You know the saying, “They don’t build it like they used to”? Well that seems to not just be something our grandparents can say. Just like any decades of any centuries, things don’t stay the same and with that there’s always something that goes through degradation. In this case, it’s childhood memories and experiences. However, not all hope is lost. Included in this list are solutions on how to bring back the glory days of yesteryear so that you can share them with your kids.
1. Cereal Took Away the Fun from Getting Fat
Problem: As a child I never looked forward to eating breakfast. Milk seemed to hurt my stomach once and a while if I had it too early (I’m not lactose intolerant and thank goodness this was a time before everything had a name and diagnosis otherwise someone would’ve probably claimed I was). The thing that made my mom’s life easier, while raising three kids on her own, was that I would eat my cereal without a fight because I looked so forward to that plastic wrapped, made in China goodness, otherwise known as a toy, that at any moment could fall into my bowl.
Solution: Bring that excitement back to breakfast and go buy some small toys, with similar sized baggies to put them in, and do one of three things:
1. Stick them in your kids cereal
2. Put them only in healthier cereals so to encourage better breakfast habits
3. Give them a choice between two things like cereal or oatmeal or waffles or eggs and if they choose the healthier one they get to pick a toy out of a bag blindly.
2. Saturday Morning Blues
Problem: The best part about waking up was not Folger’s in my cup but that on Saturday mornings there was a plethora of cartoons that were at my disposal. Each channel had their own lineup so it forced a very strategic viewership to figure out which ones you liked best making essentially your very own playlist of animated merriment. One of the things I looked forward to as a parent was waking up on Saturdays with my kids to sit and eat cereal while watching cartoons together. Thanks to the ever-corrupt FCC we no longer have the ability to just watch cartoons without the need for educational programming being shoehorned into it (read more about it here). Because of their stupid laws, and the rapid growth in cable and streaming, Saturday morning cartoons officially died in 2014.
Solution: I’m sure you have Netflix or Amazon Prime in your arsenal to keep your kids occupied but come Saturday morning, especially if your kids are young enough to not complain, whip out some of your cartoons. How exactly? I gathered all of my favorites on DVD or ripped them from YouTube, put them on a harddrive, and then chose the ones I wanted to show and through the Xbox One I can make a playlist and stream them right to the TV. Voila, Saturday morning cartoons are back baby!
3. Video Games No Longer Make You Read
Problem: I’m not talking text based games disappearing or scrolling text being replaced by voice actors (I welcomed those things). I’m talking instruction booklets are no longer included with video games. There was a time before graphics were good enough to portray characters the way they were intended to, because you could only do so much with a little amount of pixels, so in order to really know what they were supposed to look like, and the wrath they were capable of doing, you had to look in the instructions to figure it out. There was something exciting about looking through the booklet that made a great distraction if you had a sibling who had the first chance to play the newly bought game.
Solution: A fun substitute is to buy your kids a strategy guide when you buy them a game, not so much for the strategy side of things but certain games, like Pokemon, have amazing artwork of all the characters and their back history. So even though it’s a bit of a pricer stand-in choose wisely because some guides will offer more for your money than others.
4. Legos Rarely Build Your Imagination
Problem: As a kid I had an old, dirty suitcase with hinges that were ready to break at any moment. And one of the latches no longer locked, yet inside held one of my most treasured possessions…my Legos. They came in all shapes, sizes, and colors. There was no rhyme or reason to any of them. They existed purely for me to be able to make my imagination come to life so that it was not only tangible but destructible. Now that enjoyment comes either in the form of Legos that are primarily predetermined in shape from something off of a movie or Minecraft.
Solution: There’s only one right solution, buy the old-school legos. You can either go to a Legos Store where they sell those type of legos by the cup (expensive as shit by the way) or purchase it by the pound off of eBay (also expensive as shit compared to the 80’s). But the amount you pay will be all worth it when you see your kids smile after they’ve built something badass that was originally only in their imagination.
5. Analog Art Is a Thing of the Past
Problem: Oh the good ol’ days (yes this is my old man rant) when music wasn’t the only artform you were purchasing when you put down that part-time earned cash at the record store. Yes, you were getting whole albums and not just singles, like today’s iTunes consumers, but you were also getting the art that the band either did themselves, or approved of, that included things like behind the scenes pictures, lyrics (sometimes even written lyrics by who we assumed was the band), production notes, abstract designs that could have only been made thanks to drugs, as well as other exciting and wondrous things that we loved to peruse while we listened to the new tunes. In this digital age they include artwork and digital booklets but the tactile marvel is missing which sadly makes for a lesser listening and purchasing experience.
Solution: We’re not the only ones who feel this way, bands do too. Because of this it’s becoming more and more prevalent that bands these days are releasing not only CD versions of their albums but vinyl as well. Start this trend while your kids are still young (because they won’t know to complain about it) so that they can find an appreciation and experience new music the same way you did. It may cost a little more, because you have to buy the whole album and not just singles, but there’s a cohesiveness to full albums since most good bands intended it to be listened that way plus there have been countless times I’ve heard a song I didn’t like at first only to discover years later that I love it now.
If you have any childhood experiences that are no longer enjoyed the same by your kids, share them here in the comments.
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