A few weeks ago I found my oldest digging through my closet looking for socks. At 11 her feet are the same size as mine. Sadly the chubby baby and cheek pulling stage is long past. And while a part of me is looking forward to my kids becoming responsible world citizens that doesn’t stop me from dreading the teen years.
The thought of how my children are growing up in this contentious world has been bearing on my mind of late. I’m looking for more common ground with them so that I can get juicy answers to the question, “How was your day?”
Technology forms a big part of our world and when I heard TV shows for tweens have been proven to be a great way to strike up a conversation with kids, I thought, why not!
Disclaimer: I am part of the Netflix #StreamTeam and as such I receive perks for sharing with you my honest opinion about Netflix and it’s offerings.
A recent survey done by Netflix reveals that one of the ways parent feel closer to their teens is by watching their TV shows with them. Even though my oldest is still 11 I find the same holds true for the tween age group as well.
The survey found that “parents around the world are eager to connect with their teens, and contrary to popular belief teens really do want to open up. With 70% of parents and 66% of teens wishing they had more to talk about with one another,” the survey raised the question – where’s the common ground?
Are parents watching their teens’ favourite TV shows?
It turns out 82% of Canadian parents admit they already are. I want my kids to open up to me more and more as they get older and since their experiences are taking place in my absence, research says that watching shows together gives us more to talk about. Over the past few months we have started to watch shows that are in between kids and adult shows. Not only are these shows helping me bridge the conversation gap they are also inspiring discussions on tough topics like sex and stress and peer pressure.
TV Shows For Tweens
A light-hearted show about the 99th Police precinct in Brooklyn that’s led by the inspirational Capt Holt, the team solves crimes and cracks jokes with the comedic Detective Jake Perralta in lead. The show features strong female characters and the storyline is intricate enough to keep tweens interested while remaining fun. There is an amorous relationship between two of the key characters and Capt Holt is gay – great discussion topics if you haven’t yet addressed them with your tweens.
Once Upon A Time
This show was added to my favourite list only recently and I don’t know why it took me so long. It is about storybook characters who are trapped in the real world with no memory of their fairy tale lives. There are some great topics addressed during the first season around abandonment and fighting back against evil even if that evil is your adopted mother. Spoiler Alert: the evil queen switches sides a couple of seasons later. From villains to heroes – that is a conversation I’m looking forward to.
This is admittedly a dark show; a little bit too dark for many tweens. On the other hand it’s about heroes kicking butt and so you can’t go wrong with that. If you follow my writing you’ve read how I feel about strong female role models in media and this show has a few. Shadowhunters is about demon hunters, vampire and werewolves. And yes, it is dark with minor blood sucking (milder than Buffy for those who remember) but the story moves along steadily and is interesting. It’s a good time to talk about relationships and good friendships, and of course the double P – peer pressure.
The Netflix survey also said that “when it comes to tough conversations, parents (79%) and teens (65%) agree that watching the same shows could help start a dialogue. And most teens (71%) even admit that having their parents watch their favourite shows could help them better understand what’s going on in their lives.”
If all that it takes for me to encourage my kids to open up to me is to watch TV with them, then you know where you’ll find me this evening!