• Leslie Crews

We’re Raising An 80’s Baby In 2021

Updated: May 9

Our children will be raised on vinyl records, VHS tapes, books, photo albums, and LEGOs. This is the decision my husband and I made for our family.

My daughter won’t know what the internet is until she’s older. She wont have an iPad, or any other tablet. I don’t want her to grow up relying on something she has to perpetually upgrade, lest it not work. When I say this to other parents, I’m generally met with skepticism followed by, “You say that now. Just wait.”

I’m encouraged not to commit to this idea so soon, since our daughter is only a few months old. I’m told that the tablet is a lifesaver and will be a peace keeper when she gets to the age where tantrums are abundant and patience are thin.

Don’t get me wrong. I know the tablet is the best babysitter money can buy. I see it’s magical powers in action every time I go grocery shopping or when sitting at a red light next to a minivan.

What these well meaning seasoned parents don’t understand, is that I’d rather my child have a massive melt down in the middle of the grocery store than to give her a tablet. Oh, and to know that her tantrum will be addressed when we get home.

She will be raised the way her father and I was raised; with books, sticks, and an imagination. I’m dead serious.

Shopping in the 80’s and 90’s looked a lot different than it does now. Grocery shopping was a family event that I loved, as a child. My mother would pack four children into a red minivan. It had bench seats (bucket seats weren’t the standard yet) and a carphone. I don’t remember her using it, but it was cool back then.

My mother pushed the grocery cart down the aisles with the four of us in perfect formation. My baby sister would sit in the front of the cart with her legs flailing and hands gripped on to the metal frame. My youngest brother stood on the bottom rail at the base of the cart. This was before there were signs warning parents of the safety risks.

The elder brother and I would hold on to the cart handle on either side of our mom.