While being strict, disciplining, and providing materialistic support to your children it is important to spend 'time' with them. It need not be doing productive things only. Sometime doing simple things like gardening, repairing something at home or even watching TV with them help to create lifelong bonds with your kids. Yes, watching television with your kids is a fantastic activity to improve and build bonds between parents and children. Three reasons that should motivate you to watch television with your child irrespective of his/her age:
Develops understanding: When a parent watches television with his/her children, they would usually argue and then mutually agree to watch something that appeals to both, or perhaps one party would have to compromise. This should be seen as an excellent opportunity to teach children about adjustment. It is very important to learn the lesson of making few adjustments in your life for your loved ones. Also parents and children develop mutual understanding and respect for each other's choices. Ofcourse, both parties have to take turns to make that little sacrifice for the other. Only then trust and understanding develops.
Discussion and amicability: When parents and children watch something together, there is always going to be different perspective on issues; by discussing and debating amicably there can be a better understanding of the issue by both parties. Discussion and debate encourages children to think out their thoughts clearly and put it across, also get guidance and correction by the experienced parent. Never debate authoritatively because that will stop the child from thinking freely. The idea is to teach the child to look at issues from all angles. Don't be critical or disparaging, or else you will never know what the child thinks and he/she wouldn't even want to tell you. You want to encourage freedom of speech and free thinking here. Every generation thinks differently. Open your mind and have a healthy discussion or debate, without heated arguments. It is not necessary to agree down to one view point, issues can be left without conclusion. Idea is to set the child thinking. If handled carefully discussion improves relation and increases family understanding.
Bridge Generation gap: When parents watch programs what kids want and alternatively kids watch what parents like, both learn to understand the perspective of the other generation. It's very important to bridge the generation gap, and that too in a respectful way. This helps to solve other problems that come up later in life. Parents understand the challenges, likes and dislikes of the new generation and on the other hand, kids understand why their parents think and advice the way they do.
At the end, it's important to enjoy each other's company, spend time together and respect each other. Respect is a key word here. Just as parents expect kids to respect them, even kids need the respect from parents as they grow older.Television is a great way to connect.