If you are looking for LESSONS LEARNED from TV families, then you have come to the right place!
It’s fair to say that many kids had their eyes glued to the TV screen growing up and that we learned a lot about families from watching our favorite role models on screen.
I know I was obsessed with a fair few TV shows and each individual TV family brought something different and quirky to the table.
None of these fictional TV families was without their share of problems (thank gosh – which family is?)
But the way they approached their challenges offered us insights and maybe even a more valuable form of education than that found within the school environment.
After all, these fictional families aimed to teach us about real life.
WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, HERE ARE 15 TV FAMILIES AND FIVE THINGS THEY TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE
All these families still to this day give me so much joy, validation and insight into the craziness of family life.
THE BRADY BUNCH
1-Blended families can work.
2- It’s helpful to have a maid.
3-Parents don’t have to yell to effectively solve a problem.
4-One bathroom is definitely not enough for six kids.
5-Don’t play ball in the house or think you can just glue a broken vase together again either without someone noticing
1-Wearing a leather jacket immediately ups your cool factor.
2-Stereotypical bad boys aren’t always so bad. Never judge a book by its cover.
3-A marriage can still thrive and stay alive even when you have disagreements (good on you – Marion and Howard!).
4-Invest in your friendships. Richie, Fonzie, Potsie and Ralph always had each other’s backs
5-Being tough and cool only counts for so much. What really matters is being surrounded by people you love.
1-A widowed father can still raise a family well, even if his wife is tragically killed in a car accident (with the help of an uncle and best friend of course).
2-With three daughters peer pressure is bound to happen. DJ, Stephanie and Michelle taught us how it important it is to stay true to your values.
3-Letting your older sister’s strange best friend pierce your ears without your parent’s permission probably isn’t a great idea
4- You should always talk things out. Talking before bedtime especially helps.
5-You can just get away with more stuff when you are super cute. Even if it involves saying: “Aw nuts! Don’t call me squirt! No way Jose.”
1-You don’t need a lot of money to be happy and it’s possible to live within your means.
2-Forget about keeping up with the Joneses. Keeping up with the Conners (or whatever family you already belong to) is enough.
3-Families can fight – it’s normal. What’s important is that you make up in the end.
4-Moms sometimes get drunk and yeah, teenagers in TV Land can have real problems too.
5-And these real problems are usually far from pretty. Sometimes, just sometimes – like when tackling the topics of domestic violence, abortion and mental health issues – these problems can’t be solved in one episode.
1- A loving home can be cultivated for foster kids (lucky Willis and Arnold Jackson who were whisked away to live at the Drummonds penthouse pad.)
2- Your size honestly doesn’t matter; it’s all about your personality. Different strokes for different folks.
3-If you have no idea what someone is going on about, it’s okay to call them out on it. “What are you talking about, Willis?’
4-A rags to riches story doesn’t change the person who you are inside.
5-Oh and even when you grow up and start to date and drive, if you still look like a kid, people are going to treat you like a kid.
1-If you ignore safety suggestions for how to use power tools, there’s a good chance you will hurt yourself
2-Home improvements WILL lead to arguments. If something can go wrong, it usually does go wrong.
3-Good neighbors like Wilson are potentially better heard but never seen.
4-A funny sidekick helps make any reality TV show a success (Tool Time wouldn’t have been the same without Al).
5- There is usually only one really spunky brother.
1-It’s okay to be dysfunctional – in fact a family can be dysfunctional and loving at the same time.
2-Clowns aren’t always so scary. Sometimes they are just tragic AND funny.
3-If you are as good-natured and cheery as Ned Flanders, no one will ever get you down.
4- Not every TV show tries to be uplifting to children. “Kids, you tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is never try.”
5-Sometimes boys will just be boys and siblings will fight a lot but at the end of the day they will be there for you
MARRIED WITH CHILDREN
1-You should really marry someone you love or you will be miserable.
2-You should really get a job you love or you will be miserable.
3-If you say stupid things like Kelly did all the time, people will think you are stupid.
4-If you are slightly overweight, avoid cranky old shoe salesmen.
5-Marriage is built on honesty and you have to learn to give it as much as you can take it.
Take these one-liners for example:
Peg: Hi honey, did you miss me?
Al: With every bullet so far!
Peg: Questions 2, who would you rather spend the night with A) your wife or…
Peg: Al why don’t you ever take me to the beach?
Al: What’s the point? You’d just find your way back home.
1- It isn’t just white people who grow up to become doctors and lawyers – people of color can be just as successful (great lesson to learn as a nine-year-old back in 1984). AKA Getting an education is important!
2- One day you will need to make your own way in life. Example in point: VANESSA: None of this would have happened if we weren’t so rich. BILL: Let me get something straight, okay? Your mother and I are rich. You have nothing!
3-You can’t always get what you want. BILL: This is not Burger King. You can’t always have it your way.
4-Respect your grandparents, especially if they are as cool as the Huxtables.
5- It’s the parents who run the household and not the other way around. Oh and when you argue, make up quickly!
THE ADDAMS FAMILY
1-You can be kooky, spooky and weird and still think that the outside, normal people are the oddballs.
2-Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know.
3. When you love someone, show them that you care. Take this as a compliment: You dear are dearer to me than all the bates in all the caves in the world.
4. The more the merrier in a home – no one questioned even for a second why Morticia and Gomez also had Uncle Fester, Grandmama, Cousin Itt and a butler Lurch living with them.
5- Finally, a thing CAN apparently be called a Thing, even if its a disembodied hand.
EVERYONE LOVES RAYMOND
1-Don’t live across the street from your parents if you wish to escape them.
2-Don’t talk about your wife’s “lady days” with your mom (details a mom-in-law doesn’t need to know.)
3-You can be super tall like Uncle Robert and still be a great dancer.
4-For the record, if your husband is a mama’s boy, it’s the wife who pays the price for this.
5-If you are an overbearing and condescending mother-in-law yourself, you can blame it on “loving the family too much.”
1-A gay couple can provide a loving, nurturing home to an adopted child who grows up to be both intelligent and spunky (who doesn’t love Lily?)
2-A vivacious Colombian wife can enter a tight-knit family and not feel the need to be anything but herself (feisty, strong, stubborn and opinionated) and yep, marry an older man without necessarily being a gold digger.
3-You can be slightly awkward as a kid (hello Manny!) and totally own it without feeling the need to change.
4- Sometimes a quote says it best: “Everyone’s afraid of something, right? Heights, clowns, tight spaces. Those are things you get over, but then there’s our children. Will they fit in? Will they be safe? Those are fears you never get past. Sometimes all you can do is take a deep breath, pull them close, and hope for the best.” – Phil Dunphy
5- Or even better: “What’s my coaching philosophy? Give a kid a bird and he becomes one of those weird dudes that walks around with a bird on his shoulder. But give him a pair of sings? He can fly…” – Phil Dunphy
1-Mama was always thinks she knows best.
2-Sometime all a dad wants to do after work is take off his pants, sit in his special lounge chair and watch TV without interruption.
3-You can be called a moron by a parent and still be loved.
4- Follow your dreams. If you want to be a rapper, you can be Big Tasty, the greatest rapper since Flavor Flac.
5-You can also be a master of more than one thing like Barry Goldberg – AKA the Ka-Ra-Tay Master, trendsetter, ladies man, inventor of new sports and leader of the JTP Jenkintown Posse.
FRESH OFF THE BOAT
1- Some parenting styles are questionable. “Children are never too old to be controlled. It’s just like chess, children are the pawns and you are the queen.” – Jessica Huang
2- Be self-confident. “No one seems to appreciate how good I am at everything I do.” Jessica Huang
3 -Parents don’t have to say sorry to their kids. “I don’t have to say “I’m sorry” to him. I gave birth to him!”
4-Being frugal is king.
5-You can run a cowboy-themed steak restaurant even if you aren’t a cowboy.
1-Rainbow can be a real first name – that’s what you get if you grow up with hippy parents.
2-Sometimes your kids (hint, hint Junior) don’t always grow up to be the sort of kid you dreamed or hoped they would be. Not all kids are created equal.
3-There’ sometimes is a good twin and an evil twin.
4-Racism, slavery, prejudice, Martin Luther King Jr. and US politics – Black-ish teaches us more about some events than the history books do.
5-Respect your elders. Pops and Ruby wouldn’t have it any other way.
Who said TV shows couldn’t be educational?