Have you ever wondered what kind of dad you would be if you grew up in another decade? Growing up in the ‘80s had its challenges, and those challenges created some excellent fathers.
The days of Beaver Cleaver homes have passed and were no more in the ‘80s. Many families had both parents working because we were in one of the worst recessions to face this country. As a result, we often raised ourselves, and if we were the oldest, we were raising our siblings to boot.
And now we’re the dads, and honestly, we’re pretty sure we wouldn’t be such great dads if not for our wild and crazy stint in that unforgettable decade. As an ode to the wondrous ‘80s, here are our top six ways growing up in the ‘80s made us awesome Dads.
1. We’re More Aware
We got to grow up in a time where the study of a child’s brain and how it developed began. And what did we learn? We learned how incredibly important it is to not just be a provider, but also be intentional with our kids and spend quality time with them. We learned, while our own Dads worked a lot, that being home and being involved mattered far more than our parent’s generation thought. And don’t get us wrong, our parents did great! We now know, however, how we can do even better.
Whether we are a single Dads, or married- we know that time spent with our kids is vitally important. This is why we don’t just “kind of” spend time with the kids after work. We take off our shoes and sign into “second shift” and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Also, can we just say “major hats off “to you single Dads! We don’t know how you do it, but we want to come alongside you and be part of your “village.” That’s why Fathers Eve raises funds to support single dads. Don’t forget to find a group of dads to meet up with. You can find all sorts of fun groups by going here.
2. We Had the Best Video Games
So we’re not trying to be biased, but the video games of the ‘80s were pretty much the best. What a time to be alive, right?
We grew up with games like Mario Brothers, Tetris, and Zelda. These charming games were fun for a rainy day and consisted of princess-saving, logic, and good ‘ol innocent fun.
While we’re not against the video games of now because if we’re honest, we’re playing Minecraft too, we just love and miss those early days. They were so simple, pixelated, and so fun.
Fun Tip: If you miss those days too, grab the guys and go the website that has all the older games you can play for free. You can thank us later.
3. We Listen Instead of Censor
MTV. It was the one channel that our parents banned us from watching. It would “rot” our brains and certainly had no value to us. And at the time we couldn’t argue their logic because it was so new.
So we did what most kids did, we watched MTV anyways when Mom and Dad were at work. There were no tracking apps, no parental controls, and no reason to not check out that new channel.
30 years later and we’ve realized something. MTV didn’t rot our brains, in fact, it inspired us and we’re thankful for it (can’t say that it’s still inspiring the youth, however). We’re also normal human beings that are productive members of society so we’ve seen that, though not our parents favorite channel, it wasn’t as horrible as they expect.
This means that, while we may want to ban some things from our kids, we should probably hear them out and see why they like it first. Chances are whatever it is, it won’t be a big deal in 30 years.
Fun Tip: Plan an 80’s MTV themed party with the guys or even all the families. You’re sure to get some fun costumes and if we’re honest, the music will be totally stellar.
4. We Love Dinner Time with No TV
Family nights growing up were TV dinners and watching all the shows that seem to be coming back like “Full House,” “Roseanne,” and even the movie “The Karate Kid.”
Now, however, we have dinners outside made on the grill or inside at the table, instead of TV dinners (we don’t even want to know what all the salt and preservatives did to our bodies). Obviously, we’re human and might still watch Netflix on different devices at times, but having that homemade and healthy dinner together is vitally important.
Fun Tip: Host a BBQ at your place and have some quality time with the Dads in your life. Turn off the devices and if it’s nice out- play a card game or two.
5. We Set the Standard for Quality Family TV Shows
Kids watching TV wasn’t too much of a concern in the ‘80s. We could put our trust in family programming. Public television was doing us a solid with “Mr. Rogers” and “Sesame Street,” as they were educational and entertaining.
Today, however, we need to screen more shows and make sure there’s no conflicting agenda, no cursing, no sex, and pretty much no behavior we would not want from our kids.
So we know to screen what our kids are watching- this doesn’t mean we censor everything, but instead talk to our kids and prepare them if we think it might be OK. Thankfully, however, the shows of our youth are making a comeback and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
Fun Tip: Head on over to Youtube and show your kids some of the classic shows you grew up on
6. We Let Our Kids Be
In the ‘80s, we grabbed our bikes and left the house only to come home when the street lights turned on. We got ourselves into all kinds of “pickles” that our parents didn’t even learn about until we were grown and out of the house. We learned to act fast, push the limits, and never ever tell Mom.
Sadly today the world isn’t a place where we can just send our kids outside all day. However, we know how important that free time was to our growth and learning so while we need to be more mindful of dangers, we also know to provide for them a safe boundary where they can just be free.
Awesome Dads, Awesome Kids
While we might be biased, we’re pretty thankful for growing up in that decade where everything seemed to change right before our eyes. The 80’s helped form our idea of fatherhood, and we couldn’t be more glad about it.
As a father, whatever choices you have made on how you parent, Fathers Eve applauds your dedication to your children. Fathers do their best with the tools given to you, regardless of era. Being vigilant and present is a choice every father must make for your kids. Come hang out with us at the next Father’s Eve event near you. Fathers Eve celebrates all walks of fatherhood.