22 Things That Were Part Of Growing Up In The ’80s That Are Practically Illegal Today (And Some That Actually Are)

The world has completely and drastically changed since the 80s and even the word “change” is a small word for what happened.

Yes, the Internet and technology have been a massive part of why growing up today not the same, but it’s not the only significant change.

In many ways, the 80s were just a simple time and things back then which were loose and cool, and willing to overlook are things today for which you can probably get arrested.

Read on to find about the drastic change of many things since the 80s till today.

22 Things That Aren’t the Same
1. Non-Existent Car Safety

Now the safety standards are more intense in comparison to 30 or maybe 40 years ago. Back in the 80s many of the safety regulations were more seen as mild suggestions and less as rules.

They were mild suggestions which most people ignored. People back then would sit in the middle of the front seat. In that seat, you were able to control the radio. However, it was also a guarantee that you will faceful the dashboard in case of an accident.

Moreover, on family road trips all kids would fight to sit in the back of the station wagon.

The questionable seating choices were fun and undoubtedly dangerous because the seat belts were treated entirely as an option.

And yes, as you can see in the picture above the car seats were also treated as an option.

2. Riding in the Bad of a Pickup Truck Was Absolutely Fantastic and One of a Kind Experience

People who grew up in the country did this at least once if not more. Those who have done this, probably remember the incredible feeling of wind in the hair, the bumpy road and the laughter with their friends.

3. You Probably Stayed in the Car While Your Older Siblings or Parents Were in the Store

Sometimes while parents would need to run errands, they would make kids wait in the car. Yes, the windows were rolled down, the doors were unlocked, but still, it wasn’t a good idea. Nowadays, for such thing, a person can get arrested.

4. Being Totally Out of Reach

In the 80s there were no cell phones. Therefore, it was usual for kids to leave the house telling their parents that they will be back for dinner.

For that time, kids disappear as far as the parents were concerned. It was like that until they would return or call from a payphone to say where they are and get picked up.

5. Secondhand Smoke Was Normal

Almost everyone back in the 80s smoked. As a matter of fact, secondhand smoke was a thing which everyone lived with. Believe it or not, but not many people were worried about exposing their children to smoke.

It just didn’t matter much back then, since most children were smoking anyway.

6. Helmet for Biking? No Way

Bike helmets were just unknown back then. They just weren’t a thing; nor were knee or elbow pads for roller skating. That made kids extremely aware and careful when riding. Yeah, right!

7. Being the Latchkey Kid

Our parents were busy doing stuff and working. Therefore it was easier for everyone to let ourselves in when we got home. No matter whether we were at school or at some friends house we had a key. At least our doors were locked, right? People with younger siblings, were in charge of keeping their siblings alive till their parents return.

This should not surprise because if you were old enough to call 911, you were old enough to take care of younger kids than you.

8. Buying Alcohol and Cigarettes for Your Parents

Our parents were very busy. So often if parents didn’t have time, they would send us to the store to buy the essentials. Usually, they would give us a signed blank check or cash and note for the cashier. The great thing about it is that no one would question it.

9. Giving Children Beer for Fun

The best way to celebrate your 1st birthday is to crack open a cold beer with the boys. Pretty cool, right? Most people were laid back about smoking, and this also included alcohol.

It’s not like kids enjoyed it at that age anyway. It was mostly seen as a joke, and it was normal.

10. Showing Up Unexpected

Back in the 80s, the easiest way to find out if your friends want to hang out was to go to their house and knock on their door. Since in order to call them you had to talk to their parents. No cell phones, remember?

What will happen if you showed up unexpected today? This…

However, that was only one thing of the many things we did at other people’s houses. Today that is impossible.

11. Another Thing Was Tossing the Bike on the Lawn of Some House You Were at

Yes, as a matter of fact, whenever we would bike to a friend’s house, we were used just to drop the bike on the lawn and go inside. This actually was a simple way to find out in which house your friends were. You just look for their bikes on someone’s lawn.

However, if you try this nowadays, there are big chances that your bike would disappear in a second.

12. Physical Punishment Was Normal Back Then

The idea of “spare the rod, spoil the child” was thought to be a reasonable method of discipline. No matter whether it was parents, teachers or family members if kids were disrespectful or misbehaved, the punishment was painful and swift.

13. It’s Was Normal to Drink and Drive

Don’t jump to conclusions, drinking, and driving was illegal, and it was terrible. However, in the 80s before M.A.D.D. most people didn’t see drinking a beer while driving as a big problem.

Moreover, if you got caught by the police, you would have to pour the drink, or the cops would pick the least drunk to replace you and take over driving.

14. Littering

Don’t get me wrong, environmentalism existed in the 80s, but most people didn’t actually care about the environment. In fact, recycling was something that only those dirty hippies did.

Apparently, we didn’t learn anything from this PSA.

15. Peanut Butter for Lunch

This is a staple of school lunch. In the 80s, a lot of kids had peanut allergies. However, allergy bans such as peanuts weren’t a thing.

In fact, Epipens appeared on the market in 1987, which means that if you had a serious allergy before 1987, you just had to hope for the best.

16. Waterbeds Were a Thing

This looked like a reasonable idea. We all thought that waterbeds were cool, and everyone wanted to have one. However, if you say you have a waterbed now, most people will find you creepy.

17. Hanging Out at Shopping Malls

This is how we spent most of our teen years. Most teens in the 80s spent most of their free time hanging out with their friends and chilling in shopping malls.

To make things clear, we just spent time there; we didn’t do any shopping. Today, many kids still go to shopping malls, however, if kids stay “too long” then people will begin accusing them of loitering.

18. Gender-Specific Classes

It’s because boys don’t need to learn how to cook or stuff, right? Every single high school had gender-specific classes. However, only boys took shop classes, and only girls took Home Economics.

It might seem silly to you since both classes teach essential, necessary life skills, but it’s was like that back in the 80s.

19. Nudity and Violence in PG Movies

You should know that the “PG-13” rating appeared in 1984, so before these movies slipped away with a lot more. Back then Gremlins, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom came along, and people understood that the gap between “R” and “PG” was too broad.

20. Chickenpox Parties

In the 80s there was no vaccine for chicken pox. Therefore, most people thought it was best to get it. This was the only way not to worry about it as you get older.

In fact, as soon as one child started having symptoms, that meant it’s time to party. No really, it said that is time to gather every kid who hadn’t got chicken pox. Fun time means exposing kids to infectious diseases, right?

21. Fake Wood Was a Thing, and It Was On Everything

There is one thing which is certain; fake wood was everywhere. On electronics, on walls and even on cars. Although it’s pretty hideous, we seemed to overlook this. And although it had a comeback, it didn’t last, fortunately.

22. Playing Unsupervised Was Utterly Normal

At the first opportunity, parents would kick kids out of the house when they weren’t at school. In fact, kids weren’t supposed to return until dark or dinner.

We can definitely say that times have changed. But we survived, and for sure we were careless and had a lot of fun.

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