Families and TV

 In Blog, Media Literate Parenting, Neil Andersen

While pundits predict the end of TV, it is still a major family activity. Older broadcast TV (CBC, CTV, Global) is controlled by a different set of policies than cable and OTT TV (Netflix, Prime, HBO). That means that parents might allow children freedom to watch broadcast TV confidently knowing that content is vetted by censors. When in comes to OTT TV, however, content may contain language, actions and events that many parents rightfully consider inappropriate for young viewers. ‘Viewer discretion is advised’ is code for adult themes. Half of 5 – 15s watch OTT TV.

Many families watch TV while eating meals. Parents might want to reconsider this family policy. Family members are often involved in individual activities before and after meals, but mealtimes are opportunities to spend time together, enjoy each others’ company, touch base with the highlights and problems of the day, and problem-solve life’s issues or plan for the next day’s challenges. Mealtimes can provide a natural and healthy punctuation in the family’s media activities.



Smart TVs send families’ TV habits back to the originating networks—even YouTube—where the data is stored, processed and used to make recommendations and otherwise influence TV viewing. The ads and programs that appear in the feed are tailored to the profile created as the family watches.

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