While I technically wasn't born in the '90s, that decade is when many of my most significant childhood memories were formed. Now that I’m a parent, I can’t help but look at things a little differently when I feel nostalgic and want to dwell on my boyband-loving days. I'm realizing that there are things '90s parents banned that today's parents wouldn't dream of saying "no" to, and suddenly my longing for the days of years past seems a little ridiculous because, well, my kid gets to do a bunch of stuff I never would have been able to do.
Sure, we were arguably (usually) considered to be "safer" group of kids when we were in the '90s, and parents weren't as worried about their children's safety as it seems they are now. For example, remember those hypercolor shirts? What exactly was in those to make them change color, and why did my parents let me wear them next to my skin? My parents were cautious, don’t get me wrong, but seriously things were different back then and there's no denying that those difference influenced parents in a way the millennial parents of today just can't understand.
Still, like every other millennial I know, I have a soft spot for '90s. Safety standards, technology, marijuana laws, and boybands have come a long way in the last two decades, and I expect that, once my toddler son is old enough to recognize that, he’ll appreciate this decade, maybe almost as much as me. Until then, I get to live vicariously in my memories, remembering what I could not get away with in the '90s that would (probably) be fair game now, or that are simply unavailable to me now (sigh).
Listening To Your Music Too Loudly
While my son hasn’t reached a stage where he wants loud music, I can only imagine that the sound of it might be a relief compared to the blank silence that comes when the other person is wearing headphones.
Interrupting Specific TV Shows
Remember back when streaming was about frogs, rocks and small pools of running water, and not our favorite TV shows? Yeah, I don’t know how we survived, either. Nowadays, talking during a TV show is hardly a big deal. We’ll pause the show, or re-watch it, or catch it online later. No big deal.
Cutting Out Too Many Heart Throb Pictures From Teen Magazines...
Do kids even do this any more? No matter. If my son or any future kids I may or may not have ever shows an appreciation for the greatest era of teen idols ever, I will celebrate this fact, not stifle it.
...And Then Hoarding Those Magazines
What’s that, son-of-the-future? You want to read things that aren’t on a screen? You want to save a collection of your favorite glossies and refer back to them whenever the mood strikes? By all means, be my guest.
Wearing Too Much Sunflowers By Elizabeth Arden Perfume
Less is more, my friends. Less is more.
Occupying The Home Phone Line By Using A Dial-Up Modem
A home phone line? A dial-up modem? Our kids will never know a time when the internet wasn’t connected to our phones. However, telling them we once used to have house phones, and that wi-fi wasn’t a thing, and that only one person could be online at once, are the kinds of things I’m going to save in my pocket for late-night campfire scary stories of the future.
Remember when this was the only way to figure out who had just called? I was all about it once I hit middle school and started getting prank calls from certain members of the opposite sex.
Getting Every Possible Thing In Lisa Frank’s Latest Line
I get it, pink neon dolphins aren’t everyone’s favorite. However, I think we’ve officially reached that point where Lisa Frank is nostalgic, so I’m cool with however much of it shows up in my house (and by “shows up in my house,” I mean, “I bought it myself.”).
Illegally Downloading Music
OK, technically, I suppose that there could still be reason to ban this practice. However, when there are no less than 90 billion music streaming services available, it just seems like way more trouble than it’s worth. I think music pirates would probably feel the same way.
Watching Too Much After School Or Saturday Morning Television
My future kid is at home, watching kids’ programming on the family TV, and not staring at his phone? I’ll take it. In fact, I’ll take it, and I’ll probably offer him some Bagel Bites while I’m at it.
At least not in Washington State, where I live. Perhaps these are questionable in other places still, but to people in those places I say: Washington is lovely this time of year.
Playing With Super-Unsafe Toys Like Trampolines And Roller Skates
Nowadays, we see those net cages surrounding trampolines like it’s their job (*cough* because it is their job) and roller skaters have their choices of safety equipment that’s decades more advanced than what I had as a kid.
Wait, does that mean I need to let my kid start playing with them? Alright, I'll admit; I'm not quite ready for that yet.