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Young TV stars 101: A guide to your kids’ favorites

Abbi Perets lives in Houston, TX, with her husband and five children.






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It's always astounding to realize that your kids have an entire life outside of your awareness. They watch TV shows, read books, talk with friends, and generally exist in the world completely separate from you. It's amazing -- and a little bit terrifying.

One way to stay on their radar is to know a bit about the things that matter to them, like the stars of those TV shows they love to watch. If you want to impress your kids a bit (although, be warned that they'll never admit they're impressed by your knowledge) and get a little peek inside their heads, here are some fun facts on their favorite stars.

 

Miley Cyrus

Your kids know everything worth knowing about Miley Cyrus, star of the wildly popular Hannah Montana, and by now you probably know most of it, too. But you might not have heard that religion is an important part of Cyrus' life, and she attends church regularly with her family. You can find home videos Miley shoots with her friend and backup singer on YouTube -- look for The Miley and Mandy Show, which is shot in Miley's bedroom. Her first book comes out this spring.

 

Cole & Dylan Sprouse

Identical twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse currently star in The Suite Life on Deck, the follow up show to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. They were born in Italy, but they are American -- their parents taught at an English-language school there. The boys grew up in California, they don't speak Italian, and their parents have been divorced for over 10 years. You've probably seen Cole as Ross's son Ben on a little show called Friends.

 

The Cheetah Girls

The Cheetah Girls are actually a group of three girls, Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan, and Kiely Williams, who have starred in several made-for-TV movies. Raven-Symone (remember Olivia from The Cosby Show?) used to be part of the group, but the success of her own series, That's So Raven, keeps her too busy these days. Sabrina released an exercise DVD, designed for young girls, called BYOU. And if you have a daughter who loves the Cheetah Girls, check out the books that inspired the movies, written by Deborah Gregory, and wildly popular with readers.

 

Selena Gomez

Selena plays Alex Russo on the new hit show, Wizards of Waverly Place -- but she started on Barney, believe it or not. She also makes YouTube videos with her best friend, another former Barney star, Demi Lovato, who starred in last summer's Camp Rock. Selena grew up in Texas, and her favorite subject is science.

 

Jonas Brothers

The Jonas Brothers, Kevin, Joe, and Nick are actually brothers, and they got their start in Christian music. They've held on to their values even in the mainstream -- the boys were homeschooled by their mother and all three wear purity rings as a sign of their intention to abstain from premarital sex. The band was almost called Sons of Jonas, until a last minute name change. The boys will be starring in a new series this spring.?

FOR MORE PARENTING TIPS:

How to monitor your child's online activities

Kids and TV: How much is too much?

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