80s Moms Vs. Millennial Moms: 20 Things They Do Differently

Like anything else, parenting trends have shifted over time and the major change that is pretty observable is that parents have become increasingly safety-conscious.

CNN notes that it used to be socially acceptable for parents to give their children a key to the house and leave them to their own devices. If one stayed home from school because they had a cold, they were expected to make their own chicken soup and deemed to be competent enough to take medicine that would keep the sniffles at bay.

The parenting pendulum has swung far in the other direction now; most parents would side-eye the living daylights out of any mother or father that just tosses their child a key to the house or apartment, essentially giving them free rein.

In an age were moms like to chat online about whether they’re a “helicopter mother” or a “tiger mom,” no matter the parenting style, safety is paramount and parents today don’t see anything wrong with shelling out the big bucks for babysitters, daycares, and much more in order to protect their precious little ones from becoming yet another sensational headline on the news or online.

The differences between how parenting styles have shifted as the years have gone by is astounding and are laid out in full detail below.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

20 Not Calling Parents Unless It Was Very Serious

Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone and can easily keep in touch with video chatting, text messaging, communicating via social media or even using the simple yet ancient art of calling another person’s cell phone.

This wasn’t always the case though; Red Book Mag points out that when smartphones were not invented, most parents didn’t want their child calling them at work unless it was about something serious.

Even then, if this issue occurred while the child was at school, it was usually the job of the school’s secretary to call the parents on their work phone number and inform them of what was going on or let them know their little one needed to leave school early.

19 Car Seats Weren't Trendy

Parents in the current day and age are very concerned about car safety and take purchasing one very seriously. They will spend hours talking to other parents online and doing copious amounts of research to see which item will be the best for their child.

Red Book Mag points out that the idea of car seats wasn’t always as prevalent as it was now; let alone the use of seat belts. Many parents back in the day didn’t even bat an eye at the thought of not letting their children buckle up and they certainly weren’t concerned about a car seat—it was considered a treat for a child to be able to lie down on the car floor during a ride.

18 Giving Kids Money To Buy Candy At The Bodega

When I met up with my aunt and my two cousins for lunch a few months ago, we shared funny stories and my older cousin pointed out how much things have changed since we were children.

We were given money by our parents and grandparents and allowed to walk down to the corner store to purchase candy from a very young age which definitely wouldn't fly if we were children today.

Red Book Mag notes that it was fairly common years ago to see children riding their bikes to the local candy store or hanging out at the bodega after school had been let out for the day playfully debating over which soda to purchase.

17 They Weren't As Worried

My parents didn’t care when I engaged in risky behavior as a kid, although looking back, I’m surprised they weren’t at least a tiny bit afraid that I’d at least fall and get a scrape on my knee when my friends and I took turns using the wooden plank as a makeshift rollerblading jump. Then again, I was all about safety and used to wear my helmet whenever I went skating, so perhaps my parents figured I would be OK.

Red Book Mag adds that this sort of laid-back attitude was common years ago since most parents felt that if their child got a scrape on their hands or knees from doing something risky, then that would be a reminder for them to not do it again in the future.

16 Hilarious Warnings About The Consequences Of Misbehaving

I have to hand it to my parents, I look back now that I am an adult and crack up when I reminisce about the creative methods that they used to entice me to do something.

My personal favorite was my mom saying that if I misbehaved, the boogeyman was going to come out of my closet at night and scare me while taking all of my toys because I wasn't nice that day.

That made my young self stay on the straight and narrow because I took the threat seriously, but now I just laugh myself silly whenever I think about it—especially since as Red Book Mag notes, most parents haven't used as much creative imagery and tall tales to inspire their children to mind their manners as they used to.

15 They Weren't Into Competitive Kids' Sports

Red Book Mag notes that it used to be that parents would scoff at having to shell out extra money for any kind of extra-curricular activity because their child could simply grab a baseball mitt from the toy chest and go to play softball with their friends at the park that resided a few blocks away.

Heck, even my parents were like that to a degree when I was growing up. I desperately wanted to take horseback riding lessons and my parents begrudgingly complied for two lessons. Since the stables were so far away and it would conflict with my schoolwork, my parents told me that I had to find a new hobby and so I took up rollerblading with my friends down at the schoolyard.

14 Parents Weren't BFFs With Their Kids

Red Book Mag points out that one trend that has become more popular amongst parents of children today is that there’s less of an authoritarian style of raising children.

Instead, parents want to become best friends with their child and tend to err on the side of using purely positive reinforcement, even if their little one misbehaves. It’s interesting to see this gradual switch since years ago most parents didn’t want to be best friends with their son or daughter and felt that was a move that led to a child becoming spoiled because they learned that they could wheedle their folks into getting them anything that they wanted.

13 Creative Ways To Get Rid Of A Loose Tooth

The art of pulling a baby tooth has certainly morphed over the years. Most parents will let their child wiggle it with their finger or tongue until it is loose enough to fall out on its own or they are simply content to let nature take its course, as the tooth will be removed when it is good and ready.

Red Book Mag writes that 20 to 30 years ago, there were all sorts of creative ways to pull a baby tooth that refused to come out on its own, with the most popular method being wrapping some thread around the tooth on one end and giving it a good yank on the other so that it would be forcefully pulled out.

12 Sibling Squabbles Were Always Taken Outside

It really is fascinating to see how parenting trends shift over the years. Red Book Mag writes that it used to be pretty common for parents to take a “hands-off” approach and let siblings squabble amongst themselves because they felt that they would work it out eventually.

Even if the siblings wound up wrestling each other (as siblings are wont to do from time to time when a squabble gets really heated), the usual response to such a scene was to remind the children to take it outside so that they wouldn’t accidentally knock over the lamp or stub their toe on the leg of the coffee table.

11 Letting Kids Walk Home By Themselves

Red Book Mag writes that parents used to feel that once their child hit a certain age then they were old enough and considered trustworthy enough to walk to and from school by themselves.

It was a rare sight to see kids past elementary school get picked up or dropped off once the bell rang; most children considered it a right of passage to be given a set of keys and told to get themselves to and from school.

This usually occurred around junior high and often led to children hanging around after school with their friends playing sports or chatting about their latest crush.

10 Performative Parenting

Romper points out that one popular parenting trend now is treating your child like they are the star of a movie and capturing every single little thing that they do so that their “adoring fans” can keep up with their life.

Thanks to the rise of social media, parenting can often become performative and there’s plenty of pressure to carefully curate one’s content.

It is considered unusual to not brag about your baby taking their first steps and immediately posting an accompanying video onto social media websites five seconds after the happy event occurred or not gripe about how raising teenagers is so difficult to all of your fellow social media users.

9 Hiring Tutors Before Their Child Enters School

Via: Chalkbeat

Romper writes that the latest trend in modern parenting is to set your child up for success in terms of their academic future as soon as humanly possible, which leads to strange-but-true stories of moms hiring tutors for their pre-schoolers.

Part of the reason for this trend is due to the fact that the education pendulum has swung in favor of rigorous academic testing and standards for children of all ages while ignoring the fact that play is essential to a child’s healthy development.

I don’t envy kids nowadays—I had trouble with the regents' exams when I was in high school and I can’t even begin to imagine what sort of difficult standardized tests teens today have to deal with.

8 There's An App For That

Romper notes that there has been a rise in parents downloading apps onto tablets, laptops, and smartphones and allowing children as young as nine months old to learn via electronics.

Thanks to the leaps and bounds technology has made, there is an app for quite literally almost everything. Is your child having trouble learning the alphabet? Here, download this app onto your smartphone and let them fiddle around with it for a few hours. They’ll be singing their A,B,Cs without making any mistakes by the end of the week.

Potty-training going slowly? There’s an app to help parents chart their progress and give tips.

7 Risk-Taking Is A Huge No-No

Carefully observe your local playground nowadays and you’ll notice that several parents are either hovering right next to their child as they climb around the jungle gym.

Either that or they are calling out reminders for their little one to be careful like clockwork every 10 minutes. Romper points out that parents today are worrywarts and this trend has made the outlier parents more worries, especially if they have a more laid back and archaic parenting.

It has actually been proven that risk-averse children are more likely to become cautious and sedentary while risky play in children builds up their confidence and problem-solving skills.

6 Strong-Handed Discipline Is In Decline

My mother used to joke about how my grandmother used to threaten to take out the wooden spoon every time my mom or her two sisters misbehaved. She even admitted (and not in a joking manner) that due to physical discipline being a popular method for parents for many years, it took her a long time to overcome her aversion to simple utensils.

USA Today points out that most parents today do not utilize such methods due to the fact that science has discovered physical discipline doesn’t work and it actually has long-lasting negative impacts on their self-esteem and mental state.

5 Some Embrace Social Media For Their Children

Baby Gaga writes that it seems as if parents in today’s world are split 50/50 between either embracing social media and letting their children sign up for their own accounts.

Either that or they dislike the idea entirely and keep a close eye on their Internet history by using various parental controls.

For the parents that are perfectly fine with letting their child have free reign on the Internet, it’s quite common to see the two of them chatting away on social media and sending each other funny memes, videos, pictures. They’ll even make an effort to use tools on the various social media websites to let everyone know that they are in certain photos by tagging themselves.

4 Feeding Children Organic Food

Via: Pinterest

Baby Gaga notes that modern parents have rejected their forbearers’ ideas of lunch, which usually included a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a small juice box and a piece of candy like a Fruit Roll up and have become more conscious of the number of pesticides in their food.

The AAP wrote a letter in 2012 urging parents to be more careful about how much pesticides their children encounter, including in their food since this could cause problems later on down the road.

That’s why so many parents have chosen to forego mainstream meals in favor of going down the organic food route.

3 Going Above And Beyond To Make Happy Memories For Their Kids

If there’s one good thing about the advances in technology and the ease and accessibility of all the social media websites out there, it is that it makes capturing memories a heck of a lot easier than trying to get the perfect photo using an old-school camera or video recorder.

BabyGaga adds that thanks to social media, parents today have found it easier to make magical memories for their children that they’ll always be able to access and treasure. The trip to Disney world won’t be a fading memory in dusty old photographs like it was for me when I was growing up; instead they’ll be able to keep the memories sharp and remind themselves of how their parents went above and beyond the call of duty to make the vacation memorable for their little ones.

2 Moms Are The Breadwinner

Baby Gaga writes that moms today are breaking the glass ceiling and overcoming the gender roles that previous generations held near and dear to their hearts; namely, the father being the breadwinner of the family.

It is very common to see both parents working full-time jobs and long hours to provide for their family, but it is also now socially acceptable for the father to be a “stay-at-home dad” while his wife takes on the position of breadwinner.

One good thing about this recent trend is that dads don’t have to groan every time they hear a tired old quip about how fathers are allergic to housework and can eagerly point out that that particular stereotype is becoming outdated.

1 Making Their Own Baby Food

Thanks to the invention of products such as the Baby Bullet and the increase in children being diagnosed with food allergies, Baby Gaga writes that it has become trendy for moms to make their own baby food instead of buying it off of the shelf.

In a world where it seems as if everyone’s concerned about food created using GMOs and being processed out the wazoo, it’s just so much easier to cut out the middleman and use verified organic products to create your own.

Plus, since cookbooks aren’t as unwieldy as they were in the past and moms can easily look up recipes online, it cuts preparation and cooking time in half since you can look at a screen instead of trying to juggle supplies and a book at the exact same time.

Sources: Red Book Mag, Baby Gaga, Romper, USA Today, CNN.

More in Parenting