How Netflix is Strengthening Our Mother Daughter Bond

Hi, I’m Sara. I’m just a mom who is trying to balance life {life “balance” is a myth, by the way, but that’s a whole different blog post}. I’m trying to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, be a good wife, a good teacher {day job}, a good student {night job}, a good friend, all while a being good mother to my three kids. I wouldn’t say I’m ever stellar at all of the things, but I’m doing my best not to suck at any of them and, at the very least, provide as little cause as possible for my kids to need therapy in the future.

We are at a phase in our family life where quality time is hard to come by in any one of our relationships, but I’m learning that moments that matter don’t have to be extravagant. For my daughter {13} and I, Netflix has changed us completely. I’m not normally one to be a proponent for sitting on the couch and getting brain fried by binging, but I have to speak to the way this mundane activity is strengthening and forging our relationship in ways I wouldn’t have ever really imagined. So … what’s changed?

Quality Time

As the oldest child, my daughter carries a lot of responsibility, and shoulders it well, so we wanted to give her a little more freedom with her extra load. The easiest way we could do this was making her bedtime just a little bit later than her younger brothers. Like I mentioned before, quality time is hard to come by without planning individual outings, but since we started watching shows together, she chooses to spend this time with me every night instead of in her room. As someone who spent every night locked away in my room as a teen, I am beyond thankful for the hallowed Netflix hour. Bonus:: it doesn’t cost anything extra to sit on the couch and snuggle up!

Shared Interests

I’m loving the age my daughter is and all of the self-discovery that comes along with it. She is finding her taste in music, creating her own style, and discovering the genres she loves to be immersed in. The fun part for me is that I am learning we have a lot of the same tastes! It is a soul-refresher when we are singing along to the same songs, completely taken with one character’s story line, and absolutely giddy to see the same movies.

With Netflix, what started out as a Stranger Things marathon has turned into a pastime that we both love. When we finish one show, we search shows together until we find one that looks interesting to us both. Together we have tackled Stranger Things, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Charmed, Locke and Key, The Umbrella Academy, Glee, and are currently double fisting Supernatural and The Irregulars…. We may have a thing for the otherworldly…{and singing loudly… we regularly take breaks to re-watch Glee!}. Maybe you have seen some of those shows and you are thinking “WOAH. You watch THAT with your child?!” Keep on reading.

Hard Conversations

I am never one to shy away from a conversation with my children, but it is hard to initiate those conversations. Watching shows with some questionable subject matter has actually been a huge game changer for us. Why? Because we actually talk about the hard stuff now. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t watching anything on Netflix over TV-14, but some of the stuff deemed appropriate for 14-year-olds is really mind blowing. But, here’s the truth :: she’s already hearing this stuff at school. She’s got friends who are already doing the things we don’t want to talk to our kids about. She has seen and experienced some of the stuff we as parents would rather hide our faces from, but now I know what she knows, and now we’ve created a place where it’s okay to talk about it. If there ever were anything I could say I wanted my children to know, it’s that they can come to me with or about anything, no matter what. We’ve opened up the door to conversations about drugs, drinking, pornography, sex, sexual orientation, injustices, addiction, death, and so much more. Did I speak to these things before? Sure. But the talks have made a beautiful transition from lecture to dialogue, and that is a win.

Loyalty, Grace, and Patience

This may seem silly… I mean, how can Netflix create loyalty? But you already know. You know the stinging, backstabbing feeling when someone watches an episode of the show you were watching together without you and follows it with a “I couldn’t help myself!” or “I’ll still watch it with you!”. Traitors. We aren’t raising traitors in this house. But, seriously, if I am busy with school or work and can’t watch a show that night, she waits, peacefully. I tell her she can watch ahead and I’ll catch up, but she doesn’t. And here’s the crazy thing, she still sits with me. She doesn’t complain or whine. She asks me what I’m working on or if she can help with anything {she loves grading papers!}. She knows I would rather be on the couch with her. And I’m seeing that she would rather spend the time with me, too.

2 COMMENTS

  1. YES!!! I love that my 11 year old daughter & hubby bond watching Stranger Things. I can’t do scary stuff, but thankfully, she also likes Full House, so she & I have watched tons of re-runs, plus Fuller House, too! And lately, we went thru Selena on Netflix and, as a latina mom, nothing could make me happier than now singing songs I’ve loved for years WITH my daughter! I guess we can say Thank You, Netflix?! Oh, and shout out to quality time with my teen son — we’re watching ALL things Star Wars on Disney plus! 🙂

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