We offer Jose Martin Aguado’s article “Tell Me What You Watch and I’ll Tell You Who You Are,” published in Protege Tu Corazon [“Protect Your Heart”], a leading program in education of character and sexuality in Europe and Latin America.
* * *
No doubt you know the saying “Tell Me what You Watch and I’ll Tell You Who You Are.” It’s a popular refrain that gives an important lesson about your friendships and the power they have to influence you for good or evil. We have all felt the good that happy and positive people do to us and our children, the way they “pull” us up and make life easier.
I would like to pose a topic to you that perhaps you have never posed to yourself. Starting from the famous saying, we can reformulate it, saying: “Tell me what you watch and I’ll tell you who you are.” It’s a phrase that I read recently in the book Series en Serio [Serious Serials] of Isidro Catela and Jose Angel Agejas, which left me thinking. Perhaps it’s a phrase to attract attention, but which no doubt has much truth in it.
What great influence serials and music have today on us and on our children. The time we spend can be many hours, if not days. When I give sessions to adolescents, they love to have me use a Website called tiii.me in which the serials are introduced that you have watched lately and it tells you how many hours you have dedicated to them It’s amazing! Many of them have spent ten complete days watching television serials — an enormous quantity of time that, if dedicated to good content, can improve you as a person and have you enjoy a good time but that, otherwise, and disturb you.
I want to suggest a game to you. You can play it with your children or individually. It’s a selection of eleven serials that the majority of adolescents have watched. They are very famous and have something in common: I am hugely hooked on them. I’ll give you a minute to guess which they are. Ready? Ok!
You have the solution at the end of the post. Well, all these extremely well-known series, in addition to hooking one a lot, have a lot of content that isn’t apt for adolescents, although they are thought out for them, and that, as Amalia Gordovil (Doctor in Psychology and Professor at the Open University of Catalonia), says: “The greatest danger is that an adolescent assumes as normative behavior and circumstances that aren’t so. “
Gratuitous violence, filthy conversations, sex, underlying ideas that any end justifies the means used . . . All these aspects are present in practically all the serials of adolescents. It’s very difficult to find a “white serial.” As they say in Galicia about witches “they do exist.” However, is it desirable to only watch serials or films without any inappropriate content?
Understand me well, what stains a child also stains an adult; however, what is really interesting in education is to teach our children to know what is appropriate and what they should avoid. You enter here as father, mother, or educator. After reading this article, we should want the littlest ones and adolescents in the family to gradually acquire their own criteria. Creating individuals with freedom and autonomy, who understand the why’s of things. To do so, I suggest two things, which you can already put into practice.
- Choose carefully what you are going to watch in your home.
Not everything is worth watching. Not all serials are apt for your children. Just as you choose the best food you can allow them, don’t undermine the time in the choice of the next serial. You can consult pages, such as icmedi, Filasiete, Common Sense Media, Contrast, or IMDB’s Parental Guide.
2. Sit with your children to watch the programs.
Talk to them about why you skipped a scene and why you think the serial is good or bad. Talk, Talk, talk.
You have a great tool to educate your children very well. Take advantage of it! Enjoy the good serials and engage in profound conversations with the little ones and adults of the family.
Solution: 1. Élite; 2. Big Little lies; 3. Euphoria; 4. The Paper House; 5. The Walking Dead; 6. Sabrina; 7. Stranger Things; 8. 13 Reasons Why; 9. Merli. Sapere Aude; 10. Sex Education; 11. Breaking Bad.
Editor’s Note: We recommend that you listen to podcast #9 Protect Your Heart on Spotify or on the Apple Podcast, entitled “Serials Educate Y0ur Children, in which Jose Martin Aguado took part as a guest.
Jose Martin Aguado is a Professor of English and a Tutor of adolescents. He is a speaker and passionate about offering resources to parents to educate their children.
[email protected] @JMartinAguado
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester