Being a '90s kid came with its own set of parent-kid relation problems, many of which kids today would hardly understand. My brothers are eight and 10 years younger than I am respectively, and when I tell them what it was like to be a teenager in the '90s they either screw up their faces in disgust or tune out entirely. As it turns out, young people don't like stories that start with "Before Facebook..." or "Before iPhones..." But I guess listening to stories about how your parents had to walk 15 miles to school every day isn't that interesting either, so we all have our cross to bear.
The unique struggles of being a child interacting with parents in the '90s inspired a generation of eye-rollers to sigh "Whatever" and throw themselves on a bed surrounded in posters of Johnathan Taylor Thomas. It was a simpler time. Kids these days don't know how easy they've got it. Which is something my mum used to say to me, and something I'm sure my brothers will wind up saying about people who are younger than them. It seems that the universal truth of every generation of children is not knowing exactly how blessed they are. Here are '90s problems you had with your parents that would make no sense today:
1. Getting Them To Pick You Up After The Movies
When I went to the movies with friends, my parents would always give me 40 cents to call them from a payphone when the movie was over, in pre-cell phone era. But then, there was no telling if the traffic would be bad or they'd be slow leaving the house. So I could be waiting for a while in the meeting spot we'd determined. A while, when you're a kid, feels more like forever. But if I didn't wait in the exact spot, and they tried to find me, and then I tried to find them — well, that was a special kind of sh*t show.
2. The Single Phone Line
No child today will ever understand what it was like to argue with your parents about needing to use the phone while they were on the Internet, or vice-versa. This was a uniquely '90s (bleeding slightly into the early '00s) issue.
3. Your Cell Phone Bill
This is one for those of us who were given a face-sized Nokia for our sixteenth birthday for "making calls." Because people used to call. When texting became a "thing," you were charged per text message. There was no iMessage harnessing the power of the Internet to send text like chat, essentially for free with your phone plan. This resulted in many a parent shutting cell phone use the hell down.
4. The Belly Button Piercing Argument
A young Britney Spears might be responsible for a generation of tween girls desperately wanting belly button piercings. This is an ongoing fight nearly every girl in the '90s had with her parents, and one that's significantly less common now that we're way more interested in ombré-ing our hair.
5. The Rewinding Issue
This isn't just parent-specific, but anyone you co-habited with in the '90s, so includes your siblings. Nothing caused a blow up quite like a music or video tape that hadn't been rewound all the way after listening/viewing. Because as you'll remember, rewinding was THE ACTUAL WORST.
6. The Parental Advisory Sticker
These days, kids just download music or watch it on YouTube or stream it directly through some app. In the '90s, we had to put the tapes and then CDs (yes, tapes and CDs) we wanted on our Christmas wish lists. And you better believe we weren't getting any of the ones with the parental advisory warning stickers on them. And Jagged Little Pill came with a parental advisory. Thanks for nothing, Alanis.
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