Ainslie Paton romance author

Growing up in the Seventies

Kids had it different in the time of the slinky, the dragstar and the sunnyboy.

For a start everyone smoked in front of them and no one thought that was a bad thing to do.

For Dean and Kim in Hooked on a Feeling – this was how it rolled.

1. Our sandwiches contained leftover roast chicken, but we didn’t have fridges in classrooms or ice bricks in our  lunch boxes but we didn’t get food poisoning.

2. We rode bikes without helmets or adult supervision or bike paths but we mostly just ended up with scarred knees.

3. Our mothers wiped our faces with spit on a hanky not an antibacterial wipe.

4. Tuckshop was sausage rolls and cream donuts but kids were wiry and fast.

5. Our parents rarely knew our teachers’ names, let alone their NAPLAN prep strategy.

6. When our teachers would whack us we wouldn’t tell our parents for fear of getting punished again, so we avoided trouble in the first place.

7. Our trampolines were netless and sometimes hosed with water and a squirt of Palmolive for extra slipperiness.

8. What was said on the playground stayed on the playground.

9. We went on camps and excursions without 18 forms to be signed and witnessed.

10. As toddlers we rode in supermarket trolleys without padded trolley liner thingys.

11. Angry teachers were treated with caution. We just prayed for a nice one next year.

12. Weekends were about our parents’ social lives. As kids we played murder in the dark while parents talked with their friends and forgot we existed.

13. Generally, we went to the closest school, not the best one.

14. Kids got scared before parent-teacher interviews, not teachers.

15. We got ourselves to Saturday sport and told tall tales about how the win was won.

16. Helping with the washing up was as important as homework.

17. Birthday parties were  fairy bread and Fanta, not fruit kebabs and face painting.

18. When a kid was injured, people felt sorry for her parents. They didn’t ask what the hell were they thinking letting her climb that tree anyway.

19. Cubby houses were built by kids not bought from Toys R Us.

20. If you did badly in a test you got a talking to, not a cuddle.

21. A pocket knife was a perfectly acceptable gift for a ten year old.

22. If anyone got air conditioning in their bedroom it was Mum and Dad.

23. Family holidays came before kids’ sporting schedules.

24. Your dad’s desire to watch Four Corners trumped your need to watch Battlestar Galactica.

25. A teacher could put mercurochrome on a scraped knee without obtaining our parents’ permission and completing an ‘incident report’.

26. A playdate was walking to a friend’s house, ringing the doorbell and saying, ‘Can Cathy come and play?’

27.School excursions happened without a ‘risk assessment’ and a two to one kid / parent volunteer ratio.

28. There was no padding on netball hoop posts.

29. No one wrote names on cups at parties.

30. You could offer your friend a bite of your hot dog.

31. If the bus driver yelled at you, the bus driver didn’t get in trouble, you did.

32. If you didn’t make a team you tried harder or tried something else.

33. Pass the parcel had one winner.

34. There was one kind of milk. It was full cream and it was delicious.

35. Meat was bought at the butcher, and was packed without a use-by date. Our parents used their noses to tell if the mince was off.

36. Getting one present on your Christmas wish list was good result.

37. Drives of longer than an hour happened without supplies of rice crackers and juice.

38. Going to the shops / church / the nursing home to visit Nan was boring as hell but could be endured without an iPad.

39. School holidays were about not being at school, not soccer workshops, art classes and pony camp.

40. Being tired was no excuse for being rude.

41. You had to do something great to get a ‘student of the week’ award. Not just show up at school.

List courtesy of Kate Hunter – Mamamia.

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4 Responses to “Growing up in the Seventies

  • Great list. Kids are too cuddled these days with not enough freedom to learn from their mistakes…

    • Helicopter parenting. We went out on the street to play in the morning and only came in when someone called us for dinner. There was freedom and learning, sometimes brutal, but worthy, in that.

  • Thanks, this made me smile! Though some of the items on the list are different here in the US, I agree the whole way along. I’ll add: We rode in the back of open pickup trucks, not car seats with more safety restraints than a Formula One racer.

    • I remember doing that. Delivery telephone books from the back of an open ute. Riding in a convertible and sitting on the boot lid with our feet on the back seat. Bikes and scooters without helmets, road crossings without school zones, bad stuff, good stuff, lucky it didn’t kill us stuff.

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