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Modern TV: Helpful or Harmful for Families?

photo wirh TV articleEngaging, interesting, funny, clean TV shows seems to have become extinct. Where are those funny, family friendly sitcoms and movies that caused families to gather together in the living room? What happened to those sitcoms that force families to laugh, talk and bond with each other? These shows seem to have dissipated from TV. How I long for the days of clean comedy. I miss TV shows like: Everybody Loves Raymond, The Nanny, The Cosby Show, Full House, Family Matters, and a few others. I consider it a travesty that these shows went off air years ago, with very few decent replacements. The replacements for these classic TV shows can be best described as inadequate and boring at best.  For example, these show have been replaced with: Reality television (many shows which have disgraced every race, culture, sex and class), sexually suggestive sitcoms, violence and vulgarity built into just about every storyline, and of course shows that lower one’s intelligence every second that they are being watched. There are some funny “family shows” like Modern Family in particular, whose focus is on family, but the children are allowed to curse their parents and the parents barely have control of their children. Those are not habits that most parents want their children to adopt.

If there are parents in the world who want to shield their children from all of the negativity from TV they will have to plug the children into the cartoon world. Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and the Disney channel have dedicated their TV stations to clean fun for children. Although, there have been a few questionable SpongeBob Squarepants and Adventure Time episodes that made me reconsider allowing my children to watch those shows. If parents know that their child is being exposed to clean constructive TV shows, the parents can go to their bedroom and watch their adult TV show. This will result in children in one room and parents in another. The aforementioned scenario is not what is best for the child’s mental and emotional development. Children need to spend as much quality time with their parents as possible. In a research study done at the University of Iowa, scientists found that “parental bonding early on could result in behavioral and emotional benefits for the child.”(Ho 2012).In particular, researchers observed that a close relationship between a child and parents was less likely to lead to aggressive, troubled or other types of negative emotional behavior during childhood.” (Ho 2012) This is crucial information, for those parents who come home from work emotionally and physically exhausted and send their children to their bedrooms to entertain themselves. Those parents should consider spending time with their children, in order to increase their chances of producing a positive, well behaving, and happy child. The problem is that when the parents are too tired to play every night, they need a little positive, maybe funny, entertaining help from the TV.

 TV must evolve and remember the great family friendly sitcoms that used to dominate TV. Let’s face it, parents do not want to watch cartoons all day, and most children do not want to watch (and probably should not be watching) adult sitcoms every day. Shows that are deemed family friendly in this age are: Meet the Browns, Once Upon a Time, House of Payne, Are we there Yet?, Brain Games, and a few others; and, some of the episodes in these sitcoms have been sexually suggestive and had some mild curse words. Where is the happy medium? Is there a happy medium? Has Hollywood lost its creativity to be able to create a funny sitcom that is completely clean? Will families ever be able to bond and laugh together in front of the TV again? Sure, this is all possible, but when true family friendly shows hit the TV screen again, we have to support them.


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