Netflix and Teens

Each stage of motherhood brings with it it’s own share of  challenges – as mothers of teens, we both know that the years ahead will have lots of great times but also, challenges.  If parents of teens are anything like us, they want to connect with their teen and find common ground to have open conversations with them.

Netflix recently conducted a survey and found 82% of Canadian Parents have watched a show their teen watches just to feel closer to them and have something to talk about with them and surprise – the teens welcomed it.

Are parents seriously watching their teens favourite shows?

Canadian parents (82%) admit they are already watching shows like Supernatural, Pretty Little Liars and Stranger Things to feel closer to their teenager. And teens around the world (74%) are on board, saying they’d be interested in talking to parents about the shows they watch, with both sides (89% of parents and 70% of teens) seeing it as a strong way to bond.

Bridging the conversation gap.

While 56% of parents in Canada think it’s tough to talk to teens, nearly all parents worldwide (93%) feel that watching their TV shows will give them more to talk about and 78% of teens agree. Not only that, but watching shows teens are watching every now and then inspires more than just small talk.

Tackling tough topics.

When it comes to tough conversations (think sex, bullying and stress), parents (79%) and teens (65%) agree that watching the same shows could help start a dialogue. And most teens (71%) even admit that having their parents watch their favourite shows could help them better understand what’s going on in their lives.

So what should parents be watching?

According to teens, content found in shows like Supernatural, Breaking Bad, Daredevil, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy and Orange is the New Black might give parents and teens more to talk about and even help parents better relate to them.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the new Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’.  There is debate on whether to allow kids to watch the show and whether it’s an accurate portrayal of the shows main topic – suicide. I have not yet watched the show, but from what I have read about it, the main criticism is that the show doesn’t portray the young girl asking for help – she doesn’t talk to anyone about her feelings, or turn to anyone for support.  Let this be an excellent starting point for a conversation with your teen if they have watched this show – on how reaching out is so important. If not to you, their parent, but to a teacher, faith leader, friend or professional, even somewhere like Kids Help Line.

This show is a good example of a way to engage with your teen – it obviously covers heavy subject material, so we recommend if you are going to allow your teen to watch it, that you watch it with them and discuss the issues that come up and any questions that arise as well. Here is a link to 13 Reasons Why Talking Points to help you with your discussions with your teen.

Netflix recently put out the attached video that we think is a good supporter of watching your kids shows to connect with them:

No stage of parenting is easy – but what we have found is that in the teen years, communication is key. Whether it seems like it or not, your teen wants you to be connected and know what is going on in their lives, and they do want to open up to you.

Happy Streaming!

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 100 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.