In no way, shape or form do I consider myself old-fashioned. I feel that I am a trendy, with-the-times kind of girl. I realize things evolve or change and you have to roll with the punches. But that doesn't mean you should forget about the classic oldies but goodies.
What got me thinking about this column was a conversation I had about a month ago. I was talking to some of my dance students about my high school boyfriend. I was telling them about all the cute stuff he did for me, including the mixed CD he made me for our anniversary. They all said, "Huh? A what?" I almost cried.
I know I have written about the mixed CD before, but this is just one example of a classic, heartfelt gift that has now faded away in the days of iPods and MP3 players. If our generation didn't have mixed CDs, or dare I say mixed tapes, what would we have given to our love interest on Valentine's Day?
So, I feel that it is my duty, as the forever coolest aunt in Trumbull County, to share with other adults things they need to make sure they raise their children to not forget, or even better, to bring back. Because like bell-bottom pants and leggings, everything comes back for a second round.
First, classic board games are essential to any youth development. Sure, there are the cool high-tech games now like the Nintendo DS, the Wii and other video gaming equipment, but when was the last time any of the youth around here played a spirited game of Shoots and Ladders?
I remember one Christmas, I got my own Sweet Valley High board game, and I couldn't have been happier. My girlfriends and I played that for hours on end. And it wasn't just girly games. We played Clue, Operation, Life, Monopoly, and those games would literally keep us occupied from morning until night.
These games of our childhood were classics, and though it might be the cool thing to go Wii bowling, it is even cooler to figure out that it was Miss Scarlet in the billiard room with the lead pipe.
Secondly, making sure the youth have a well-rounded music base is a must. Though different households may fancy different genres, it is a must to know the classics. Whether it's the Temptations, the Rolling Stones, Notorious B.I.G. or Garth Brooks, make sure more than Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers are played.
On that note, classic movies don't die either. Now, I'm not saying you need to show a 3-year-old "The Godfather" and "Scarface," but even classic Disney movies should be seen by all children. So while your young child is begging you to drop a small fortune at the movie theater to go see "Hotel for Dogs," it might be worth it to save some money and show them "Lady and the Tramp." They were dogs, she lived in a house bigger than a hotel so the similarities are all there. And then when they are old enough, introduce "The Godfather" and "Scarface," and of course, don't forget "Bull Durham."
And finally, though acting older than your age is the cool thing for kids to do these days, make sure that kids stay kids. I know every parent says they plan to keep their kids young for as long as possible, but every day, kids younger and younger seem to know and do more and more.
So parents, aunts, uncles, cool older people, listen up. Play board games. Talk to them about the days when you actually went to the roller rink to roller skate. And make them a mix CD. Put on all the classics so they know what the music was like back in the day. Who knows, they might try to bring it back.
Dana is a sports writer at the Tribune. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org