Like most modern parents, I do not want to go back in time to a pre-Netflix life. One of the great victories of the modern age is streaming services like Netflix where kids are not subjected and inundated with COMMERCIALS. During the recent winter Olympics, my 7-year-old son, who never sees commercials, quickly memorized every new TV show that was coming out, (“Mom! ‘Good Girls’ and ‘The Voice’ come out the SAME DAY!” and “Diet Coke. Because I Can.” were oft-heard in my house those two weeks) and it made me SO THANKFUL that he does not see commercials on a daily basis. So: Streaming, good. Commercials, bad. But, while streaming is great, it’s true of course, that not EVERY show on Netflix is good for our kids — not even all the KIDS shows. Up to now Netflix parental controls have been a bit lacking…but a recent announcement says positive change is coming!
The change in Netflix parental controls moms and dads have been waiting for
Netflix announced on their website on Monday March 5, 2018 that they will be upping Netflix parental controls by adding a PIN option to block certain shows. Before this update, Netflix parental controls allowed parents to block a certain rating, say TV-14 or MA…but not individual shows. So, while little kids won’t be able to watch “13 Reasons Why” if you have TV-14 blocked, they could still pick ANY show that is rated lower than that, even ones you don’t approve of. (Let’s say, you wanted to block Caillou, for instance, because if you have to listen to that whiny preschooler ONE MORE TIME your ears WILL start bleeding, or you don’t want them watching that tween Disney show that talks about crushes and bra-stuffing.) The Netflix parental controls update adds a fantastic new feature – parents can now protect any show they DON’T want their kids watching win a PIN number. Wanna watch Caillou, kid? TOO BAD! If you don’t know the password, you’re out of luck!
I am THRILLED to see this feature rolled out because my curious daughter watched one or two too many “kids” shows that I didn’t want her to (and honestly didn’t even realize were ON Netflix) a couple of years ago and I had to institute a “never watch a new show before you ask” policy. Now, I can review shows I might be concerned and PIN protect those bad boys if I don’t want my kids to consume that content. Like MOST good parenting tasks, this will require a bit of time and research on Mom and Dad’s parts, but it will be WELL worth it! A good rule of thumb is to scan the “what’s new” on Netflix and the beginning of each month, then use the new Netflix parental controls to block anything you don’t want your kids seeing and/or becoming obsessed with.
I for one, am very glad that Netflix listened to parents on this one. Especially since Netflix unfortunately makes cartoons for adults, I’m glad to know there is now an extra layer of parental protection I can provide through Netflix parental controls.