With such a vast library of TV, film, and documentary content, Netflix is a great example of an online learning resource. But, with such a large selection, children may accidentally encounter inappropriate content aimed at an older audience. For parents and caregivers who want to make use of this learning resource, Netflix has numerous built-in parental controls that make their services safer and more customizable for children.
Netflix’s parental controls were designed so that parents and caregivers can ensure children have an enriching - not damaging - experience with Netflix's content. Netflix’s parental controls allow adults to monitor the content their child is consuming, as well as restrict the content they have access to. While there’s no way to guarantee a child won’t encounter inappropriate content on the internet, making use of these parental features is a great way to minimize that chance.
There are several ways to change your child’s experience on Netflix, and what content they can view. Setting up customized parental controls can help make sure your child’s experience on Netflix is a beneficial one - and this can be achieved by activating several features within Netflix.
Because Netflix curates content for all age groups, without restrictions it’s very possible that your child may see something that makes them uncomfortable. One parental control offered by Netflix allows parents to control what content their child has access to. If you have a specific show you’d like to restrict access to, Netflix allows users to restrict individual tites.
Or, parents can set up age restrictions which filter the content shown to their child based on the show’s age rating. Parents can choose from shows rated U, PG, age 12, age 15, and age 18. See Natterhub’s guide below to learn how to set age restrictions on Netflix.
After logging into Netflix, users are always met with a screen displaying different profiles within the same account. Typically, different family members have different profiles - this helps Netflix tailor show suggestions to each person’s interests. Netflix allows users to lock profiles so that they can only be accessed using a password. This allows parents to set up parental controls tailored to one child, and different parental controls for another child with different needs. To learn how to set-up restricted Netflix profiles, see Natterhub’s guide below.
When a child finishes watching a program, Netflix’s algorithm automatically selects a show for your child to watch next. Because of the ‘autoplay’ feature, this show will automatically play after a 10 second countdown. If a child is watching a multi-episode TV show, often the next episode will play automatically. But, if they were watching a documentary or movie, often Netflix will choose a different, related title to play automatically.
In order to ensure your child isn’t spending too much time watching, and to monitor the content they watch, this ‘autoplay’ feature can be disabled. To learn how, see Natterhub’s parental features guide below.
After setting up appropriate parental controls, parents can take safety on Netflix a step further:
Remaining informed about the kind of shows your child is watching can help you decide if parental controls are needed. Not only will their viewer history show you the content they're enjoying, but also give you an indication of how long your child spends watching Netflix content. To learn how to view this history, check out Natterhub’s parental features guide below.
While parental controls can be extremely helpful, chatting often about a child’s Netflix use is also key. Discussing their favourite shows and experiences online help show a child that talking about their online habits is a judgement-free and productive conversation. Practicing this often also encourages children to approach an adult if they view something distressing, rather than keeping quiet because they fear punishment.
As social gatherings halted, the pandemic saw many young Netflix users figuring out how to do a Netflix Party to replace in-person viewing with friends. Netflix introduced the ‘party’ feature in response to this, enabling Netflix users to watch content simultaneously with their friends, while virtually chatting. There is no risk of children encountering strangers while using Netflix’s Party feature, as users can only join a viewing session after receiving a personal link. However, the virtual chat has no sensors or parental controls for inappropriate conversations. Given this, Netflix Party is a relatively safe way for children to interact - as long as they watch appropriate content and have safe discussions about it.
Return to blog posts