How many times have you heard one of your elders say, “Back in my day…” and finish off with some kind of ludicrous statement? Perhaps it’s a tangent about how they’d walk miles in the below freezing temperatures to school or how they’d go to a friend’s house and “be back by dark.”

Whatever it is, the statement probably has something to do with the fact that these days, kids are much more sheltered than they used to be, and they’re explaining how they never had to deal with something like that.

And maybe they’re right. But here’s the thing: Back in ‘their day,’ kids did a heck of a lot more dangerous things than kids do now. These days, kids have cell phones and technology to keep them entertained, and to call their parents if they’re in any trouble. But before this all came to be, kids had to figure things out on their own and not always come running to Mom or Dad.

Parenting just wasn’t like it is today—and maybe that’s not a bad thing? You can see for yourself in this insane old-school parenting moments that we wouldn’t dare see today. Check them out below!

  1. A trip to the park

    Picnics looked a lot different back then. Nowadays we can’t even bring peanuts, let alone a bud!

  2. Ice skating

    These days, kids are lucky if their parents even let them play ice hockey, which requires an absurd amount of safety gear. In the 1930s, a piece of string (is that STRING?) worked just fine.

  3. Smoking

    It was totally fine to have your kid pretend-smoke next to you. It was so cool to be just like dad, even if it meant mocking something that could make you very sick!

  4. Sparklers

    The Fourth of July was no match for this little one. (Also this dad’s crop top is pretty much everything, is it not?)

  5. Cigars

    Just chillin’ like a villain, nothing to see over here.

  6. Family photos

    When the son said he wanted to play, he didn’t mean THAT kind of play (or did he?).

  7. Taking a drive

    Car seats looked a little different back then. (This gives us anxiety, how about you?)

  8. Beverages

    This little tyke was very thirsty.

  9. Modes of transportation

    A baby on a Harley-Davidson was a pretty common thing.

  10. Rides

    Who needs a seatbelt when you’ve got Mom’s arm?

  11. Swimming

    This is how you teach kids how to swim, right?

  12. Rallies

    During a California marijuana initiative rally in the 70s, parents brought their kids. And kept them in a box. Hmmm.

  13. Trip to the zoo

    “Mom, I want to pet the tiger!” “OK, sure honey, go for it!”

  14. Bars

    No babysitter? That didn’t stop parents from having a night out!

  15. Biking

    When you’re too tired to teach your kid how to ride a bike, parents improvised.

Seems safe. Yikes. What do you think of these old-school parenting photos? Do you have proof of your parents doing anything crazy like this?