Raising teenagers can be complicated. As they get older they want more freedom and hanging out with mom isn’t high on their list of priorities. Pair that with the fact that life puts so many demands on adults, there are barely enough hours in a day to get it all done. Still, teens must get some quality time with their parents.
One of the ways to do this is to have an in-home family night, as several television shows can help foster communication. Check out these ten TV shows moms can watch with teens!
10 13 Reasons Why
Before watching this series with your teen, it would be best to talk to them about the sensitive topics that come up in 13 Reasons Why. The series may not be suitable for all teens, especially if they are battling mental illness.
13 Reasons Why opens the door to conversations about bullying, sexual assault, and suicide. It gets off to a slow start but eventually, it picks up. It may be hard for parents to watch but this is a series that most teens should watch alone. There are two complete seasons of the show available for viewing.
9 Freaks And Geeks
This is a series that can be binge-watched in a night with your teen. Painfully short-lived, Freaks and Geeks only aired a dozen of the recorded 18 episodes when it originally hit the air in 1999. The remaining episodes were later aired after fans made some noise.
The teen-comedy/drama follows a teenage girl and her brother as they work their way through high school. A great conversation starter, it touches subjects like drug use, bullying, and cutting class. The characters go through changes that every teen can relate to, such as trying to fit in, peer pressure and discovering one’s self-image.
Don’t let the name of the show fool you! This show is full of laughter, courage, and topics that every family can relate to, no matter their race. The series follows a middle-class black family and tackles a variety of social, political and personal topics.
It is suitable for teens of all ages. For those ready to take on more mature topics, they can follow one of the characters to college in the show’s spinoff, Grown-ish. It’s no secret that college will bring on problems of a different kind. Basically, this is a two-for-one for parents and teens.
One of the beautiful things about Speechless is that it adds another layer to family life that most other shows never explore. In this family comedy, there is a lot for parents of special needs children to relate with. So, not only does it open the door for communication between parents and teens, but it can also help parents of special needs children to explore and discuss their emotions with one another.
Speechless follows a wheel-chair bound teen as he tries to live as normal a life as possible. There are bound to be just as many laughs as they are tears when watching this one with your teen.
6 Stranger Things
Teens who love sci-fi should adore Stranger Things. It’s an awesome option for older or more mature teenagers. The series follows a group of youngsters who learn valuable life lessons as they come across hidden government agendas and scary monsters from other dimensions.
Conversations about friendship, love, and sexuality are easily put on the table. The characters are relatable, funny and earthy. It would be easy for any teen to name which person in their group of friends is represented by which character in the series.
5 Gilmore Girls
An older show, Gilmore Girls is the perfect mother/daughter series but you’ll have to stream it. Rory and her mom, Lorelai, have the classic mother/daughter relationship. Throughout the series, they work their way through teen romance, hover-style parenting, and leaving home. The series can help start conversations about teen sex, alcohol, drug abuse, and responsibility.
Daughters will see some of their mom in Lorelai and moms will definitely see their daughters in Rory. Netflix even revived the show for a miniseries, so there is a lot of content to sit through.
4 The Good Place
Where do we go when it’s over? That’s the question that The Good Place asks in an unimaginably hilarious way. This series helps put some of the tougher topics into perspective. The main character, Elenor, played by Kristen Bell, accidentally ends up in the "Good Place," despite being an awful person while she was living.
However, with the help of the good-hearted residents of the area, Eleanor tries her best to earn her spot in the afterlife. The series’ overall message on what it takes and means to be a good person is a lesson that all teens can benefit from. The Good Place even throws out a few surprising twists, so it is just an entertaining show to watch.
3 Everything Sucks!
Everything Sucks! is another series that had a short life. It barely made it through its one and only season. Still, the show is great for parents to watch with their teens. It's the classic “becoming a teenager” story. All teens can relate to what it feels like when they are trying to find their place in the group or be part of the in-crowd in high school.
In addition, the show tackles the sexual changes that come along with growing up in a rather light-hearted way. Overall, the series maintains a positive and funny tone. A softer version of Freaks and Geeks.
2 Dear White People
What happens when a mostly Caucasian Ivy League university gets a splash of color? A lot! A group of students' experiences with self-perception, race, sexual identity, and so much more are broadcasted for all to see. Of course, there are friendships, romances, and relationships built on hate.
The diverse bunch is led by an on-campus, female radio host deadest on shedding light on sensitive topics in an effort to start a discussion and find solutions. This series is great for starting conversations about the various types of hate that are so persistent in the world today.
1 The Amazing Race
Competitive shows are always great for family bonding. The Amazing Race follows teams as they travel around the world, completing tasks to win a grand prize. This series sheds light on the nature of competition, what it means to be part of a team and the importance of never giving up.
Another topic that arises often is cultural diversity, as the teams are often traveling the globe throughout the season. Parents and teens will see their favorite teams fight, cry, and laugh. Most importantly, they’ll learn things about each other that they never would have if they didn’t sit down and watch…together.