CHILD’S PLAY: Is Squid Game appropriate for kids to watch?

In just a few weeks, the South Korean series “Squid Game” has exploded (literally) onto screens everywhere—becoming the biggest opening series in Netflix history.

Depicting cash-strapped contestants playing childhood games for the chance to win an insane amount of money, you might think it’s a series suitable for kids. But you’d be sorely mistaken…

Unlike a normal game of musical chairs or Red Rover though, there’s a deadly twist: with fatal consequences for the losers involving graphic violence and gore galore.

Rated as mature content for viewers only over the age of 16, the series has still become a hot topic amongst many young kids too, with many schools having to issue warnings to parents about the graphic nature of the content as children attempt to imitate the program and the gruesome schoolyard games they watch.

While many kids are begging their parents to watch it, here’s why parenting expert and educator, Laura Linn Knight thinks it’s not appropriate:

“Many parents think, ‘My child can understand and differentiate between reality and fiction,'” Knight said. “But children cannot differentiate as much as we think. So when we’re sending in these images and expecting them to do what an adult can do, it’s unrealistic for them.”

She continues, “They’re taking childhood games that … children are actively playing with their friends, and now being exposed to it in a way where killing is involved and it’s life-threatening.”

She added that a child also might hesitate to share that they are scared.

“Many children won’t verbalize that, because they still want to watch it,” Knight said.

But instead of simply outright banning the show and even a conversation around it, Knight suggests talking to your kids about why they want to watch it, and why you don’t think it’s a good idea.

“Kids can feel especially left out if their friends are doing it,” Knight said. “This is a really nice opportunity (for kids) to learn a valuable lifelong lesson that sometimes people’s families are going to make different choices.”

As one parent commenting on the site, commonsensemedia.org says:

“We have a 10- and 11-year-old clamoring to watch Squid Game because everyone is talking about it at school, but we’re not letting them. It’s too violent, but that isn’t a deal-breaker… The problem is the thematic darkness: despair at modern society leading people to betray friends, a malignant sort of contempt for human life with hundreds shot offhand like dogs and cremated or having organs removed while still alive, and some genuinely disturbing games (the tug of war was especially psychologically unsettling).

It’s a jet-black tale which I’m still thinking about two weeks later. What would pre-teens take away from it? … Maybe they would just revel in the gore rather than seeing past it, but there’s no way to know, and seen things can’t be unseen.

What if psychological maturity is needed to deflect the crushing darkness of the story?”

Laura Linn Knight quotes from TODAY Parents

What about you mums? Have you watched it? And how do you feel about letting your kids watch it?

Comment below and let us know x

67 thoughts on “CHILD’S PLAY: Is Squid Game appropriate for kids to watch?

  1. Julie says:

    I watched the trailer of this series, I am shocked that any parent would allow their child to watch this. My child is 6, whether or not she is 6 or 16, I would never allow her to watch this series. Each parent to their own but I just dont think it is fair that children should be exposed to this type of behaviour 🙁

    • lmkhize694 says:

      I thought it was okay for them to watch but luckily I wanted us to watch together. I’m telling you the shock, I just stopped it and told them to not even attempt to watch it. It was sooo violent and what is shocking is they used a game that looked like a normal kids game and made it scary and a greedy game. And kids are talking about it and mimicking this on social media like it is okay, this show is not for kids tooo violent. I understand the the age Restriction when I watched it, it’s the use of a childrens game that made it seem okay. Tne age should be brought higher as this means high schoolers are going to doing this at schools because they are allowed to watch it. But wat I have noticed is even with cartoons alot seems not right for their audience.

  2. Carlynn says:

    My Niece introduced it to my 6 year old, Keeping in mind I did not know at all what type of series it is. But when i watched it with him I immediately put a stop to it as it is not at all for the eyes of younger kids. These kids learn so quick from social media or the Tv, my issue is what if they end up playing similar games at school and someone gets hurts. So no this is not for kids.

  3. Ntsoaki says:

    Squid Games is not for kids..PERIOD as a parent i cringed from the first episode and i decided im not going to watch the entire season. The sad part is that kids are talking about it at school and that’s where the curiosity comes from.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I have watched it. My granddaughter, aged 11 asked to watch it, as friends in her class have watched it, and I explained to her that I don’t think it is age appropriate to watch. It is not a series for the squeamish or faint hearted, as it is very violent. If you enjoy movies like The Purge etc and don’t have a problem with killing and violence, you will enjoy this series. I wanted to watch it because they said it was similar to The Hunger Games, but it’s nothing like that at all. I would rather let my granddaughter watch The Hunger Games before I let her watch this

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