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16 TV Series That’ll Help Parents Understand Their Kids Better

Adolescence is a sensitive age, when teens are unknowingly unaware of and vulnerable in the environment they find themselves in. On top of that, they are also highly influenced by it. While as a parent, you might read all the parenting books while trying to raise them right, but examples from some TV shows may help you understand things a lot better.

Bright Side created a list of these TV shows to help you understand what’s going on in teenagers’ lives.

1. Stranger Things

This show revolves around a group of teens fighting a monster in Hawkins. The parents in the show are the ultimate examples of parenting done right. Joyce is an anxious and overprotective single mom for good reason, and Hop is a father who is a softy on the inside. His relationship with Eleven, the main hero that he adopted, healed her emotional trauma after all she’d been through in her childhood. It shows that everyone has their own love language — when we learn to express it the right way, our love message will be heard.

2. Sex Education

A major part of high school life involves finding oneself, and this show is pretty much about this. While this show centralizes on how sex education is important among youngsters, it is also more about self-acceptance and respect for others’ choices. As a parent, you may not know what aspects to communicate when it comes to sex-ed, let this show enlighten you.

3. Parenthood

This show is about the Braverman family and the challenges in their relationship, in raising kids, and in the way they’ve got each other’s backs when times are tough. Since the emotions are always on the high amongst the teens, they are bound to take family and relationships for granted. Parents and teens can watch this show together to realize the value of this companionship when things get rough.

4. Freaks and Geeks

Sadly, Freaks and Geeks only ran for a season, but it is one of the most famous teen shows of all time. Apart from its popular cast, the show is highly relatable among parents and teens. Parents can have a conversation with their kids about how they don’t need to do anything to impress people, how people change, and how it’s okay if your friends grow apart.

5. The Healing Powers of Dude

This Netflix show is based on Noah, who suffers from social anxiety disorder. It gets so severe that he has to get an emotional support dog, named Dude, to go to school with him. If your child has anxiety issues too, this show could help you understand what this disorder looks like, and have a better awareness of ways to show empathy and deal with mental health issues.

6. Euphoria

This drama showcases how the younger generation gets misled by their emotions. While this show may have over-exaggerated the events, it may be easy to misinterpret that all kids follow the same path. Parents also need to understand that it’s not easy to be a teen these days. All they need is to be convinced that they are not ill-equipped for anything.

7. Glee

While Euphoria can be difficult to watch, we also have a lighthearted and fun show on the list. Glee covers important topics like relationships, disabilities, sexuality, and a lot more, with the perfect blend of music and comedy. It also helps you understand that school hierarchies actually work, and you can discuss these issues with your kids, in a friendly way.

8. The Fosters

The show is about a huge family that includes a lesbian couple, their biological son, 2 foster kids, and 4 adopted kids. It offers a vivid glimpse of what life is like behind closed doors. What parents can realize from this show is how to teach their kids to embrace self-acceptance, tragedies, family, and most of all, love.

9. Cheer

The show features the lives of elite, competitive, and hardworking cheerleaders who strive to remain world champions. Cheer is loaded with a lot of positivity about teamwork, having achievable goals, and camaraderie. Besides, you can also have meaningful conversations with your child about the importance of sports, not giving up, life purposes, and having each other’s back.

10. My So-Called Life

My So-Called Life highlights the reality of a high school sophomore and covers many topics like peer pressure, sexuality, domestic violence, and a lot more. Parents must understand that if their child is facing these issues, they need to be understood and fully supported. It also teaches many life lessons like, we aren’t immune to pain, rumors don’t define us, and it’s always okay to ask our families for support.

11. Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl centers around the rich girls of NYC, which normalizes their sophisticated and risqué behaviors. This show is one of the most influential ones among teen girls. Parents need to understand that in adolescence, where emotions run high, kids also get influenced by this kind of lifestyle, which may force them to impress the people around them, while ending up in emotional distress. Instead, you can enlighten your kids about a positive self-image, and about not going overboard for the sake of others.

12. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

This show turned out to be so good, that there are even courses on it and books written about it. It showcased many situations that showed the difficulties teens go through in high school. It explored these aspects with a supernatural twist, including prom, puberty, and popularity. Parents can have a conversation with their kids about picking and choosing friends, life choices, and what happens when bad things happen to good people.

13. Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls emphasizes the relationship between a single mother and her daughter. The show involves family dynamics, relationships, and coming of age issues. It also conveys positive messages for strong and empowered women. It is a great watch to begin with if you want to have some important conversations with your teens about defending themselves, working smartly, and holding their heads up high.

14. Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights highlights the lives of the Dillon Panthers, one of the best high school football teams. You don’t need to know anything specifically about sports to understand it. It highlights teen issues like recklessness, relationships, peer pressure, and a few issues every teen athlete goes through. Kids need to be taught about responsibility and compassion for each other.

15. 13 Reasons Why

This is a must-watch series with your teen, as it covers many serious real-life issues experienced by teens and youngsters. Parents have to create an open and honest line of communication with their kids and need to encourage their child to make the most of their school guidance counselors, if any of these situations arise.

16. Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever is a teen TV rom-com that centers around Devi and her adolescent problems. It also highlights how the demise of her father leaves an impact on her in the long run. Parents can also discuss this show with their kids in regard to friendships, relationships, self-control, integrity, sexuality, and most of all, family.

Which other shows do you think may come in handy for understanding adolescent issues?

Preview photo credit Never Have I Ever / Netflix