Top Ten Ways You Know You’re a Gen X Parental Unit

We interrupt these regularly scheduled naps to bring you the lamentations that have been kicking around in my head this week, as I realize that I am officially no longer cool.

Top 10 Ways You Know You’re a Gen X Parental Unit

Def Leppard comes on the radio in your car, and you’re torn between closing the window in shame or rolling the window down and turning up the volume.

You accept Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones video games as a fair vehicle with which to introduce the best trilogies of all time to your kids, and you’re still in denial about the unmentionable movies that came after the trilogies.

Your kid owns an Atari t-shirt just like yours and a pair of checkered vans that you find amusing, but in which you would not be caught dead.

Your children wear helmets to ride on a flat surface, in a cul de sac, on a scooter, but you used to plunge down the steepest hill in the neighborhood, bareheaded, while riding on the handlebars of somebody else’s banana seat bike.

You boast on Facebook that your kid refused his children’s music and asked to listen to Weezer or They Might Be Giants.

Your kid is dancing in his underwear, so you tweet that Risky Business is being replayed at your house.

You love John Hughes because he saw high school for what it was and Joss Whedon because he saw it as it should have been.

Your go-to example of living on the edge is eating pop rocks while drinking Coke.

You can’t understand why your kid stares, blank-faced, when you joke about his Christmas request with, “You’ll shoot yer eye out!”

You pull out your favorite childhood books, only to discover that they are politically incorrect, except for Dr. Seuss which turns out to be full of thinly veiled social and political commentary. Then you’re stuck reading them to your kid every night.

Please. Atari was the best EVER.

Update: Come see what the very funny Jeff Kart had to say about this post on TLC’s Parentables!

21 Replies to “Top Ten Ways You Know You’re a Gen X Parental Unit”

  1. I listen to a radio station that plays 80’s at 8. We’re always in the car between 8 and 9 AM and I am always singing along to songs whose content is wholly inappropriate for my children. It’s my right. I grew up hearing my parent’s 50’s music. My children will know as many 80’s songs as I know 50’s. Which is, like, every single one.

    Saw the Muppet movie yesterday. Just us and one other family. Me and the other mom and dad laughed through the whole thing. The kids squirmed and kept looking at us funny. At the end I felt like I knew those other parents the way you feel like you know any American you meet when you live abroad.

    1. Thanks to a brief trial of XM radio that came with our car, I listen to the Eighties on 8 (it’s a channel) and what I find weird is that, with all the songs they could play, they seem to play the same ones over and over again. Enough with the Phil Collins! I know that many will differ with me here, but I could forget that part of the eighties, gladly. I am, however, discovering that I am liable to embarrass myself by singing along to Hall & Oates (shame).

  2. I more often than not catch my two year old walking around playing singing “I’m hot sticky sweet from my head to my feet yeahhhhh”. Her then 3 year old sister who is now 5 used to sing ” shake the bottle, shake it up” everytime I made a bottle! I questioned my choice of music and parenting more than once. I tried Wheels on the Bus, I can’t help it if they told me to change the song!

  3. As a Gen X Mom, I always refused to allow my kids to listen to kiddie music, though I did let them enjoy Bear in the Big Blue House music (kids toddlers circa 2001-2003) because it had a lot of humor to it that adults would get–that mouse was HILAROUS! And an occasional Raffi’s “Joshua Giraffe” (Nothing can go wrong, I’m in the Congo!—hilarious!) But largely, they were introduced to Everything But the Girl, Depeche Mode, Culture Club, The Cure, Wham, Duran Duran and other New Wave Pop Bands. Those were my favorites, but I didn’t stop there, they know The Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, ALL SORTS OF MUSIC …oh and my younger childhood favorites, THE OSMONDS instead of the kiddie drivel. I always cringed at moms who succumed to that stuff and felt sorry for them that they couldn’t stand up against the kiddie music machine…where is their backbone? Kidz Bop—NO FREAKING WAY!!!

  4. Companies are capitalizing on us as well. I bought my 2 year old a Social D Mommy’s Little Monster shirt in his size. Such a proud mama. 🙂 And he has the vans too.

  5. We discovered Super Mario Bros 3 for the Wii. And my 10 year old inherited my brother’s old SMB t-shirt collection. And then there is my 5 year old who can belt out any Big Hair Band song like he wrote them… Sooo soo proud.

  6. My daughter’s favorite bands, just like mine, are The Killers and MUSE. On the first day of first grade she told her teacher that he favorite song was “the bourbon song by the killers”. I had to explain that one.

    1. Too funny! My kids haven’t yet attached themselves to any music (kid or otherwise) but I can see how that would happen!

  7. Love your list…my kids have on their ipods…the Beatles, the Eagles, Bob Seger, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Poison, Bobby McFarrin…and so much more…I have taught them well 🙂 There is nothing like hearing them belt out Hotel California or Bohemian Rhapsody in the car. Gotta love it. I’m on the older side of the Gen X parents, but we like what we like.

    1. My Dad listened to the Beatles, but my mom was all ABBA and Linda Rondstadt! More of a pop upbringing for me. I’m an Atari-wave X’er, though. I’m with you!

  8. Bon Jovi in this house is often belted out by the youngest in this house. And my six year old has a School House Rock tee. Ahhh, looove the 80s. Thanks for making me laugh and feel old at the same time.

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