Kali and I sometimes felt deprived when it came to watching TV. 

You see, in our house we did not have complete control of the tube as many a teeny-bopper did and do. Oh no--the big, bad parentals took control of the remote before we even had a chance to say "pop-up-video!"

When my parents got Direct TV and discovered they could actually BLOCK an entire channel? Well forget about any sneaky 17 year old maneuvers to try and catch a glimpse of "Real World." 

Kali and I didn't exactly broadcast to our peers that we couldn't watch certain shows, but it was probably obvious we weren't a part of the conversation when others were quoting dialogue or discussing the [oh-so-serious] plots and [oh-so-deep] characters. I'm sure she did as I did and sometimes watched an episode or two at a friend's house, feeling slightly guilty in our indulgent behavior. 

When I went to a Christian college, blacklisting parents were the norm. Many of my peers had missed entire series of the same shows I had! Hmm…maybe my parents weren't crazy. 

And now, I am nearly 27 years old, raising a daughter who is still oblivious of the television, and yet I realize my parents were not just NOT crazy but actually very, very wise. 

Dictators…but wise.

I will freely admit that I have now seen a lot of the shows that I was not allowed to watch while in high school. These include, but are not limited to the following:

Saved by the Bell
Oh yes, Zach and Slater, Screech and …well, all of them were not welcomed in my living room. I didn't understand then why my mother didn't want me watching a show in which the teenagers knew EVERYTHING and all the adults were, well…dumb. I mean, ZOINKS! That is crazy!

Dawson's Creek
"But MOOOOOooooMMMMmmm…EVERYONE watches "Dawson's Creek!"' I just recently started watching some of this to see what the fuss was all about and holy-smokes-all-they-talk-about-is-sex, as in seriously-it-is-ONLY-a-show-about-15-and-16-year-olds-having-and-discussing-sex. Good call, Mom, good call. 

The Simpsons

I have never really WANTED to watch the Simpsons, so I guess I didn't fight this much. I still don't think I've seen but 5 minutes of the show. 

Anything MTV or VH1 related

I think the reason for this is obvious. 

Clarissa Explains is All
I think the title alone turned my parents off of this. I mean, come on Nickelodeon, you're going to need a better selling point then, "How about we have a 12/13 year old explain stuff about life? PERFECT!"

Again, I don't think I ever wanted to watch this one, but I think we weren't allowed in large part because Mom and Dad found it annoying. 
Fair enough.


Yes, even Friends was on the list. I will unashamedly admit that this is now my favorite TV show, but I do understand why my parents weren't keen on letting their 16 year old daughter watch  6 adults living in New York city, sleeping with one another, living together, and making crude jokes. It probably still isn't great that I love this show but the writing is hilarious! 

And there were more. 

I fought them on it. I got mad. But now I more than understand.
I can't believe some of the things my students would watch…and then TALK ABOUT. 
And don't even get me started on song lyrics…
…or the monster that is now the internet. 

And now what? Now I am a parent and I have to determine what is worth the fight. I grew up hearing, "Garbage in, garbage out." I still believe that's pretty much the truth.  Unlike what teens think today, I believe that it is still okay for parents to limit some of what they are exposed to. 

I'm thankful my parents did that for me. 

I know someday soon Blythe will fight me on a TV show she thinks she should be able to watch. But I will stand my ground. Because someone did that for me. 

Do you agree or disagree? Should parents have the right to not expose their kids to certain things? Did yours? What were blacklisted items for you growing up? 

Just so you know, I didn't intentionally end the last two posts with questions…that just where I ended up. I would love to hear your answers though…to this post and the LAST ONE. 


russ said...

I don’t remember any of those shows. Can you get them here in Mayberry? I just remember Kirt Gowdy in ABC’s hunting show. I think it was Wild Wild World of Sports or something like that. Oh yea, there was Fury, Lassie, Sky King (Penny was hot), Lone Ranger, Have Gun Will Travel, The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, Rawhide and on Sunday night it was the king of all TV shows Bonanza. I’m surprised your folks didn’t let you watch those shows, you guys were deprived! PS my Dish remote has some currently blocked.

Aunt Mary said...

I think that parents not only have the right but the responsibility to decide what their children can watch. (Shades of Ted, don't you think!) When we were kids there weren't really terrible shows like they have now.

Megan Weatherford said...

I appreciate this particular blog so much. As a child, I had no restrictions on what I watched. I struggled greatly throughout childhood with relationships and nightmares (thanks Stephen King). Thankfully, in college I met amazing, godly women who mentored me and helped me form the values I now hold dear. I am very involved in what my children see/hear. As they get older and in school, it is becoming increasingly difficult. I get ridiculed (by my own family and other parents) but I hold strong because I am their mommy. They look to me to protect them, nurture them, and guide them. It also helps to have an amazing hubby on my side :) We will not conform to the ways of this world. We have a higher calling and thank you, Kelsey, for sharing your words and your conviction. You and Kali have some great parents :)

jenny said...

Oh my... we didn't even HAVE tv when I was growing up. Talk about not knowing anything. I'm right there with you. :)

Makayla Fraim said...

Mrs. Irwin, I loved reading this! It also made me laugh a little, because the shows listed above my parents still don't let me watch them! They have certain channels blocked on all our tvs:) haha.

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Mitch & Cindy said...

Spot on, Kels. We have never seen any of those shows. Good call.

Kali said...

I always think of TGIF - we were allowed to watch maybe 1 of those shows? And I always wanted to watch the others (I think Boy Meets World was on there for awhile). I still feel a little guilty for watching it at my friends' houses on Friday night sleepovers...I was such a rebel.

Betsy said...

Our parents must have been friends. In addition to what you listed, Full House also comes to mind. We grew up on John Wayne, The Sound of Music, The Ten Commandments...

I plan to be equally "mean" to my (future) kids :)

*carrie* said...

I can totally relate. We were allowed to watch SBTB and Full House, but Friends (which is when I was in HS) was definitely off-limits. That's the main one I remember not being able to watch. In addition, PG-13 movies were also not allowed. And when we were younger, even PG were not a given. I clearly remember being at a slumber party in 3rd grade and going in another room to READ because the girls were watching a movie I knew I shouldn't be. (Now don't think I ALWAYS made the right choice, though!)

I agree with what you said--I didn't necessarily understand at the time, but I'm thankful my parents didn't let me watch whatever I thought I wanted to see.