Sitcom Kids

Posted: February 23, 2012 in parenting, tv

Sitcoms are a very big part of my TV viewing. I watch quite a few of them: “Modern Family,” “Suburgatory” and “The Middle.” I enjoy these shows quite a bit, but I crack up on the kids on these shows. Sitcom kids have it made. They can talk back to their parents with no consequences whatsoever. Watching these since I was a kid made me wonder if other people truly lived like this. I knew it wasn’t necessarily a white thing (like most black people assume) because I went to a predominantly white school and met some tough-nosed parents. If their kids talked back to them, they got “dealt with.”

So, I started to wonder if it was a regional thing? Maybe out west or up north they allow the kids to have some privileges including calling their parents by their first names or being able to say “no” when asked to do something. Those were things that my friends and I refused to even try with our parents. Well, I take that back. I tried it once.

After watching an episode of “The Brady Bunch,” I thought that I could get away with calling my parents by their first names. Besides, if that Brady kid could get away with it, then why could’t I? Although the Brady kid was chastised for doing it, because his parents, Mike and Carol, were so easy on him, I figured it was no big deal. Boy, was I wrong.

I sat down at the breakfast table (I think I was around 8 years old) and said “good morning” to my parents using their first names. I had the biggest smile on my face, not even looking at them as I said it, because I was so proud to be “grown enough” to pull that off.

My father snapped. To him, it was a severe sign of disrespect and after he and my mom gave me one of the most intimidating lectures I’ve ever received, I remember wanting to fight Greg Brady because I felt like he was responsible for me going the rest of that day with no TV. It didn’t take me long to learn that TV was fiction and real life actions resulted in real life consequences.

I couldn’t just walk into someone’s home without ringing the door bell like sitcom kids do. I couldn’t talk back to my parents without paying the price like sitcom kids do. And declaring that I deserved some privacy would have only resulted in my father taking a hammer and screwdriver and removing my bedroom door from the hinges all together.

Not sitcom kids though. Bud Bundy, Axl Heck, Tessa Altman, Stewie Griffin, etc. They have it made on television.

  1. *Cough* Stewie Griffin???And yeah, kids today versus 30/40 years ago is a big contrast.Hell, we were allowed to play in the street or roam the neighborhoods… Apparently kidnappers and rapists didn't exist back in the 80's…

  2. dopdavid says:

    i know the times are changing, i remember being allowed to do whatever i wanted in the early 90s even as a child

  3. Sheeeeee-ittttt…they shoulda made a sitcom of MY family when I was growing up. There wasn't any getting away with ANYTHING! I was the poor kid who got grounded for EVERYTHING – leaving the damned twist tie off of the bread sack – yep – grounded for a week! And B…kidnappers and rapists didn't exist back in the 80s because our parents would have kicked their asses…(just like they kicked OUR asses)…lol

  4. Thank, Q says:

    Yeah, I threw Stewie in there to see if people were paying attention. I think we probably had just as many weirdos back in the day, but without 24/7 media coverage, the stories didn't make it outside of the local news.

  5. Thank, Q says:

    Yeah, kids are kept on lock these days, but I can understand it to a certain extent.

  6. G says:

    We used to walk into each others houses without being announced where I grew up….but it was a fairly close knit community

  7. Thank, Q says:

    LOL! So true! Dag, you got in trouble for leaving off the twist tie? That's some serious discipline right there!A sitcom of my family's life would have last two episodes before the FCC pulled it.People did watch out for one another back then. Now, you can kidnap a grown man in broad day light and people would film it with their phones to put on YouTube, but not even call 911.

  8. Thank, Q says:

    Really? I've never experienced anything like that. I would even knock on my grandmother's door when I walked down to her house. What part of the country was this?

  9. Tiffany says:

    The discipline argument is one I can never relate to. I was always too afraid of my dad to do anything wrong! I guess he can thank me for saving him all that energy because he's gonna need it for my younger brother and sister!

  10. Thank, Q says:

    Yeah, my dad didn't play either. And my mom can lay a guilt trip on so thick that you'd feel badly about what you did for days.

  11. To their faces, it is ALWAYS "mom and dad", but to everyone else, it is "Bob and Eleanor."

  12. Thank, Q says:

    I wouldn't call my father by his first name if I were on the moon and he could't hear me. LOL!

  13. That would not fly in the Cosby house either. That was my fave growing up and those kids couldn't get away with anything! I don't really watch much TV, nor do my kiddos, so I can't speak to the sitcoms of today, but they aren't Cosby, that's for sure.

  14. Thank, Q says:

    You're right about that, Cari. Heathcliff and Claire didn't mess around. They were no-nonsense parents. Good example.

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