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One of my favorite additions to Netflix this month has been Animaniacs. I loved this show so much when I was growing up – and the cartoon still holds up as an adult, because the humor is so smart. In fact, my dad used to enjoy watching this show with me when I was a kid – and because they didn’t “Dumb down” the cartoon, sometimes I would have to ask my parents to explain the gags, like when Dot put vampire teeth on her head and said, “I’m Sheena Easton!”
In fact, there’s even an entire Tumblr called the Animaniacs Reference Guide to help explain some of the jokes!
In our family, watching TV and movies together was time to hang out, bond, and discuss whatever topics that came up. And sometimes, a good show can be a way to break the ice about a subject. To help you get the conversation going, here’s a selection of great episodes from family-friendly shows to help you open a dialog on different parenting topics:
For Little Kids:
- Sibling Rivalry
Buzzbee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and Dad must explain to Buzzbee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.
Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.
- Following the Rules
Mama tells Oona and Baba to stay close with a storm approaching. After ignoring her advice, Oona and Baba get stuck in a seagull nest during the heavy thunderstorms.
For Big Kids:
After Dulcinea feels like no one in the group needs her help, she tries to use a newly-discovered wishing star to show her worth — but fails — showing her that presence alone has lit up her friends’ lives all along.
After McKeyla insists she works better alone, she learns that four is better than one when her friends jump in to help her rescue the Prince from a botched space mission.
- Peer Pressure
Watch Fuller House Ep. 106: The Legend of El Explosivo
After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko’s house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friends.
Social Media FOMO
Cory challenges his class to unplug from their phones for a week. When Riley and her crush Lucas sit down to talk face-to-face, personal stories bring them closer.
- Self Improvement
Kimmy quickly realizes that she can’t fix her problems by simply “Buhbreezing” them away – real change comes from the inside.
- Body Image
According to the kids of Degrassi Community School, butts are the new boobs. But Shay’s realization that “brains are the new butts” can speak to a number of body image insecurities.