Thursday, February 12, 2015

Quality Time With Family Should Not Involve The Television

Dear Tazi:

I am a teenage girl with two brothers. My parents and my brothers all like the same types of TV shows, while I prefer something different. Every night the rest of my family wants to watch one TV show, and I would rather not watch at all than watch something that does not interest me. Because of this, I politely get up and go to my bedroom to watch TV in my room or study or something else that I find interesting. Sometimes, I just go to bed early.

My mother has been getting on my back about not staying in the living room "to spend quality time with the family". I have explained to her that I do not enjoy the same TV shows everyone else wants to watch, but my mother took it the wrong way and told me that the majority rules and that everyone else isn't going to be put out so I can watch my TV shows. It is not like I am trying to force everyone to conform to my TV tastes, Tazi! I told my Mom that I do not expect everyone else to watch my shows, but that I should not be forced to watch theirs.

My mother has threatened to take the TV out of my room if I refuse to sit and watch TV with the family for at least an hour each night. I don't think this is very fair. I just don't get the enjoyment they do from watching their shows, so why should I be forced to watch them?

Not A Fan Of Reality TV

Dear Not A Fan Of Reality TV:

At the risk of angering your mother, I am going to rule with you - to an extent. I do not consider watching TV as a family "spending quality time" together. Quality time involves interaction with each other, something watching TV does not allow - especially if you are bored to tears with what is actually on, and wishing you could be watching something else. My larger concern is that you are still a student and your time would be better spent on your studies than on watching television.

Since your mother would like you to spend at least one hour with the family each evening, I suggest a compromise: for that one hour, you get to choose the television programming. If nobody is on board with this idea (and I doubt they will be) I have an even better suggestion: turn of the TV and spend real quality time together as a family at least twice a week. Card games, board games, Yahtzee, and other games that involve face-to-face interaction. DVR the television shows to watch at a later time. On the evenings when the family is watching TV, you should be allowed to excuse yourself to do homework or study. TV programs can be recorded or watched On Demand at a later time.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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