Growing up is such a tough subject. When you’re a kid all you want to do is move onto the next stage. Move to a place where you have more freedom, more power and more independence. As an adult who has children, you want to savour every stage that your children go through, but alas it always rushes by. Parenting is easier when their babies because they need the basics to live, sleep, love, food, and stimulation. There are also a ton books on the market for things like what to expect in your first year, sleep training etc. As they get older and their personalities to develop and they start forming their own ideas, preferences and arguments it becomes difficult for a parent to decide when their children are ready to move on to new stages. Instead of a book that gives you clear guidelines, you are more likely to engage in a trial by error attempt or the advice of parents in similar situations.
My eldest child is turning 12 next year. He thinks that he’s on the brink of an adulthood (or at least that of a teenager). He states that he should have independence, he should be able to stay home alone, and he should be able to make his own decisions. Well I do agree that he should have some more independence and freedom, it’s hard to for me to decide when he is ready to take the next step. In some cases, it’s an age thing. When to move from a booster to a regular seat belt or from the back to the front seat is defined by a strict set of guidelines. You either are or you aren’t ready to move onto the next step. But when it comes to things like TV shows, Movies, and Video games its hard to justify what he is mentally mature for!
On regular cable, you don’t have control over what pops up on the screen. There may be warnings like “M for Maturity”, but if I am not sitting with him, I can’t guarantee that these rules are being followed. Netflix, similarly to cable, has all kinds of television shows, movies, and documentaries, but unlike cable, you can control it. In my family, each person has their own profile. Mommy and Daddy’s allow us to watch any show we want without restrictions (it also allow us to binge and cheat on our partners (CONFESSION HERE!). The kids are set up on KIDS PROFILES. This allows them to search child-friendly content appropriate for children 12 years old or younger. Like my son, they may not fit into this category. Scary to give him full access, Netflix also offers other maturity level settings such as “For Little Kids only” and “For Older Kids and below.”
Sometimes, family’s instill values in their children that prohibit them from watching a certain show or series. Netflix has the options to instill a pin on restricted content so your kids can’t see certain programming. This pin allows those with the number quickly access mature content when the kids have gone to bed without having to create individual profiles.
Although I don’t have the time (or want!) to prewatch all the shows my 12 year old is interested in, I can be reassured that he is watching age appropriate television. I love that NETFLIX has already done the hard part and I can sit back and relax knowing that my son has the Independence and freedom to choose his own programs, while I have the knowledge that they will be age appropriate!
When in doubt, use these flow charts to help you decide if a movie is right for your family!