With both my boys in grade school, I’m always amazed to see how much they’re learning every day. Benjamin has almost mastered reading and has a great grasp of basic math concepts, while Zackary has started learning multiplication, division and paragraph structure. Yet some of the most important skills and lessons my boys have to learn are ones that are never taught in a classroom. From the importance of being honest to dealing with peer pressure, finding ways to explain and develop my boys’ life skills is no easy task!
Luckily, with Netflix, there’s an “ep” for that! Some of the most popular children’s programs on Netflix Canada are also ones that can help kids learn valuable life lessons. Wondering what episodes are best suited to your child’s needs? Here’s some suggestions to help you get started!
For Younger Kids
Sibling Rivalry – Watch The Hive Ep. S1E1: Babee’s Room
Buzzabee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and dad must explain to Buzzabee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.
Responsibility – Watch VeggiesTales in the House Ep. S1E1: Puppies & Guppies/Sorry We’re Closed Today
Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies, but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.
Following the Rules – Watch Puffin Rock Ep. S1E6: Stormy Weather/ Baba’s Adventure/ Rock Music
Mama tells Oona and Baba to stay close with a storm approaching. After ignoring her advice, Oona and Baba get stuck in a seagull nest during the heavy thunderstorms.
For Older Kids
Self-Love – Watch The Adventures of Puss in Boots Ep. S1E13: Star
After Dulcinea feels like no one in the group needs her help, she tries to use a newly-discovered wishing star to show her worth — but fails — showing her that her presence alone has lit up her friends’ lives all along.
Teamwork – Watch Project Mc2 Ep. S1E3: Smart is the New Cool
After McKeyla insists she works better alone, she learns that four is better than one when her friends jump in to help her rescue the Prince from a botched space mission.
Peer Pressure – Watch Fuller House Ep. S1E6: The Legend of El Explosivo
After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko’s house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friend.
Actions Have Consequences – Watch The Fosters Ep. S1E1&2: Pilot & Consequently
Brandon finds himself in a dangerous situation when trying to help Callie (his new foster sister) find her brother — learning that his actions can result in unexpected consequences.
Self-Improvement – Watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ep. S1E4: Kimmy Goes to the Doctor!
Kimmy quickly realizes that she can’t fix her problems by simply “Buhbreezing” them away — real change comes from the inside.
Body Image – Watch Glee Ep. S1E16: Home
After Sue demands that Mercedes lose weight, Quinn steps in to change her mindset and together they set the stage for beauty at William McKinley High, teaching the importance of empowerment and inclusion.
Personally, our biggest challenge with the boys right now is teaching Zackary organization. I have a lot of sympathy for him, since I was a disorganized child myself and I know he inherited that trait from me. He’ll put things down where they don’t belong when distracted, quickly shove work into his backpack to get out the door faster and make his bed with the least effort possible. I once did all the same things, and was actually even worse since my mom let me get away with it. But my organized fiance wants to ensure Zackary develops a respect for personal property and a desire to do his best now instead of later.
Doing that is no easy task, but slowly we’re making progress! I’ve found that finding lots of different ways to instill the lesson is the best tactic for us. Jeremy will tell stories of disorganized coworkers and how they’re not as respected as others despite their friendly personalities. I’ll point out times when taking a few extra minutes to do a job well will give Zackary more time to play overall. And letting Zackary watch episodes of his favourite shows that happen to focus on responsibility and organization further drives the message home.
No matter what life lessons you want your children to learn, displaying them yourself every day and then talking about their importance is the biggest key to helping kids understand and develop core values. But starting that conversation is a lot easier when a favourite Netflix character or series is on the same topic as well! Use the suggestions above to help start a conversation with your kids, or sit down and watch their own favourite shows with them to see what topics are inspired. With Netflix in the house, there really is an “ep” for every situation!