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A Day-Glo guide to parenting like it’s 1985 again

The mention of a “playdate” would have resulted in an eruption of laughter

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Parents in the ’80s were responsible for dropping off and picking up their kids at a friend’s house — and that’s only assuming the destination couldn’t be reached by bike or on roller skates. Parents didn’t call one another to plan formal playdates at the park or an indoor bouncy house that charges $25 an hour. Kids plotted and schemed among themselves, and then, at the absolute last moment, let their parents in on their play plans.

Your kids heard everything

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With one phone in your house and a cord that barely extended past the kitchen, the ’80s were the golden age of eavesdropping for kids intent on learning everything they could about the secret lives of adults. Your child couldn’t learn about sex or the menstrual cycle on Google, but she knew all the details about Aunt Christine’s divorce and affair with that pilot before her 10th birthday.

Meals weren’t always the healthiest

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We’ve become a non-GMO and quinoa-obsessed society — which is great because, in all seriousness, lots of ’80s parents fed their kids foods that looked like they were created in a nuclear power plant. Microwave dinners were a godsend for parents who worked late hours and the latchkey kids who were only too happy to have all of that sweet, free afternoon time. There was no shame in sending your kid to school with a bologna and cheese sandwich and a bag of Pizzarias. But breakfast cereals took the cake. There was no need for a parent to get up any earlier than 10 on a weekend morning, because they knew their kid could handle pouring himself a bowl of Mr. T, Smurf-Berry Crunch or Rocky Road cereal (for real, this existed).

Your workout looked a lot like this

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Moms and dads these days split parental duties so they can clock in precious hours at the gym. It’s not that Lucille Roberts wasn’t crazy popular in the ’80s; it’s that the gym wasn’t considered better or worse than your typical aerobics jazzercise VHS tape — thigh-high cut leotard totally necessary.

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