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Parenting

What To Stream For Your Kids When You’ve Completely Run Out Of Ideas

These programs will keep your child firmly engaged.

Now that everyone is home for who knows how long, plenty of moms have found themselves working and homeschooling, in addition to the regular mom duties they always have. Others are dealing with the stress of looking for work while remaining upbeat while essentially being grounded.

I’ll be really honest. My parents never grounded me as a kid and now I know why: They didn’t want to be punished themselves. It often feels like we are all being punished by a virus.

What most parents are probably wanting at this point is a few hours off-duty. A babysitter would be clutch, but unless you have a wide range of ages in children (you know, a mostly unwilling teenager) or a multigenerational household, chances are you are feeling without options.

Not to mention the fact that there is no place to go.

However, almost everyone already has a babysitter at home. The one you are told to limit and not use — or else you are a bad mom.

Yes. The TV.

Just so you know, I don’t think you are a bad mom at all if you plop your kids in front of the television, because a happy mom is a good mom. If letting a screen assist you in your parenting duties makes your day better, I can’t help but think it is a good thing.

Plus, it is less expensive than a babysitter since one month of Netflix is cheaper than one hour of babysitting!

Now, to save you the time of scrolling through the options and trying to come to a consensus, here are a few movies that are sure to keep your elementary-aged child firmly engaged with the screen. And they are readily available to stream on Netflix.

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Pixar/Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

Incredibles 2: In a movie where dad stays home with the kids and tries to manage everything while mom is out saving the world, it will certainly be relatable to the kids trapped at the house. They can just pretend like Mom is Elastigirl and has vacated for a little bit!

SPACE JAM, from left: Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny, Michael Jordan, 1996, © Warner Brothers/courtesy Ever
Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection





Space Jam: Michael Jordan is having a moment with his ESPN special, The Last Dance, but most parents want their kids to be in bed by the time that show airs! Why not let them enjoy sports with cartoon characters in this classic film.

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Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection





Mary Poppins Returns: Imaging a nanny with special powers coming by the house to take you on magic outings is what most of us wish could happen right now. Letting the kids spend two hours imaging it is the next best thing.

NATIONAL TREASURE, Diane Kruger, Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, 2004, (c) Touchstone/courtesy Everett
Touchstone Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection






National Treasure: A trip to a museum is now off the table for a while, but Nicholas Cage takes you on a tour of history. Think of it as historical fiction and a supplement to your homeschool curriculum.

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Sony Pictures Animation/Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection







Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse: This movie is another kind of history lesson, showing the various Spiderman-inspired characters through the years, and the film just has so much heart. It is fast paced, which will keep kids glued to the story and is sure to inspire some giggles!







Finally, if it has been an especially trying day, I think more than one movie could be just the thing for everyone’s sanity.

If you start to feel guilty, do what I do — and just blame the coronavirus.

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