How to Decide if Your Kids Are Ready for Older Shows and Movies
I’m going to age myself a bit here but it doesn’t seem that long ago when the only TV shows playing in my house were Blues Clues, Dora, The Wonder Pets, Elmo Saves _______, and a plethora of other shows on PBS, Nick Jr., and Disney. I considered it a HUGE step in the right direction when the oldest started watching The Powerpuff Girls (still my favorite to this day… I will stop the world to watch TPG… not even lying.) and then slowly but surely, the shows started moving towards non-animated ones.
I’m not sure when exactly it was that I noticed there weren’t animated shows playing because it happened so gradually but I know that I suddenly missed hearing that it was “mail time” or to check in my “backpack” and the Wonder Pets theme song? Syd and I will still break out into it from time to time. Those cute little boogers became second and third options to shows like Lizzie McGuire and then Hannah Montana. And then those shows started turning into The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, Zoey 101, and iCarly.
Wait – What Shows Are You Watching?
At each of these transitions, I had to take some time and get an idea what the girls were watching. Whether it was hanging out with them and watching full episodes or as simple as a walk-through while it was on, I wanted to keep up with the topics that were being discussed because even though the topics were supposedly aimed at their age group at any given time there were 3 different ages in my house watching the same show. What the oldest understood as compared to her sisters who are 2 and 4 years younger was quite different so I had to make sure I was close enough to swoop in just in case I heard things getting too deep for the youngest especially. Of course, she didn’t notice but still… I wasn’t ready for her to learn about teenage pregnancy in kindergarten.
Now we’re even further away from Blues Clues days and the only reason iCarly is ever on is if they’ve just forgotten to turn the channel. The shows the high school aged kids are watching are pretty much the same ones that I would watch – Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Orange, Walking Dead and so on. Before you blow a head gasket over those shows, yes I know some of them are VERY mature but here’s something you may or may not know: by the time they’re in high school, despite your best efforts, they’ve already seen the shows. That horse is out of the barn as they say. Now it’s time to check in and do a little soft test on what their reaction is.
By the time they’re in high school, despite your best efforts, they’ve already seen the shows. That horse is out of the barn as they say. Now it’s time to check in and do a little soft test on what their reaction is. Trust me, if they don’t like the shows or certain elements of it – they’re going to turn it off themselves without you demanding they do it. While my 15YO may love Orange, she’s not a fan of Sons. She watched a couple of episodes, didn’t like what she saw, and made the decision to never turn it back on. All without me saying a word.
How to Make the Transition
So how do you make the transition from little kid shows to tween shows to adult shows? Honestly, I say just the way we did it. Let them choose shows that progressively get more mature, watch with them to make sure that it fits your family values, and from time to time have discussions on the topics that are being shown.
Over the past couple of years, Netflix has done an incredible job of adding shows to bridge the gap between “little kid” shows and shows that your tweens and teens will want to watch. Some of our favorites in the Tween section have been Fuller House, Girl Meets World, Mako Mermaids, and Project Mc2. The newest addition to the “transition” viewing options is Lemony Snickets: A Series of Misfortunate Events which premiered on January 13th… we haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but it’s definitely on our must see list!!
No matter what you or they choose, I’m pretty confident you’re going to find suggestions based on the shows they already watch that will allow them to “level up” to the next maturity level. You’ve got this mom and dad… just stay involved!
New Years Resolutions You Want to Keep
So… how ARE those resolutions coming along? Did you set the bar too high? Again? Well, Netflix has a list of resolutions that they think you’ll have no problems in keeping and it’s easy to get started because chances are, you probably are already doing them!! Just print off the sheet below and start filling in the ones you’re committed to keeping!!
So tell me…. what shows are you binging on these days??