Q: I'm so tired of today's TV! How can I
find great shows like the ones I grew up with for my
A: Despite competition, TV still is the most consumed form
of media for kids 8-18. Almost every household has at least one TV,
while 80 percent have three to four TV sets and 70 percent of kids
report having TV sets in their bedrooms. This group spends more
than four hours a day, on average, watching television.
With so many choices, parents can help guide their child's
TV habits by exploring new resources that offer something beyond
the current cable lineup and provide interactive components to
enhance online learning and family conversations.
If you were a fan of the following, you'll find some fun,
fresh alternatives to basic viewing complete with a healthy dose of
nostalgia at these sites.
- If you watched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood:
Explore Ele! The Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment (ele.fredrogerscenter.org)
is an innovative online space where early educators and families
come together to share digital resources that support early
learning-just like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood did. Join in the
free community and engage in discussions with other community
members. On PBSKids.org/Rogers, your child can watch Mr. Rogers
sing his signature neighbor song, play games and watch videos of
the same episodes you enjoyed years ago.
- If you watched Sesame Street: Watch Sesame
Street. The program is still running in many markets and currently
enjoying season 43. SesameStreet.org offers program schedules in
your area, along with interactive games and videos-including the
exact snippets shown 40 years ago!
- If you watched The Electric Company: Visit The
Electric Company website at PBS.org. Designed for kids 6-9, this
hip portal offers a TV show and online destination focused on
- If you watched Family Ties, Happy Days, Little House on
the Prairie: Classic sitcoms and dramas offer
opportunities for creative conversations with older children about
changes in social behaviors, gender roles, fashion, hairstyles,
language and comedy. Get them hooked on a great series and they
will experience a fraction of the violence and profanity prevalent
in today's TV options.
If you have tweens and teens in the house, settle in for a
fun evening of TV flashbacks with these resources:
- Check the networks. You can find old episodes
which offers full free episodes of I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch,
Family Ties, Happy Days, Star Trek and more. Or try NBC.com/classics featuring
Knight Rider, Battlestar Galactica and The A-Team.
- Try Classic TV Database (classic-tv.com), which
features a searchable database by era (1980s shows include Taxi and
The Muppet Show), genre (comedy includes Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. and
Gilligan's Island) and network (Bewitched and The Lone Ranger
appeared under ABC).
- Try other online sites. Hulu (hulu.com) offers a classic channel
and free episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Lost in Space,
Green Acres and McHale's Navy to name just a few. TV Land (tvland.com) provides episodes of
classics like The Jeffersons, Good Times, Gunsmoke and I Dream of
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
See more of Sharon's stories here.