What is going on with children’s television? The other day I came across my daughter watching a Disney channel show that featured sassy, fresh-talking tweens and it dawned on me that even though my kids primarily watch Disney and Nickelodeon, I need to pay more attention to exactly what they are watching. While the shows are relatively tame, some of the role models on shows like Suite Life on Deck and Hannah Montana are spoiled brats!
I had to go back far (in some cases, 40 years) to find 5 wholesome shows that my kids would like. Here are 5 wholesome TV shows- all currently on the air in the Philadelphia area- that are suitable for the entire family (including those hard-to-please tweens)!
Full House. This 1980’s sitcom about a widower dad raising his three daughters with the help of two friends may be corny, but just about every episode ends with a thought provoking lesson. Full House currently airs on
The Brady Bunch. Yes, they are retro, but the worst thing this “bunch” of kids did was break mom’s vase. Okay, there was an episode where 15 year old Greg tries smoking, but he quickly decides that he doesn’t like it (no cigarette glorification here). My kids love The Brady Bunch. Corny show? Maybe. But hey, we watched it growing up and we turned out okay!
Game Shows. Most game shows are fun family fare, but some are better than others. My kids like old school game shows like Family Feud and The Price is Right. A more recent show, Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader (FOX), is a great game show for the entire family.
Zoom (PBS). This is another blast from the past, but this PBS show has kept up with the times. Perfect for the kid who has outgrown Sesame Street, Zoom is a fun show for tweens that features cool science experiments, arts and craft activities and games.
Trading Spaces Boys V. Girls (Discovery Kids). Based on the popular TLC home decorating show Trading Spaces, this kid-sized version features friends redesigning each others rooms. The only problem is, every time my kids see one of the cool new rooms featured in this show (the rooms have themes like sports, outer space, candy, etc.) they want to make over their own rooms!
A Few More Wholesome Family TV Suggestions:
You can go back in time to find quite a few TV shows that are suitable for the entire family. There are also plenty of shows on PBS and Discovery Kids that provide family entertainment without the smart-mouthed characters. Some of these shows may not be airing in the Philadelphia area at this time, but thanks to syndication most of them are always on the air:
The Cosby Show
Leave it to Beaver (TV Land)
Scout’s Safari (Discovery Kids)
Little House on the Prairie (Hallmark Channel)
The Andy Griffith Show (TV Land)