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Our Parents Did What?!
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Our Parents Did What?!

Author: Our Parents Did What?!

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Join cohosts Diane Aragona and Jen Tierney as they explore the sometimes unbelievable history of parenting.
31 Episodes
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Note: Today's episode contains some sensitive content related to infant deaths.  Please use caution when listening. If you had asked me 2 years ago what an infant inclined sleeper is, I would have told you I had no idea.  If you had asked me if I knew what a Rock n Play was, I would have said of course!  It was the #1 must-have recommendation for my registry from all my mom friends.  I was told it would be a life saver.  A little over 2 weeks before my daughter was born, the Fisher Price Rock n Play was recalled, and linked to the deaths of many infants across the country.  How could this beloved product be the death trap the AAP claimed it to be?  And if so, how was it approved and sold to trusting moms and dads for nearly 10 years?  In this episode, we lay out the history of the Fisher Price Rock n Play infant inclined sleeper.  It is a devastating story of willful negligence of big businesses who put profits over safety, and the heartbreaking effect it had on unsuspecting families.
Episode 28: Spit

Episode 28: Spit

2021-02-0628:08

Spit has seemingly endless examples of cultural significance throughout the world. It's with that in mind, that Jen travelled down the spit in parenting rabbit hole. At times shocking and gross (especially in our Pandemic World), these traditions also have a primal, earthy beauty to them. Jen makes the case for the poetry and intimacy of spit.
Growing up is hard enough when you're just a regular kid. But can you imagine growing up at the most famous address in the country, while the whole world watches? On today's episode, Diane tells us about all the Presidential kids who grew up in the White House throughout history. Then we take a closer look at 3 Presidents' children and their time in the White House: the Bush twins (Barbara & Jenna), Obama's daughters (Sasha & Malia), and Chelsea Clinton. Get ready for some tales of funny White House antics, intense scrutiny from the public, and what it entails to be the child of a US President.
In order to celebrate the end of this truly miserable year, we are sharing a story that is similarly upsetting. Jen presents her findings on the Dionne Quintuplets and the absolutely unbelievable series of events that befell them. From a wicker basket in a farm house in Ontario, to a clinical facility with a tourist viewing platform, all the way to Hollywood, these girls never caught a break. We're sharing their story here because there is a lot to be learned from their lives especially in our modern world and the age of Kidfluencers. Children should not be commodified and few stories illustrate that as well as the Dionne Quintuplets.
Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit like an angry mob of customers fighting over a children's toy. With the advent of online shopping, crazy store riots may seem like things of the past. So let's take a trip down memory lane to the late 80s and mid-90s, when such events did occur around the holiday season. Specifically when it came to loving parents wanting to get their children the hot new toy of the season. Enter the Cabbage Patch Kids and the Tickle Me Elmo dolls. In this week's episode, Diane tells us what made these toys so popular, and what lengths parents would go to in order to secure one to place under the tree. Buckle up, cause it is a wild ride!
If you live in America, you may be under the assumption that Halloween has always cornered the market on dressing up in costumes. But you would be wrong! From the late 1800s to the 1930s, Thanksgiving Masking was a standard way for children to celebrate on Thanksgiving morning. In this episode, Jen describes this strange custom and why it went out of favor. Get ready to shake your head with disapproval and be a bit offended.
You may be wondering why we are talking about a Supreme Court case on a show about the history of parenting, right? Well, we have the answer! The landmark Supreme Court decision in Connecticut vs. Griswold changed family life in America forever. We've all heard the term "family planning," but believe it or not before the 1960s this idea was not nearly as widely known or accepted. So what happened in 1965 that spurred on this radical shift in thinking about the way we plan births and children? You'll have to listen to find out!
Every new mom can attest to the fact that babies, especially newborns, love to suck. Their fingers, their toes, a bottle, a breast, and for some babies even a pacifier. So today, we explore the history of that infamous object. Who invented the pacifier, when did it become popular, and why is it such a controversial soothing technique even to this day? This was a topic that led us down quite the rabbit hole. A very...ahem...”interesting” rabbit hole, to say the least! *Parents, we suggest listening to this episode when the kiddos aren’t around, because there is some content some may consider to be adult. Use your discretion.
Episode 21: Pacifiers

Episode 21: Pacifiers

2020-10-0826:55

Every new mom can attest to the fact that babies, especially newborns, love to suck. Their fingers, their toes, a bottle, a breast, and for some babies even a pacifier. So today, we explore the history of that infamous object. Who invented the pacifier, when did it become popular, and why is it such a controversial soothing technique even to this day? This was a topic that led us down quite the rabbit hole. A very...ahem...”interesting” rabbit hole, to say the least! *Parents, we suggest listening to this episode when the kiddos aren’t around, because there is some content some may consider to be adult. Use your discretion.
2020 might not be the craziest year for the US Postal Service after all. Back in 1913, parcel post was introduced and in no time at all, people had started shipping all kinds of unexpected packages, including their children! Tune in to learn all about the children who traveled anywhere from 5 to over 700 miles across America through the USPS.
2020 might not be the craziest year for the US Postal Service after all. Back in 1913, parcel post was introduced and in no time at all, people had started shipping all kinds of unexpected packages, including their children! Tune in to learn all about the children who traveled anywhere from 5 to over 700 miles across America through the USPS.
2020 might not be the craziest year for the US Postal Service after all. Back in 1913, parcel post was introduced and in no time at all, people had started shipping all kinds of unexpected packages, including their children! Tune in to learn all about the children who traveled anywhere from 5 to over 700 miles across America through the USPS.
We've all heard the term "mom shaming," but what does it really mean? And when did it begin? In reality, we are all probably guilty of playing a part in the mom shame game, often unintentionally. Let's dive into the origins of this troubling trend, and how things like the Internet and parenting forums play an important role in perpetuating mom shaming.
While the pandemic is keeping many of us from our usual summer plans, we thought we'd share some of the fascinating history of family vacations with you all. We'll look at summer camps for children, family road trips, and the American family camp. Tons of wacky history to keep you feeling nostalgic while we get through this isolating time together.
“I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys 'R' Us kid!” We all remember the jingle, and the excitement of stepping into a Toys 'R' Us in its heyday. With its rows and rows of toys, the possibilities were endless! And then we all watched as the behemoth of the toy industry crumbled, destroyed by the industry it created. How did Toys 'R' Us become such a giant, and what went wrong? Find out in today’s episode!
Come join us for a side-splitting episode that looks at the life and times of Mrs. Patricia Carter, the original Free Birthing guru! Pat is a riot and we definitely wish she was still around for us to go out for drinks with. Although neither of us would hire her to be a doula or midwife for any future deliveries.
Episode 13: Baby Names

Episode 13: Baby Names

2020-06-0856:20

This week, we have our very first guest host, Whitney from the How She Moms podcast! Whitney joins us to share her fascinating research into the history of baby names in America. She described some of the naming trends over time and some of the most bizarre names given to children here in the US.
Ok everybody - buckle up. On this week’s episode we explore something a little sinister: babies being stolen from their mothers and sold on the black market by a woman you’ve probably never heard of. Until now. Cue today’s topic, the woman of the hour: Georgia Tann. Who is this woman, and how did she get away with this horrible scheme for so long? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
John B. Watson and his infamous Little Albert Experiment may be little more than a footnote in the history of parenting and childrearing. But they are a fascinating and important one. Jen presents her research into the psychologist she most loves to hate and the occasional silver linings of his very disturbing legacy.
Have you ever tried to find the perfect book to help you cope with the shear terror that is parenthood. Yeah, we've been there, too! In this episode, Diane takes us through the many different eras and styles of parenting advice books. We're pretty sure there isn't a perfect book out there with advice to suit any child, but we can say with some certainty that we found a few candidates for the worst parenting advice books!
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