Childrearing

10 Cringe Inducing Old Fashioned Parenting Tips

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vintage mom and daughter advertisementYou know that saying “They don’t make em’ like they used to?” Well, when it comes to parenting advice this is probably a good thing. To be honest, I’m not really a fan of the whole “Good old days” nostalgia thing. I love to look back at fun stuff from my childhood, but beyond that I think the past should be left in the misogynistic, racist, cringe-inducing past. I like my voting legal and my children un-spanked, thankyouverymuch. Here are some good old fashioned, rage-building parenting advice from the days of yore.

10. Spare the rod

Tom and Jerry spanking

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This is a classic, and plenty of parents still subscribe to this outdated and terribly problematic parenting method. Yes, spanking is effective, but so is starvation and duct tape. It doesn’t make it right.

9. Sleep training

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Back in our grandparents’ (or parents’ depending on your age) day, mothers were told to train their babies to sleep during certain times. Nowadays we still sometimes attempt this through the Ferber Method or CIO, but no one was as hardcore when it came to sleep training at the 1950’s mom. And they suffered for it. I don’t think sleep training hurts the baby, but dammit if it doesn’t hurt the parents. Fuck that noise. Speaking of sleeping…

8. Sleep when the baby sleeps

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This is another lame old school piece of advice you still hear, and it needs to die. It’s simplistic and not realistic. You know what else needs to happen while the baby sleeps? Life. Life needs to happen. Unless you’re lucky enough to have live-in help or an amazing support system, you still need to do laundry, dishes, taxes, showering etc. And babies do NOT care about your precious schedule.

7. Bottles must be boiled

baby given bottle by robot

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Aside from the fact that you really can’t boil today’s plastic bottles without facing potential melting doom, I think this advice is stupid. Babies are hardy little creatures and as long as you clean the bottles, they will most definitely live (barring any compromises to their immune system).

6. Whiskey for gum pain

sexy whiskey

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This is another classic example of terrible-sounding but ultimately effective parenting advice, and dammit if it doesn’t work (at least if my Nana is to be believed, which she is. ALWAYS).

5. Spoiling your baby

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Back in the day moms were told not to coddle their babies, even from birth, for fear of spoiling them. Obviously this is bullshit, we all know now that you can’t spoil a newborn, but this probably felt like sound advice at the time.

4. Clean your nipples with…boric acid. 

Shannyn Sossamon ouch

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Yup, the main ingredient in roach killer is exactly what I want to bathe my sensitive nipples in. Totes M’Goats.

3. Baby window boxes

baby in a baby window box NOPE

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I think the photo says it all.

2. Breastfeeding is GROSS

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Nuff’ said.

1. Again with the “spoiling” 

epic tanrum

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Here is a real excerpt from a real parenting book from the 1920’s:

“Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night. Shake hands with them in the morning. Give them a pat on the head if they have made an extraordinary good job of a difficult task.”

What the actual fuck is this? This is so wrong and awful I can’t even think of a joke. Fuck you, 1920’s, fuck you and your awesome flappers.

(Photo: Amara)