Keeping everyone happy in the TV-watching family

It’s 2022, and let’s face it, family fun is about what to watch on TV. What makes a good parent is extremely debatable, but one aspect is definitely how involved you are in monitoring and directing your child’s television choices. OTT has opened Pandora’s box in the digital age – censorship has yet to evolve, and parental controls are not in favour of OTT providers’ business goals. But better than agonizing over the state of the world, consider this a chance to bond with your children, by sharing movie nights and lunchtime serials, helping them navigate a new unknown. 

In the 80’s the boss of the house was the one who held the remote control. Today, thanks to OTT’s handy recommendations, we have multiple profiles, each one with a completely different selection. While I did say that family fun is about what to watch on TV, finding shows and movies that dad, mom, and kids of varying ages like are a challenge. 

Here are some tricks that can help you get an edge over your family members and get your choices approved! 

  • Do your own pre-screening and push your choices into the watchlist – I spend some of my personal TV time watching the trailers of movies or a few episodes of serials and put the ones I think are appropriate into the watchlist. This pre-screening helps me curate a list based on what I think everyone will like, and cut short the heated debate on movie night. It also helps me seem cool and with it, when I talk about the newest show on Netflix. 
  • Explore different formats – Personally, I’m a sitcom fan, my husband is into reality TV and my kid wants to watch superhero movies. Watching some of each to keep the peace has helped me discover some formats are failsafe – Cooking shows like MasterChef, Is it Cake or is it Fake are always popular all around, strangely so are some car shows like One Car Too Far – where a 10-year old Jeep, a driver, and a gearhead are dropped into the woods to drive their way out – are also fun for everyone. Pets and animals work as well! 
  • Democratic discussion – Each person brings one suggestion to movie night, or when deciding what new show to watch. Everyone watches the trailers and votes on what to watch. This generally helps balance out the viewing, and encourages positive dialogue on what is suitable; it also helps parents know the direction their child’s viewing interests are going in. 
  • Be sneaky and co-opt one of the kids to your side – By watching a movie or show on their profile, it pops up on their continue watching list, and curiosity kicks in. This is a clever way of letting your kids think it’s their choice. Watching trailers while they are around also draws them to the trailer, and when your suggestion is up on family TV night, democracy works in your favour. 

If you have a trick that works for your family, let’s hear it! 

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nandini Naik
Nandini Naik

Nandini is co-founder of BlueInk Content, pursuing the ideal and inspiring, following her conviction that original thought and powerful stories can move the world. She writes to learn about herself and the world - about writing and communications, family, food and fun, nostalgia, and people who inspire her.

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