10 Things We Did As Kids That Would Shock Mommies Today

1. Played in the street with no
parents in sight

2. Ate Spam sandwiches and
canned spaghetti

3. Dressed up as Cowboys and Indians

4. Straightened up our bedspreads every morning

5. Breathed in cigarette smoke everywhere

6. “Drove” in the front seat of the car

7. Headed to bed at 6 PM on the dot

8. Walked to school alone

9. Watched these two kill each other

10. Got spanked

What do you remember from your childhood that would NEVER fly for today’s kids?

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  • Angela Antrobus

    Used to crawl out bedroom window, sit on shed roof an look at the stars with my mom. Ride my bike 3 miles to the gas station to buy my mom’s cigarettes, and of course get pop and candy. Unwrapped candy out of a jar, lol. Stay gone all day long riding my bike or walking around town, only rule be home when the yard light came on.

  • Angela Antrobus

    My grandpa’s cure for everything was a hot tottie.

  • Carol

    Oh pretty much all of it wouldn’t fly for kids today….

  • kimscharms55@hotmail.com

    Took our shoes off and walked in the rain gutters and played till we were soaked . Also,did,homework and chores before,playing outside .drank,from,public drinking fountains , never had to,sanitize moms shopping carts…

  • Maria

    Me too!

  • Cheryl J. Brock

    I wouldn’t exactly be proud of the cigarette smoke. Second hand smoke is just as deadly as smoking first hand.

  • Gail Pandori

    Rode in the back of of a convertable and sitting on top of seat. Walked home in the dark alone from the park

  • Katei Holloway Faulkingham

    Growing up in Hawaii we’d go Ti leaf sliding up in the rain forest with out an adult. Swim in the ocean with a group of friends and no adult. As young teens we’d go ghost hunting on the old pali road at night.

  • Ally Maxwell

    I can honestly and happily say I have NEVER eaten SPAM lol

  • kitty Wilcox

    I have experienced every one of those. Also we sat in the car alone while mom and dad got groceries.

  • Theresa Head

    Rode standing in the back while I leaned over to talk to my Dad while he was driving. Making a tent between 2 trees with blankets. Waving down the ice cream man. Riding my bike all over. Going to the penny candy store. Life was so great!

  • Elizabeth Brokop

    My grandma gave me Mogen David(sp) wine for mine

    • Kathryn De Laughter Patterson

      Did it work?

      • Elizabeth Brokop

        Yes, it did!!! Put me right to sleep.

  • Kitty Rieder

    Going with my Pappy on the weekends to his favorite bar when I was about 6 or so. He’d buy me a pop & I’d sit on the bar, even sip his beer. He’d drink a couple then we’d drive home, front seat no seatbelts. When I got home I’d play in the crick in my underwear, good thing they lived in the country.

  • Shannon Baas

    Rode in the back of the pickup truck. Rode my bike 3 miles to a friends house. You didn’t spend any time during the summer inside or mom would find chores for you to do. Went swimming in the lake with mom watching from the window. Rode the bus to school as way too far to walk. In high school, drinking a beer in the evening if not headed to school or church event. 2 tv channels. gun safety class in 6th grade. rode bike 3 miles to bible school. stayed in town, went to friends house for the afternoon and then went to restaurant for dinner before evening school activities. when in restaurant, expected to act appropriately or parents would know about it. ate what was put in front of us.

  • denyse sirois

    riding on the top of a trailer full of hay,pull by a tractor

  • JoMama

    My mom let us have wine with dinner sometimes very watered down, and after I turned 16, I got to have a glass of champagne during the holidays. Prior to that we’d have Shirley Temples lol

  • JoMama

    I can remember learning a poem when I was a kid as to what to do if I got lost. It went: I know my name and address and my telephone number too and if someday I lose my way I know just what to do. walk to a kind policeman, the very first one you meet, and simply say I lost my way and cannot find my street. but I know my name and address and my telephone number too (and I forget the last part) but at any rate sadly these days no one trusts the police. A real shame.

  • JoMama

    Me? I never got hit by the nuns. I found out why. My mother had a provision that where if we kids were acting that bad, the nuns were to call my mom and she’d come to the school. Man, if my mother had to stop work and go from downtown Cleveland to our suburb to punish us…I think I’d rather had the nuns hit us! LOL

  • JoMama

    It wasn’t unusual to send kids to the store for beer and cigarettes for their parents.

    • Kitty Rieder

      Yeah walking to the store w/ a note from Mom for cigarettes lol

  • missnyc

    Hopped on my bike and rode to the gas station to buy my dad a pack of cigarettes.

  • Carol Panter

    Played on a metal swingset that probably had leaded paint and in a pool with metal seats with – very likely – the same paint. And, (GASP) we PEDALED play cars, instead of riding in battery-operated ones twice the size. Did household chores, not for money, but because it was expected, as a member of the family.

  • Ellen

    Me and my friends would take cola bottles back for the deposit and buy candy and chips and eat it in the clubhouse we built.

    • Maria

      Would walk to store alone wit my other sisters threw the alley. Ages 4 to 9.

    • Maria

      Those were the good days.

  • debi cotton

    Played in the ditch behind our house catching frogs and tadpoles. Climbing trees so high they would sway in the wind. Roller skated in the streets. In the winter
    would sled down drives ways into the street….Only injury doing that was a bloody nose and then would go home get it fixed and go back and do it again. After 3 times my mother made me stay inside! HA!

  • Kewpie

    Taking paragoric (opium I think) for tummy aches, toothaches. It worked…. playing in the woods, swimming in the contaminated filthy river, catching lightening bugs in the dark then releasing them in the bedroom. Helping put the clothes poles up to hold the clothesline. Building mud dams in the creek that ran through the cow pasture to swim in. I could go on and on. Think I’ll write a book.

    • Kathryn De Laughter Patterson

      I remember my mom telling me to ask the doctor for some peragoric when my kids were fussing with teething and whole office thought I was nuts. Well, that’s what my mom gave us…so I gave them whiskey…

    • trish hanson

      My 3rd and last child, born in 1992, had terrible colic. Took her to our older GP. He gave her an Rx for paregoric….I guarded it with my life, lol. Just a couple drops and her pain stopped and everyone slept….and, wonder of wonder, she didn’t become an infant addict, lol. Today, the babies suffer

  • marymcreynolds

    Yes to everything that I did, too, back in the back ago day! And survived, wonder of wonders!

  • Karina West Hilton

    Rode our bikes without helmets or any other protective gear; walked something like 20 blocks to and from school, Girl Scouts, friends’ houses in all weather except Tornado Alley weather; went to the local public pool on our own (again, riding our bikes, “local” being about a mile and a half.) AND wore completely inadequate “suntan lotion.” In summer we went barefoot nearly everywhere, every day; girls had only 2 pair of sandals, one that served as footwear for trips to the grocery store and a second, “hice” pair for church.

  • Michele Ciongoli-Marra

    I swished whiskey for a toothache! Had loys of toothaches.

    • tammy

      My Grandmother she would give us wine for cramps and she would say make sure u have socks on your feet I remember getting home from school my mother gave me a bucket and said its time to pick beans we had a huge garden every year we would hate it but I wish I had that garden now

  • Sergio Castellano

    1) Sitting in a car. windows closed, breathing in cigar smoke from one or two relatives.
    2) Walking to the bus stop alone (about 1/4 mile) in snow half way up my shin.
    3) Bringing a rifle to school (on the bus) for target practice class.
    4) Washing the car and mowing the grass every Saturday without EVER expecting to get a penny!
    5) Sitting quietly when an authority visited the house (military, police officer, school teacher, minister / priest) and recognizing them as people who deserve respect.

  • Lisa Durst

    Only time we could play inside was when it was pouring rain. Then if it was summer we would go out in the rain in our swimsuits. Was not allowed to stay inside and watch TV all day. We were told to play outside! Walked home for lunch when I was in school. This started in first grade. Course we only lived two blocks from school. We were allowed to leave school property at lunch to walk up town for treats.

  • Sandra Martinez

    I remember collecting empty cola bottles for 3 cents taking them to the corner store and buy bazooka joe bubble gum 5 for 1 penny and tootsie rolls 5 for a penny, staying outside with no fear until dark.

  • Leah Drake

    At 5, i would climb a tree, then played on the roof of a 2 story house.

    • Nena

      Did the same thing. I’d clean out the gutters while I was up there sometimes LOL.

  • Carole Menninger

    climbed big trees in our backyard, then couldn’t get back down!!! walked all over our small town as kids by ourselves, down to Isley’s to get ice cream sodas, or to the Palace Theatre downtown on Saturday to see a movie for 25 cents~

    • Katei Holloway Faulkingham

      WE used to say it cost quarter to get in to the kiddie matinee and a quarter to get out because you could get a coke, hotdo and popcorn all for a quarter. It as usually a double feature, news reel, cartoon and coming attractions that ended up taking from 9am to 3:30 or 4:00pm

  • Mr. Magoo

    Rode in the back of a pick up truck and drinking water straight from the garden hose. Yep, those were the days my friends.

  • Walking bare foot, going threw alley’s going to the stores walking miles.

  • Theresa Meadus

    We said good afternoon and good evening sir, if we seen a police office walking the beat

  • Ralph Esposito

    I remember riding my bike to the “dime store”, going to the “plunge” by myself to swim, the Saturday matinee at the movie theater with my friends, playing in orange groves, driving the car on my dad’s lap, listening to a baseball game on my grandpa’s transistor radio, the chrome Christmas tree, the Good Humor man, putting pennies on the train tracks, building a soapbox racer, … so many good times!

  • Rode in the back of the back of our station wagon…without seatbelts…without seats! Our dogs were not on leashes, they just kind of roamed the neighborhood. My little brothers peed outside. The neighbor girls drank Royal Crown Cola all day long. We made forts out of blankets hanging from a string tied to two trees. Ate apples off the neighbor’s tree. Cut through the neighbor’s yard to ride our bikes uptown to buy penny candy. What fun!

  • Pat

    Having mom give us tuna and onion sandwiches for lunch at school! Loved the sandwiches, but they really smelled strong and embarrassed me and my 4 sisters!

  • Allie

    Playing in my Brooklyn neighborhood with the ‘neighborhood kids’ from after school until dinner time when we all had to go home to eat with our families…no supervision, no fears, just lots of physical fun with other kids.
    The Good Humour man ringing his bells as he came down the street, and running inside to get money to buy an ice cream before he left.
    Walking by myself and/or with friends any where without supervision.
    Watching the funny and appropriate television shows of the early and mid 60’s after school on cold winter days.
    Listening to my ‘transistor radio’ while riding my bicycle.
    Going to the World’s Fair in Queens, New York.
    Eating home cooked dinners at home with my family or at a friend’s if I was at their house playing.
    Playing Barbie dolls…loving the mod fashions of the 60’s for Barbie’s ‘groovy’ cousin Francie!
    Pop music of the 60’s.

  • Dora Hunt

    Buying a coke for a 5cents and a hamburger for 10cents

  • Mary

    Went to walk in woods with my gang. Hitched a ride. Smoked behind school. Drank lots of fizzy drinks

  • June

    Spent louisiana hot summer days outside reading a book listening to battery powered radio. No A.C., No NOOK, No Headphones/MP3/ITUnes!

  • Rhonda Pierce

    I remember going to the drug store to buy a Superman comic book for $0.10.
    And getting one scoop of peach ice cream for $0.05.

  • Michelle Jackson

    I remember sitting on my father’s lap in our car and driving . It was so much fun, I couldn’t reach the gas pedal, so we would start driving slowly, then we would be speeding right along, my mom would have a fit, I was about 7…..memories!

  • Hi Marybeth,

    I’m laughing because so many of you are bringing up memories. When I was 13 and had severe pains from my period, my mother would give me SCOTCH. 13!!!!! I don’t touch the stuff, either.


  • Marybeth929

    Had my sore gums dosed with Mom’s Canadian Club, still can’t drink the stuff!

  • when I was young we spoke to strangers all the time. if I got lost, it was always all right to ask a woman (“lady”) for help. also, taking the city bus to kindergarten, i often sat on the lap of a stranger if there were no seats.

    • OMG Carolyn, Yes, we asked the “lady.” Thanks for remembering.

  • tahliah

    Took sips from my parent’s cans of beer. Sometimes got to enjoy a half cup of coffee with a sprinkle of J&B Scotch with my parents BEFORE school! Damn! How I managed to escape alcoholism is a miracle from God

  • Marcia de

    Candy cigarettes, pop caps with cowboy guns, riding my bike to school (at least 2 miles), playing in the forest in a tree fort, no seatbelts, going to the movies when I was under 10yrs alone w’ a friend, tv dinners, donuts for breakfast, leaving the schoolyard at lunch to walk to the corner store – we were in grade school, plus all the other things mentioned. I know there are more, can’t think right now!

  • Christine Norman

    Pulled rows of weeds in garden never expecting to be paid for work that had to be done, touched electric fence to make sure it was working and cows couldn’t get out, played in ditch in front of house, ate what was served or go hungry.

  • Jill

    We rode in the back window of the car. That was the favorite spot to be at drive-in movies. Rode in the back of open pick-ups. Ate & played with candy cigarettes.

    • Hi Christine, Also forgot about those chocolate cigarettes. Lovely concept for kids, even if we didn’t yet know the real ones would do us in . The chocolate ones were yummy though.

      • Meant my candy cigarettes reply for Jill. Sorry

  • Rebecca Lambracht

    Never used Bad Word’s, got slapped once for saying one after my Older Brother said one in a conversation.

  • ZB

    Spent all day at the beach. When a 5 ft. shark leaped out of the water 10 feet away, we headed for shore for an hour to give it time to swim off. No panic. No hysterical parents. No Hollywood theatrics. Just a shark…big deal.

  • Diane

    Never wore a seat belt, sat on my mom’s lap in the front seat until we got a station wagon, then rode in the way back with the window down. Played with cap guns all summer long. Played outside until my mom called me home for lunch/dinner.

    • Hi Diane,

      Forgot all about those cap guns with the red strips. Some didn’t go off. Loved the smell. Thanks for the memory.


  • Went swimming the neighbor’s cow pond. Sometimes we came home with leaches on us.

  • Pat

    We went to parochial school and were beaten by the nuns and our parents didn’t protest

  • Theresa

    We left early in the morning on our bikes and didnt come home until dinner time.

    • ACeeKayWa

      And if we were later than we should have been our parents knew we had just lost track of time — not kidnapped. Sigh. Kids these days just can’t have the freedom we did!

      • Allie

        So true…*sigh*…what a great time to be a child it was.