27 Fun Things Seen At Schools In The 1980s

As a tribute to the upcoming school year I thought that we should take a trip down memory lane. As a result, I have rounded up several fun items which would remind any child of the 1980’s of the things that they would see at school. If you were a cool 80’s kid then you will probably remember seeing these things at school too.

boys bike

The cool kids got to ride to school in style. Most of us had to walk. At least in my small town that’s how it was.

eastlands

Whether you walked or rode to school these Eastland shoes would line the hallways every day.

reebok

Or there were these popular colored Reebok high-tops!

vintage nintendo backback mario 1980s

Many young boys would tote a Mario bag in route to school to hang on their hook in the classroom.

vintage smurf backback 1980s school

This Smurf messenger bag is one of my personal favorites from the early 1980’s!

1980s charm necklace

These necklaces filled with charms were quite a hit! You could hear kids jingling through the halls as they walked and they were quite popular for trading. 

chinese jumprope

When it came to recess…. if kids weren’t  found playing football, dodge-ball, red-rover, or kickball they would be seen playing Chinese jump rope. And of course there was still an option for break dancing or double-dutch. 

sammy sosa card

The cool boys would have baseball or football cards to trade with one another while the girls were busy trading their charms for their necklaces.

1980s snap bracelets

These snap bracelets were a hit alright. You could legally hit your classmates with them. The trick was to see who got the biggest welt.

glitter bracelets

These water filled glitter bracelets were also pretty popular. Although it was short-lived. I remember them being recalled because some kid thought it would be great to drink the contents. Soon after they were discontinued and jelly bracelets began rising back up the charts in sales.

coca cola shirt

It seemed as though everyone had a shirt from coke. On second thought, Hard Rock Cafe attire was pretty popular too.

jelly purse 1980s

Young ladies would carry these handbags in the early to mid 1980’s. We called them jelly purses, but there was nothing jelly about them. They were however a must have accessory and one of my absolute favorites.

push pencils

color pens

Hello….. Cool pens and pencils! It was a tragedy if you lost one of the little lead pieces. And the pens usually broke from multiple attempts to make all of the colors write at once. 

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No matter how cool your pencils were, for tests and such everyone sharpened with this style of sharpener. They were commonly hanging near the blackboards.
school box 1980s

To hold those pens and pencils was this widely seen pencil box. The second most popular boxes used for pencils and such were empty cigar boxes! They were sturdy and they lasted the whole school year! 

crayola crayons 1980s

The rich kids got to get the boxes of crayons with the built-in sharpeners on the side. The rest of us carried these. We were basically were given a consolation prize… the plastic container. But since they were not rose art we were still in the cool club.

1980s vintage trapper keeper

Long gone are the days of these awesome Trapper Keepers! Some schools would sell them in the front office. They also sold tablets of paper and pencils you could buy from a machine. Printed pencils became quite popular.

1980s calculator

Most students had one of these around. I am not certain why because we weren’t allowed to use them. We actually had to know how to do things. On paper.

typewriter

This was our computer!

projector

Before VHS players became affordable this is how we watched movies.

desk

The desks were great for storage! They made it difficult to cheat off of a classmate on tests. It was also tricky to sneak in them because they had worn hinges that needed oiled. So if you were not supposed to be in your desk, you had better keep it shut.

scented markers

These scented markers were loved by many! But there is some bad news about them. They were often used to catch a little buzz when sniffing the scents for too long.

These markers in the picture and the rubber cement we used in class were America’s true gateway drugs. It began in elementary school in the 1980’s and has been a highly guarded secret.

lunch boxes

After the rubber cement and marker buzzes wore off children would assemble themselves for lunch. Those kids who packed a lunch often came to school with these awesome lunch boxes!

lunch tray

Even the kids who packed their lunch would choose to buy the school food on pizza day. It was a day many looked forward to on the school lunch calendar. 

paddle

Back in those days, if you misbehaved in any way or disrespected your peers, elders, etc. then your name went on the wall of shame. The principal was called, the paddle was presented, and your hands went on the wall. Needless to say, it didn’t happen often.

vintage chalk holder

After being paddled or disciplined one could expect to be writing their apologies on the chalkboard repeatedly for the entire class to read. They would be writing at recess, or perhaps after school. (And they were not allowed to use this chalk holder!)

I could continue this list for quite some time. Aside from the last two items, the rest remind me of fun times at school in the 1980’s. The only fun part about the last two I mentioned, was if you were watching it happen to someone other than yourself.

What fun things do you remember about going to school in the 1980’s?

Life With Alcoholics- Lesson #3843

image

I’ve spent twenty years of my life trying to understand alcoholism. I have gone to Alanon for families who deal with alcoholics. I’ve tried a more spiritual route such as prayer and church. I have read articles, books, and case studies.

I retired in my role as the provoker years ago. And I have exhausted myself as the martyr in recent years. Oh yes the martyrs. They are the ones who hope there is a day of awakening for the alcoholics in their life. Those that they either love or have loved.

The martyr has moments of hoping there will be a day the alcoholic feels bad for the deeds they have done. They just want to see apologies and recovery. Most of all, they want healing.

I have gone head to head with the ones who maintain the roles of being “the rescuer”. Years ago I was considered the rescuer too, so perhaps that is why their rescuing affects me like it does. I’d clean up the messes, apologize for many horrific social scenes of drunken stupor and I’d make excuses for the drunkenness all the time.

Over the course of time I got sick of being the provoker. I was tired of demanding respect, maturity, love and so forth. I got tired of telling stories of the things I would wake up to. I was tired of feeling embarrassed, mistreated, and unloved. So, I went on strike after that.

To me, the rescuers seem just as bad as the alcoholics themselves. They appear to have every excuse under the sun for the behavior of the alcoholic. Nothing is the alcoholics fault. And I mean nothing. Everything is blamed on people in the past or present days of the alcoholics life.

The rescuers claim they love their alcoholic but tough love has gone astray. They can’t find it no matter how hard they look. And they just can’t stand up to the alcoholic in effort to get them the treatment that they need.

Sometimes the alcoholic wants help but they do not have one person whom they respect to look them in the eyes and say: “Man you have a problem and you need serious help. Are you ready to get better yet? Because I can’t keep watching this. It is hurting everyone around you but mostly you!”

Questions of the day for the rescuers:

If your loved one had any other disease like Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease etc. and everyone around them could tell just by looking at them…..wouldn’t you try to help them?

Or would you make a bunch of excuses and blame others for the loved one not being in their best health? Would you claim other people gave them their disease? Would you say they had no disease regardless of their diagnosis?

Or would you continue to say: “Screw those people, they are all crazy. You’re just fine dear. Now I would help you but I just love you too much. And if I help you then that means I’d have to admit that I was wrong about you to all those people! So we will just keep this between us and go on about our business. Okay?”

Alcoholism: Perspective From An 11 Year Old Child

WARNING: This post may require some tissues.

I had the liberty of spending time with a young lady this weekend who played a music video for me. The video reminded her of her struggles with her father who is an alcoholic. 

Before she shared the video she stated:

“OMG! You have to watch this.This gives me chills. This is so me”

Now granted, I do not encourage watching many videos on this site. But in order to understand her perspective a bit more, I will ask that you watch this three minute music video and absorb the lyrics. 

As I watched and listened to the video, hearing the lyrics “That’s enough now dry your tears, it’s been a long eleven years” (among other fitting lyrics) struck a cord with me. She is in fact eleven years old. (She is still a baby ya’ll!)

She has watched people make excuses for the behavior of her alcoholic father, which are in turn lies. She is ashamed. She spent many times crying because he is drunk. She is full of frustration.

There have been so many instances of false hope for her watching him battle his disease. She watched her family divide. And then divide some more. And for some reason she blames herself!  This is not her fault! It is disheartening and it feels like someone kicked me in the gut just listening to her use her voice on the subject matter. Whew, that poor baby.

As we wrapped up our conversation of her sharing her thoughts and feelings on being the child of an alcoholic, I asked her if she would write something about it. I wanted her to share with others who struggle with the disease itself. 

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She writes this:

All of those glass bottles I witnessed being absorbed by a broken mans body taught me some lessons. I don’t think alcohol is ever the answer. If you’re broken you can’t expect other people to fix your selfish, big ego, lying butt. I grew up around lies so now it’s time for me to tell the truth.

We were young. We heard so many lies and saw many things that hurt our eyes.

My whole life so far has been like a bomb. Tick, tick, tick, tick. The representation of all the pain filling me up inside. Lies and alcohol. Pain. Then I finally found my voice. I found me. And that is when I created the explosion.

Its my fault for making the explosion. But that monster created that bomb and expected me not to light it. These next few years will be me cleaning all this up. Im glad my mom divorced him because I wont be another basic, shallow, insecure girl. That is most of this generation.

Do me a favor and find your voice. Be loud. It isn’t always bad to make an explosion.

Sincerely,

The child of an alcoholic

just walking awayIt is hard to believe that an eleven year old wrote this. She is wise beyond her years. She is strong and she is brave. And clearly at some points she is blaming herself. And we all know it is not her fault. But still she carries that cross. She is burdened.

Although we may contribute to an alcoholic’s disease in some ways we are not to blame for the illness itself. It is a mental disorder which often accompanies other mental disorders such as bi-polar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders etc. It is something that existed within the individual long before the alcoholism itself surfaced and became visible.

Alcoholism – A cancer of the heart and soul. A disease that cripples families every day. A disease that the eleven year old girl in the above passage will probably spend her entire lifetime trying to understand.

Parenthood

Parenthood family

It has no map or guideline

for the success of which we endeavor.

Oh parenthood….  with no timeline.

Once established, it should be forever.

Parenthood 

kids

Parenthood

Through the good times, the bad times,

and all the ups and downs.

Through the risks, the falls,

the giggles, smiles, and frowns.

Parenthood

A lifetime job that never ends.

Accepting one of the hardest facts, 

that you may not always be friends.

mountainParenthood

It is a sacrifice.

A willingness to go without. 

It is carrying someone else’s pain.

And seeking to destroy their doubts.

Parenthood cruise pictures 116

It is a bit of a race.

But not all parents keep track.

Please pay close attention though,

these days aren’t coming back.

bw kids

Parenthood

Is doing your best with what you’re given.

And although many take it for granted

It’s the greatest blessing among the living.

© Angela Bininger 2015

To The Mom Not Letting Him See His Child(ren)

Fit parent and parental alienation

I see it all too often, the bitter vindictive ex-wife who uses her children as a pawn. She wishes to wipe away memories of dad with her replacement husband, in hopes nobody uncovers her superficial and quite fictitious life. She alienates. She monitors everything. And boy oh boy is she clueless.

Dear Spiteful Mother,

First and foremost, you are unfit to be a parent. Anyone who would try to dictate their child’s love for a parent and prohibit visitation etc., should have the child(ren) removed from that situation immediately. Including yourself. You simply have no understanding as to what is in your child’s best interest.

I am sorry that nobody has ever made you feel loved quite enough, and that you feel a need to cling to your child as if you are the one living his/her life. His/her relationships with your ex, is not YOUR relationship with your ex. So…. get over yourself. Move on.

Your child in time will likely resent all you are doing now. And if you were not completely stuck on stupid you would understand that the more you are told you cant have or do something, the more you will want to in time. And in time, that child or those children will begin to piece things together and form their own opinions. More often than not, they flee to the parent they were forbidden to see.

I would suggest you pull your head out of your rear, and start to love yourself. Only then will you have the ability to pull off that mask you wear so well, and truly love your child(ren). Children love both of their parents. Obviously. Because despite your actions your child(ren) still love you. 

Although you may think you are winning small battles here and there, you are setting yourself up to lose the war. Because in the end, the child always resents the parent who manipulates them just as you are doing now. You are doing irreversible damage to your child(ren).

So I think it is time that you pick on someone your own size. The world has enough to deal with, and the last thing it needs….. is one more person in society that you so selfishly and willingly screwed up. 

Sincerely Yours,

A Mom Who Cares

 

Remembering Beautiful

cruise pictures 042When my children were younger and I would drive them to school we would listen to a series of songs in effort to begin our day with something positive and uplifting. (There were a few songs in this mix but these in particular were our favorites.)

The favorite songs were: I Hope by the Dixie Chicks, There’s Hope by India Irie, and of course Beautiful by Christina Aguilera.

Just hearing the songs takes me back to those car rides. The rush of getting three little people to three separate spots so I could get to work. The sports schedules, school functions, birthday parties, sleepovers etc., alone as a single mom. Those days were a different kind of busy.

Those car rides to school were actually car rides to uncertainty. We had no idea what the future held. All that we knew was that we had one another and that was always enough to carry us through. We were happy in the midst of chaos.

I reminded them daily how beautiful they are. Every school drop off ended with the words “I hope your day is as beautiful as you”. Because they are in fact beautiful people. It was just a simple reminder for them in a world that can be so harsh and cruel.

Although overall life has been very good to us, there are still those times that we all need reminded as we face life’s trials. There are those times that we all feel discouraged. There are those times where all hope seems lost. Yet somehow, we keep holding on.

It is in those moments of disparity that we are faced with a decision to let it get the best of us….. or stay positive

“We are beautiful. No matter what they say. Words can’t bring us down. So don’t you bring us down today.” Christina Aguilera

We Have To Believe, To Receive

We teach our children to believe in Santa if they want gifts from him at Christmas. We teach them to believe in the Easter Bunny despite the fact that rabbits do not lay eggs. We teach them to believe that a tooth-fairy comes and leaves a magical gift under a pillow. We teach them that in order to receive, they must believe.

Yet as we travel through life ourselves, we find ourselves no longer believing. It starts by figuring out that Santa character and far exceeds a fairy delivering gum or money when we lose a tooth. It was during those times that we began to experience true disappointment.

We then began to train ourselves; not to believe. Instead of training ourselves not to believe in anything anymore; we should think of the homeless man who made something of himself. Or the drug addict that recovered. Then of course there is the marriage that healed itself. As well as the man who couldn’t sing yet he still managed to get a record deal. 

Or better yet there is the  woman who was told that she couldn’t conceive a child; who bore a child anyway. The person who was told they would never walk again; that walked. Not to mention the person that couldn’t be healed; but they were healed anyway.

The difference between this last group of people described and those still wondering why something hasn’t changed or happened in their life yet; is that the group of people mentioned above still believed. Despite all obstacles, they believed. They found a reason, and didn’t let anyone tell them differently.

If we believe we not only receive, but we achieve.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Shared Parenting With A Controlling Parent

The following question has been asked by a reader:

What is shared parenting like when one parent is already controlling?

What most people do not realize; is that when they go to leave a controlling person  the control does not  stop there. Especially in regards to a divorce with minor children. Often the children are used as pawns. They are bribed, manipulated, and in some cases completely brainwashed.

In today’s court systems; shared parenting seems to be the most common agreement reached in regards to custody. In some cases, it should be named shared chaos. I don’t find these agreements to be appropriate in cases where there have been control issues. It is only setting up the stage for a show that the children will never forget. “If the two parents couldn’t agree and cooperate married, odds are they never will. There will always be hiccups.”

The controlling person may not show up when they say to pick up or return the children. He/She may not return their child’s calls. And often times, he/she uses mind games with the children to get his/her digs in on you. It is a sick game that they play, and often feels to those being controlled as though they are imprisoned. They got away from the environment, and away from the person. Yet still today, that person manages to control them with the children they share.

Examples of control issues post decree:

You have planned a day with the children. The other parent is fully aware. He/she decides you can’t have the kids that day at the last-minute. Now he/she is in control again.

He/she knows that you have a busy day. It is his/her day with the children. Suddenly you get a call from your child/children asking if you can keep them on the other parents parenting time. Of course, you say yes. But then find yourself wondering how you will ever get everything done now, who will babysit, etc. The controlling person has just caused you to get worked up, and he/she wins!

He/She tells the children things such as : “NO, you can’t go see your mom/dad it is MY week!” Or better yet,” NO, you can’t call your mom/dad!” I have read in countless books that this is the absolute worst thing for any parent to do. Interfering with their relationship with the other parent will cause deep seeded issues. They need to figure out who is who, themselves. Nine times out of ten the child as an adult will resent the parent that interfered.

When a person has issues with control and their partner walks away; they begin to lose control themselves. The children this now divorced couple share are the controlling person’s only way left to control their former partner. Whether it be mind games with the kids  or you; the control does not typically stop just by filing for a divorce and divorcing.

In time the intensity of the control may cease but time is the key factor.  It is usually when the children are grown and have finally find their voice to speak up for themselves. This typically does not bring favorable results for the parent with control issues. SO meanwhile, just bite your tongue whenever necessary and bide your time.

Until a controlling person discovers who they are and solve the issues that turned them into a controlling person in the first place; things will be as they have always been. Stressful and overbearing.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Are You Teaching Your Kid To Lie?

I have always said:

“If we ever want to know the truth about something we must simply ask a young child.”

 

Children naturally tell the truth until taught to do otherwise. They say exactly what is on their mind and exactly what they feel. From temper tantrums to screaming their feelings or simply talking, children have a way of not holding back on their thoughts and feelings.

A young child will tell us if we got a bad hair cut, or if our shoes aren’t working with our attire. They will tell us if we have gained or lost weight, as well as how mom and dad really are. Unless children are being trained to be emotionally dishonest they will most generally tell the truth.

With children being as honest as they are it leaves one to wonder how lying begins.

What creates a liar? And how do we as a society create less liars and instead create more acceptance for others and their emotions?

As people we are taught at a young age to be emotionally dishonest with ourselves. We are told to say please and thank you whether we mean it or not. We are forced to say that we are feeling fine when that may not actually be the case. We are taught not to voice our opinions and at other times told to speak up. All of these things we are taught; when once upon a time we had the ability to be emotionally honest with ourselves and the world around us.

Because we train children and each other to be emotionally dishonest we have more or less created a world of liars. We wonder why people hide from their emotions, and why they lie to themselves. We wonder why people are not honest with people in their lives. When in reality, everyone is just doing what they were taught and told to do.

When we expect someone to think like us, feel like us, and react like we would we are merely creating a person who is afraid to be who they are. This causes a person to build walls and become distant. This puts a gap in the relationship, and is the beginning of not knowing that person anymore. That person begins to find friends and people in the world that accepts him/her as he/she is. They surround themselves with people who make them feel at ease. Somewhere that they do not need to wear a mask. A place where they can simply be themselves.

I will hear parents ask or say: “Who is this child?”, “What happened to him/her?”  “I didn’t raise him/her that way!” and a series of other questions or statements  when they realize their child has become a manipulative lying teenager. People making these statements are often unaware of their contribution in making that child be emotionally dishonest with himself/herself. Once emotional honesty vs. emotional dishonesty is approached by that parent, it will be easier for that parent to not only cope, but also correct the behavior in the child before it carries over into that child’s adulthood.

Once we grasp the concept of emotional honesty and the benefits of it, it becomes easier to see situations more clearly. 

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Are You Leaving a Legacy, Or a Liability?

As parents we all want what is best for our children. However, what some parents fail to realize in terms of co-dependent children is that they are no longer leaving a legacy, but yet, a liability.

By leaving a legacy one must raise self-sufficient children. They should be children capable of making their own wise and practical decisions upon adulthood. They should be children who feel compelled to do more with their life than the previous generation. And most importantly, they should be emotionally healthy children who feel they can be who they are, not who we imagined or wanted them to be.

Examples:

Just because we have run the family business, doesn’t mean we should expect our children to take over someday. They will likely have plans of their own.

Just because we played a particular sport and excelled, doesn’t mean we should force our children to play it if they have no interest.

Just because they dream the impossible, doesn’t mean we should squash their dreams.

Our job is to encourage their successes, and help guide them when they encounter failure. It is to teach them how to handle their own relationships vs., being a dictator for their relationships. Our job is tough, but to raise healthy children with the ability to maintain healthy adult relationships, we must push them to do well. We must teach them to put forth effort. We must help them learn to look at the big picture.

Signs of leaving a liability:

The adult child comes to you for every one of life’s hurdles.

The adult child now expects the parent to take care of financial responsibilities.

The adult child now expects parents to bail them out.

The adult child now has no insight.

The adult child now has dependency issues aside from their relationship with their parents. Most likely chemical dependencies.

The adult child is now angry.

The adult child, will then likely leave another liability for their children. And the trend continues. However, there are ways to avoid leaving a liability. And there are proven ways to leave a legacy. Proven ways to leave a legacy are as follows:

Encourage and comfort your children.

Listen to their feelings and respect that they have their own minds, and opinions.

Do not try to control who they are, better yet guide them to where they should be.

Allow them to suffer consequences of their actions. They need tough love. They have their own friends to be best friends with.

And most importantly, practice what you preach. Be a good role model.

I once heard a saying from a parent that said : Well I guess if I was your best friend, and you loved me all the time; then I wouldn’t be a very good parent. And I agree with that statement. There will be times our children do not agree with our decisions in parenting. There will be times they do not understand our reasoning and we find ourselves saying what we once heard: Someday you will understand….when you have kids of your own.

These days I see more parents trying to be best buddies with their kids. They are there to rescue them from situations the kids/adult children put themselves into. Rather than showing tough love so lessons can be learned, they throw them preserver after preserver.

Tough love is absolutely the hardest step for people to take in any forms of relationships. But without it, we leave a liability. We should be leaving a legacy instead. We should be allowing our children to live their own life, and a life that they are proud of. An honest life, and a life with an abundance of good people with direction.

Are you leaving a legacy or a liability? Are you teaching bad habits? Or are you setting a good example instead? The quote that children learn what they live, has much insight. What are your children learning from you?

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.