Having tweens — kids who aren’t quite teenagers but are definitely showing signs of maturing, or just general angst — is tough.
It becomes a bit harder to relate to kids who are beginning to tip-toe close to the puberty years, but one of the biggest challenges is finding things that they actually want to do with you.
Mostly, they just want to hang out with their friends, sit on the computer, or steal your cellphone. But that’s when TV comes into play, because TV isn’t all bad, especially when you can find shows to watch together. That’s one good thing about having tweens, too!
They’re basically over cartoons, and that means you don’t have to stomach another episode of Dinotrux or Peppa Pig. You can watch shows you like again! Well, within reason.
While it may not be time to introduce them to your favorite true crime docs, there’s definitely room to find shows you’ll both actually be into, too. There are tons of newer shows that parents and tweens will love, but with so many amazing streaming services available, you can also introduce kids to shows you used to watch back in the day.
Since we’ve all got time on our hands, it’s a great time to chill out and find some really great shows to watch with our tweens.
Here are seven shows that I’m not definitely not mad about watching with mine.
'Anne With an 'E'"
Anne With an “E” is an incredible show that just about anyone, regardless of age, would enjoy. If you read Anne of Green Gables, from which the show was adapted, even better! It’s the tale of a 13-year-old orphan who has endured an abusive childhood. Anne is mistakenly sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. She changes everyone’s lives around her for the better, making it an emotional and uplifting tale.
Tweens specifically will love the show because of the main character’s feisty and imaginative spirit. It’s also proof that coming from challenging circumstances can’t define you.
There are three seasons of Anne and you can watch them all on Netflix.
Netflix just dropped a new documentary based on Michelle Obama’s bestselling book, Becoming. The documentary follows Michelle on her book tour. It’s a deeply inspiring film that shows what a force the former first lady truly is. Her compassion and deep commitment to her messages of hope are so present in the film.
It’s an especially great watch for moms and daughters because of the close and really unique relationships Michelle has with her two girls, Sasha and Malia, whom we get to know a bit more in the film.
You can stream Becoming now on Netflix.
'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
If you were a Buffy fan long ago and you have a tween, then what are you even doing reading this? Go, run, watch! Buffy is one of those great teenage dramas that are always fun to binge-watch. I mean, it has everything — vampires, love, vampires in love! What more could you need?
Not only is it fun to watch the shows you used to love again, but it’s even more fun watching with your tween and seeing them get to know the quirky characters. There’s both humor and action on Buffy, too, so it’s really hard not to love, even if it is from 1997!
Luckily, you can stream every season on Hulu.
'Never Have I Ever'
We all could use a laugh these days — adults and tweens alike. The new comedy Never Have I Ever is here to help with that. It’s a totally great binge, too.
For parents, it will probably remind you of a lot about navigating high school. For tweens, it will feel like a lighthearted warning. It stars an Indian American girl named Devi who is struggling with friends, her parents, and, of course, boys. And because it was created by comedy goddess Mindy Kaling, you just know it’s going to be laugh-out-loud funny.
You can check out Never Have I Ever now on Netflix.
Gilmore Girls is such an adorable show about a mother-daughter duo. If you watched it when you were younger (maybe with your own mom), it will feel really special to watch it now with your tween. There’s definitely a few grown-up topics tackled on the show, but it’s handled in a pretty PG way.
Tweens will be into watching Rory grow up and navigate school, boyfriends, and her relationship with her mom and the rest of her family. Moms, especially single moms, will love watching Lorelai in action as a strong mom and entrepreneur.
You can watch every season of Gilmore Girls, as well as the reboot, on Netflix.
Here’s the thing about Everything Sucks that makes it so watchable for tweens and parents alike: It’s an adorable and quirky show about a misfit kid, but it’s set in the mid-’90s. So for parents, it totally feels like a blast from the past. All of the music — tons of classic ’90s songs — will definitely give you high school vibes and probably the feels. For tweens, it will just feel like a really relatable show about the tough emotions that come with growing up. It’s really a win-win!
Unfortunately, there’s only one season of Everything Sucks, which, yes, totally sucks! But you can watch it on Netflix.
'The Vampire Diaries'
The Vampire Diaries is all about the drama. It’s basically a soap opera. It’s a bit cheesy and over the top, but that’s what makes it so fun to watch. It’s definitely the show with the most “mature” themes on this list, so make sure your tween is ready for it. But for tweens who are interested in a bit of romance, as well as a good scare, this show is a must-watch.
If your tween loved the book series the show is based on, then they’ll definitely love bingeing the TV show. Adults probably didn’t read the series, but either way, it’s downright enjoyable.
Check it out now on Netflix.