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TV as Family Entertainment: Teens

by YPI Editors | September 15th, 2016 | Entertainment, Teens

Teen-&-mother-watching-tv-togetherThe teen years are busy years. Actually all parenting years are busy, they just take different formats. In the teen years, the busy parts come from sports, extracurricular activities, social events, school assignments, after school jobs, and more. With all of these happenings, you might wonder when you’ll see your teen.

There are plenty of ways to find family time, but one that I found to be highly enjoyable for all was watching a tv show or movie. Even more than giving a bonding time, it also gave us a springboard for discussion. It provided us with an opportunity to discuss more intimate topics.

One of the things to consider with teens is what shows and movies they’re allowed to watch. Both have rating systems that include age recommendations. So, can your 13 year old watch a tv show rated TV14? How about an R-rated movie- can your 15 or 16 year old watch that? Most teens are going to want to watch these shows before they are that age. That doesn’t mean that you have to concede; it is a decision parents need to make based on the show/movie itself and the maturity of your children.

That being said, watching a show or movie with your teen can be a good way to introduce him to more mature themes and discuss them. There was a tv show that my daughter wanted to watch around the age of 14. The rating was TV14, which was appropriate, but I knew there would be controversial topics. So although it wasn’t my favorite show, we watched it together every week and talked about decisions made by the characters. It was good for me to see her logic and to help her understand topics that may have been slightly beyond her understanding.

Of course, every family-teen movie night doesn’t need to revolve around a controversial topic or racy subject, but it still can be a discussion starter. Watching movies with your teen can begin conversations about a variety of topics, such as what he might want to study in college, what he thinks about getting married, where he’d like to travel in the next decade. Watching a movie together can provide the foundation for conversations both serious and fun.

Yes, the teen years are busy years, especially with events outside of the home. However, with a little planning, family tv or movie watching can become an event that provides some good bonding time and maybe even a little peek into your teen’s mind. Make it a fun event with snacks and no outside stresses (homework is done, watching won’t make anyone late for practice), and it’s sure to be a good way to have time with your teen.

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