The 1970s were a special time in America. We celebrated our 200th year of independence, we had disco, and we protested the Vietnam War. But with 200 years of independence, one would think that a person living in America was free to live their life the way they see fit.
There were things we did in the '70s that we could never do today. Now, I'm not talking about murder or tax evasion or even a Brady Bunch reboot... nothing that drastic. I'm talking about things done privately... inside the family.
There are five things that you could do in the '70s that you could never, ever get away with today because they are so despicable, at least to "p.c." police, they would have you arrested and Child Protective Services would take your children away... probably.
1. Drinking from the garden hose. There is a study going around the Internet by the Ecology Center which says basically that drinking from the water hose is bad for your health. The study says that water from the hose contains "lead" and "levels of BPA at 20 times higher than those of safe drinking water levels." I think we always suspected that it wasn't a healthy option from the start.
When we drank from the water hose, we didn't worry about BPAs and lead, this was the last thing we thought about as kids when we were out playing. We just wanted a quick drink. It wasn't as if we were drinking gallons of water from the hose. Besides, kids didn't look at statistics and findings when they were outside playing and thirsty. They lived on the edge.
They played hard and lived hard.
Children today? Not so edgy. Not so hard.
2. Playing outside unattended. There is a mother in Florida who faces up to five years in jail for letting her 7-year old son go to the park to play unattended, you can read about it here. The offense? Child neglect.
The same for a Maryland couple who let their kids play unattended in their own neighborhood. You can read about it here also. The CPS actually picked up the kids and took them away.
What is this world coming to?
When I was growing up we played outside unattended on the weekends and just about every day during the summer. The only rules were we had to have our homework finished and we had to stay within "shouting distance" When the street lights came on, we had to be in.
Parents, and society in general are so enamored with child-proofing the world that they can't see how they are actually ruining childhood.
3. Sitting on your father's lap while he is driving. One of my greatest memories growing up was sitting on my father's lap pretending to drive while he was driving. If you were caught driving with your child sitting on your lap today, you would be taken to jail and have the book thrown at you. CPS would take your children, and your driver's license would be revoked for life.
Now, I'm not saying this is the safest way to drive with children, but I don't recall growing up hearing about any children being injured. I am also pretty sure that no father took their children out on the express way driving at high speeds with them sitting on their laps... it was a neighborhood thing.
4. Children buying cigarettes for their parents. Children buying cigarettes for their parents was more of a way to save time. The parent would drop the child off at the door of a convenience store and circle the parking lot. By the time the parent made it around, the child was outside waiting to be picked up. It was a lot quicker than driving around trying to find a spot (if you were lucky), park, walk into the store, buy the cigarettes, and then leave.
The clerk usually recognized the child who came in to buy the cigarettes. He knew the parent was waiting outside.
We did this and it never led me to smoking... peer pressure and television did that.
5. Spanking. Most people today equate spanking with child abuse or beatings. It couldn't be further from the truth.
Now, there are many examples of parents who abuse their children in the name of discipline. Those who are against spankings usually point to these as examples of spankings gone wrong. I was spanked when I was growing up, along with my brothers and we grew up to be law-abiding, tax-paying citizens.
Our spankings didn't lead us to abusing or neglecting our children. Spankings weren't done every day. If a spanking was carried out correctly, then only the threat of a spanking would be enough to make the child think twice. There was a hierarchy when it came to spankings; the mother threatened to tell the father and the father carried out the task. The only upside was you got to choose between a belt or a switch... OK, so not much of an upside.
The difference between the '70s and today is vast. There are many, many things that you cannot do today that you could get away with in the '70s.
Do you have any examples of things you could do din the '70s that you can't do today?
Earlier on Huff/Post50: