Hi. I'm Lauren. And I know nothing about television.
Let me explain: Sometimes when I talk to other parents, they will tell me about the shows they or their children watch. And I have NO IDEA what they are talking about. I watch TV, but evidently, I don't watch what they are watching. I try to remember the names of the shows to look them up later, but I rarely do. Was it a reality show? Something you can only see online? I guess I'll never know.
What I do know is that after talking with these parents, I get the sense that no one is watching television together anymore. And this would explain why there seems to be fewer and fewer "family shows," those magical bits of television that everyone can sit down to watch together and enjoy.
This individualized programming is a result of tv-evolution: When we were young and only had one television set in the household which only got a few channels, then it made sense that the programming appealed to a broader audience. But as families consume media differently - on different screens and on different schedules, variety has become the norm.
So, what's a Mom to do? Keep up with her own shows as well as the ones her children watch to make sure the content is suitable? Multiple studies show that because the values shown on television have shifted over the last few decades, that the conversation around television has to shift as well. And yes, we should keep up with what the kids are watching.
I consider myself fortunate: At this point, my son still only watches cartoons or Sesame Street. And we've had the conversation around fantasy versus reality. But as he gets older and his taste in programming changes, then our discussion will have to change: Reality tv is not reality; or parents are not as dumb as they seem on that sitcom; or all young adults aren't living the glamorous life that is projected on that show.
In summation: We'll have to keep having the fantasy versus reality conversation as he gets older.
What's your children's favorite television show right now? I probably haven't heard of it, but tell me about it in the comments.