There are a lot of awesome things that happen when your kids get older; they can start using the toilet by themselves, bathing themselves, and it is no longer considered bad form to leave them in a room for an hour alone.
Basically, your bubble of personal space widens significantly. One of the best things, in my estimation, is that as my child grew out of preschool programming, the chances of me screaming “No, Joe, you imbecile! A CLUE! A clue, not a shoe! Fuuu–just turn around!” when Blue’s Clue’s came on and scarring my daughter for life dropped significantly.
Of course, just because your kid hits the magical age of never again having to count along to five in Spanish with Dora doesn’t mean they’re ready for a Breaking Bad marathon. You still have to watch dumb kid’s shows, but the choices are significantly better. It can be hard to find good shows for kids that you also enjoy, but here’s all of the stuff I can watch with my family that don’t make me want to open a vein:
10. The Littlest Pet Shop
On the surface, LPS is incredibly inane. I groaned and rolled my eyes so hard when my daughter first put it on that I almost snapped my optic nerve. But after a few episodes, I was surprised to find that I was digging it. Plus Blythe lives with a single dad, which made me nostalgic for Danny Tanner.
The two things that came immediately to mind when my daughter said she wanted to watch Goosebumps were “OMG yes and then let’s go buy Doc Martens and pogs” and “No, that’s way too scary.” I ended up saying yes because she’s been reading the books, and after giving my favorite episodes a second glance I’ve had to accept that I was a much bigger wuss than my daughter is.
8. Adventure Time
I get a little blowback for letting her watch Adventure Time, but I don’t care even a little. That show is awesome, she loves it, and it’s opened up an entirely new world of imaginary play. She’s halfway done with her new illustrated book: “Duckie’s Adventures in Oog.”
7. Phineas and Ferb
For some reason, people also hate Phineas and Ferb. Those people are cold-hearted monsters that don’t enjoy a good B plot, and Agent P should investigate immediately.
6. Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends
I was so excited to see this on Netflix that I let her watch way too many episodes in a row. When Wilt tells his story of how he came to be at Foster’s? Oh, the feels.
5. Ruby Gloom
If you haven’t watched Ruby Gloom you need to get right. It’s so adorably dark and inspired the name of one of our guinea pigs, Doom Piggy.
4. Bill Nye The Science Guy
This show is even better a few decades later. “Let’s Talk About Stress, Baby” by Stress n’ Tension is aged like a fine wine to perfection.
3. The PowerPuff Girls
This show has led to many, many rounds of my husband and I pretending to be Blossom and Bubbles to my daughter’s Buttercup. My husband looks great with pigtails.
This isn’t actually a kid’s show, but it’s totally appropriate for a science minded grade schooler. Plus Neil DeGrasse Tyson is all about girls in science, so it’s possible that I’m falling in love with him.
1. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
This. Frakking. Show. This is not a show for little girls. I mean, yeah, it totally is, but I probably know just as many boys and full grown adults that love it. It passes the Bechdel test, has interesting plots, and fantastic animation. If you haven’t watched it, watch it now. Right now.