For a while it seemed like technology was reducing the time we spent with our children and the amount of conversation we could have to get to know what was going on in their lives. Well, that same technology can be the solution to build bridges with our kids.
Thanks to a survey Netflix did across seven countries (Canada, U.S.A., Mexico, U.K, Australia, Brazil, Italy) we know that parents (79%) and teens (65%) agree that watching the same shows could help start a dialogue, and most teens (71%) admit that having their parents watch their favourite shows could help them understand what’s going on in their lives.
Still not convinced? Here are 13 reasons why…
1. With the popularity of controversial shows increasing, kids are becoming exposed to tough topics (sex, suicide, bullying, stress). It would be nice if we could protect them from knowing how tough life can be, but kids grow, the world keeps changing, time keeps moving forward, and kids need to be informed. They are our future. It’s not a cliché. It’s the truth.
2. It’s important for them to know what’s right and wrong; what they can do if they find themselves in a tough situation. Some TV shows (see examples below) can actually help them recognize these scenarios.
3. Do they know what to do if they’re being bullied or what to do if someone harasses them? Do they know what to do if they’re not feeling emotionally well? Do we know what’s going on in their lives? TV can spark these exact conversations with your kids.
4. Television can show one of many sides of a situation when there’s more to see and learn. If we watch the same shows as they do, we can understand how to help them. We can get more information ourselves so we can answer their questions.
5. Allow them to see and learn about diversity by watching a television show about a family from two different countries going through good and bad times (One Day at a Time).
7. Make sure they know that consent is essential (Jessica Jones).
8. Let them witness how science and faith can co exist, how to live we need both our head and heart to guide us, which can also show them that different opinions exist and yet is possible to find common ground (Bones).
9. Remind them just how funny and crazy life can turn out when you’re ‘adulting’ (FRIENDS).
10. If you can create a space and a time to watch that same show together and spend time with each other you’re creating a safe space for conversation, honesty and trust.
11. Staying in is definitely going to be a money saver!
12. Those two, three or even four (!) hours you dedicate to binge watching (it can happen) with your child will also involve sharing your opinions with each other. These are hours that you will both remember and cherish for the rest of your life.
13. And lastly, wouldn’t you love to not wonder for once where they are? Just look next to you and you will see them there