Television is a minefield for families. My father, never one to pull his punches, calls it an open sewer of cultural rot. He’s not far off. Promiscuous sex, drug use, adultery, graphic violence — you turn on your television and you’re going to get it all, and most of it is bad. But just try to get your teenagers to watch old reruns of The Andy Griffith Show with you and the family room will empty faster than you can say “X-Box.” Yet shared time together is one of the most valuable gifts you can give your teens. How do you manage some family television time where you can promote the values you want to pass on to your teenagers without boring them to death?
There actually are some great television shows today that promote good values in subtle ways. Not that these shows aren’t rude, violent and outrageous, but hidden in the pop culture flash are powerfully good values and great moments. Please, though, watch them with your teenage kids, and not with your young children or, God forbid, your elderly mom and dad. If you need your family values pure and unsullied by popular culture, feel free to watch re-runs of The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie. But if you want to keep the teens in the room and have some moments where you can share some good values with them, try these: