I don't want to make major judgments on any parents, let alone my own parents, but there are a few things my parents let me do that horrify me now that I'm a parent myself. Some of those are because I couldn't imagine being brave enough to put my child in someone else's hands, or I couldn't imagine being the free-range parent both of my parents managed to be.
Parenting changes with each successive generation, or so I'm told. My dad tells stories about roaming the neighborhood with his friends on their bicycles for entire days, only returning when it was time to enjoy dinner. Heck, neither of my parents had to wear seat belts for most of their childhoods. So, some of my parents' decisions that seem terrifying to me now, are simply the result of generational differences.
To be honest, I wish I wasn't horrified by some of these things. I wish I wasn't part of a generation that's been conditioned (read: brainwashed) to believe that a child abductor is lurking around every corner and we can't let our kids out of our sight until they're like, you know, 20. Needless to say, these are the things that terrify me when I think about following in my parents' exact footsteps:
They Let Me Babysit Multiple Kids At 14
What on earth was anyone thinking when they let me be responsible for other human beings? I mean, honestly.
Now that I'm a mom, I can't believe I was allowed (by my parents and other kids' parents) to babysit multiple children when I was only in 8th grade. I definitely babysat three kids, including an infant, many times when I was that age. No way I would let a 14 year old watch my daughter, I'm just sayin'.
They Let Me Drive With Other Kids In Car
Working in a high school, and seeing how totally distracted high school students can be, especially by their friends and their phones. No way is my daughter going to get in a car with a kid who just managed to secure their driver's license. False.
They Let High School Kids Babysit Me
Leaving me in the care of a high schooler was par for the parenting course back then. I mean, I guess there's something to be said for the fact that they didn't have cell phones to distract them, right? Then again, they weren't able to provide my parents with random updates, either.
They Let Me Eat Bologna For Dinner
To be fair, I often feed my kid turkey hot dogs, which probably aren't that different. However, I do remember my mom putting bologna on a skillet and letting it curl up a little, then serving it to us with "breakfast for dinner." We loved it at the time, but it totally grosses me out now.
They Let Me Take The Family's Boat For Some Overnight Camping
I mean, are you kidding? It gives me heart palpitations just thinking about all that could have gone wrong in that scenario. Pre-cell phones, I took our family's boat out on our lake to an island to go camping with my high school friends. We all lived to tell the tale, but I don't even know how my parents slept that night.
They Let Me Wander Around The Lawn Without Shoes
I think I've gotten more more danger-averse as I've gotten older, but I can't believe I was allowed to run around outside without wearing any kind of footwear.
I guess it really shouldn't have shocked me when my mom came to watch my daughter and let her walk around the city neighborhood without shoes on, either. Guys, she was 1 year old. Talk about horrified.
They Let Me Drink Straight Juice
Watered down juice is all my kids will be getting, and hopefully they won't end up with such a giant sweet tooth like the one I am currently dealing with.