Whenever people think back to their lives in the 1990s, when they were either a teenager or a young kid, they can most definitely see how things have changed over the last few decades. Not only did moms do things differently back then, but so did moms, and certain ways of parenting back then would never fly today.
Maybe you remember your mom getting perms several decades ago, which have been out of style for a while. But I have heard from several sources that they are coming back in style. Your mom may even have made you peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for you to take to school for lunch. Well, you know that mothers today are not able to do that anymore considering that schools have had a ban on peanuts and on other nuts in general.
You may have remembered your mom not being so health conscious and allowing you to eat the stuff that would make a lot of people cringe today. Whenever you think back on those times, you probably miss those moments terribly.
Things were so much more simple back then, and when you look at how life is today, it's easy to see how complicated life really has become. Now let's take a moment to get you feeling nostalgic and talk about 15 things that moms did in the 1990's- that they very likely would not be doing today by choice or not- because they simply can't!
15 Give The Kiddies Flintstones Vitamins
You probably remember taking a Flintstones Vitamin when you were a kid. I know I did and I remember how yummy they were. The Flintstones Vitamins have actually been around since the 1970's. However, according to Mental Floss, Betty ended up taking over as she represented the Flintstones Vitamins and that was big news at the time.
Why was it big news that Betty ended up getting a lot of attention in the mid-1990's? That was because according to the same source, it was as a result of Rosie O'Donnell making a stink out of the fact that she played Betty in the 1994 live Flintstones film. She felt that Betty was left out since the other characters were represented and she wasn't.
After O'Donnell voiced her dissatisfaction about the fact that Betty had no attention whatsoever, a marketing agency arranged to have prehistoric style voting booths in malls across the US. They also set up a 1-800 number to allow consumers to make a decision about letting Betty become a part of the vitamin collection.
And, because Betty got so many votes, the character did make it as part of the collection in the later part of 1995, replacing the Flintmobile. That is why moms were giving their kids Flintstones Vitamins in the 1990's, especially the later part of the decade because of the Betty craze!
14 Disrupt The Internet By Picking Up The Phone
Were you a tween or a teen in the 1990's and working or playing on the internet when you would often deal with your mom picking up the phone and disrupting your connection? That was one of the many things that you mom probably did back then that annoyed the heck out of you! And your mom would be just as annoyed that you were hogging up the phone line by being on the internet since she needed to make an important phone call.
Yep, that was a common situation that happened in the 1990's, because those were the days before wireless and cable internet became a real thing. Therefore, the only type of connection to rely on was dial-up. According to PLUS, wireless internet was not available to the public until 1999. Broadband did not come out until the early 2000's which replaced dial-up, and WiFi was not a thing until 2001.
Today, whenever you think about that, you cannot imagine being in a situation where the only option you had to go online was by relying on a dial-up connection.
You probably cannot even fathom how the connection would be disrupted by anyone picking up the phone that was linked to the line supporting the internet connection.
That said, moms ticked off their kids quite often while they were online in the 1990's!
13 Letting The Kids Go Out Without A Cellphone
Even though cell phones were around in the 1990's, it is unlikely that your mom ended up buying you one and may be paid for your own landline instead. If you were out with your friends and needed to have your mom pick you up, you had to rely on your supply of having enough quarters to give your mom a call from a pay phone when it was your time to go. Kids did not call their parents from cell phones in the 1990's.
In fact, according to Pew Research Center, parents did not start giving their tweens and teens cell phones until around 2004 to 2006. Nowadays, the majority of tweens and teens are cell phone owners. Even though pay phones obviously still exist, they are definitely a thing of the past and eventually will become obsolete because pretty much everyone will be a cell phone owner one day.
I will certainly admit that when my daughter was 12 years old, that is when I got her a cell phone and I am glad she has one so she knows I am always reachable! The difference between today and the 1990's is that cell phones nowadays are affordable compared to when they were in the 1990's. That is why your mom did not give you a cell phone back then! The exception may have been that kids who came from exceptionally wealthy families may have had cell phones.
12 Buy Questionable Kid Toys
Nowadays, with the knowledge of how dangerous small batteries are from toys that operated on them among other things, parents are more concerned about the kind of toys their kids are playing with. That is most definitely a positive thing.
Back in the 1990's, however, parents did not give those things a second thought because there was not a lot of knowledge about how dangerous those were. The awareness only spread about that recently based on unfortunate events where kids have been harmed by ingesting those batteries or other dangerous parts from toys.
However, back in the 1990's, parents were quite fine with allowing their kids to play with any toys. In fact, most of those toys that kids played with back then were not safe at all. For instance, those Splash Off Water Rockets appeared to be a safer alternative to Estes rockets. These toys required actual engines as well as adult supervision to launch.
And the problem was that these rockets were known to blow up from the water pressure that was used to launch them. They also flew in different directions and ended up causing injuries. In fact, According to CPSC, in 1997, Splash Off Water Rockets were recalled. You have to wonder why that would have been!
11 Dropping The Kids Off At The Mall
Because of all of the smartphones and tablets occupying kids these days, moms are not dropping their kids off at the mall nearly as much as moms from the 1990's did! That said, it is true that kids are not getting out nearly as much as they used to back in the day.
In fact, an article from National Post stated that the fact that kids are getting way too much screen time is making them less likely to do things socially like go to the mall, or anything else that requires them to put their devices away.
Since I was a teen in the 1990's, I certainly remember my mom dropping me off at the mall to meet a few friends of mine. I remember hanging out at stores like Spencer's where all of the weird novelty items were sold. There was also The It Store which was the same. I went to Coles bookstore to read up books on Europe since I was interested in taking my European vacation which I did in the late 1990's. Those were definitely the days.
But, I can say that moms in the 1990's dropped their kids off at the mall often to meet their friends more than they do now. I dropped my daughter a handful of times to the mall for that purpose since she is socializing by using the latest technology- while at home.
10 Unhealthy Snacking
Do you remember being a kid in the 1990's and your mom buying you Gushers and Dunkaroos for snacks? The Gushers were incredibly popular during that decade that you would be seeing kids bring those snacks in their plastic carton lunchboxes. I even remember seeing the other kids at my high school back then bring those as well. That said, it seemed like everyone's moms were buying them Gushers, as well as other snacks like Fruit By The Foot, Reptar bars (that is if they were fans of the Rugrats), and Pop Rocks.
According to The Manual, these 1990's snacks are not easy to find nowadays and author Sam Slaughter had actually written a piece on that platform about this fact. In fact, he was nice enough to find all of those 1990's snacks that were mentioned above and linked the sources of where to purchase those snacks! Google his name and the term 1990's snacks, and you'll find it.
In fact, he stated that if you want to get a jolt of 1990's nostalgia, put on your favorite one-hit wonder from the 1990's like Butterfly by Crazy Town and enjoy those 1990's snacks. And hey, invite your mom to hang out because she'll remember the days when she made you happy by buying you those snacks that you loved. She'd appreciate that.
9 Leave Cheap Tooth Fairy Gifts
The fact of the matter is due to inflation, moms are giving their kids more expensive Tooth Fairy gifts nowadays than they did in the 1990's. And, that is to be expected due to once again, inflation. Back in the 1990s, the average mom gave their kids one to two dollars every time the 'Tooth Fairy' rewarded their kids for losing their teeth.
And I recall when I was losing my first set of teeth, my gift was probably a quarter to 50 cents. But again, the cost of living was more expensive in the 1990's than it was in the 1980's. However, according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, surprisingly the gifts from the Tooth Fairy have dropped this year since 2016. The average gift amount back in 2016 was almost six dollars, whereas now the average gift is just over four dollars.
It is not a surprise at all since parents have to be more frugal based on the direction of the economy. And the great thing about it is that six-year-old kids' won't know any better. They'll just love the idea of the Tooth Fairy giving them a gift! So, therefore, it may get to a point where moms nowadays will be doing what moms of the 1990's did- which was giving their kids one to two dollars for losing their teeth. Times certainly are quite tough and being frugal is the way to go!
8 Snoop On The Kids' AOL Profiles
Back in the 1990's, tweens and teens had their own LiveJournal and AOL pages, and their moms knew all about those. Therefore, after their kids went to bed- by knowing that the phone line was free or was out with their friends, 90's moms would go and snoop of their kids' LiveJournal and AOL pages!
However, in those days, the internet was still in its infancy and did not give kids opportunities to be overly creative- and incredibly embarrassing. So there was not a heck of a lot that moms would really discover on those pages, most of the time anyway. But moms sure knew about them and wanted to see what their kids were up to.
Nowadays, there is more of a reason to be concerned since technology has advanced so much.
Additionally, the net can be quite dangerous for kids. According to Kids Health, parents should not only snoop on their kids' internet activities but make sure that they are parental protection software installed on their devices.
And, to always keep tabs so they can see what their kids are doing online and who they are interacting with. It is more important that they do than ever since there are so many online predators and cyber bullies around!
7 Trips To The Video Store
I remember whenever I wanted to watch a movie that I had to rent, my mother would take me to the local video store so I could decide what flick to watch. And certainly, my mom went on her own if she wanted to rent something that she wanted to see. Whenever you think of Blockbuster or any video store, you probably think of antiquity- that is because nowadays those terms are quite synonymous.
And you may be surprised to learn that there are a few Blockbuster stores around according to Fortune, but there are only five stores left in the US, and one Blockbuster store just recently closed in Alaska. So that said, moms are not taking their kids to video stores to rent movies anymore. Additionally, VHS is quite obsolete nowadays anyway- and was actually becoming that way in the 1990's when DVDs were starting to take over.
Nowadays, moms are ordering their kids movies from Netflix, and they are also watching movies from there as well. Blockbuster was a thing of the 1990's and before, and Netflix is a thing of the 21st century. But something along the way will replace that as well since it is inevitable based on how rapid technology is evolving!
6 Wearing Those Mom Jeans
If you look back at the pictures of your mom from the 1990's, you probably noticed that she wore mom jeans all the time- to the point that she was afraid that they were going to go out of style at any time. She definitely was not the only one because moms who wore these jeans intuitively knew that they would go out of style at some point. And, they were right.
However, according to Hollywood Reporter, mom jeans are making a comeback! They have been since 2016. That is because the fact of the matter is that they are quite comfortable and according to the same source, many women are confused as to why they went out of style in the first place. Especially those who really cherish the idea of wearing comfortable jeans.
So that will mean that if you decide to wear those mom jeans nowadays, and if you have young kids- they will look back at your pictures in a decade from now or so and remember you wearing those mom jeans- just like their grandmothers did in the 1990's. These jeans will probably keep making a comeback after going out of style again and again. That is my prediction.
5 Plastic Carton Lunchboxes?
Can you think back to the days whenever moms were sending their kids' school lunches in those plastic carton lunchboxes and the thermos that went along with it? Were you a kid in the 90's that have fond memories of taking those lunchboxes to school each day? Did your mom send you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as well in that box?
If so, then all of that likely brings you back to memory lane. Firstly, you won't be seeing moms give their kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches anymore because they are banned from schools since those allergies are running rampant. Secondly, these 90's lunch boxes are not used often even though you can still buy them from certain sites according to Parenting. You can find them on eBay and Amazon as well.
It is unknown whether or not these style of lunchboxes and thermos will ever come back in style, and parents today would be hesitant to send their kids to school with those.
That is because their peers may make fun of them for bringing a lunchbox that was so--- 1996, or something of that nature. However, those lunchboxes were huge back then that it was unusual for moms not to send their kids with those!
4 Giving The Kids Book Fair Money
If you were a kid in the 1990's, one memory you likely had was your mom giving you money for the book fair. However, she probably begged you not to blow all of the money she gave you on erasers that smelled like something you would get from the Body Shop. But, moms wanted their kids to enjoy the book fair, so these moms definitely gave their kids cash for the event.
The book fair has been a thing since the 1970's, according to Vox. It was an event that kids and parents looked forward to because parents liked the idea that their kids would be going to an event that involved them to read. And kids were excited about all of the fun erasers, cool pencils, and sharpeners that they could buy.
And my goodness, those erasers were so fun! I was a young kid in the 1980's and I loved going to the book fair as well, and I used to collect those cool scented and oddly shaped erasers.
I know that book fairs still were a thing in the 2000's but since my kids are no longer in elementary school, I am not sure if they are still a thing or not. I don't recall the book fair that my daughter went to was as amazing as I remember it being in the 80's and 90's.
3 Buying Into The Latest Fads
If you were a kid in the 90's, you probably remember your mom buying you Beanie Babies, Super Nintendo, Super Soakers, Koosh Balls, Tamagotchis or Virtual Pets, and who can forget those troll dolls that were so ugly that they were downright adorable! And yes, moms wanted to make sure that their kids were keeping up with the Joneses, so they spend an exorbitant amount of money on the latest ridiculous fad!
Actually, these moms who spent the money wanted to keep up with the Joneses too, because the other moms were spending just as much money on those fads in order to make sure that their kids were part of the crowd. I mean the last thing that any mom wants is their kid to stick out like a sore thumb in any way. If that meant spending a crazy amount of money on those fads in order to prevent that from happening, then that is what they did.
According to Ranker, the 1990's was a memorable decade for amazing toys. However, the 1980's was as well, which I can relate to since I was a young kid then. My mom made sure that I got the last Cabbage Patch Kid that was available when I was eight years old and she spent a crazy amount of money on that doll for the same reason that these moms in the 1990's spent tonnes of money on fads for their kids!
2 Putting Up With Caillou
When I was a child, I watched Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and the Electric Company. If you were a child in the 1990's, you probably also watched Sesame Street which has always been adorable on all levels. However, moms in the 1990's had to put up with a truly annoying kids' show that moms in the 1980's and prior to that were lucky enough to escape.
That is that mom's in the 1990's used to let their kids watch the annoying Caillou because their kids wanted to see it. If they did not see that annoying show, then chances are a tantrum was on its way!
According to Huffington Post, many parents hate Caillou for a variety of reasons ranging from the character's whiny voice to the pointless storylines.
And, many parents went as far to create pages on Facebook that was dedicated to the parents' hatred for Caillou such as I Hate Caillou and 101 Reasons That I Hate Caillou. Wow! And a mom actually went so far to successfully block Caillou from Netflix.
The hatred of this character and show started in the 1990's when it came out, and it certainly continues on for today. And I have to say I agree with these parents.
1 Cookie Cakes On Cookie Cakes
If you remember one thing that your mom did in the 1990's, is that she made sure that she had her own supply of SnackWell's Devil's Food Cookie Cakes in the cupboard. She probably did what she could to keep it away from you and your siblings because those were her own treats! And these treats still exist, but they just are not the same as they were back in the 1990's since they represented those times.
According to the Chicago Tribune, due to the health craze as a result of awareness of how harmful processed food happens to be- these snacks are no longer made of fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or preservatives- and are fat-free. Those who loved these snacks from the 1990's were upset about this changed but they reported that they are still good. They obviously are not as tasty nowadays since the bad stuff was taken out. But they are doable.
That is because unlike the 1990's and prior, many people are quite health conscious today. Back in 2013, Back to Nature Foods Company acquired SnackWell's and wanted to make these changes so these snacks would appeal to those who care about what they are consuming. Things certainly have changed!
References: CPSC.gov, MentalFloss.com, Parenting.com, Plus.net, Vox.com, Ranker.com, KidsHealth.org, NationalPost.com, The Manual.com, HuffingtonPost.com, HollywoodReporter.com, ChicagoTribune.com, Pewinternet.org