Parenting Advice Series #2: Don’t Screw Up Netflix

Three months ago, I wrote one of my most popular posts — Parenting Advice Series: Freaking Socks. In my decade of parenting, I’ve learned a thing or two, and the most important nugget of wisdom I had to pass on was not to buy your kids cute socks, because they’ll never have anything that matches. You guys were blown away by my insight, and some of you even said that I’m the Bill Gates of the parenting world.

(That is possibly a lie.)

I promised that I’d impart more parenting wisdom, but then I struggled to think of more advice and focused on other things. As I was looking for something to watch on Netflix the other day, I had a thought, and now we have Parenting Advice Series post #2.

Netflix is important. So important, in fact, that it belongs at the bottom of the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You need food, you need shelter, and you need Netflix. And it’s especially important when you become a parent. Fish need water to survive, and parents need Netflix.

Need 30 minutes to cook dinner and your kid isn’t into the arts/blocks/whatever stuff you’ve been doing all day? Then Netflix.

Everyone is sick and you’re going stir crazy? Then Netflix.

You have to rock your infant all night long to keep her asleep — because the moment you lie her down, she wakes up and screams — and you can’t sleep sitting up and need something to help you pass the time? Then Netflix.

(Yeah the last one happened.)

(And, yeah, I’m pretending like this is a perfect world where all of us parents are like “No screen before 120 months old” and limit screens.)

So, yeah, Netflix is importance.

The bad thing about Netflix is that you can really screw it up if you aren’t careful. One of the top rookie mistakes parents make is not creating a profile for their kids on their account. Watch a children’s show on your Netflix profile even once, and this happens:

Oh, no! The recommendation list that was tailored to my personal preferences, because Netflix knows me, has been screwed up.

That’s annoying, but not life-shattering. Here’s what happens when you watch more than one children’s show on Netflix:

Every. Single. Recommendation.

You’ve now entered the eighth circle of parenting hell — the Netflix takeover. From here on out, you’ll have to endure awful kids show after awful kids show, or you’ll have to do the impossible — utilize Netflix’s search function and enter the specific show you’re looking for.

Humans aren’t wired for using Netflix’s search function. It takes too much effort. We want to scroll or click through, dammit.

All right new parents and parents-to-be — as soon as you know you’re expecting or that baby’s head pops out of the birth canal, get that Netflix profile made for him. Don’t let the Netflix takeover happen.

And parents who screwed up like I did and let their Netflix account be taken over — take a hammer to your TV. Or, ya know, delete your old profile and create a new one and watch all the episodes of Parks and Rec, The Office, and Friends you want. (Because we all know that’s what Netflix for adults is really for, anyway — paying the low price of $10 per month to watch the same three or four TV shows.)

Do you feel enlightened now? No? I’ll take mildly amused, then.

What’s some parenting advice you’d like to see me write about? 


If your New Year, New You thing was to read more, then check out my book Don’t Lick That! on Amazon. You can download it for the low price of $2.99. If you’ve already read it and enjoyed it, please take a moment to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

I’m planning another book for this year, and this time, I don’t want to tell just my stories. I want yours. More to come on that later.

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Top Five Songs For Migraines

For a time as a parent, I didn’t have to listen to crappy music. (My husband would say, “Wait, that’s not true because you love Hanson,” which I’d ignore while pitying him for not embracing their greatness.) When Little Man came along, we didn’t play much kiddie music. We stuck to our Beatles, Radiohead, Ben Folds, Weezer, Hanson (obviously I’ve got to mention them again), etc. He loved it all and we didn’t have to listen to cheesy crap sang in high-pitched voices, so all was right in the world. Even the music for the TV shows he watched was tolerable.

All was good in our parenting world for about six years, and then things changed.

Baby Girl came along. While she likes some of our music (especially Radiohead’s No Surprises, which has been on repeat every night for much of the past two and a half years), she prefers the cheesy kids’ songs. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Five Little Monkeys. If You’re Happy And You Know It. Apples and Bananas. Itsy Bitsy Freaking Spider. And, despite having a playlist for her to shuffle through those songs, she usually picks one and wants it on repeat for the entire car ride. I get kinda road ragey as it is, but after the tenth time of listening to Itsy Bitsy Freaking Spider, all it takes for me to start cursing under my breath is for someone to put their signal light on at 90 feet out instead of 100 feet.

And then there are the songs or theme music on shows on YouTube and TV that both kids like. I liked the music on Thomas and Friends, Sid the Science Kid, and The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That. The current shows they both watch? For the most part, just no. God no.

Aaaand, thanks to the newish car with satellite radio, Little Man has discovered Kidz Bop, also known as Music Hell. Kidz Bop is where they take popular music and ruin it. Much of the popular music is kind of bad already, but then they take it and make it worse with the crappy singing and such. And Little Man, the child we once bragged about for having excellent taste in music, loves Kidz Bop. (To be fair, he still likes a lot of great stuff, but Kidz Bop has tarnished his reputation.)

I’ve compiled a short list of songs that are driving me nuts right now. It could be longer. A lot longer. But there’s the matter of my laziness and the fact that y’all probably don’t want a doodled list of 1841 songs that are driving me nuts, so I cut it to five.

What song is likely to give you a headache if you have to hear it again?

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Life Goals #1

Netflix marathons are where it’s at, y’all.

And why on earth am I just now getting into Gilmore Girls? I had watched a few episodes before and liked it, but never watched more for some reason. (I probably defaulted back to The Office.) I picked up on it again after Prison Break started sucking. I’m loving it so far!

What’s one of your life goals right now? If you’re kinda lazy like me and don’t have one, then we can just talk about your Netflix preferences. 😉

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