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Choose Your Ending: How Netflix is Helping Parents (& Kids) Kick Summer Boredom

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Summer is halfway through, and if, like many of our homes, you too are hearing, “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do,” then Netflix has a helping hand for you! Rather than the convenient list of chores you may spout off that your child will cringe at and you’ll tire of trying to get them to complete, turn to an old standby in a new format. We know, we know…there are some of you that are recoiling at the concept of using technology to lull your kids into a summer trance, but fear not! Like the days when you and your little brother used to sit and read “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, Netflix has brought their A-game to the show.

Choose Your Ending: How Netflix is Helping Parents (& Kids) Kick Summer Boredom

Photo: Facebook/Comic Book Fever by George Khoury

Launching a feature called “Interactive Storytelling,” Netflix introduced a new “Puss-in-Boots” show allowing for viewer participation in the selection of decision paths. In watching, the child will have the opportunity to select how the story develops. In theory, this would allow the viewer the opportunity to watch an episode numerous times with multiple endings. And, the options, although seemingly endless, are not, but do present your kids with a freedom that we ’90s readers didn’t have the benefit of. The first release, entitled “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” has a considerable number of interactive options, and your child may not have exhausted them by the time the second show, “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile” (which was released on July 14) even becomes a possibility for them.

Choose Your Ending: How Netflix is Helping Parents (& Kids) Kick Summer Boredom
Photo: Flickr/Shilad Sen

So, check your guilt at the door when you see the kids staying indoors and sitting on the couch. It’s summer in Texas. It’s most likely melt-your-face-off degrees out there. They’ll be using their little minds to participate in the show they’re watching, and you’re not going to be on the highlight reel of the next TMZ show for child-abuse-by-technology. Let them relax and choose their own story, as opposed to mindlessly being fed the details. This might be one of the tools you can add to your war chest in the never-ending battle against summer boredom.

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