The real question: should you watch Stranger Things with your kids?

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

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Stranger Things comes back to Netlfix on October 27. That, is soon.

I know that you already know this and I know that you plan on watching the entire season in a night (or before Halloween a the very least). I know you’re going to be scared and I know you’re going to think back to all the shows and movies you loved as a kid in the 80s as you listen to the sound effects and soundtrack.

I also know that as a parent, you are struggling with one thing in particular:

Should you watch Stranger Things with your kids?

Because not showing it to them is going to limit when you get to watch it yourself. But it might also prevent them from having nightmares for the rest of ever. Having had this dialogue in my own head, I have broken this into two very distinct categories: the pros side and the cons side.

Pros

  • Oh my god, to be the cool parent just once and not “the worst dad in the whole entire world who never does anything fun!”
  • 25 years from now, if your kids end up having kids, they will say to their own child “my parents let me watch all the shows that my friends weren’t allowed to watch.”
  • You won’t have to wait until your kids are asleep to watch it thereby mitigating the likelihood that you’ll fall asleep three minutes in because you’re old and fall asleep early every night.
  • Scary movie buddies are the best because you need someone’s hand to hold.
  • They will know who Barb is.
  • They will also probably understand your Eleven Halloween costume a little better.
  • They will see that men can be emotional too. They will see you cry, scream, jump, cower, guffaw, and swear.
  • If they can watch Stranger Things, they can watch Lord of the Rings and oh my god how many times will you end up watching that with your kids?!

Cons

  • 25 years from now, if your kids end up having kids, they will say to their own child “my parents let me watch all the shows that my friends weren’t allowed to watch. And now I don’t trust them.”
  • They (subsequently you) may never sleep again ever in their life.
  • Failing that, they may be interested in finding their own Upside Down and leave home before they are really prepared to do so.
  • A sensory deprivation tank seems like a cool idea, but really, is it?
  • They will hear you scream “why is this show so goddamn *f word* scary!”
  • Watching it on the kid’s Netflix profile is really going to throw their suggested shows to watch section out of whack.

Our viewing poses

the hand squeeze

The tight hand grasp

the lean hug suspense

The hug me I’m scared

the scared look

Can we even do this?

too scary I'm out

No, get me out of here.

In the end, this is your decision to make as a family. Stranger Things has a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes but don’t let that cloud your judgement. I mean it also has an 8.9/10 rating on IMDB but whatever, right? You don’t make decisions based on the reviews of others anyway.

*I’m part of the Netflix StreamTeam and this post is for that. Will I show my kids Stranger Things? Hmmmmmmmmm.

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