Things in the 80s that are unacceptable in today’s society

(WSYR) – Those who lived in the 80s certainly have unforgettable memories that no one else can fully comprehend. The 80s were filled with poofy hair, vibrant clothes, rock n’ roll…and plenty of dangerous or unethical action that was legal at the time.

In today’s world, parents are much more aware of the dangers that can arise from what they experienced when they were younger. Some people view these experiences as “character-building” moments, but others may view them as inhumane or morally wrong.

Either way, growing up in the 80s survived some bad ideas – which influenced some things about what not to do as a parent.

Below is a list of some of the craziest things allowed in the 80s that aren’t allowed today.

1. Ask the kids to buy your cigarettes and lottery tickets shares that it was totally okay for your kids to walk into a store to buy you a pack of cigarettes. Meanwhile, children as young as 10 could also pick up a few lottery tickets. Today, you must be at least 18 years old to purchase either of these products – usually, regardless of your age, the cashier will identify you as well.

2. Allow your children to play outside unsupervised, only shouting for them when dinner is ready

During the 1980s it was not uncommon to go out unsupervised and many children wandered away from home. Playing outside can mean going to your friend’s house down the street or to the local playground. Usually the only real rule you might have had was to stay within earshot so you could hear when you were called inside by a relative for dinner!

Another sign for the kids to come home would be when the street lights have started to come on. If you got home too early or too late, you might have gotten the next thing on the list!

3. Spanking

According to, the idea of ​​“sparing the rod, spoiling the kid” was considered a very reasonable method of discipline. explains that the saying derives from a term borrowed from the Bible’s Book of Proverbs: “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.

If a child was unruly, it was not uncommon to see a family member, friend, or even a teacher spank the child. However, parents who physically discipline their children today could be accused of child abuse.

4. Hitchhiking

Although hitchhiking was more prevalent in the late 1960s and 1970s, there was still some hitchhiking in the early 1980s, according to Hitchhiking is obviously very dangerous, but back in the day, if you really wanted to go somewhere and couldn’t get a family or friend on board with your plan, hitchhiking was the way to go.

Today, society has become more aware of all the dangers of hitchhiking, including kidnapping and murder. In the late 80s, hitchhiking faded, possibly due to Hollywood’s creation of movies like “The Hitcher” and the HBO series “The Hitchhiker,” as quoted by shorenewsnetwork .com.

5. Ride in the back of a van

In today’s society, people are not allowed to ride on major roads in the back of a pickup truck in a number of states as it is very dangerous and can lead to death. However, in the 80s, people rode in the back of the truck anywhere, including highways. Parents allowed their children – and even their children’s friends – to ride in the back of the truck if they needed to go somewhere and didn’t have enough seats in the cabin.

Nowadays, people can still do it if they walk a short distance, like at the beach or in a park. However, according to, riding in the back of a van can result in fines and points on your license. Those 18 and older can still ride in a truck bed. explains that adults can consent to ride in the bed of the truck. If someone 18 and under is found in the bed, drivers will automatically be guilty of a misdemeanor and receive violations.

Some states still allow you to ride in the back of a pickup truck without issue: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma , South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

6. Automotive Safety

According to, many safety rules were more like suggestions…suggestions that most people ignored. Although seat belts were invented in the 19th century, some people did not have seat belts in their cars until 1968. It wasn’t until 1995 that all states in the United States (except New Hampshire) apply the ‘Click It or Ticket’ laws.

Many children in the 80s rode in front and without a seatbelt – which inevitably meant that if the car were to crash, the child would eventually be thrown forward, with potentially fatal results.

Today, all cars require seat belts and car seats for adult children. Parents can get major violations against them if the authorities witness this act.

7. Give children beer for fun and to relieve pain

Although not everyone participated in giving alcohol to children for “fun,” it was still happening in the 1980s. According to, some parents would give alcohol to their children for help to “calm down”. For those with teething babies, they would stick to the old whiskey on gum idea created in the 1800s. This allegedly acts as a numbing agent to help the baby with their teething pain.

Parents can now use products like Gripe Water to help soothe a fussy baby, there are also gel supplements to rub on a baby’s gums like Baby Orajel, which actually numb the baby’s pain.


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