We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby! Or How The Cleavers Could Take A Lesson From Us

There are some sitcoms that are timeless. My kids love to watch The Brady Bunch, The Cosby Show and Leave It To Beaver.  Lessons from these shows often translate into something we can talk about, something that reinforces values we are trying to teach them.

And sometimes, an episode is merely a sign of the times and a chance for us to see how far we’ve come.


We were watching a Leave It To Beaver episode recently regarding the topic of smoking.

First June Cleaver says, “But Wally promised not to start smoking until he was old enough!”

(Old enough? What?)

And then my 9-year-old son turns to me and asks, “What’s an ashtray?”

You know what?

In the last 50 years, I think our generation has finally gotten something right.




Filed under Lessons Learned, television

6 responses to “We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby! Or How The Cleavers Could Take A Lesson From Us

  1. Oh my gosh. That’s fantastic! Kids don’t automatically know what ashtrays are? Outstanding!!

  2. I have to disagree. There are still smokers, despite the knowledge of what smoking & chewing can do to a body. There are also a great number of smokers today who do not know what an ashtray is, making for a very messy planet. I think we can say we have gotten it right when NO ONE is smoking.

  3. Thinking of the old ashtrays my parents kept around the house for dinner parties, I’d say that you’re onto something.

  4. Hmmm… In the ’50s smoking was acceptable (among adults, anyway) and now it’s completely demonized.

    Then again, in the ’50s things like premarital sex, state sponsored gambling, union busting, divorce and abortion were generally seen as lethal to family health and to the society as a whole.

    You watched a TV show from two generations ago and were horrified by their indifference to health risks. Have you ever considered how those folks, watching in their smoky living rooms, would have reacted to our programs?

    If I trouble myself to consider the shortcomings of my own generation I’m not so quick to put the knock on our


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