As a child of the '90s, I was graced with growing up in the glorious age of Gak and Legends of the Hidden Temple. A time where Wild and Crazy Kids was the only game show I ever wanted to be on, and there wasn't even money involved. Ah, simpler times. The '90s were a special era that you only truly understand the importance of if you grew up during them. And because they were such a singular era, there were certain parenting lessons that only '90s kids learned. Whether you learned how to deal with having a big family from Full House, or that you might have a twin sister floating around in the world a la Sister, Sister (OKm maybe that was more of a hope than a lesson you learned), or to stay far, far, away from chemical plants thanks to The Secret World of Alex Mack, the '90s were packed full of lessons for you to learn about parenting.
Not all lessons came from the television, either. The questionable toys of the '90s we were allowed to play with were a parenting lesson in themselves. Not to mention all of the crazy snacks and fads that you found yourself sifting through. (I'm not going to lie, I could really go for some Dunkaroos right about now.) So take a moment to praise the era that brought you the best childhood of all time, and take a look at all the incredible parenting lessons you probably didn't even realize you were learning by being a kid in the '90s.
1. Taking Care Of Others, Like A Tamagotchi, Is Important
Not just Tamagotchis, either. If you didn't take good care of your American Girl doll, her hair got tangled, her clothes got wrinkled, and she didn't fare too well. And, as your mom made sure to tell you, those dolls were too expensive not to take good care of. By playing with toys that required special attention and care, you learned how to give care and attention to things other than yourself.
2. Obnoxious Toys Might Make You Rich
Beanie Babies, anyone? You learned to keep an eye out on what your child is begging for, because it might just be the next toy to turn into a wild craze that could make you a million dollars.
3. Community Is King
Through television shows like Mr. Rogers, Full House, and Sesame Street, kids of the '90s learned that it really does take a village to raise a child, and if you're smart, you'll surround yourself with kind and nurturing people who care.
4. There's Nothing Better Than Playing Outside
These days, kids seem to be attached to a screen that it makes you wonder if they even know how to play outside anymore. Children of the '90s remember how awesome it was to play outside with their friends all day, without a smartphone in sight. You relish these memories, so you'll instill this in your children.
5. Learning Can Be Fun
Everything I know about the human body, I learned from The Magic School Bus. And Bill Nye the Science Guy taught me virtually everything I know about the rest of science. Learning can be fun, when you make it fun. If you can't find either of those programs for your kids to watch, you'll be sure to keep Miss Frizzle in mind when you're teaching your children lessons about biology.
6. Being A Brat Like Angelica Pickles Gets You Nowhere
Tommy and his gang of do-good babies always won out over the evil Angelica, teaching children of the '90s that you're better off taking the high road than having a meltdown.
7. Parenting Requires A Good Roseanne Cackle
Nobody did parenting quite like Dan and Roseanne Conner. Together, they made it through a world of familial struggles, and Roseanne taught you that sometimes you just need a good cackle to get through the task at hand.
8. Nice Guys Like Urkel Don't Always Finish Last
When Urkel the nerdy neighbor drank that "boss sauce" and turned into hunky and smooth Stefan, Laura wanted the old Urkel back. Being a nice guy (or a nerd) doesn't mean that people won't love you or want to be your friend. If and when you have a child that feels the pressure of fitting in, being cool, or trying to be something they're not — remember Urkel. True friends love and accept you for who you are.
9. You Should Be Accountable For Your Plans, Even With A Cell Phone
It's too easy to text last minute with an excuse these days. Remember the days before cell phones existed? You made a plan of where to meet, and you stuck with it. There was no way to contact someone after you left the house to let them know you changed your mind, or something else came up. Instilling this sense of follow through in your children will keep them accountable for years to come.
10. AOL Parental Controls Were Created For A Reason
The internet in the '90s was a little bit like the Wild West. AOL Chat rooms ran rampant with creepy people cat fishing before we even knew what cat fishing was. The Internet has only gotten creepier, only now, you can throw some parental controls down on it! Never forget how creepy the viruses and chatrooms of the '90s were, use this to prevent your children from stumbling into anything unsavory.
11. Life Can Throw Olympic-Sized Curveballs
Nobody will ever forget the whack heard round the world, when Nancy Kerrigan took a club to the knee and a nation was horrified, saddened, and enthralled with the story. Kerrigan went on to train her tail off, and the incident landed her a spot on the Olympic team, leading her to the silver medal in the '94 Olympics. Just goes to show, you might be dealt setbacks, but if you keep moving forward, you can still achieve your dreams. Consider it the '90s version of "haters gonna hate."