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Can I let my teen watch shows such as Mad Men where the characters drink and smoke heavily?
Mad Men and period dramas that depict outdated practices offer a great chance to talk about history, cultural changes, and even advances in science and medicine. But recognizing how things have changed requires a certain level of maturity, so Common Sense Media recommends many of these types of shows for older teens only.
If you can, enjoy the programs with your teen so you'll know what types of things to talk about. Here are a few ideas:
- Talk to teens about how cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs are portrayed in period movies and on television. Explain that shows amp up the racy stuff for entertainment purposes.
- Ask what they think the real impact would be of so much drinking and smoking in real life.
- Discuss why three-martini lunches and office smoking have fallen out of fashion.
- Talk about other cultural practices that are no longer accepted (sexism, for example).