Tips for Dads and Kids Watching the Super Bowl Together

Tips for Dads & Kids Watching the Super Bowl Together

One of a Dad’s simple pleasures is watching TV sports together with his kids and/or stepkids. But what about those moments (like during some commercials) when you want to cover your child’s eyes with your hands?

Here are a few simple tips from The Dad Man to help fathers and stepfathers get more out of watching the Super Bowl (and other TV sportscasts) with their daughters and sons.

  1. Spend part of Sunday afternoon tossing the ball around with your kids.
    Dads who are physically active with their daughters and sons increase the odds that they’ll grow up healthy and strong.
  2. If she doesn’t like to play catch, take a walk or bike ride together.
    Let your child know that you enjoy being with her. The time together may give her an opportunity to share what is going on in her life. Kids may see our enthusiasm for sports and think we’re more interested in our favorite team than in them. Making time for them on Super Bowl Sunday (and every other day) can counter that perception.
  3. Try to watch the broadcast through your child’s eyes.
    Would any images, commercials, or events look or feel different if it was your kid on the screen? What does he think about all the hype about commercials during the game? Share your perceptions with him and ask him what he thinks.
  4. When watching the game, be aware that the things your child or stepchild sees may be entirely different from what you see.
    For example, instead of enjoying the game, is your daughter feeling inadequate while comparing her body to the “perfect” cheerleaders? What misconceptions might the commercials give your son about what it means to be a “real” man?
  5. Use the remote!
    If you see disrespectful or objectifying ads and images, change the channel so you, your kids, and your family don’t have those images in your home. Let your kids know why you decided to flip and ask for their feedback.
  6. Compare the number of female sports announcers (many fewer) and their roles (usually on the sidelines) to the number and role of the male announcers.
    Tell your kids what you think about those numbers. Do they mean that your daughter can’t be as big a fan as you or your son? Do you want your children or stepchildren to have their career aspirations curtailed by their gender?
  7. Ask your kids which players and coaches they admire or see as heroes.
    Tell them which ones you admire, and then share your reasons with each other.
  8. After the game, debate your opinions on the crucial plays and most exciting moments.
    Then invite your children or stepchildren to do something special together next Sunday to keep these conversations rolling and to convince them that the most important man in their lives takes them seriously-and enjoys being with them!
  9. Use the Super Bowl to become more media-literate and sensitive to your children’s experience.
    Pay more attention to how media portray boys, girls, women and men. When you see an advertisement or program, ask “What if it was my child in that picture?”, and then reassess your reaction to it.

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One Comment on “Tips for Dads and Kids Watching the Super Bowl Together

  1. Use The Super Bowl As A Teachable Moment

    February 7, 2010, families across America (and worldwide) will be tuning in to watch this year’s NFL Super Bowl. Last year’s game was watched by 98.7 million Americans, making it the largest viewed television event ever.

    But it’s not just about football. The Super Bowl is known for its commercials almost as much as it is for the game itself. Of that wide viewing audience, about 18% will be youth under 21. If your child is one of them, he or she will be exposed to alcohol advertising.

    Why the concern? Research shows that the more youth are exposed to alcohol in advertising, the more likely they are to consume alcohol underage (1). During last year’s game, a beer company not only took top vote for producing the overall favorite commercial, but also earned the “Top Advertiser” title with more commercial time than any other sponsor (2). This year will likely be no different.

    So if your child will be watching the Super Bowl, we encourage you to not only watch it with him or her, but to use the commercials as teachable moments, helping your child to understand and develop the ability to resist messages that should not be aimed at youth.

    Here are some questions to ask your child to get the conversation started:

    * What is this ad trying to sell you?
    * Is this product healthy for you?
    * How is this ad sponsor trying to get you to buy their product?
    * How do you feel about the product now?

    Teaching your child to “read between the lines” of advertisements is called media literacy (3). For more information on helping your child identify, analyze and evaluate media messages, please visit:

    Sources: (1) Marin Institute, Alcohol Industry Watchdog, 2009. (2) The Nielsen Company, 2009. (3) US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, 2009.

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