Childhood Deprivations

My kids ganged up on me the other day laughing about all the little things they weren’t allowed to do/must do when they were little. Apparently I was an embarrassment when they were younger because I wouldn’t trust their friends parents. But in the light of all the child abductions in the news recently, they admitted that perhaps I was right after all to ring up parents I didn’t know to check that when they went round for tea they wouldn’t be allowed to play in the street!! (Cringe – I don’t remember doing that ….but it was only when they were little!!)

It got me thinking about my own childhood. What things were you made to do/weren’t allowed to do? Here is a list of mine as a child of the 1960’s:-

Forbidden things

  • Bubble gum/chewing gum
  • Comics like Beano, Dandy, Beezer (Bunty and Judy – OKish)
  • “Modges” – might have been a made-up word – meaning sweets/crisps/biscuits that ruined your tea
  • “Rubbish” – meaning flying saucers, pink shrimps, fruit salads and black jacks
  • ITV after school – frowned on – BBC was more educational
  • Eating chips in the street
  • Playing outside on Sunday afternoons
  • Playing in the street – until I was ten – yes ten!!!
  • Lucky bags
  • Swearing
  • Talk to “strangers”


  • Clean socks/vest/pants/hanky every day
  • Eat greens
  • Eat bread and butter with jelly
  • Read all the classics (I preferred Enid Blyton)
  • Brownies (hated it – refused to go in the end)
  • Always say please and thank you
  • Sunday school

12 thoughts on “Childhood Deprivations

  1. What a lovely trip down memory lane. My most memorable things were that I wasn’t allowed to wear tights or have my ears pierced until I was 14 and we weren’t allowed to watch Brookside!

  2. Great post!Mustn’ts – eating between meals, staying out after dark, coming downstairs in the mornings until a parent was up and about, talk to strangers, pat strange dogs. We didn’t have a tv, but were allowed to watch it at my grandparents’ house. Musts – turn lights off when leaving a room, polish our own shoes for school, make our own beds.I’m sure there were more, but I can’t think that far back!

  3. I love the word Modges! Must not – be late, ever! Hold up the next person in the supermarket by not being ready to go the second you got your change (I still get stressed by this!)Must – Say thank you for having me to friend’s parents. Can’t remember many others, I think my parents were quite lax!

  4. Hi,Interesting list.No chewing gum – so we used to throw it into the garden of the house two or three dorrs down the street.We didn’t have a TV until I was 14.No swearing – I didn’t know what it was until I was eight or nine.No Enid Blyton , but of course I read it anyway. Loved her adventure stories.But I was certainly allowed to play in the street, and wander about with friends.

  5. WoW!Thats quite a long list. I used to think my mum was stict but the only major thing I can remember her saying was I must not BUNK off P.E. Caused quite a few ruptions as I never listened. Also any boyfriend had to come to the front door to collect me…I HATED that! said she was so emb.

  6. I could have sworn I left a comment this morning?I remember Sunday’s going on for ever and ‘going out for a drive’ to nowhere in particular. Sunday’s were deemed very special days then.Oh and being made to wear weird hats in winter.

  7. Sunday’s were strange days we weren’t allow to play outside in front of the house, only in the back garden. What was that all about? Collecting conkers using big sticks to knock them down from the trees, blackberry picking .. campimg…. TFX

  8. No chewing gum, no pocket money until room had been checked (had to be tidy, bins emptied etc), always please/thank you. Mother always asked if we had clean pants on before dropping us off anywhere!!Not allowed to watch Grange Hill, catch a bus until 15!! Definately no swearing and had to go to church each Sunday followed by tea at grandmothers (enjoyed the last bit as always had cake there).

  9. What great post!Not allowed:Call my parents mum and dad – had to be mother and father or mummy and daddy. Cringe.Chew gumEat in the streetTalk to strangersStroke strange dogsMake ‘personal remarks’Put elbows on the tableSay ‘pardon’ or ‘beg your pardon’ Had to say ‘what?’ instead.Eat on my lap…Had to:Say please and thank you and thank you for having meSay how do you do? and shake hands with boring grown upsRemember my mannersGo for a nice walk or read if I was bored.

  10. Helen: Remember American tan – uuugghhh.Karen: You just reminded me about not being allowed up till parents were up – I’d forgotten that!Denise – Is it a proper word? Or was it just something my mum made up?Aliqot – I think the reason we weren’t allowed to play in the street was because we lived on a busy road. MotherX – my parents weren’t really that strict – but it’s not till you are a parent yourself you realise it was just because they cared.Lane: They weren’t hand=knitted balaclavas, were they? Mum used to knit them for us to keep our ears warm.TF: My dad used to say that people liked to have a rest on Sundays and didn’t want to hear shouting children to disturb them.Debs: Your childhood sounds much like mine. Fiona: So does yours. Mum and dad were really strict about manners and children being well-behaved.

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