21 Things Parents Used to Say That Would Shock Millennial Parents
The hardest job in the world has changed a lot over the past 50 years. Case in point: these quotes from Millennial and Gen-X parents, recalling things they heard as kids that they wouldn't dare say to their children now.
"IF YOU DON'T QUIT TOUCHING YOUR BROTHER I'LL CUT YOUR FINGERS OFF AND LET THE DOCTOR SEW THEM BACK ON."
"My mom used to say stuff like this to get us kids to stop fighting with each other. It was always meant more funny than serious, but I don't think I would dare say this to my kids in public today." —Lizzie Vance, Seattle, Washington
"PUT SOME BEER IN HER BOTTLE —IT'LL HELP HER SLEEP."
"Not only did my grandmother used to say this but she actually did it to my mom. We have a picture of my mom with a beer-filled baby bottle when she was about 2. My grandma also gave her brandy when she was feeling sick, even as a toddler. Thankfully my mom did not carry on this advice to her kids." —Ellen Myers, Cincinnati, Ohio
"DON'T CALL UNLESS SOMEONE IS DEAD OR THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE."
"We weren't allowed to call our parents at work unless it was an actual emergency and even then we were supposed to call 911 first. Kids were expected to solve their own problems. In contrast, my daughters text me all the time, tattling on each other for the littlest things." —Sue Hardgrove, Denver, Colorado
"EVERYBODY'S GOT TO EAT A HILL OF DIRT IN THEIR LIFE. YOU MIGHT AS WELL GET STARTED."
"This pretty much sums up everything you need to know about my grandpa. If something was wrong
"IT'S YOUR BROTHER'S TURN TO LAY ON THE FLOOR OF THE CAR NOW."
"Car seats? Nah. We barely even used seat belts. When I was growing up, it was a treat to get to lay down on the floor or in the back of the car or truck, especially on long road trips. My parents made us take turns." —Ru Crumpley, Denver, Colorado
"HERE'S A DOLLAR. TAKE YOUR SIBLINGS AND GO GET A POP."
"These days I think even a simple 'Go play in the front yard' is shocking since you can't even let your kids do that anymore. But when I was growing up, my parents let us ride our bikes alone to the 7-11 for candy or a drink. We did it all the time, starting at a very young age. I'm pretty sure that would get a parent arrested now. It's amazing how much things have changed in just one generation." —Janette Kudin, Gainesville, Florida
"LET HIM GET HURT. IT'LL TEACH HIM NOT TO DO THAT AGAIN."
"We didn't have all this protective gear growing up. Instead of trying to keep us from getting hurt my parents encouraged it as a good life lesson." —Kenny Lebaron, Dickinson, North Dakota
"YOU CAN GO TO BED WITHOUT DINNER."
"My punishment growing up was to be sent to bed immediately. This meant sometimes 'going to bed' at three in the afternoon and not getting any food until breakfast the next morning. I spent hours and hours alone in my room. I don't know how they did it. As a mom now that feels like neglect. I can barely send my kid to his room for a 10-minute
"WHY WOULD I PAY FOR MY KID TO PLAY SOCCER WHEN HE CAN RUN AROUND FOR FREE?"
"I remember desperately wanting to play on the soccer team, but my parents felt like it was a waste of money to pay for extracurricular activities other than music lessons. I distinctly remember my dad saying, 'What? You have two left feet, it's not like you're gonna be the next Pelé anyhow.' Dream. Killed." —Justin Blackman, Green Bay, Wisconsin
"WHO CARES IF SHE FAILS MATH? SHE'S JUST GONNA BE A MOM."
"My mom hated math growing up and never did her homework. When the teacher let her parents know she was failing they were like, 'It's her life! She just wants to be a mom anyhow.' They didn't offer to get her a tutor or even help her with homework. They figured as a girl she didn't really need it. Their attitude absolutely kills me now. I started teaching my daughter math the minute she was born and she loves it now. My mom is so happy." —Carlie Marks, St. Louis, Missouri
"IF YOUR KIDS DON'T HATE YOU BY THE TIME THEY'RE TEENAGERS, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG."
"My dad used to say this all the time when I was growing up, I guess as a way to show it's better to be a 'parent' than a 'friend.' And it worked! I did go through a phase where I hated him but thankfully we're all good now." —Rachel Lockett, Lakeville, Minnesota
"JUST TIE A STRING AROUND YOUR TOOTH, TIE THE OTHER END TO THE DOOR, AND SLAM IT."
"My grandma gave me this advice when I had loose teeth. I let her do this to me twice as a kid before I realized that adults don't always have the best ideas. It was traumatizing!" —Lynda Strand, Sacramento, California
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"WHAT DO YOU GET? YOU GET TO LIVE ANOTHER DAY."
"My dad used to say this whenever I asked what I'd get in return for doing my chores or whatever. I learned to just do what he asked and not ask questions." —Sierra Rose, Buffalo, Minnesota
"GO FIGHT EACH OTHER OUTSIDE."
"For my parents, it wasn't about stopping the fight—it was just about making sure we didn't break any furniture in the process." —Alexandra Williams, Santa Barbara, California
"YOU CAN WALK HOME BY YOURSELF."
"The rules for letting kids walk places on their own used to be a lot more relaxed. I remember walking home from school and riding my bike all over the neighborhood by myself, even when I was in kindergarten. Now kids can't even walk in groups, they have to be driven or chaperoned to and from school." —Ru Crumpley
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"WE HAVE TWO DINNER CHOICES TONIGHT: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. UP TO YOU."
"There was no cooking special separate dinners at my house. We ate what my mom cooked or we went hungry, end of story." —Alexandra Williams, Santa Barbara, California
I'LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT."
"Crying was seen by some parents as a cardinal sin —a sign that boys were weak and 'girly' (also apparently a sin in the '70s). My own parents never played into this but I was raised around boys who weren't supposed to show any emotion other than aggression and weren't supposed to cry even at funerals. And if they did, their mothers and dads used to threaten them with this 'cute' saying." —Tony Mason, Minneapolis, Minnesota
"YOU'RE CRUISING FOR A BRUISING."
"My father favored the belt, and my mother, the wooden spoon. Although I have to say they were only used very occasionally when I was growing up. This phrase always warned us when we were on the edge though." —Nicholle Carriere, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
"GO TO THE PARK. JUST BE HOME WHEN IT GETS DARK"
"I grew up in Anaheim, California, and my mom had no problem with me going to the park by myself even in elementary school. I didn't have a cellphone or anything and I'd be gone for hours. Her only concern was that I was home by bedtime." —Naomi Williams, Santa Rosa, California
"CHILDREN SHOULD BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD."
"My parents learned this from their parents. And they all meant it. If we did have something urgent to say we had to wait until the grown-ups were done talking and say it as politely as possible. If I broke this rule, I got 'popped'
"ONE STRIKE AND YOU'RE OUT."
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.