I was complaining on Twitter with Stacey Loscalzo about the lack of decent programming for tweens when we decided to collect the handful of TV shows that are both mom and tween approved. It’s sad that there are so few given the quality and plethora of shows for toddlers and preschoolers. It was tween Disney shows that set me off. I think Stacey and I bonded over the word “inane” to describe the shows of twenty-somethings playing tweens. But if not Disney, what?
I polled the ladies at my hair salon and one of the best ideas was creating a show based on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. “Why can’t they base a show on that?” my hair stylist Tricia lamented? Why not, indeed?
Another stylist says that she watches Glee with her girls. Her girls’ friends discuss the show anyway and she is fine with them watching it as long as she’s there too to help explain it and put it into context. (There is a lot of sexuality in Glee that make it off-limits for some parents to approve of for their tweens.)
Best TV for Tweens
I polled my family and the play dates next. This is the list that made the cut:
It’s All on the Line (Joe Zee the Creative Director of Elle Magazine helps struggling designers make a go of their business. His ideas are on pointe but it’s fun to watch whether or not a) they listen to him and b) have what it takes to change.)
Make It or Break It (My 11-year-old loves this gymnastics drama of girls trying to make the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympics team. It made her convert our basement into a gym using camping pads you put under your sleeping bag. She taught herself no-hands cartwheel after watching marathon session of this show. There are some serious themes like anorexia and sex offender though. The girls are in high school so this show is a little old for her.)
The Voice (My husband says the new judges Usher and Shakira were surprisingly articulate and funny. I like watching the contestants follow their dreams.)
Cake Boss (We love Buddy and his wacky family feels like extended family if you watch a lot of the shows. The creativity of each gigantic cake keeps us plugged in.)
D.C. Cupcakes (We might have to trek to Boston to check out their latest outpost because of this show. I saw the episode where they baked thousands of cupcakes to send to the troops in the Mid East. Those ladies are amazing!)
Cupcake War (I approve of any cooking competition show on Food TV Network. Some kids are riveted by the competitiveness, the creativity, and the agony of defeat.)
Modern Family (Our 5th grade play date Devin approves of this show for 5th graders and older. It brings her family together and they love it so much they record it.)
CNN Kids (Our fifth grade kids watch this daily at school).
Friends (My kids were amazed to discover that we watched Friends a decade ago. I love how nice they are.)
Julie of My Shiny Monkey says, “For your Tween TV post, if you need more recommendations, we love watching these shows together: Shark Tank (business lessons), How It’s Made (engineering), Modern Family (relationships), and Jon Stewart’s Daily Show (world events).”
How about you? What are your tweens watching that you approve of? Stacey weighs in next! Read more…