While there are things that I hope we seriously never resurrect from the '80s and '90s (scrunchies, Caillou, and New Coke, I'm looking at you), there are some 90's parenting decisions we need to bring back, like, now. Clearly, every generation of parents has made their fair share of mistakes. I mean, I love my mom, but she didn't exactly have an open talk with me about my sexuality when I hit puberty. That said, there are a lot of techniques that worked better than the decisions we make now, collectively, as parents.
I think it's incredibly important to not let the pendulum swing back too far in the other direction, once a generation has gone too far on way or the other, but actually aim that pendulum so that it hits the mark. For example, condemning spanking doesn't not have to mean that you don't offer your children any form of boundaries or discipline whatsoever.
Sometimes parents get it right, after looking at past generations and how they parented, then tweaking their own parenting style to accommodate choices and decisions they feel comfortable making, only to get condemned or steered away from a particular way of raising kids. Other times a "fad" parenting technique will cause otherwise confident parents, to second guess themselves. And then, of course, technology comes into play and changes how we parent, without us even realizing it. Seriously, how in the world can you, first and foremost, confidently decide how you want to parent and then, well, stay confident?
This is why I propose we all just adopt these 90s parenting techniques that, honestly, never should have gone out of style. I mean, what could go wrong?
Letting Kids Fail At Things
Goodbye, participation trophies. Letting kids fail isn't a bad parenting decision, it's preparing your kid for life. It's okay for a kid to feel disappointment, because it builds character and motivates them to work harder the next time. Do you know what I remember about the contests and races I didn't place in? Nothing. Because it was no big deal, we all just moved on.
Letting Kids Try Things That Might Get Them Hurt
Not killed, but hurt. Getting hurt is not the end of the world, and learning to take a few risks, while improving coordination and increasing activity, is a really good thing for any child.
Letting Kids Be Bored
Did you know that you don't need to plan out your child's entire day? Did you know you don't need to plan crafts and activities to keep them occupied? I was bored as hell in the summer, growing up, and my friends and I created plays and games and all sorts of wonderful things, when we finally got off our butts. It's actually good for your kids to experience boredom from time to time, according to Michael Unger, Ph.D., at Psychology Today.
Letting Your Kids Walk (A Long Way) To School
When did it become the thing to drive your kid to school, even though you live 6 blocks away? A 15-minute walk would be good for everyone in the morning, and if I managed to do it (along with every single classmate of mine), then so can my kids.
Letting Your Kids Make Their Own Decisions
Clearly, I don't mean important decisions about where to invest money, but when a teenager comes home from school and asks what they can have as a snack, and you feel compelled to answer with a list of things, instead of saying, "Open the fridge and figure it out," there's a problem.
Making Your Kids Pack Their Own Lunch
I can't be the only one who had to make my own crappy sandwiches growing up. I was also cooking my own dinner occasionally, by the time I was in high school. Independence is really important to impart from a young age.
Using An Audio-Only Baby Monitor
People are going to think I'm crazy, but I'm just wondering why we need to obsess over the state of our sleeping children? If something happens and if the baby cries, your super secret senses kick in and your problem-solving skills will help you figure things out. You actually don't need to look at a CCTV monitor, you can just go into their bedroom.