Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness

Screen Time: From “The Fonz” to “Stranger Things”


Back in the ’70s and early ’80s I’d come home from school, watch one show and have a snack before homework. With only a few choices on the TV listings, I’d turn the TV dial to channel 7 and watch a re-run of The Brady Bunch. That’s what we called them…re-runs. No “streaming” or “on demand” options back in the day.

It was 30 minutes to decompress after school. I enjoyed the show, but when that bunch of Brady’s went to the Grand Canyon, they lost me. I quickly donated my coveted half hour to Kevin and Winnie on The Wonder Years, which quickly became my go-to after school show. I loved it.

Most Thursday nights were reserved for Happy Days followed by Laverne & Shirley and Friday nights started with The Love Boat and finally docked with the most sci-fi-titled show we watched, Fantasy Island. But when Lent rolled around, we gave up TV on Fridays and we’d throw in an 8-track and listen to music. Cool right? I could have sworn it was. 

Why am I telling you about my childhood TV line up?

Because this was our screen time. And if you missed the episode, well, you just waited until the next week.

For our own kids, we put off TV watching for a while. They did not grow up watching Dora or Blues Clues, nor did they know who Sponge Bob was. They survived.

I do, however, remember an oh-so-guilty parenting moment when our daughter came home from 1st grade and said in her outside voice, “EVERYONE” was talking about a “PIG COMMERCIAL” they saw during the Super Bowl and she “DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT!” Alligator tears poured out. Geeez.

I immediately felt I had failed her and frantically googled “Pig Commercial” so she could catch up to the screen knowledge pace of her peers.

As they got older, we wove I Love Lucy into the mix and some classic Roadrunner and Coyote Episodes. I know. Cool breeds cool. If you find yourself saying “poor kids” you’re not alone. My husband often says he’s the PG-13 guy who married the G-rated girl and now we’re raising PG kids. It’s a good plan. For us.

Saturday mornings are different now.

This morning the sounds coming from the TV were not “beep beep” from the roadrunner or a laugh track from a family-friendly sitcom. Booming suspense music coupled with screams were heard and when I peeked in the Living Room, the screen was dark with intermittent flashing lights and kids pained, distressed looks on their faces.

The show?

Stranger Things. There’s a book too. If you don’t know about it, ask your kids, but in the meantime here’s a quick overview from Common Sense Media:

“There’s some scary stuff: A man is pulled up into the air and presumably killed by something looming in the air above him. A sympathetic character is suddenly shot and killed; blood and gore are shown briefly.”

My translation: “The Brady’s go to the Grand Canyon – Part 2”.

No thank you.

This was very different from any show I saw at their age.

Now in my defense, I grew up in a pretty well-inflated Catholic bubble. But this was a far cry from Fonzie jumping over those sharks.

Apparently, this is what kids watch. It’s entertaining for some, terrifying for others and just unwatchable for me. I wish they just wanted to watch that dopey pig commercial again.

Today, screen time is abundant and monitoring it is seemingly impossible. Our kids chat amongst themselves about things “trending” or funny Youtubers. I never know what they are talking about and I think that brings them joy. Whatever works.

So when those Stranger Things creep up again, I’ll just go to another room and spend my screen time with the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel



Lenten Prayer for Transformation

Loving Father,

I invite you into my life today
and make myself available to you.
Help me to become the-best-version-of-myself
by seeking your will and becoming a living example
of your love in the world.
Open my heart to the areas of my life that need to change
in order for me to carry out the mission
and experience the joy you have imagined for my life.
Inspire me to live the Catholic faith
in ways that are dynamic and engaging.
Show me how to best get involved in the life of my parish.
Make our community hungry for best practices
and continuous learning.
Give me courage when I am afraid,
hope when I am discouraged,
and clarity in times of decision.
Teach me to enjoy uncertainty and lead your Church
to become all you imagined it would be
for the people of our times.




:10 REST


:10 REST


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s