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"There's nothin' on telly!" Remember that time? Kids... you won't! But back in the good ol' days your parents had to find something else to do, like ride their bike, read a book or play with their siblings, whilst they waited for their favourite TV show to be aired. We're not talking just minutes here either! It could have been hours, sometimes even days! So just spare a thought when you have to wait 30 seconds for your show to load or buffer.
With Netflix and other streaming services now making it simple for young children to watch their favourite (and potentially unfavourable) episodes on demand we are now faced with yet another challenge of managing what, how, when and where children can get their hands on adult themed content. At first glance these animated series may look innocent enough, however, be warned they are not designed for children. Here we list three Netflix original animated series gaining popularity with Australian audiences... AND likely to be topics of playground chatter at a school near you!
1. BIG MOUTH
Big Mouth is an animation centred around a humorous view upon the modern adolescent. This series characterises a group of teens who are obsessed with sex and exploration of their genitalia and sexualities. Whilst much of this content is relatable and humorous to a mature audience you would be mortified to find your younger children exposed to the mature themes, animated nudity and sexual behaviours, drug and alcohol references and highly explicit language.
What makes this so inappropriate? Animated nudity, sexual references, explicit language and jokes referencing drugs and alcohol
2. BOJACK HORSEMAN
Bojack Horseman is an animated series set in an alternate world, where humans and anthropomorphic animals live side by side. Bojack Horseman plans his big return to celebrity relevance through writing a tell-all autobiography about his life post his starring in a 1990's sitcom Horsin' Around. Alongside having a satirical take on current events, politics, and show business, BoJack Horseman underlying themes focus on dealing with depression, trauma, addiction and self-destructive behaviour.
What makes this so inappropriate? Substance abuse, violence, explicate language and adult themes.
Castlevania is an adaptation of a classic video game about vampire hunters with the main objective of killing and destroying enemies. There nature of this show is violent with regular, excessive and dramatised fight scenes that result in bloody deaths.
What makes this so inappropriate? Excessive and brutal violence, blood and gore.
Managing your children's access to Netflix
Take advantage of parent controls in Netflix and ensure the following Netflix original Cartoon series too crass for kids are added to your Restricted Titles within the Netflix Parental Control settings.
We now live in an instant access society where streaming services such as Netflix are making the consumption of popular TV shows, series, movies and documentaries easier and faster than ever before. For parents, managing screen time, binge watching and filtering age appropriate content, Netflix is yet another online service to battle. The good news is there are Parental Controls within Netflix settings that can dramatically reduce the risk of your children accessing Netflix content that could be too crass for kids.
Like most online platforms or apps, spending a few moments within the app settings can protect your children from exposure to inappropriate content and allow you to take control. Within Netflix Parental Controls you will find two settings that the Cyber Safety Project recommend setting up for your family. Both the 'Restrict by Maturity Level' and 'Restrict Specific Titles' allows you to take control over what you children can search and consume and seconds to set up.
OPTION 1: Create a 'Kids Profile' for your children to access
For younger children, setting up a 'Kids' profile on Netflix will provide the piece of mind that only content based on the regulated age restricted content will be made available and targeted at their maturity level. You can select this level of access and update it as your children come of age.
How to set up a 'Kids Profile':
1. Click 'Add profile'
2. Name your profile and select 'Kid?' to add the filter of only TV shows & movies for kids 12 and under that will be made available for viewing within this profile.
3. Choose the level of restrictions you would like to apply for this profile
OPTION 2: Add Parental Controls & Filters on standard Netflix profiles.
Add a Parental Control Pin:
You can set restrictions for the titles that young people in your household can access by setting a Parental Control Pin. This can be used to restrict the playback of certain content based on Maturity Level or by Specific Titles. The pin you set will appear when content over the certain maturity level.
Place restrictions of specific titles:
If you do not want specific titles appearing within the service, you can have these hidden from the library by entering the name of the show or movie you do not wish your children to view.
1. Select the profile you wish to add parental controls to and navigate to SETTINGS:
2. Create a PIN. (do not share with your children).
3. Search for titles you wish to restrict
There are a number of titles within the Netflix streaming service that are not designed for little eyes and ears. A popular original Netflix series such as 13 Reasons Why, know for being graphic and mature in nature with it's extreme view on teen life and sensationalised depiction of suicide, has been deemed by 'The National Association of School Psychologists' as highly inappropriate for vulnerable youth. There are also a number original Netflix Cartoons too crass for kids that should be on your Restrict List.
The Cyber Safety Project are committed to staying current in this constantly changing digital world. These blog and vlog posts provide insight to families about new trends, potential dangers online and effective strategies to maintain safe and respectful digital behaviours for parents, children, schools and the wider community.