“I see nothing wrong with this picture.”
~American parent in the 1950’s
The greatest generation was also the generation of the worst parents. Children born in the 1950’s had to dodge carcinogens, tetanus, and medically-caused birth defects like it was their job. Granted, it’s not the fault of the parents, it was more a sign of the times. Having some cigarettes and booze while pregnant was just a good way to calm the nerves, and so what if Lawn Darts can be used as a weapon, it’s called survival of the fittest. Darwin, motherfuckers. In the 50’s, parents didn’t spend their time drinking while their children took turns playing “inhale the asbestos fibers” because it was fun, they did it because alcohol is delicious, and that entire generation spent most of their time offsetting the effects of Delirium Tremens.
And really, childrearing in America during this time was naïve, but innocent. And of course, America Fun Fact of the Day was there. Yes, while we’ve been in existence as AFFotD since the 1970’s, we were still putting out information back in the 1950’s as a bi-weekly informational brochure called “The Informative American.” Looking through our archives, it wasn’t hard to dig up one of our classic guides to parenting from back in 1955.
Being a parent in the 1950’s didn’t mean you’d expressly go out of your way to make life dangerous for your children. The rest of the world did that job for you, and you’re never going to be able to out-terrible-parent this woman who used her children in a knife throwing act. But, in our 1955 guide, we were able to highlight just exactly was expected the 1950’s American parent!
So, for a refreshing take as to the mindset of America 55 years ago, we present…
AFFotD’s 1955 Guide to Parenting*
*Following this advice today will lead to your arrest. AFFotD is in no way responsible for any injuries as a result of the information in this article.
The look on that baby’s face says “holy shit, I almost drowned just now.”