Three Tips For Children of the '80s On Being a Cool Parent
Ah, the '80s. From big hair and parachute pants to purple and yellow eye shadow and stacking five Swatch watches on your wrist, that day-glo decade is definitely your favorite. Now that you are a parent, you find yourself emulating the Seavers on “Growing Pains” much more than the Griffins on “Family Guy.” You are determined to not only keep your cool factor, but also embrace your nostalgia for all things '80s at the same time.
With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help you channel your inner Tony Micelli from “Who’s the Boss?” or Elyse Keaton from “Family Ties” and be the coolest parents on the block:
One of the best ways to be a “cool” parent is to welcome their friends into your home. Just as Clair and Cliff Huxtable were always happy to see their kids’ friends and often interacted with them, you can do the same thing. Keep your pantry shelves stocked with plenty of tween and teen-friendly foods and let them head to the family room to play video games or watch movies. If you have it in the budget, consider springing for an '80s rec room staple like a foosball or air hockey table, and encourage your kids to invite their pals over pretty much any time.
We have become so dependent on cars, most families have two vehicles: one for driving the whole gang around and the other that is reserved more for getting mom and dad where they need to go. If you are ready to trade in your current “functional” wheels for something more zippy and '80s-esque, you cannot go wrong with the Chevrolet Camaro. The Camaro is sleek, loads of fun to drive and the new retro-looking models look like they came right out of your fave era. The two-door muscle coupe might not be the most practical car in the world, but man, it is fun to drive. When you head out on a date night with your sweetie, the 275 horsepower engine will get you there in speedy style and the V-8 engine manages to get pretty decent gas mileage. Put some Twisted Sister, Van Halen or Men Without Hats on the playlist, get behind the wheel and you will instantly feel like you are back in the 1980s, cruising to the mall with your friends.
Do Things That They Like With Them
Another great way to be a cool parent is to join your kids in whatever interests them the most. If your daughter adores LEGO, let her pick out a set that the two of you can do together. If your son wants to learn to fish, head to a local sporting goods store and pick up some basic gear and then track down the closest fishing hole.
In addition to specific hobbies, pretty much all teens love to watch movies. Let your kids know that you want to join them for a movie night, and encourage them to select movies to stream or rent from a kiosk at the grocery store. Even if their selections are not what you would ever pick, the fact that you are watching a movie they love will earn you major coolness points. To add in a little '80s flair, suggest a double billing with one modern movie and one '80s flick by the same writer or director. For example, if your older teens are dying to seethe recent It movie, rent the creepy clown fest picture along with The Shining, a Stephen King classic that came out in 1980.
Fortunately, it is pretty easy to be a “cool” parent to your kids in a way that does not mean doing away with household rules and letting your kids skip their homework. As a major bonus, you can also let your nostalgia for the '80s guide some of your decisions and activities as a parent. So while your kids might not want to be seen with you in public when you are wearing your Quiet Riot t-shirt and rocking the big hair, they will appreciate when you spend time with them, welcome their friends and maybe, just maybe, letting them drive the new car when they turn 16.