I grew up in the golden age of sitcoms. My family watched hours of these things together. Then we used them as a springboard to discuss the dangers of smoking marijuana, hanging with the wrong crowd, driving too fast and knowing friends of friends who got pregnant in high school. You know, all the tough issues.

What we didn’t realize is how much we would let TV families influence the way we parent. Let’s take a look at what I mean.

1. When Dr. Huxtable explains to Theo how regular people live.

Our kids are dumb and we tell them so. Also, don’t take us for granted.


2. When “Boy Meets World” showed us sometimes our relationships fall short.

But life is short too and we should commit to making them better when we can.


3. When Dan and Roseanne spend time with their daughters on “Roseanne.”

Kids and parents may not share the same interests, but time spent together is priceless…even if you’re uncomfortable or bored.


4. When Mike goes to a party where kids are doing cocaine in “Growing Pains.”

Jason Seaver was one of the coolest dads on TV. So, when Mike admits to being at this cocaine party, Jason doesn’t freak out. He listens and talks Mike through the decisions he had to make and then gives him credit for doing the right thing.

5. When Sophia and Dorothy enter a beauty pageant together on “Golden Girls.”

Mothers and daughters have a special bond even into their golden years.

6. When Danny Tanner has to back off DJ’s love life in “Full House.”

It’s hard to see our children dating and falling in love. In this episode, Danny has forbidden DJ to see her new boyfriend, but figures out the heavy-handedness only makes things worse. In this episode, Danny and DJ really communicate their feelings about their issues.

No, we’re not perfect parents because of television. But these TV shows were about love and family, and sometimes when we don’t know what to do, we can reflect on when we could watch TV together with our own parents and talk about our worries and problems.

And it would all turn out okay. Jason Seaver told us so.