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TV as Family Entertainment: Tweens

by YPI Editors | September 13th, 2016 | Entertainment, Tweens
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11-12-year--watching-tvThe tween years can become the time when your child wants to be out of the house or with friends on weekend nights. So, those family movie nights you enjoyed during the elementary years may be fewer and further between. Your tween also may be wanting more alone time. There’s nothing wrong with either of these changes; they’re just part of growing up.

However, it doesn’t mean that family bonding can’t exist. There are many options, but one that worked particularly well in our house was watching tv. I know, you can feel free to judge and state that tv watching isn’t bonding, but in our house it was. You can make it a weekly event, with just a little bit of planning.

First, find a tv show that everyone enjoys and can watch together. Over the years, we watched The Office, Modern Family, and Saturday Night Live. If it worked, we would watch the show during the time that it was broadcast. When it didn’t, we would find a time to watch the show (that we’d DVRed or were able to stream) at a time to convenient to all.

Second, set one ground rule: No one is to watch the show until everyone can watch it together. This made for a reason to clear schedules or leave a night open. Sometimes we kept it simple by just watching the show together. Other times, if we had a couple episodes to watch, we planned a meal or snack to go with the tv watching. Either way we were guaranteed to be together and entertained.

One of the great things about watching a tv series together is that you have a common language. It gives a basis for humor, as you all know the scene being referenced. In our family, we frequently tease one another in a loving way. Being able to do so based on show characters or events made it more humorous.

I also learned more about my children’s tastes by watching tv with them. There were other shows that we started watching and decided we didn’t like. It was interesting to hear their thoughts and discover what appealed to them. Typically we agreed on shows, whether to continue watching or not, and it was good to hear their perspective.

If you’re looking for a new way to bond with your tween, consider sharing a tv show. You never know the conversations it may lead to and the bonding it may encourage.

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