I don’t watch much TV, much less with the children. But, since we had a 5-hour drive to Nashville a few days ago (thanks, Memorial Day weekend traffic!), I enjoyed the privilege of talking to the children about what they’ve been watching on The Netflix.
For example, in the newer episodes of Scooby-Doo, Fred and Daphne seem to be dating, and my children don’t like it. They find that this plot twist is an “unnecessary distraction” and “delays the mask removal process.” While I don’t understand the latter reason (unless it means that it’s a filler of sorts and that the show could conclude sooner without it), I certainly agree with the former assessment and overall sentiment. In the original Scooby-Doo, there wasn’t time for that, and such should continue to be the case.
They also like to watch the “American Girl” movies–even the boy! There are like 4 of them, and they seem like wholesome entertainment. Plus, they bring up lots of good conversation starters for exceedingly extended periods on I-75. Examples of discussions we had just last weekend included types of talents children may have and how to best develop them, how one gets a sense of self worth as a kid, bullying and its myriad forms, what good “grandparenting” looks like when compared and contrasted with parenting, etc. It was a great opportunity to provide somewhat solicited opinions and advice (meaning they were more invested and likely to listen), and it gave me something to think about that differed from “How can I clandestinely give this jackass in a van ‘the finger’? ‘Look, a deer!’ worked for Clark W. Griswold. Should I try that?”
So, if you’re wondering if your Netflix streaming subscription can help when facing a long trip with no wifi, the answer is “yes.” Just front load the viewing and then discuss the questions created. And save that hand gesture for when you’re driving alone.