Stranger Things is a show about a group of kids battling the (mostly) unseen forces of evil. For the most part, their parents remain blissfully ignorant of their perils, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t parenting lessons from Stranger Things!
#1. Learn how to communicate with your kid
Your kid won’t always use words to tell you what’s going on. Seemingly casual comments, body language, or a complex system of Christmas lights operated through inter-dimensional physics can provide clues about what’s up.
#2. Picky eating is annoying, but they’ll be OK
If you ever feel like you’re the only one whose kid only wants to eat one kind of food — like Eggos — you’re not alone. And don’t worry, they’ll be just fine.
#3. Teach them how to ride a bike
If this show has taught us one thing it’s that you need to know how to ride a bike if you want to go to your friend’s house or find your way through the Upside Down.
#4. Don’t be alarmed if they go through a goth phase
It will only last a season. They’ll never talk about it again and you’ll forget all about it.
#5. Extracurricular activities are important
Whether it’s sports, school newspaper, or their Dungeons & Dragons group, extracurriculars will enrich their lives and teach them valuable skills, like teamwork, solving spooky mysteries, and escaping demon-bats!
#6. Encourage your child’s talents... without being weird about it
Like, if your child is musical, get them lessons, but maybe don’t make them practice 10 hours a day. If they’re psychically gifted, don’t make them travel to an alternate dimension hellscape to spy on the Soviets.
#7. Parents come in all forms
Because, come on: we can agree that Steve Harrington is the greatest mom of the series, right?
#8. Sometimes you have to say “No” for their own good
“Young man, I don’t care if ‘He likes it cold,’ that alien-demon inside of you is a bad influence and we’re cranking up the heat to destroy it! You’ll thank me some day.”
#9. Sometimes you should check for monsters under the bed
They’re probably imagining things, but with all these demogorgons you can never be too careful. (And now I hear there’s this “Vecna” fellow about...?)
#10. Don’t be overprotective
We get it: like Hopper, you want to keep your child hidden away in a cabin in the woods because you love them and want to keep them safe. It’s the hardest part of parenting, but you have to let go a little bit...
#11. But be careful you’re not underprotective
Seriously, we know it was the ‘80s, but did the Wheelers ever know what their kids were doing? We said “let go” not “check out.”
#12. Make sure you’re not forgetting a kid
We will give you $10* if you can name this child without looking it up.
#13. You won’t always know what they’re up to
And that’s OK! Remember, your kids are their own people with lives outside of you. That’s as it should be: they need their space if they’re going to save the world.