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Why I want my daughter to watch TV

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The lessons our kids can glean from prime-time fare might surprise youBy Barbara Card Atkinson Special to MSN TVTV has long been considered a vast moral and cultural wasteland (with some rare exceptions). Especially daunting has been the way women have been portrayed, from man-crazy ditzes to long-suffering wives saddled with thick-skulled husbands to cutthroat corporate types who alienate their underlings. But TV has a lot to offer, and the important lessons that children can glean from pop culture fare might surprise you. It's delighting me. I'm seeing shows that feature stellar female characters -- often flawed, but outside the mold of "waif" or "lost/lovelorn lamb." It's also nice to see male characters outside the "dumb dad" or "humorless, intractable grump" mode -- more men need to be portrayed with depth and nuance, too. There are shows that depict moral dilemmas (often with unintended consequences), the nuanced ways office and public politics must be navigated, and shows about how people have treated one another and continue to treat one another. While there is still an avalanche of TV out there featuring varying levels of questionable material, in terms of sharing it with our children, there are also a number of shows that can be enjoyed by multiple generations. And, hey, if the kids, both my son and daughter, inadvertently learn something as well, everyone wins. While not every one of these shows is right for kids of every age, I have a few I think are worth considering. Bing: More about Amy Poehler | 'Parks and Recreation'What's your favorite TV show? Connect and sound off on Facebook and Twitter(NBC)
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