Surviving Teenagers Or Why They Argue Over The TV

30/03/2011 11:29 | Updated 22 May 2015

Surviving Teenagers or why they argue over the TVIt would, of course, make a lot more sense to have a telly in every room rather than sitting there listening to my teenagers argue about what to watch.

Battles lines are drawn on traditional lines. My teenage sons want explosions and a high body count while my daughter wants relationships and romance. Last night it was The Bourne Ultimatum versus Nine Months.

'You cannot,' said my 19-year-old, 'expect me watch Hugh Grant.'

What's wrong with Hugh Grant? Such a lovely British export. But the argument got quite heated. I joined in on my daughter's side to even up the stakes, until my husband appeared and undid all my fine work.

In the old days, when they were tiny little scraps fighting over - I can't remember - Power Rangers versus Art Attack, it was easy to weigh in and restore calm (bribery was not unknown). But nowadays I just sit there wondering where it will all end. They're all so good at arguing. There's attack and counter-attack, dummy punches, verbal left hooks. I can get a few appalled seconds of peace when I say, 'Right, if no one can agree, why don't we all watch Edwardian Farm?', but they're getting wise to this now. They didn't even believe that their father wanted to watch QI, which was a shame, because he actually likes it (I have no idea why).

Sometimes all is serene. Everyone likes Take Me Out. But most of the time there's someone scowling in the corner.

'Why don't you get another television?' said my mum at Christmas.

'Because it would be sad,' I said. 'Everyone in different rooms watching different things.'

'Anyway,' said my son, 'arguing over TV is what we do. It's a family activity.'

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