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Why '90s TV Shows Had the Best Parenting Lessons

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The '90s was the bomb diggity. It was a time of dope phrases (see the first sentence), comfortable fashion and the beginning of the World Wide Web. Growing up in the '90s, we weren't glued to our iPads or busy Snapchatting our friends. No, we were doing other things like getting our hair cut like Rachel and then shopping for more flannel while we listened to Smashing Pumpkins on our Sony Walkman portable CD players. And we were also watching really great TV shows.

Now, as I'm all grown up with kids of my own, I realize that many of my favorite shows from that decade taught some pretty valuable lessons in parenting.

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"Fresh Prince of Bel Air"

1. Always lay it down like Aunt Viv

She was a strong, confident woman and mother who told it like it was, supported her kids, but also held them accountable. Oh yeah, and she slayed it on the dance floor.

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2. Your past does not define you

Aunt Viv went from high school drop out to well-respected professor. Uncle Phil witnessed the turmoil and hardships of the Civil Rights Movement as an activist and worked his way to being a judge. It doesn't matter whether you're from the streets of West Philly or a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles, you have the ability to be great and do great things.

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3. Be kind, but firm

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4. It's always a good time for a family dance party

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"The Wonder Years"

5. There's little you can do as parents to make the teenage years less awkward for your kids

But the important thing is to teach them that they'll get over it, and it doesn't matter what others think.

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6. Do all you can to give your kids a childhood full of happy memories

Kevin Arnold said in one of his narrative musings, "Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you're in diapers, the next day you're gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house like other houses, a yard like a lot of other yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back, with wonder."

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"Family Matters"

7. Teach your children to be themselves

Celebrate being unique! Remember when Steve tampered with his DNA using a serum called "Boss Sauce" and created the cooler, smoother alter-ego Stefan Urquelle in hopes of winning Laura's heart? Laura chose Steve, in all his nerdiness, for who he really was in the end.

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"Beavis and Butthead"

8. Do not raise assholes

"My So-Called Life"

9. If your daughter meets someone as dreamy as Jordan Catalano, there's nothing you can do to stop it

Every teenager has that one love that crushes their soul. Mine was, well, Jordan Catalano.

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"Doogie Howser, M.D."

10. Sometimes your kids know better than you

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11. Parenting requires a good sense of humor

Roseanne Conner dived into all sorts of family challenges with humor. And sarcasm. And that loud, cackling laughter that made us love her even more.

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12. Make your marriage a priority

Dan and Roseanne Conner were a great duo who took ond family issues as a team. They worked to support one another and keep their relationship fun and interesting.

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"Saved By the Bell"

13. Don't put so much pressure on your child to do well in school that they take caffeine pills to keep up with their school work and end up having a mental breakdown.

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"Full House"

14. Be ready to take on anything

If you don't feel ready, fool everyone with a snappy catchphrase.

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15. Keep kids away from scissors

Lest your niece accidentally cuts off a chunk of your precious mullet. Or maybe, just don't have a mullet.

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16. Family is everything

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