Sexy nighttime soaps are a staple of guilty-pleasure TV. But some shows really push the envelope with portrayals of sex, drugs, and risky behavior. Topics like losing your virginity, eating disorders, and trying pot seem to appear regularly in shows intended for a teen audience.
So how do you manage it?
Watch first. If you can preview the show first, that will give you an idea of what to expect -- and what you can talk to your teen about.
Don't let younger kids watch these types of shows. The subjects they cover -- consequence-free underage drinking, smoking, drug use, and non-consensual sex -- aren't appropriate for kids middle school age and younger.
Watch with your older kids. Use these shows as an opportunity to insert your own values about some of the topics they cover. Sensitive subjects like sex, drugs, and alcohol are often easier to discuss in the context of fictional characters.
Enjoy. Treat the shows as the shallow entertainment they are -- and feel free to laugh along with your teen at the ridiculous shenanigans on the screen.
Have a reality check. Remind your teen that no one actually lives like the characters on these shows and that the storylines are designed for maximum entertainment value to increase viewership.