netflixnewyearskidsNetflix, with a nod and wink to weary parents everywhere, has introduced a clever way to trick the kids into thinking New Year’s Eve came early. The service is offering a three-minute long countdown to the New Year featuring DreamWorks’ animated characters – King Julien and friends – which parents can call up any time they choose. The idea is to offer families a way to celebrate the New Year’s Eve together, so parents can then shuffle the little ones to bed and the grown-up drinking (or whatever!) can begin.

It’s quite the funny little feature, and Netflix is playing up the “fool your kids” angle in its press release announcing the “Dance Party” and countdown. The company even went to the trouble of commissioning a survey which found that more than a third of U.S. parents already actively try to trick their kids into thinking midnight came early, doing things like finding countdowns from other timezones (36%), or even staging a countdown of their own (22 percent). Netflix thought it could do better.

Silly? Sure. Practical? *Shrugs.* I mean we already had YouTube, right?

Plus, I don’t know about your kids, but there doesn’t seem to be that big of a gap in between the ages where kids can’t tell time at all and the age where they understand that New Year’s Eve happens at midnight and – hey, why do all the other clocks in the house, including the one on my iPad, still say 8 PM…MOM?!” 

My daughter just hit five and already has a rudimentary understanding of time, thanks to learning about the long hand and the short hand in school, and can read a digital dial. (Of course, she’s still confused enough to ask questions like, “is today tomorrow?” so let’s not give her too much credit just yet.)

I’m just saying, you can only really trick the kids for so long. What’s more effective is putting on your best “grown-up being serious here” expression, sternly telling whining children that it’s now bedtime, they will not being staying up late, and there will be consequences for any further tantrums. You know, actual parenting.

You can then pour yourself a glass of leftover boxed wine, crash on the sofa, and wonder what the hell band that is on the NYE show on TV, then pass out by 9:30 p.m. as usual.

Oh, is that just me?

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