I remember being a little kid dreaming of being grown up and all the amazing…
Kids….they grow up so fast! It can hard to be keep up. What they used to be really into one day is boring the next. They grow out of interests as fast as they grow out of pants. As kids get older, making decisions about what they should or should not see can get challenging. How do you know what’s going to be okay? This is particularly difficult as they transition from pre-school aged programming and can make for interesting conversation when we are deciding what to watch on Netflix as a family. Here are some things to take into consideration as you evaluate your child’s programming:
- Think of the children. Literally. Consider what affects your children specifically. For example, when I was a kid I was very easily frightened. Edward Scissorhands and Harry (from Harry and the Hendersons) lived under my bed for years. My kids are different. Neither of my girls get scared at all. They are both, however EXTREMELY sensitive to emotions, and will be crying long after a movie ends, about something that no one else thought was sad. They still can’t stand to watch Mars Needs Moms.
- Be kind, please rewind. Preview entertainment ahead to watch for things that might be upsetting or inappropriate. It’s better to know what’s coming than have to deal with a meltdown in the moment. Avoid drama by seeing for yourself what’s around the next corner in your child’s chosen movie or show.
- Phone a friend. Make like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and call someone who cares, has similar values to yours or whose children have similar levels of sensitivity to yours. Ask them how their kids did watching it, if they had any concerns or recommendations for preparatory conversations before you hit PLAY.
- Stop, collaborate and listen. If a show depicts something that goes against your values, you might not want to cut it out completely. Censorship can make things more “shiny” and interesting. Use these moments as teachable moments, or conversation starters about what you do believe in. Don’t be afraid to hit PAUSE and talk it out if things get uncomfortable.
They grow up so fast and in a blink of an eye, they are onto the next adventure. Take the time to think of the children, be kind, please rewind, phone a friend and stop, collaborate and listen. It will make your Netflix time even more fun. You’ll be glad you did (and so will your kids.)
How do you decide when your kids are ready for more complex entertainment?
All on the table disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam program, and receive special perks for sharing all my family’s favourites with you, dear reader. I was not financially compensated for this post. See full disclosure statement here.