One of the most consistent memories I have from my childhood is sitting down in front of the TV on Friday nights with my sisters as we watched Full House, Family Matters, and Step by Step. We also watched The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Cosby Show, and Home Improvement on other nights. Throw in some Saved by the Bell on Saturday mornings and I’ve hit all the major television shows from my childhood.
I don’t remember my parents ever having any concerns about the television shows that we watched. The only two shows that we weren’t allowed to watch were Roseanne and The Simpsons. Although we were banned, we still caught them every once in a while whenever my parents were gone, but in the end we didn’t like those shows anyway.
In the mornings now, I’ll come downstairs to get ready for work and find Addie glued to the TV watching re-runs of those old shows. Her favorite old show is The Cosby Show followed closely by Family Matters.
Those types of shows seem to be extinct now. There are some good sitcoms that Casey and I watch, but there aren’t any that I’d consider watching with Addie. They’re just too suggestive for me to feel comfortable with her watching. There are also lots of shows that are targeted for kids Addie’s age that Addie loves—I call them teen-based TV shows because they’re shows centered around weird teen drama.
There was a period of about three months when Addie would give up playing outside during nap-time so she could get on Netflix and watch hours of these types of shows. She breezed through reruns of shows like Wizards of Waverly Place, iCarly, and That’s So Raven. I didn’t pay much attention to the content in the shows, because they were on kid oriented TV stations, but Casey started paying attention and she eventually banned the shows.
At first I thought the banning was excessive. I thought it would be more appropriate if a time limit or episode limit was put in place instead, and when Casey would go out of town I would overlook it when Addie would turn those shows on with the belief that I didn’t know she was banned. Over time, I started to notice a difference in how Addie treated Casey and I when she was watching those shows.
When Addie was allowed to watch those shows, she would lose interest in doing anything with her imagination and she would act snippy and use attitude whenever she was asked to do her regular chores. When Addie wasn’t watching those shows, she spent a lot more time being active outside and active with her imagination. She also didn’t give us the attitude, at least not very often anyway, when we asked her to do normal chores.
So, for now Addie is banned from those younger kid shows. It would be nice if shows like Family Matters and The Cosby Show were produced again so Addie can grow up with good TV memories, but for now she’ll have to rely on reruns of my favorite old shows.
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