Children who did not know the word happiness: what a real childhood in the USSR was like. Photo

Yulia PoteriankoNews
In the USSR, children were raised by violence, fed with whatever was available, and due to the lack of entertainment, they were often crippled. Source: Created with the help of AI

Sometimes on the Internet, you can find stories about how happy childhood in the USSR was. They say that the state did everything for children and provided them with only the best.

Belarusian blogger and researcher of Soviet life Maksim Mirovich claims that this is nothing more than a myth. According to him, a lot of information about the children of the Soviet Union is distorted, and the advantages are often greatly exaggerated.

Children who did not know the word happiness: what a real childhood in the USSR was like. Photo

Kindergartens were scarce and education was cruel

Fans of Soviet nostalgia often say that there were more kindergartens in the Land of the Soviets than in the United States. However, numbers alone cannot describe the situation completely.

And the situation in society was such that in an American family, the husband's earnings were usually enough to feed all its members. Therefore, the wife could stay at home and take care of the children. So the need for kindergartens was not so great. That's why there were actually fewer of them per capita.

At the same time, in the USSR, the state demanded that women both pursue a career to avoid being prosecuted for parasitism and take care of their families. In addition, childless women were subject to a separate tax. Add to this the fact that annual parental leave was introduced only in 1968. That is why there was a huge need for kindergartens and nurseries in the Union.

This led to very large groups in them. And, accordingly, the teachers and nannies were very tired. They could not pay proper attention to each individual child. Let alone have time to teach them something interesting.

As for the quality of education, it was extremely cruel. Corporal punishment, coercion, and humiliation were the main methods. A child could be put in a corner in his or her underwear, forced to eat or sleep, have his or her toys taken away for misbehavior, or be scolded in front of everyone. From an early age, little Soviet citizens were instilled with fear of force and unconditional obedience.

Children who did not know the word happiness: what a real childhood in the USSR was like. Photo

Children were fed no better than adults

A modern woman can easily feed her baby with high-quality formula. And not only for objective reasons - general health or lack of her own milk - but also because of her personal choice.

In the USSR, instead of special baby food, women used to invent terrible mixtures of diluted cow's or goat's milk, which was also a big quest to get. They also used semolina and other products not intended for infants. As a result, according to the WHO, in the seventies, about three-quarters of children under one year old were already obese because they consumed too many carbohydrates.

The food in kindergartens and schools was also poor. Soups were made from low-quality vegetables, meat was hardly ever given, mostly in the form of poor quality pale sausages and bad cutlets, porridge was cooked with water and not seasoned with anything, and children were taught to eat everything with bread so that they would not go hungry. The smell in the canteens of educational institutions was very unappetizing. At the same time, children who refused to eat tasteless food were forced to eat.

Children who did not know the word happiness: what a real childhood in the USSR was like. Photo

Children were not completely safe

This myth is dispelled very easily if we remember what Soviet children used to do in their free time. In the postwar years, pioneers left unattended by adults busy rebuilding the country often blew themselves up on old German mines found in forests and water bodies.

The craving for explosive entertainment remained among young Soviet citizens in later periods. For example, teenagers often entertained themselves by throwing light bulbs, slate, and, if they were "lucky," aerosol cans into the pioneer fire. Sometimes they were seriously injured because of this. Some made homemade bombs from pieces of calcium carbide or rockets from nitrate. This also had consequences. They turned plastic rulers into smoke machines without thinking about how toxic the smoke was. So what if we cried and coughed for several hours afterwards? But at least they had something to do. After that, constant access to cartoons and games seems like a real blessing.

As for crime, it was simply not reported in the press. If you look up the statistics from the Soviet era, you will find that the level of robberies, violence, and murders was very high. But the information was not made public in order not to give citizens a reason for discontent. Of course, children also suffered from crime. This is not to say that domestic violence was not only not condemned, but society approved of such methods of education.

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