This post, Teen Shows on Netflix that Help You Discuss Difficult Topics, is part of my participation with the Netflix #StreamTeam. Opinions are my own.
Teenagers generally come with one guarantee. They tend not to talk about their problems and use the word “fine” a whole lot. Sure. You’re fine. You’re just slamming things and being altogether disagreeable because nothing is wrong. Something must be wrong. But you can’t say that to them. They will deny it until they turn blue and leave you both more frustrated than before you even started to attempt to communicate.
One way that I have found to help open the doors of communication with my son, is by watching movies and TV together that tackle topics relevant to a teenager. I think it works because the issues we discuss are related to someone else’s problems so he doesn’t feel defensive or embarrassed. By watching the characters play out their struggles, he learns some solutions to deal with his own, and potentially deal with future issues that may arise in his life. It really takes the focus off him and he’s much more likely to open up and talk about teen-related challenges and struggles.
Teen Shows on Netflix that Help You Discuss Difficult Topics
Netflix has some great movies and shows that are perfect for watching with your teen. Some tackle really, really difficult and serious topics, others are more light-hearted but still address teen-related problems. Some of these you may want to watch on your own before letting your teen watch them because of the sensitive subject matter. Only you can decide if you child is ready to deal with these topics or if you are comfortable with the way they are being presented.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager
This is a TV show with 5 seasons. It is rated TV-14 and the main topic is teenage pregnancy and how the 15-year-old main character deals with it and how it affects her life.
13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why is a new TV-MA Netflix Original Series that tackles the subject of teen suicide and how classmates deal with receiving a series of tapes that document her tragic decision.
This is a TV-14 movie drama where a teenager is the victim of online bullying by her classmates.
A Girl Like Her
A Girl Like Her is a PG-13 movie that addresses the topics of bullying and potential teen suicide.
Audrie & Daisy
This is a Netflix Original rated TV-14 that addresses the topic of teen sexual assault.
Mark & Russell’s Wild Ride
This movie is a lighthearted adventure is rated TV-Y7-FV and revolves around the antics of a teen hoping to get his driver’s license to impress a girl.
The Way He Looks
The Way He Looks is not rated but tells the story of a blind teenager and the impact a new classmate has on his life.
G.B.F. stands for “gay best friend” and is an R movie where three popular teens scheme to get the only openly gay student as their friend.
23 Blast is a PG-13 movie about a high school football star who loses his sight.
Petting Zoo is a TV-14 movie that addresses the pregnancy of a high school senior.
Blackbird is rated R and is a movie about a teenager in the south struggling with telling his mother about his sexuality.
Good Will Hunting
While not a teen movie, this R-rated movie is the story of a college-age genius dealing with personal demons and the impact of events that happened to him when he was younger.
Heathers is rated R and deals with topics related to high school cliques and brooding loners.
The Ryan White Story
The Ryan White Story is rated PG and is a movie that touches on topics of homophobia and discrimination due to a teenager’s medical diagnosis.
Anytime you can watch a movie with a message or a life-lesson with your teen, no matter how serious or lighthearted, it provides an opportunity for you to connect with them and offer guidance to help them navigate the challenging world in front of them. Hopefully, these teen shows on Netflix can help you open a line of communication with your child.