The Character Movement

10 Positive Shows and Movies to Watch With Your Kids

By Joe Cavanaugh

One evening at home, I was surfing through Netflix for something to watch with my nine year-old daughter, Tess, and I found what I thought was the perfect thing – the original “Star Trek.” It was one of my favorite shows as a kid and I was excited to share it with my daughter.

We started to watch an episode called “Mud’s Women.” It ended up being about these three women that took a pill and became super beautiful and sexy and therefore, desirable to Captain Kirk.

Needless to say, the not-so-subtle message to Tess about being a woman was terrible and I turned off the TV.

I later read Joe Kelly’s book “Dads and Daughters.” In it, he discussed how difficult it can be to find positive media to watch with your kids. He also named a couple of shows you can watch with your daughters that send a positive message. One of them was “Star Trek Voyager,” a spin-off of “Star Trek.” The show’s leading character is a woman and the ship’s leader – Captain Janeway. So Tess and I started watching it. It was a kind of dad – daughter thing. And we are still watching it today. If you ask Tess what she wants to be when she grows up, a “Starship Captain or the President” is what she says. How cool is that?

The process of finding a great show for us to share together sparked a great question in my mind. What positive television shows or movies do you enjoy watching with your children? I asked this question of several members of the YF staff.

Here is what they came up with:

1. Myth Busters
For who: Families with children ages nine and up
Why we love it: The show does a great job of pairing humor, history and science. With its educational, yet entertainingly explosive experiments, it holds youngsters attention while also appealing to an adult audience.

2. Masterchef Junior
For who: Families with children ages eight and up
Why we love it: Good, clean competition. It can be nail biting and also lots of fun to see what kinds of delicious dishes these young people come up with. It sends a great message about positive sportsmanship and taking healthy risks.

3. Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
For who: Families with children of all ages
Why we love it: Your kids will love watching you be grossed out by all of the bizarre and mind boggling things that the host will nosh on. The show also sparks curiosity as your kids are introduced to new cultures and how people dine and live in different parts of the world.

4. Rock the Park
For who: Families with children of all ages
Why we love it:
Energetic and hilarious hosts, Jack and Colton, will take your family through the wonder and majesty of our National Parks. Get inspired to plan your next family excursion to one of our beautiful parks and find out what hidden discoveries lay just outside your own back yard.

5. Disney Nature Series
For who: Families with children ages six and up
Why we love it: Disney’s wildlife documentaries such as Monkey Kingdom and Bears are beautifully filmed and narrated glimpses into the animal kingdom. The documentaries generally follow a specific animal family as they raise their young and keep them safe from predators. It’s a visually stunning journey to take as a family, which will spark lots of discussions.

6. Inside Out
For who: Families with children of all ages
Why we love it: Disney and Pixar bring a beautifully written and animated story that introduces the concept of handling and discussing tough feelings and emotions in a way that is both entertaining and accessible for adults and young children alike. We love how it sends the message that all feelings are important and that even the ones that feel negative need to be expressed in a healthy way.

7. Akeelah and the Bee
For who: Families with children ages eight and up
Why we love it: This movie is an inspiring drama about standing out, taking risks and rising above obstacles and challenges. It’s a fantastic illustration of what can happen when you choose to follow your heart rather than following the crowd.

8. Chuck
For who: Families with children ages 12 and up
Why we love it: This hilarious and action packed comedy about an unlikely spy gives families with older kids a fun hour of entertainment. The show tackles topics like trust, friendship and family all wrapped into an hour of espionage.

9. Monk
For who: Families with children ages 12 and up
Why we love it: A crime, detective dramedy that’s fun to watch with your older kids, but also discusses topics like obsessive-compulsive disorder, friendship, tolerance and grief.

10. Wild Kratts
For who: Families with children ages six and up
Why we love it: Real–life zoologist brothers Chris and Martin Kratt provide the voices to their animated counterparts in this show that is full of adventure, humor and educational stories about animals, their behavior and habitats.

Do you have any great shows or movies that you enjoy watching with your kids?

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