My January #StreamTeam Post
Greetings, fellow Netflix fans! I’m trying something different this month, because for some reason I’ve been a bit too…preoccupied to watch all my shows.
Forgive me, great Netflix execs! And it’s not like I haven’t wanted to, either, because how cool is this? As a certified member of the #StreamTeam, I have access to behind-the-scenes news and get to preview their programs in advance.
I am really looking forward to watching A Series of Unfortunate Events. Maybe next month? Or in, say, another 12 years when my little blond Viking has moved out?
*begins making plans for all her free time*
Anyway! Enough excuse making. This month I’m turning the ball over to my friend Charlotte, (aka Waltzing Matilda), who’s been a true inspiration to so many moms and who has a great, GREAT system for incorporating movie night with the family.
Thank you for agreeing to answer some questions, Charlotte! Here is the first one: Approximately how often do you watch movies on Netflix as a family?
We try to schedule one night per week but sometimes we have to skip a week if our schedules are too crazy. We used to make it Friday night but then my son’s college schedule changed and we switched to Sunday nights. During the summer when we only have to work around work schedules and not school schedules too, sometimes we will indulge twice a week.
Have you had good luck finding movies & series that are family-friendly?
For the most part, yes. Some of the series we’ve enjoyed recently have been White Collar, Leverage, Pushing Daisies, (unavailable to stream), Warehouse 13, (unavailable to stream), Robin Hood, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Although, I should add the caveat that I preview every episode we watch together and make notes about what we will skip or mute. I know what my kids are sensitive to and don’t want to expose them to something that might disturb them.
Do you ever watch movies that are not in line with your Christian values in order to talk about the themes? For example, the new comedy series One Day at a Time has a teenage daughter who comes out as a lesbian.
We don’t specifically seek out shows that are contrary to our beliefs in order to use them as a talking point but we have had discussions about secular values naturally result from our watching together. Since my youngest child watching with us was about 9 or 10 years old when we first started watching shows together, we didn’t think he was an appropriate age to handle some of those secular themes. There have been a few storylines in some of the shows we’ve watched that I’ve “edited out” by using the mute button or skipping past those scenes. Obviously if it becomes the main theme of a show, skipping and jumping around too much would defeat the purpose of watching a show together. That’s the kind of show that we would probably choose not to watch.
Have you watched the new Lemony Snickett series? If not, why not?
I started watching it to see if the kids would like it but haven’t gotten very far in the series. Even though they are all avid readers, the books that the series is based on never interested them so they have not asked to watch the series. They felt the books were too dark and strange. My kids like quirky and witty but aren’t fans of things that are dark. They are not fans of dystopian fiction or the macabre. We’ve found that even Dickensian dystopia can get to be too much if indulged for too long or too frequently.
How do you fit family movies into your busy schedule? Do you watch movies on your own, as well?
One way we fit it into our schedule is to watch family episodes not movies. I mean, we do watch movies together sometimes, but our regular viewing is usually an episode or two depending on how much homework my college boy has to do that evening. Maybe it’s just our perception, but movies seem to take a bigger time commitment than episodes do.
I do watch on my own. Usually at the end of the day, sometimes when I’m folding laundry or doing dishes or walking on the treadmill. Some people listen to audiobooks or podcasts but I find that my brain starts tuning out the sound of the speaker and I get lost more easily if I’m only listening. But having a show on in the background doesn’t take as much mental focus and if I miss something, I can usually figure it out by paying attention to what happens later.
If I’m previewing something for my children to watch though, I have to give it my full attention. I’m usually watching for any kind of scenes of a sexual nature. Kissing is not that big of a deal to us, but if they start groping each other or rolling around on top of each other even with their clothes on or taking their clothes off, that would be something we’d skip over even if they don’t show the culmination of that action on screen. I am also listening for discussions about topics about sexuality and other secular issues that I don’t think are appropriate for my younger son to be exposed to just yet.
We’ve never allowed the secular world to dictate to us when our children are “ready to handle” certain subjects. I know my children better than the world does. I have been here their whole life and I don’t believe in a “one size fits all” mentality when it comes to what kids should know about and when. I know what subjects make them too uncomfortable to discuss at an early age and what subjects might need to be broached when they are older to make them better prepared to face the world.
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And there you have it! A great big thanks to Charlotte for her thoughtful responses to all my questions and again, I’m including links to the shows that she recommended. Just click on the name of the program and it will take you straight to Netflix. Two of the shows aren’t available to stream at this time, but you can always get fresh ideas from the “Titles Related To…” suggestions below them.
Happy streaming, everyone!