We have been eagerly anticipating the new Netflix television show ‘The Baby-Sitters Club!’ My tween gave the trailer a nod of approval with, “Looks cool!” and my younger daughter smiled as she watched it. Much to the amused irritation of my husband who is realizing how outnumbered by females he is, we watched it as our family entertainment for the 4th of July. Featured today on Theresa’s Reviews, I’m sharing whether it’s appropriate for children.
As soon as the first episode began, it brought me back to my childhood. I read all the books. When I heard the the character names and I saw the name of the school, I could picture my old yellow bedroom where my friends and I hung out together and threw memorable sleepover parties.
However much as my childhood memories sometimes blur together – from the innocent photo recreations of The Sound of Music we made in my field in 4th grade to the middle school late night shenanigans – this show appeals to a wide range of ages, yet it is not appropriate for every child or every age.
Younger children can be interested in the fun story of older girls starting a business and growing together as friends. The characters also become more independent from their families, which may be confusing for children who aren’t ready to learn about life in middle school. Since The Baby-Sitters Club members are about 12 or 13, they are older than some viewers will be.
Some of these Big Girl topics are great to help raise the issues with your children, but you might want to be prepared.
Topics raised in the first few episodes include menstruation, death, serious illnesses, and divorce. Since there is a dance, there is mention of boyfriends, and there is a brief kiss on the cheek. One character lies to her parents about her grade on her test, but later she admits the truth. You might decide to discuss gender since there are brief moments with gay and trans characters.
Overall, it was a bit surprising how many big topics were raised within only a few episodes. I had pictured this as being a show I could watch with my two young daughters, but I kept finding that I didn’t know what big topic might surprise me next. It reminded me of another favorite show from my childhood, ‘Degrassi,’ which dealt with real issues and taught life lessons. I’m not quite sure I’m ready to go there with how young my children are, but it’s up to you with what you’re comfortable showing and discussing!