One of the benefits of being a member of the Netflix Stream Team is reading some of the topics that are provided by Netflix. Each month, we’re provided topics to discuss and blog about and, for the most part, they deal with family interaction and discussion. It’s important to Netflix to promote the fact that their programming isn’t just for zombie-esque mindless visual stimulation, but can also be used for quality family time together.
May’s topic deals with how parents can sometimes use Netflix to help discuss tough topics that might be difficult to bring up on their own. Whether it’s giving in to peer pressure or finding ways to talk about bigotry and/or racism, sometimes these things need a bit of a “kick-start” to create a casual conversation that kids feel comfortable participating in.
There was one episode of Glee, in particular, that stood out for me. While no longer on the air, my two stepdaughters love the first few seasons of Glee for a number of reasons…the music, the characters, the humour…and can relate to a number of the topics brought up in the show.
Near the end of the first season, in episode 16, there is a situation where one of the larger girls in the cast (Mercedes) is told to lose ten pounds in one week for a magazine interview by the show’s resident bad guy, cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester. As you can imagine, losing this type of weight in that amount of time is an extremely unhealthy and dangerous thing to do.
Mercedes goes through an extreme diet and even ends up fainting in the school cafeteria at one point, which inspires Quinn to help change her mindset about loving yourself for who you are. Together they try to teach those watching the importance of empowerment and inclusion.
As you can imagine, this was a pretty important episode to watch with the girls. Thankfully, they noted right away on their own that Sue was asking for something that was very dangerous. They also talked about pressures they have at school and how they deal with those pressures on a daily basis.
The bigger issue, though, is trying to casually start a conversation with them as the episode goes on. What do your children think about what’s going on? Do they feel similar pressures at school or from friends? These are the types of questions that can really bring a family closer together.
Netflix has a number of other programs that tackle tough topics for kids of various ages. From Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to Fuller House to Puffin Rock, you’ll find ways to have really great conversations with your kids if you pay enough attention and ask the right questions.
Are there any shows or movies on Netflix that YOU would recommend? What topics were you able to discuss with your kids?