As a borderline Millennial (some social scientists categorize me as a Xennial technically), I spent some good quality formative years in the nineties. Saved by the Bell, scrunchies, Caboodles, 90210 – these were all STAPLES of my childhood and adolescence.
And if you’ve walked any of the aisles of Target, or truly most stores lately, you’ll have noticed that little things like scrunchies and Caboodles have made a comeback. I mean, I’m pretty sure I saw the EXACT corduroy overall skirt that my mom tried to make me wear for school pictures in 3rd grade that I absolutely REFUSED to put on just the other day front and center at Target. Like this stuff is ON TREND?
*moms everywhere scratch their heads*
But there are a few things from the Nineties that I argue would do us some serious good if we brought them back.
Bring the Land Lines Back
Justin Timberlake called and he’s bringing Land Lines Back.
We recently installed a land line in our house for the kids. And by install, I mean we just plugged in an old phone into a phone jack apparently we’ve already been paying for for years. #winning
We’ve been looking for a way to allow the kids a little more freedom and responsibility, but don’t feel they are ready for smart phones yet. With all the activities, and friends coming and going from our house, they needed a way to communicate with us if necessary.
When we broke the news to them, they were SO excited and you could see the pride puffing up their chests – like oh wow, A PHONE!
They promised to NOT play any games on it, and for sure won’t get on YouTube without our permission.
Oh lovely iPhone generation children, I love you. 😉
The land line has been in action in our household for a couple of weeks now and everything is going great. We’ve had one FAKE prank call to 911 (as in, they said they called, but thankfully the 4 year old who was put up to the task by her older brother doesn’t know the difference yet between her 9s and 6s yet).
But mostly, they call to say hi. They call to check in on chores, snacks, and playdates. I was travelling last week, and the middle one called each night just to say goodnight. It made my life.
Land Lines Don’t have Screens
This is my mom-pitch to parents who are considering options and safe ways for their kids to stay in touch with you, but aren’t sure about opening the can of worms that comes with a smart phone, or a smart watch, or whatever other device – don’t rule out the things of the past like a LAND LINE. Chances are, you’re already paying for the service as it is!
Regardless though, don’t be afraid to buck culture norms a little bit in order to stick to the values you want your kids raised with. You get to choose what flies in your house and what doesn’t. Yes, your kids might be butt hurt that their friend has a smart phone and they don’t. Doing what is best for your kids might not be the most popular decision – both with them and their peers. Tough luck – there will be PLENTY more times in life when your friends get something that you really want too.
And definitely make your decision while informed. Both the Canadian Pediatric Society and American Academy of Pediatrics have published their recommendations on screen time/appropriate ages for smart phones.
Hey, if puka shells and Neil Patrick Harris can make it out of the 90s unscathed, so too can Land Lines.