by Ryan Crawley for Dads Pad Blog

One of the fun things to do as a parent is to introduce your children to things that you liked as a kid. Many parents like to share their favorite foods early on with their children. Sports that parents played are usually some of the first sports their own kids will play. Parents will read their own favorite books from their childhood to their kids at bedtime. These are all things that we pass down from generation to generation without much thought.

I am excited about sharing my love of classic television shows with my own kids. Characters from these shows had a direct impact on my own life. Many times, the guidance I was lacking from my own parents, I was receiving from watching classic television programs. I am not saying this is always a good thing, but I learned a lot of valuable lessons. I think my own kids will enjoy and learn at the same time as well.

Andy Griffith Show

This show was about a single father that was raising his young son basically by himself, but also with some assistance from his Aunt Bee. The father in the show was also the sheriff of a small town named Mayberry. His deputy Barney is one of the most popular television characters of all time. While this show is quite funny for adults to watch, kids enjoy it, too. There is a lesson to learn for every show. The small town of Mayberry and the characters living there will keep your children entertained for many years. They may even be sharing it with their own children someday.

Happy Days

I loved Happy Days as a kid, and I love it just as much as an adult. I tried to lead my life many times by asking what would the Fonz do in this situation. And then I would snap my fingers or hit a jukebox. Every child can identify with at least one of the characters on this show. Hopefully, my kids will be identifying more with the Fonz or Richie rather than Potsie. I would even accept Ralph Malph.

Leave it to Beaver

Ward Cleaver, in my opinion, was the best television father ever. He always could recall how he felt as a kid when relating to his own two sons. He constantly made time to spend with his kids. All of these are qualities that I would like to have with my family. Plus, my own children will be able to relate to Wally and the Beaver pretty well. It will also be fun figuring out which of their friends are most like Eddie Haskell and Lumpy. Unfortunately, they have a few to choose from.

Twilight Zone

I would love to be able to share my love of mystery and the unknown with my kids. My wife has no interest in any of those things. The Twilight Zone is such a classic show, and was always very well written. There was a lesson to be learned every single episode. It can be a bit spooky and mysterious, but I think this show will still be on in another hundred years.


The 1960s show Batman with Adam West and Burt Ward is definitely one that my kids will love. As a child, you notice the humor of the show a lot less, and pay more attention to the action and the villains. It’s an enjoyable show to watch with the whole family.

Brady Bunch

The Brady Bunch always has had a special place in my heart. I grew up in a family of eleven, so I could identify with the Bradys. Peter was the middle boy in the show, and I was the middle child in our family. It was easy to relate to his character. I could see myself definitely passing down my wisdom of living in a large family to my children since there is no chance we will ever be having more than a couple kids. They will probably enjoy these tales about their aunts and uncles as young kids as well.

Gilligan’s Island

Why can’t we all be so lucky to get stranded on a tropical island with Ginger and Mary Anne? If I could go live the rest of my days on an island away from civilization, I’d probably jump at the chance. The crazy adventures that they had every week is sure to entertain all kids. That giant spider episode still gives me nightmares! I’m not sure what I will say, though, when my kids ask me why the Professor just didn’t go ahead and build a boat instead of waiting to be rescued.

Ryan Crawley is a writer and educator from Washington, Illinois. He enjoys using humor in all of his writing. You can find articles by him on several top Education, Parenting, and Fitness sites. To contact him, check out his LinkedIn profile.

Posted by Fathers Incorporated

Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a national, non-profit organization working to build stronger families and communities through the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood. Established in 2004, FI has a unique seat at the national table, working with leaders in the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Family Law, and the Responsible Fatherhood Movement. FI works collaboratively with organizations around the country to identify and advocate for social and legislative changes that lead to healthy father involvement with children, regardless of the father’s marital or economic status, or geographic location. From employment and incarceration issues, to child support and domestic violence, FI addresses long-standing problems to achieve long-term results for children, their families, the communities, and nation in which they live.

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