It's Monday night, and watching The Bachelor has become a bit of a family affair in our house. My daughters, ages 4, 7, and 9, cuddle up with me and my husband on the couch, and we prepare ourselves for another week of tears, awkward dates, and girls behaving badly (on the show). Let me just say that I'm not under any illusion that the women competing for the heart of Zach Braff-ish bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. are good role models for my daughters (although Bekah M. is pretty badass), but I still let them watch. Why? Because it's really not that big of a deal.
Watching The Bachelor has prompted some very important conversations between me and my future teenagers.
I don't care that dating one guy brings out the worst in many of these women. No one has passed out from drinking too much (yet), none of them are promoting violence, and, in general, this season is a bit of a snooze. So I'll sit there and watch Arie wine and dine his bevy of beauties week after week with my little girls. We get to spend precious family time together at the end of our busy days, and if that family time involves group dates that pretty much have all of us glued to the TV, so be it.
For those of you who are disgusted that I'd allow my impressionable young daughters to watch The Bachelor, consider that this show can actually be educational. In addition to my girls now knowing where the Leaning Tower of Pisa is located and what taxidermy is (thanks, Kendall), they also know how not to act.
Watching The Bachelor has prompted some very important conversations between me and my future teenagers. For example, on a lighter note, I told them that less is more when it comes to things like eyebrow pencils and mascara. On a more serious note, I told them they shouldn't ever feel like they have to show extra skin just to get someone's attention. And my girls and I have discussed how doing things like talking about people behind their backs isn't nice and will never end well.
Situations on the show also prompt them to ask insightful questions, like, "If she doesn't know if she even likes him, why is she crying when she says goodbye?" The many situations that arise let my daughters and I have fun, funny, important, and sometimes serious conversations that we would need to have regardless. Bottom line: there are valuable lessons my girls can learn from The Bachelor, from how putting yourself out there for love can be worth it to how when someone kisses you, they should show as much passion as Arie does. (Kidding. No one had better lay a hand on my daughters until they're at least 40.) Another lesson: people can totally have a type. I mean, could Lauren B. look any more like Emily Maynard?!
Above all, I hope that by watching the show together, my daughters will learn that you can just enjoy something and not worry too much about whether other people think it's stupid. Kind of like pretend glitter . . . right, Krystal?