmets on Bikes

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Cycling without a helmet today is a capital offense for many kids; you will see them on their bikes looking like astronauts.

Before parents knew the dangers of knocking their heads on the pavement, kids rode bikes without helmets.

8. Hitchhiking

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The closest kids today get to hitchhiking is getting an Uber, and even then, they have to share their trip with the whole village.

Hitchhiking was a common thing in the 60s, and many kids got free rides just by lifting their thumbs on the highway.

9. Drinking Direct From the Hose

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Today’s kids know to only drink from the dispenser or the water bottle, but drinking from the hose was common.

There wasn’t much-bottled water in the 60s, and the hoses posed a danger from lead, but that wasn’t a well-known fact.

10. No Sunscreen

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We now know that sunscreen is good for you now, and your skin will be very grateful when you’re older. Kids in the older days didn’t quite get sunscreen; the greater need was to get a tan.

11. Solo Swimming on the Beach

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It doesn’t sound like an excellent idea today due to the number of predators prowling around, but some children would be allowed to go to the water on their own, as long as they stayed within their parent’s eye shot.


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