My favorite show is "Call The Midwife." If you haven't seen it, it's a lovely little period drama set in 1950s East London and follows bicycling midwives around the slums of Poplar as they welcome a new generation in the poverty stricken area. I love seeing all the pregnant moms and new babies and hearing some of the crazy advice they gave parents over 60 years ago (like telling them to have a nice relaxing smoke). I guess there were just some things moms did in the '50s that not a single parent would be caught dead doing today.
While basic parenting concepts are pretty steadfast and universal — keep your kid safe, fed, loved, clothes, etc. — parenting "strategies" are always evolving and changing. What's considered culturally appropriate one year, may be obsolete in five or ten. So, '50s parenting practices, like prescribing thalidomide, a medication to treat morning sickness that tragically led to birth defects and deaths in thousands of babies, isn't really a thing we do, as a culture, anymore.
Being a woman, and especially a mother, in the '50s was arguably a lot harder than it is today. Prevailing gender stereotypes, undeniable gender inequality, and little-to-no representation of women in the media made women's choices nothing if not miniscule. As a result, most women's lives revolved around keeping a home and raising children, and in a time of less innovation and motorization something as simple as doing the laundry could take all day. Once you had taken care of the home, children, and made a meal, you were also expected to pretty yourself up before "the man of the house arrived." Gross. I don't know about you, but I'm glad times have changed and the following '50s parenting techniques are no longer prevelant: