8 Ways Netflix Undermines Parents


Streaming movies and shows instantly on Netflix seems amazing when you first sign up (especially since we don’t have cable) but I’ve quickly learned that the Netflix folks are in fact evil geniuses with a single purpose: to undermine me as a parent. After finishing the latest season of Orange is the New Black we cancelled our Netflix subscription and now just do an occasional dvd or show on YouTube for our toddler.

1. Easy Access. Toddlers these days are perfectly capable of turning on the TV and if you have a streaming system hooked-up to your TV, the first thing they see is that familiar red screen. They know all they have to do is press OK and they’ll be in Bob the Builder heaven.

2. Netflix Recommends. The Netflix jerks see that you’ve watched XYZ parent-approved program and start posting shows on the main menu right in front of your kid’s face based on what you’ve watched. This is basically just a catch all for any crappy kid show in existence. This means that even if you start with good intentions of only showing your kid “educational programs” it doesn’t take long before they start requesting My Little Pony’s Princess Castle or some other nonsense you swore your kid would never watch

3. Weird Sayings. Ever since my daughter started getting her daily dose of Netflix she says the weirdest stuff. The other day she was walking around saying “Oh dear, its all muddled.” WTF? I don’t even know how to respond to that. 

4. Manufactures Fears. I don’t think it ever occurred to my toddler to be afraid of thunderstorms until Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood devoted an entire episode to making them the scariest thing ever. I get that the point of the show was to teach kids that “it’s all good”; but really it just put new fears in her head that she probably never would have thought of. My daughter never knew what being “nervous” was until Daniel Tiger was nervous about everything under the sun. Now she tells me she is nervous about her pillow being upside down (obviously she doesn’t really understand what nervous means).

5. Creating problems. Since being initiated into the world of Netflix for Kids, I’ve learned that nearly every show targeted at toddlers focuses on solving a problem. My toddler has caught on to this quickly and now constantly creates problems to solve. “Oh no, the door is locked [except it’s not] … gotta catch a flying key, c’mon mom we have to go through three doors and catch three flying keys and then build two towers and knock them down and then we can unlock the door.” I can only hope that this is building her problem solving skills and will come in handy when she takes the SAT.

6. Continuous Streaming. 
There’s nothing worse than telling your kid they can watch ONE show only to have the next episode immediately start playing even before the first one ends. Well played Netflix, well played.

7. Potty Mouth. 
There are certain words that I hear on some of my daughter’s shows that just make me cringe. Of course she immediately absorbs them like a sponge. It’s not like she’s dropping the F Bomb but she sure didn’t learn the word “stupid” from me and I don’t want my kid to be the first one on the playground to say it.

8. Whining. 
Whining is like Kryptonite to parents, right? When it comes to clicking ‘play’ one more time versus listening to endless whining we often cave. Not to mention, I think my toddler is actually learning how to whine more effectively from watching that whining little bald kid, Caillou.
My kids are both under the age of three and I can only imagine that things go downhill from here so if those of you with older kids want to chime in with how Netflix is undermining your parenting I’m sure we’d all appreciate it!