5 Netflix Shows Every Parent Should Watch With Their Teenager

There’s a plethora of movies and TV shows on Netflix that parents can watch together with their teenager. Many address areas of controversy; because there’s so much drama in teens’ lives that it naturally finds expression in entertainment media.

But, drama in adolescence isn’t really new for any generation, and complaints about the behavior of young people date back to Ancient Greece. Most parents these days are pretty sympathetic, however, and can offer advice and support for any teenager faced with the conflicts inherent in growing up.

And if you’re looking for a closer look at the issues that teens are facing, check out these Netflix shows and movies together. It will open an opportunity to have that “been there, done that” conversation with your teenager.

Because let’s face it, new tech does bring new problems for young people. Even if from the distance of a few decades it looks like the same old angst. And perhaps new tech can provide new solutions, including these “teachable moments” at the touch of a button.

Powerful Dramas on Netflix to Watch With Your Teen

1. The Secret Life of an American Teenager

In this high school drama, 15-year-old Amy must balance life as a pregnant teenager and navigate all the questions and decisions this implies.

Amy has big ambitions, and the plot centers on how she juggles her relationship with the baby’s father and the boy she truly cares for. The majority of the show focuses on Amy and other teens as they mature and try to make good decisions about sex, love, and faith.

Additionally, their parents are going through their own issues regarding their relationships, include unplanned pregnancy and divorce. This twist makes this show perfect for reflecting how much parents and teens can have in common.

The show earned the Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer TV Show when it premiered in 2008.

2. 13 Reasons Why 

Based on the best-selling book by Jay Asher, this drama series packs a punch and asks some difficult questions. High school student, Clay Jensen, recreates the events that led to the suicide of schoolmate, coworker, and secret crush Hannah Baker. His journey is guided by a series of cassette tapes she left behind.

This show stirred up some serious controversy when it aired in 2017. And many child behavior specialists recommended that parents watch this show with their teens; if they were permitted to watch it at all.

Parents will find themselves horrified at the impact of what might seem to be minor events. And perhaps that’s the real lesson that can come from watching this show with your teenager. What seems like a trivial to us may seem insurmountable to someone with less experience and resilience.

The honest portrayal of the escalation of events will leave viewers stunned and even angry. This is a must-watch for anyone with children.

The show gives parents a number opportunities for discussion with teens. Some subjects covered include bullies, ostracism, sexual assault, and depression. Better yet, it provides a chance to discuss them from both sides of these issues. Additionally, an honest talk could help teens become more aware of how their actions can affect others.

Meaningful Comedies on Netflix to Watch with Your Teenager

3. Everything Sucks!

This Netflix Original show delivers plenty of ‘90s nostalgia for parents while still being very relatable for teens. It’s amazing how little changes in just 20 years!

In this comedy series, the AV Club Geeks and the Drama Club Kids unite when the set for the school play is destroyed. Instead of simply accepting the will of the fates, the AV Club steps in and turns the play into a movie, instead.

This show takes a humorous approach to the slings and arrows of adolescence, and takes on issues like unrequited love and sexual identity.

Meanwhile, the parents in the show have their own problems navigating the dating scene. This is another show that explores areas where parents and teens have more in common than they think. And the fact that it takes place in an era when many parents watching were themselves teens just makes it that much more fun.

4. Atypical

As modern society takes a closer look at how we view those outside the mainstream norms, Atypical provides a charming view of a teenager with autism ready to make the next step into adulthood. This coming-of-age show features 18-year-old Sam, who decides it’s time to start dating.

Even though he’s technically an adult, he has no experience of romance and relationships. He isn’t always sure what’s appropriate and what isn’t, a relatable conundrum for many teens. And some adults.

Furthermore, Sam’s parents now have to learn to rediscover their own independence outside the role of child-rearing, so it’s a bit of a “coming of age” for them, as well.

This charming drama focuses on the bittersweet conflict between family love and loyalty and what we owe to our own potential.

5. Freaks and Geeks

More nostalgia for parents, this time set in the 1980s. The show follows two groups of the typical cliques from high school: the freaks (slackers) and geeks. Mathlete Lindsay tries to change her persona by hanging out with the slackers.

Meanwhile, her younger brother, geeky Sam, tries to fit into high school as a brainiac freshman. Worse yet, he’s nurturing a crush on a cheerleader.

This is a fun show that takes a humorous look at the struggles teens face trying to find their personal identity and tribe. At the same time, they’re trying to cope with the high, and often inexplicable. expectations of parents.

This is an older TV show that has remained a fan favorite since it aired in 1999. Fans love its relatable storylines and great comedic writing.

These five shows feature the timeless trials of teens in any generation. Young people will always face questions centered on identity, belief, sexuality, and finding their niche as they move into adulthood. It’s just part of the process.

“It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who has lost it.” – W. Somerset Maugham, playwright

Adolescence is a turbulent time in any era. Check out these TV shows on Netflix with your teenagers. You’ll discover you have more in common than you thought, both during your own teen years as well as now.

Featured Image via Netflix YouTube, Everything Sucks! screencap