7 '90s Parenting Strategies You Would Never Use Today
Thanks to the 90's, the world has plenty of great stuff to look back on and laugh about. I mean, the thought of going all the way to your nearest Blockbuster to rent a VHS tape seems absurd when you can stream movies from the comfort of your couch. Aside from the questionable fashion trends (I'm looking at you, overalls) and what now seems like crude technology, there were some ’90s parenting strategies that you would never use today — and I'm not just talking about dressing your baby in M.C. Hammer pants.
Look, I get it. The parents of the ‘90s were doing the same thing that the parents of today are: trying their best. And as almost anyone knows, what seems like a good idea at the time may be one of those things that you look back on and shake your head at. I mean, what well meaning 1990s person would have ever thought chain wallets would one day look ridiculous on a grown man? Or that we would stop making mixed tapes? It's only in retrospect that these things seem laughable. So it's no doubt that parents of the ‘90s would see these seven parenting techniques and remember a time when they thought these parenting strategies were a good idea.
1. Granting Free Reign Of The Internet
The Internet was new in the 90s, and parents believed it was a good way for kids to learn and explore technology. And although it is still true that children can learn and explore technology by going online, parents now know of the sad side of world wide web and the threat it can pose to a child's safety.
2. Serving Fat-Free Snacks
The fat-free food craze hit the '90s like a freight train. Nearly every brand on grocery shelves started making "light" and "fat-free" versions of food. New brands like Snackwells emerged, promising that you could eat a pack of cookies and not be concerned about calories or sugar. But something had to give.
Fast forward to the 2000s when organic made a comeback and called out the evils of the ingredients that made up these fat-less versions of food. Now, even restaurants are promoting clean and organic options for kids on their menus.
3. Watching Cartoons On MTV
If the TV was on and I was watching cartoons, my mom didn't bat an eye. Even if those shows were Daria and Beavis and Butthead. These were not the cartoons in the vein of Dora The Explorer, where young viewers learn Spanish, kindness, and teamwork. No, these shows were full of things that (aside from going over my head at the time) were a far cry from appropriate viewing.
4. Buying Every Barbie
In the '90s there were some parents who considered how dolls like Barbie might impact a young girl's perception of what it means to be female. But there were plenty of other households bursting at the seams with Barbie, her dream house, and sassy pink Corvette. These days, most parents I know are reluctant to introduce Barbie, and when they do, she comes with a disclaimer.
5. Buying Toys With Lead Paint
The dangers of lead paint in toys was not on the radar of 1990s parents. They were busy trying to get into grunge music and saving up for a Geo Storm, so things like what type of paint was on their child's toy train didn't even register as important. With the age of organic came the movement for safe and responsibly made toys. Cue 1,000 recalls.
6. Giving Free Roam of The 'Hood
The neighborhood streets of the '90s saw a lot of kids roaming free. After school or on the weekends, kids were allowed to walk to stores and other friend's homes without a GPS device attached to them. They were given a quarter, which could be used to call home or page their parent's beeper. These days, thanks to all the crime shows, parents are hesitant to let their children out of their sight for a second.
7. Watching Must-See TV Together
Settling in for a viewing of shows that come on during prime time hours was considered bonding for '90s families. Even if the shows were full of adult content, everyone just laughed together, like the kids didn't pick up on the sex parts. Now the shows that come on at these times would send a kid to bed with nightmares (and many questions).