Parenting is hard. Kids bring you an incredible amount of joy and happiness but there are also challenges that you hope your kids will never have to face. For my tween and teen, we’re at the stage of worrying about topics like peer pressure, bullying and body image. I’d do anything to protect them but I realize that it is part and parcel of growing up and depending how my husband and I choose to handle these situations, will factor greatly into the kind of adults they’ll grow up to be.
My daughter was in grade 4 when she first encountered her “mean girl”. This girl was sweet, endearing and helpful to teachers yet manipulative and insulting with all kinds of attitude when teachers weren’t looking. She had her group of followers who cherished her every step and word, but thank goodness my daughter was never one of them. There were many tears that year as this girl’s whirling insults hit everyone in the class, including my daughter. Every day there was a new story and with it, heartfelt discussions about how she can best manage the situation.
Movies like the 2015 live action version of Cinderella and The Breakfast Club couldn’t be more different yet having watched both on Netflix with my daughter, the films got her thinking and the two of us talking about:
- Staying true to who you are
- Don’t be a follower
- Popularity is overrated
- Don’t judge a book by its cover
- Never stoop to another’s level
- Being aware of how you treat others and how you treat yourself
- Standing up for yourself
- Don’t be afraid of what others think of you
Tweens and teens don’t openly share as much with their parents as they once did when they were younger. But I love how shows can act as the catalyst for conversations that would otherwise be difficult for parents (and even kids) to talk about. Whether you’re parenting little kids, big kids or teens, Netflix has shows that can help you tackle those real-life issues with your kids.
For the little ones:
Buzzabee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and dad must explain to Buzzabee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.
Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies, but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.
Mama tells Oona and Baba to stay close with a storm approaching. After ignoring her advice, Oona and Baba get stuck in a seagull nest during the heavy thunderstorms.
For the bigger kids:
After Dulcinea feels like no one in the group needs her help, she tries to use a newly-discovered wishing star to show her worth — but fails — showing her that her presence alone has lit up her friends’ lives all along.
After McKeyla insists she works better alone, she learns that four is better than one when her friends jump in to help her rescue the Prince from a botched space mission.
After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko’s house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friend.
For the teens:
Brandon finds himself in a dangerous situation when trying to help Callie (his new foster sister) find her brother — learning that his actions can result in unexpected consequences.
Kimmy quickly realizes that she can’t fix her problems by simply “Buhbreezing” them away — real change comes from the inside.
After Sue demands that Mercedes lose weight, Quinn steps in to change her mindset and together they set the stage for beauty at William McKinley High, teaching the importance of empowerment and inclusion.
What shows helped you to open up those tough discussions with your kids?
Disclosure: As a member of Netflix Canada’s Stream Team, I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with Netflix. As always, all opinions are my own.
About Wendy Morelli
Wendy loves her 2 kids and her iPhone, not necessarily always in that order. She is an app obsessed mom who loves everything tech and is (unfortunately) old enough to remember the brick Motorola cell phone and the Commodore computer. Her love for technology stems back to the 10+ years of working for technology based companies. Wendy's alter ego, "AppHipMom" has been featured in Canadian Family, iVillage, Women in Biz, EverythingMom, BlogHer and Savvy Mom.