Back in the day, watching television was a family event. We didn’t have a ton of channels or shows to choose from like we do now. We didn’t have DVR, weren’t able to watch it later On Demand. When our show was on, we all gathered in one room to watch it together. Even though the times the shows aired escape me, I will never forget the name of our favorites. From “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World” to “Full House” and “Charles In Charge”, while some of the programs might have had adult themes sometimes, they were all really family friendly and made for a good evening of t.v. watching.
I miss that.
Today,even though we have plenty of screens and devices in our home, and we have a streaming service and cable and everything that could help us to recreate the good ole days of families watching television together, we often have a tough time finding something we can all enjoy. The shows I like are too “housewifey” for Terrence. The shows he watches are too violent for Ayva and me. The shows Ayva loves are just annoying (#truth). We all love television and movies, though, so we always keep our eyes out for programs that we can all enjoy. I love when Netflix sends me an email letting me know that there’s a new movie or show that I might enjoy that the whole family will like. Ayva gets excited when she sees a commercial on the Disney Channel for an original movie that would make for a good family movie night. Terrence always knows what’s new at Redbox, and picks up DVDs that he knows we can all engage with. Yeah, it definitely takes work to be able to watch television as a family.
Are you finding it hard to find shows to watch with your family, too? Try sports. I’ve never really been a sports person, but I’m becoming one because the games are a really fun way for my family to bond over television. Last year we watched together as the Giants became World Series champions, and this year we watched every game of the NBA Championship (Go Warriors!). Cheering together, laughing and making jokes without having to worry about mature topics coming up made it easy for Terrence and me to just relax. Ayva loved cheering and learning all about the game of basketball.
Watching television together can also lead to different bonding activities. Since there was a big buildup to the final game, Ayva and I decided to surprise Terrence with a little watch party. Ayva made a list of everything we needed to do to prepare. I made quesadillas and Ayva put together a spinach and strawberry salad. She made a Warriors sign to go on the front door, and we yelled “Surprise” when Terrence walked through the door. We even livestreamed a pre-game pep rally on Periscope! Afterwards, we all sat and ate together while cheering our team on. It’s like the television watching that I used to do back in the day, but with a 21st century flare. It was an awesome and totally wholesome good time.
We need to be able to have more times like these.
Of course, I know that a lot of bonding happens when the screens are off, and that it’s important to get outside and go on adventures. Our family does that, but we like television. So, when we do watch, it’s nice to have options and opportunities to watch together instead of in 3 different rooms because our tastes and preferences aren’t being met by one program. The Warriors game the other night made me long for family t.v. time like I used to have back in the day.