Photo Credit: Nickelodeon
If there's one thing I've learned as a parent -- even as a divorced one -- it's that most kids enjoy experiences even more when their parents are honestly enjoying them alongside. And I mean enjoying -- not barking orders or oozing disapproval. Now here's the cool (and to some, shocking) part: this shared experience can even include watching television.
Too often, we parents slump our shoulders and let TV's siren-ish light waves consume our children while we attempt to get important things done. But the answer isn't always to tear them away from the screen. (Besides, that means you have to come up with something else for them to do).
My kids beg for me to watch SpongeBob, iCarly and old Goosebumps reruns with them; they get a huge kick when I laugh, scream or just generally zone in with them. Before we know it, we're flopping all over each other, angling for the comfiest viewing position and occasionally rewinding to revisit the best parts.
But remember this: Your kids can tell when you're enduring a TV show solely for their sake (it's obvious by the way you gaze longingly at the remote). Don't consider jumping in until the kids are well past your personal "Unwatchable TV" period. My personal comfort zone is well after Clifford and Caillou (“My eyes, My EYES!”), a tad after Power Rangers and well into the realm of iCarly, Word Girl, Wizards of Waverly Place and SpongeBob.
SpongeBob Squarepants, as I've noted here before, is perhaps the most watchable show in the history of kids' television. I could watch that all day with my kids. And some of those tween shows -- iCarly in particular -- are often really funny. Funnier than Three’s Company and Gilligan's Island were, anyway. I even like watching American Idol with my kids (though that may be over and done in this post-Simon Cowell period. We do have our standards.)
So, the next time your kids are watching something on TV that seems somewhat amusing to you, remember this sage advice: If you can't wean 'em, join 'em.
Do you like watching TV with your kids? Chime in below!
Like This? Read These:
What Kids can Learn From American Idol
Confessions of a Grown-Up SpongeBob Fan
It's Official: Kids Spend Too Much Time in Front of the TV
Why is Divorce So Rare in Kids TV?