"Shameless" is my Sunday night guilty pleasure. And in case you have been living under a rock or you simply are not aware, this show is worth the 60-minute stint as a couch potato. In fact, it can even teach your teenagers a few notable life lessons -if you are not concerned about your teens and adult content, that is. Since the mature content of the show is nothing worse than my kids see every day at school, I focused on a few off the cuff, unexpected life lessons they can learn from my 60-minute guilty pleasure that you'll never find in a parenting book, but that are also worth their weight in gold.
Lesson 1: Budgeting
The Gallagher's, a family of six who is regulated to living off pennies, know how to budget and how to make those pennies stretch. When the family needs extra money, everyone pitches in. The kids do what they need to do in order to get by and get the bills paid -even if their methods might be a little controversial from time to time. Regardless, the Gallagher's know how to budget and prioritize.
My spin: Involving the kids in the budget is essential and having them learn the value of a dollar early on is vital to their financial success as they grow.
Lesson 2: Entrepreneurship
Gallagher kids know that necessity is the mother of invention. What amazes me about this TV family is that they do not rely on public assistance, food stamps or illegal methods (most of the time) to make ends meet. In fact, all six of the kids hold a job, or make a job as required. The older kids work several jobs throughout the day (while going to school) and contribute to every household bill. The younger kids find creative ways to make money; running everything from semi-illegal bake sales to panhandling.
My spin: This silly show reminds me to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of my own kids. Because having the skill to make a job when you can't find a job is incredibly important.
Lesson 3: Blood is thicker than water
Family is family, and family comes first --even if that family is a little rough around the edges. Who could argue with that life lesson? I certainly cannot.
My spin: In today's world, where teens are inundated with communication around the clock, family can get lost in the shuffle, but core values never will. I always focus on keeping my family unit tight, because that is what matters. Family first.
Lesson 4: Relationships can get complicated
No relationship is perfect, and unhealthy relationships others have can often be lessons learned for the younger set. If nothing else, my guilty pleasure can serve as a cautionary tale, because it reminds me what it's like to be a teenager -and it isn't easy.
My spin: If nothing else, "Shameless" keeps my daughters relationships in perspective. Because, I know that it could always be worse.
Sure, my methods are unorthodox and my vehicle outlandish, but I am also smart enough to know that when something works, it just works, and arguing with what works does not make any sense.
Do you use television to impart lessons you think your kids need?
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