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Our Parents Did What?!


A Tour of the Parenting Perils of Yesteryear


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A Tour of the Parenting Perils of Yesteryear







It's our final episode of season 2!! And we're going out in a flash - flash photography, that is. In this extra long final episode, we're discussing the history of photography from the Victorian Era all the way up to the fabled mall photography of the 90s. Thank you for joining us for these past 55 episodes. We'll see you again in 2023!


Mini Episode - Bill Nye the Science Guy

No one makes science as cool and relatable as the one and only Bill Nye. He brought scientific concepts to the children of the 90s in a way that has stuck with that generation. Jen gives some background into how Bill Nye got into children's edutainment and some of his other very impressive accolades.


Body Image

Rounding out our series of puberty episodes, Diane gives us some facts about body image, the effects of social media on how teenage girls see themselves, and why teenagers are so darn stinky. We'll also do our best to give you some resources to help you navigate these conversations if you are getting ready to have the puberty talk with one of your kids. We hope these last few episodes have helped you get a bit more comfortable with the topic of puberty so that we can all do better than previous generations when it comes to preparing our kids to navigate these years.


Mini Episode - Boy Meets World

This week, Diane tells us all about one of her most favorite shows from her childhood, Boy Meets World. We talk about the themes the show dared to explore, and those that it was too timid to embrace. It is a real piece of 90s history, capturing what Friday night programming was for our generation. Until next time, in the words of Mr. Feeny, "Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good."


Rites of Passage

In the second installment of our series of puberty episodes, Jen provides some details into how first periods are celebrated throughout the world. We also take some time to look at the history of how boys become men from all different cultures. One thing's for certain, we are a species obsessed with pain.


Mini Episode - Wishbone

Talking animals were all the rage in the 90s, and this left the door wide open for the edutainment masterpiece that was Wishbone. This PBS show featured Soccer, the Jack Russell Terrier, as the titular Wishbone who would "imagine" himself into pieces of classic literature - period costumes and all. We dare you to find an older Millennial who is obsessed with BBC's Pride and Prejudice who wasn't also raised on this debonaire pup.



It's that time! Our podcast has reached puberty (we're over 50 episodes in, so this arbitrarily feels like our teen years) and to celebrate, we're spending the next few episodes exploring the history and cultural significance of puberty. In this first episode, Jen tells us all about the innovative, strange, and often gross practices and beliefs around menstruation. Diane and Jen are on a mission to normalize periods, so this episode is frank and lighthearted about a topic that is often anything but.


Mini Episode - TGIF

TGIF was a staple in the American experience throughout the 90s. A true example of lightning in a bottle, this block of shows dominated TV ratings for over a decade and brought us some of the most memorable family sitcoms in television history. Diane goes over the inception of the TGIF format and some of the shows that enjoyed their runs as part of this iconic Friday night family tradition.



In the second half of our foray into the use of drugs in infants, babies, and children, we bring you the fascinating history of opium! This is a cure-all that's been around for as long as we've known to cultivate the poppy plant. Just when you thought you knew all of the truly horrible things done to kids in the name of childrearing, get ready for some surprises!


Mini Episode - Rugrats

This show was gauranteed to make an appearance as a mini episode at some point! Not many shows are as deeply loved as Rugrats. This was Nickelodeon in it's prime - mastering the art of balancing comedy and sincerity. Also one of the first shows that had meaningful messages and lessons for parents. Jen covers the original run and we talk a bit about the 2022 reboot!



We're back after a brief mid-season break and are bringing you two episodes on the use of highly addictive drugs as medicines for children and babies in history. In our first episode, Diane describes the various uses of cocaine. What began as a very specific surgical anesthetic, quickly became an infamous cure-all.


Mini Episode - Reading Rainbow

Today's mini episode is all about one of the most beloved PBS programs of all time, "Reading Rainbow". Lovingly brought to life by the one and only Levar Burton, it's won an embarrassing number of awards and has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as it's original audience has become parents. But you don't have to take our word for it. We'll see you next time.


The Great Depression (Part 2)

In the second half of our two-part series on The Great Depression, Diane describes some of the details of The New Deal and how government programs impacted the lives of children and families. The Great Depression was objectively awful, but that won't stop our resident ray of sunshine from finding a few silver linings.


Mini Episode - Captain Planet

Captain Planet: he's our hero! Gunna bring pollution down to zero! This show is a beloved addition to our collection of mini episodes. Jen and Diane spend this week's episode nerding out over their planeteer status from the 90s. Jen also takes us on a quick detour to learn about the fascinating woman who conceived of and created Captain Planet - the incomparable Barbara Pyle.


The Great Depression (Part 1)

In the first of our two part series on The Great Depression, Diane goes over the history of the Great Depression and how it impacted families, children, and women. There are some surprising facts that come from this time (sorry kids, you can't work more than 8 hours a day!) and you'll even get a bit of singing from both Jen and Diane.


Mini Episode - Weinerville

Jen is certain that she is living in a parallel universe this week as Diane tells her all about a television show that rings zero bells. After her mini existential crisis, Jen listens intently as Diane tells her all about Weinerville - a truly bizarre slice of 90s American television history. Come for the terrible puns, stay for the mesmerizing "puppets".



Our series on playgrounds is over, so we're taking a break this week with a one-off episode about the history and cultural significance of the hiccup! It's a nice, light episode. A bit of a palette cleanser before our next stretch, which will be a bit more grim. You've been warned!


Mini Episode - Dinosaurs

It's another mini episode! Television in the 90s offered up some truly inspired and lasting material. But few shows were as groundbreaking, beautifully executed, and timeless as Dinosaurs. In one of Jim Henson's final projects before his death, we get a show about an average family that has the bravery and foresight to tackle topics that other shows of the time often shied away from.


Playgrounds - Accessibility

In our final episode in our exploration of Playgrounds, Diane shares what she has found about making modern playgrounds accessible to all children. We also discuss the resurgence of adventure playgrounds and touch upon the dreaded topic of playground politics.


Mini Episode - Anne of Green Gables

In our third mini episode of Season 2, Diane brings us back to 1985 to remember the much beloved Canadian TV miniseries, "Anne of Green Gables". It was wildly popular then and is enjoying a bit of a nostalgic come back due to the new Netflix series, "Anne with an E".