Things your parents routinely did uncommon today…

My mother had a hutch with her fine china in it. It was only brought out during the holidays or if we had guests staying with us. She still had it when she passed away and we had to give it to Goodwill because most young people no longer use fine china.

My father took his belt off and took me to the restroom when I misbehaved in a restaurant as a child. He rarely used it, but it was enough to make me behave. He used it a few times, and I had a few whippings with switches off a tree. I don't resent it. It made me respect authority. These days, CPS would remove me from their home.

My mother and father dressed up to go to church, and I also had a sport coat at 8 years old that I would wear.

We also had family or individual portraits done back in those days. These days, it would be a Selfie.
 
If you reflect upon your earlier life or childhood, you can think of things that your parents routinely did that are uncommon today. I can well remember my father wearing a dress hat when going to work; it was part of the male uniform back then. If outside, a decent man wore a hat; boys wore caps. Both are rarely seen today. Also shown: the pictured man is wearing a top coat, winter outerwear for men seldom seen anymore.

What are some things that your parents did that are now uncommon or unheard of? 🤔

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My Father always wore a tie and a suit when visiting friends. The men at his work used to laugh at him because he always polished his work boots , a thing that was instilled into us as children. We would never go to school with unpolished shoes, and I took great delight in making sure my gym shoes were always white and clean.
 

My father smoked a pipe when young, but gave up the habit. While both then non-smokers, they kept ashtrays in their house for visiting friends who smoked. A discolored tar residue was in the bottom of the ashtrays from those visitors, impossible to fully remove. People back then smoked everywhere…in homes, at work, in cars, in restaurants, and on public transportation.

My mother condemned smoking as a “filthy habit,” but sadly this didn’t stop her from drinking. Consumption of alcoholic beverages was widespread, and my mother would not be satisfied in the finest restaurants unless she could have a beer…

From early childhood, my parents equipped me with a dress jacket and a clip-on bow tie for those rare occasions that they went to church. I hated wearing dress-up clothes then, but it was a dressier age, and one didn’t darken a church unless properly attired…
 
My parents made us call their closest friends as aunt and uncle. We had no aunts or uncles so it was somewhat confusing as a child. One of their friends turned out to be a child molester. He taught Sunday school for kids at his church. It’s not melodrama. It’s part of living. Chit happens. Framing it as something to accept is difficult. His own son had a ‘no communication’ policy. He went to his funeral but reluctantly.
 
My parents kept a financial ledger, all incoming and outgoing money was suppose to be recorded. I say "suppose" because I know my dad got drunk every chance he could and I guarantee booze purchases weren't part of the monthly budget.

I remember looking thru those ledger books when I was older and wondering how the hell we survived on so little money.

I even kept a ledger for a few years after I moved away from home.
 
My mother wore any old thing around the house while she was cleaning, cooking, sewing all our clothes, washing, ironing, growing a huge garden, canning, waxing hard wood floors, growing her rose garden, clearing the underbrush on our five acre lot... but she got all dressed up in suit or dress, hat, gloves and heels to go anywhere.

My father wore his suit and fedora until the late sixties when someone told him he was the last man in Charleston wearing one. Most men gave up the fedora during the Kennedy administration. JFK re-set the style with his bare headed swagger.

They ate all their meals at the dining room table except in the summer when we had breakfast on the screened in porch.

They had friends over on weekend nights and played canasta.

Mother belonged to several clubs, The Women of the Church, The Women's Club, the PTA, for which she would host meetings at our house from time to time. She would get out the fine glass dessert plates and bone china, silver tea and coffee service, lacy napkins, have little triangular sandwiches, tiny cakes, cookies, tarts, pastel mints, nuts, and grapes. All handed around by me to the dressed up ladies as they sat in the living room.

My father took up half the basement with his gigantic model railroad layout.

Most nights they would watch TV until about ten, then get in bed and read. That was the time to ask them important questions, when they were sitting up in bed together reading.

I never heard them argue, cuss, or even mildly disagree with each other. At least not in front of us.
 
My Father always wore a tie and a suit when visiting friends. The men at his work used to laugh at him because he always polished his work boots , a thing that was instilled into us as children. We would never go to school with unpolished shoes, and I took great delight in making sure my gym shoes were always white and clean.
we were the same... it was ultimately important to my mother that we all had polished shoes... we had next to nothing.. but we still had to have polished shoes. It's instilled into me to this day...
 
My mother wore any old thing around the house while she was cleaning, cooking, sewing all our clothes, washing, ironing, growing a huge garden, canning, waxing hard wood floors, growing her rose garden, clearing the underbrush on our five acre lot... but she got all dressed up in suit or dress, hat, gloves and heels to go anywhere.

My father wore his suit and fedora until the late sixties when someone told him he was the last man in Charleston wearing one. Most men gave up the fedora during the Kennedy administration. JFK re-set the style with his bare headed swagger.

They ate all their meals at the dining room table except in the summer when we had breakfast on the screened in porch.

They had friends over on weekend nights and played canasta.

Mother belonged to several clubs, The Women of the Church, The Women's Club, the PTA, for which she would host meetings at our house from time to time. She would get out the fine glass dessert plates and bone china, silver tea and coffee service, lacy napkins, have little triangular sandwiches, tiny cakes, cookies, tarts, pastel mints, nuts, and grapes. All handed around by me to the dressed up ladies as they sat in the living room.

My father took up half the basement with his gigantic model railroad layout.

Most nights they would watch TV until about ten, then get in bed and read. That was the time to ask them important questions, when they were sitting up in bed together reading.

I never heard them argue, cuss, or even mildly disagree with each other. At least not in front of us.
sounds like you had close to the perfect parents... :)
 
Routines at our house that I remember, but don't see much anymore.

-Let us kids roam and explore, just be home for dinner/supper.
-Sat at the TABLE during meals, rare to eat anywhere else.
-Mom ironed and sewed a whole bunch with 3 boys in the house.
-Dad kept our cars running perfectly and taught us about tools.
-you made your own way to sport practices and parents just went to games.
-taught to always add 'Ma'am and Sir' in a conversation with adults.
Regarding the ironing routine, my mom hated to iron. I have a strong memory of shopping at JC Penny's with her when I was a kid and her showing me a shirt with a perma press lable and telling to me always look for that label.
 
Something that I did as a kid that my parents allowed was build model cars in my bedroom. They were plastic, and I used horrible smelling glue to put the various parts together and then sprayed them with spray paint. (I put them on newspaper. I wasn't crazy.) My mother hated it but she allowed it. It's amazing I'm alive today after inhaling all that stuff.

I also washed and waxed the cars of my dad's business associates. He would bring them home and I would make them look like new. In those days, there was no clear coat on the paint, so I had to buff out the paint before waxing. But I was paid $50 per car so it wasn't decent spending money for a teen in the 70s. My mother finally put an end to it because there were so many dirty towels she had to wash.

I use automatic car washes now, but if the weather is nice I will still occasionally wash and wax my car.
 
I also washed and waxed the cars of my dad's business associates. He would bring them home and I would make them look like new. In those days, there was no clear coat on the paint, so I had to buff out the paint before waxing. But I was paid $50 per car so it wasn't decent spending money for a teen in the 70s.
Gee, that would have been decent spending money when I was in my mid teens, and very good when I was in my early teens. Unless each job required a lot of time, or the individual car spruce-ups just didn't happen very often. Though I suppose it could all depend on where you lived at the time.
 
My father wore white pants as his casual pants. I have never seen men wear white pants casually. My mom who was a nurse wore a nurse's hat at work. Nurses no longer do this. Both my parents belonged to a bowling league. There are no longer any bowling alleys. My mom wore nylons and a garter belt. I don't see women today doing so. Do women still wear slips? I haven't seen a slip showing beneath the hem line for years.

Both my mom and dad went back to work the day after Thanksgiving. Today, most workers have the entire week of Thanksgiving off. While my mom did all the housework, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning in the home my dad just sat and watched TV all day when he wasn't at work. That is not done this way today. Dad always drove the car while out with me and my mom. Not today. Instead, women seem to do the driving. My dad always held the entry door open for my mom. I don't see men doing this for their wives any longer.

My parents often had bar-b-ques in their backyard with neighbors. I don't see neighbors being this neighborly any longer. We kids collected dimes in little books for the March of Dimes charity through our schools. This is not done any longer. Young boys and girls joined CubScout and Brownie Troops, respectively. I've never seen a Cub Scout or Brownie in my neighborhood. Boys and girls played in the street, and walked back and forth to school alone each day. I don't see that any longer. I used to see hat stores for women. Not any longer.

I used to see neighbors cut their lawns each week. Now, only hired gardeners cut the lawns. I used to see men working in their garages or changing the oil in their cars in the driveway. I don't see this any more. I used to see neighbors talking to one another over the fence. I don't see them talking to one another any longer over the fence. Actually, I don't think the neighbors even know one another any longer. I used to see people working in their gardens tending to flowers or vegetables. I don't see people working in their gardens any longer.

There are lots of things I used to see, but not any longer. Anyone remember the drive-in restaurant and eating in the car. Or the drive in movie where the day after going to the movie with your date you couldn't recall the name of the movie when mom asked. LOL
 
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Many mended and replaced missing buttons on clothing / made clothing , and cooked nutritious food for the family at home.
I don’t ever remember seeing a fat child at school way back then

My grandmother cooked on a wood burning stove in summer where temps got up to 114 F ( 45c)
It was very hot and arid where I lived as a child / young adult .

I did the same regarding cooking until I was about 25 ,after that age it was gas stoves ( no not petrol ) Gas …
I was scared of them cause the went bang when you lit them, I’m still very reluctant to use them now if I’m away from home on holidays
( I have an all electric home for that very reason)
 
Smoked indoors....
Also in the car. We just opened the window.

Also my mother sewed, mended and knitted all the time. The sewing machine was used daily. She made our clothes, we had hand me downs of course. We hardly ever had anything new. It was a big thing to get a new coat, I remember to this day getting a warm new hooded coat, proudly and snugly wearing it to school. With so little money, it really mattered.
 
Dad went to his barber every 3 weeks for a crew cut and a straight-razor shave. He smoked a pipe and it smelled great.

Mom went and got her hair styled every Thursday afternoon - a beehive with French curls on top - and wrapped toilet paper around her hairdo every night so's not to mess it up too bad.

Us kids got our hair cut and styled by Mom.
 
Dad used to sole and heel all of our shoes in his shed.
Mam used to wash all our clothes in a 'Dolly-Tub' in the yard and hang them to dry on a long line.
One of my chores was to whitewash the walls in the yard.
There was no 'Alexa' then. 😊
 
The “shoe” thing resonates with me. At the start of every school year, my parents took me to a shoe store with full service where your feet would be measured, and the clerk would then fit you with shoes. They would be expected to last me until the following year, when the ritual would be repeated.

There were no “athletic shoes“ then. We had “sneakers,” which were for gym class or after school use. Boys wore brown or black leather shoes with laces that were miniature versions of what their fathers wore. When you got to be a teenager, cool guys would start wearing loafers. Shoes would be waxed and polished every week with near ritualistic attention. Since shoes were all leather (perhaps with rubber heels), you’d go to a shoe repair store if your heels wore down, or the soles wore through. You could get a “half sole” put on if you wanted to save money.

You seldom see people practicing this level of shoe care anymore. Some owners never polish them, and many shoes today are not manufactured to be re-soled, but simply thrown away when they wear through… 👞
 
The “shoe” thing resonates with me. At the start of every school year, my parents took me to a shoe store with full service where your feet would be measured, and the clerk would then fit you with shoes. They would be expected to last me until the following year, when the ritual would be repeated.

There were no “athletic shoes“ then. We had “sneakers,” which were for gym class or after school use. Boys wore brown or black leather shoes with laces that were miniature versions of what their fathers wore. When you got to be a teenager, cool guys would start wearing loafers. Shoes would be waxed and polished every week with near ritualistic attention. Since shoes were all leather (perhaps with rubber heels), you’d go to a shoe repair store if your heels wore down, or the soles wore through. You could get a “half sole” put on if you wanted to save money.

You seldom see people practicing this level of shoe care anymore. Some owners never polish them, and many shoes today are not manufactured to be re-soled, but simply thrown away when they wear through… 👞
The street I grew up on in the city was half residential and half commercial properties. The businesses along the commercial half had a barber shop, a tailor shop, a shoe maker, an upholsterer, a dentist. Tailor shop, shoe maker and upholsterer are 3 businesses rarely found today.
 
My parents sometimes watched at-length interview programs on TV. Some were from the U.S., some from Canada. The interviewees were authors, entertainers or other celebrities, social commentators, witty types, sometimes a well-known foreign correspondent. I'm sure my Mom was more interested in this than Dad, but he'd get into it sometimes too.

But really, Dad preferred other types of programs — short news casts, old B&W movies (comedy & detective), professional boxing, pro team sports.

Today there are interview vids on Youtube and podcasts on various platforms, ranging from 10 minutes or so to extended ones spanning an hour. I guess this is the equivalent in our present day. A difference, though, is that because the single medium for this sort of audio/visual program was the home's TV, the kids got exposed to it too, albeit on a take-it-or-leave-it basis as regards interest.
 
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Every night there was a dinner that my mother made for 7 people.
Every night, they did the dishes by hand.
My mother washed and my father dried and put them away. They talked the whole time that they worked.
I have no memory of my mom washing anything except her face. We helped my dad do the housework and once a week the housekeeper cleaned the toilets, vacuumed and washed the floors.
 


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