The Absentee Parent

Um… Are your parents home?

Have you noticed there aren’t many parents around on TV these days?

Sure, every now and then you get the odd older sibling. Or if parents do exist on the show they are usually the butt of the jokes or totally incompetent. Sadly, Dads have it the worst.

If you want to influence a nation start by educating the next generation. History is full of examples and we can look in our own backyard to see how different views are today compared to when we were younger. (ie smoking, the environment, etc)

I read a statistic that says 80% of children learn visually. That means what they take in visually is what they retain and learn. So what is watching TV shows that have kids who have no adult support system, no safe place, no parents, and who are left to figure out life on their own teaching them?

Yes, we want our kids to be independent. Yes, we want our kids to learn problem solving. We also know that they are still kids and our place as parents is to help them through this thing called life regardless of their age.

Growing up, and I’m about divulge my age here, I watched the Brady Bunch, Happy Days, Dukes of Hazzard, pretty much all the shows on the Jones Channel.  The ‘kids’ in those shows were always getting into trouble or having to solve some problem. Whether it was their fault or not. But they always sought and were given direction and advice from their parents or parent figure in the family (good ole Uncle Jesse).

The next time your kids are watching another one of those no-show parent shows, I encourage to watch it with them.  Use it as an opportunity. During the ads ask them questions about what is happening. What do they think will happen next? What would they do in the same situation?  What does your child think the parent’s, if they were around, would say about the situation?

This allows your child to gain objectivity about what they are watching and lets you in on your child’s thinking. Both of which are of real and lasting value for you and your family.