As times have changed, so have the standards for rating movies and TV shows. Content that used to be intended for adult audiences is now sprinkled throughout entertainment for teenagers!
Finding age-appropriate media for your children is one of the toughest parts of parenthood today. Even when a movie or TV show claims to be appropriate for younger viewers, it’s hard to know if you can trust that claim.
If this cinematic conundrum sounds familiar, you’re not alone! This is a problem that plagues parents everywhere.
Thankfully, you can take a breather from your research with these twelve safe shows for tweens and teens to watch!
Alexa & Katie | 10+
Beginning high school is hard enough as it is. To make it even more challenging, throw illness into the mix! This heartwarming series follows Alexa, recently diagnosed with cancer, and her best friend, Katie, as they support one another through their teenage years. Your tweens and teens will fall head over heels for this relatable dramedy!
Check it out on Netflix!
Anne with an E |12+
An adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, this coming-of-age retelling highlights the troubles and triumphs experienced by Anne—an imaginative and energetic young girl from the nineteenth century, adopted by a pair of older siblings. Uplifting messages and role models abound in this unique take on a classic tale!
Note: Features dark and dramatic themes including abuse, bullying, financial strain, and hunger that may frighten younger viewers.
The Baby-Sitters Club | 10+
A modern adaptation of the beloved book series by Ann M. Martin, The Baby-Sitters Club follows a group of girls who’ve formed a club to provide childcare for their community. While they initially start the club to lighten parents’ loads and make a little money, this crew becomes the best of friends! These girls’ entrepreneurial spirits and loyal friendship will certainly inspire your tweens and teens.
Note: Features discussion of heavy topics including divorce, gender identity, and racism that may be complex for younger viewers.
Watch it on Netflix!
The Big Show Show | 10+
This silly, lighthearted sitcom depicts the Big Show—WWE professional wrestler, Paul Wright—and his fictional family navigating their lives together, one smackdown at a time. Playful and packed with wrestling references, The Big Show Show will pull laughs from even the most stoic tweens and teens!
Note: Includes occasionally rough wrestling scenes and mild language.
Find it on Netflix!
The Bureau of Magical Things | 6+
Kyra discovers she possesses special abilities after finding a mysterious floating book while out on an otherwise normal jog. This fun fantasy series follows Kyra as she navigates being human, elf, and fairy all in one! Tweens, teens, and the whole family will be captivated by Kyra’s journey to learn more about magic and use her powers for good.
Gilmore Girls | 14+
A charming and coming-of-age classic, Gilmore Girls is set in the fictional small town, Stars Hollow, and centers around the best-friend relationship between single mother, Lorelai, and her daughter, Rory. The series follows them both as Rory goes starts high school, graduates college, and everything in between. Featuring challenging family dynamics, relationship troubles, and the realities of life, Gilmore Girls is a cherished watch for teens and their parents—often offering a starting point for important conversations.
Note: Contains occasional strong language as well as sexual innuendo and references to sex.
The Great British Baking Show | 8+
This drama-free reality show highlights twelve contestants throughout ten weeks of delicious baking challenges. Each week another contestant is eliminated—only one can be crowned Britain’s best baker! The whole gang won’t be able to get enough of the tasty teamwork. Maybe after TV time, the kids can take their admiration to the kitchen and make their own delectable desserts!
Note: Includes some mild language and innuendo.
Give it a watch on Netflix!
Heartland | 12+
Based on the novels by Lauren Brooke, this Canadian series depicts a young woman, Amy, who recently lost her mother. While she deals with loss and grief, she learns she has the same gift her mother had: healing horses. Heartland follows Amy and her family as they run their ranch and rebuild their lives. It’s an excellent show that’ll teach your tweens and teens about family, sacrifice, perseverance, and other valuable life lessons.
Merlin | 10+
Merlin puts an action-packed spin on the tall-tale life of Merlin, the wizard who doubled as the imaginary King Arthur’s mentor and advisor. The series spotlights Merlin as an untrained teen—an unusual and intriguing take on a character who’s usually depicted as old and wise. Your tweens and teens will be mystified by this mythical, magical tale!
Note: Features action scenes with dark magic, swords, daggers, and other medieval weapons that may frighten younger viewers.
Our Planet | 6+
Narrated by naturalist David Attenborough, Our Planet educates viewers about the impact of climate change on the Earth’s wildlife. This colorful, spectacularly filmed series spotlights amazing animal species, predator and prey relationships, animals’ survival methods, and the fascinating ecosystems of our world. Our Planet will give your tweens and teens a glance into how big and beautiful Earth really is!
Note: Features depictions of animal death which may disturb viewers regardless of age. May evoke questions about reproduction from younger viewers.
Find it on Netflix!
Tiny House Nation | 9+
For the building buffs in your home, tune in to Tiny House Nation! Two renovation experts travel across America to help people dramatically downsize their living quarters. This show is filled with fun and creative ways to make the most use of your space. Your tween and teens who love to innovate will love to watch this one!
You vs. Wild | 10+
Based on the popular show, Man vs. Wild, Bear Grylls leads viewers through an interactive TV experience where viewers make decisions for him! Using the TV remote to select what he eats, where he sleeps, and which path he takes, your tweens and teens will learn survival skills and be entertained at the same time.
Tune in to the interactive experience on Netflix!
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