Diary of a Future President

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Diary of a Future President TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Look at go-getter's tween years tackles some mature topics.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 40 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Kids see Elena cope with many issues that will resonate with them, including academic and social pressures, disappointing peer relationships, changing dynamics at home. Through it all, she keeps a positive outlook and determination to always do her best, which series equates with her eventual occupation of the White House. Elena's Cuban American heritage has a small but constant role in her life, and the story refers to her father's death three years ago.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Elena sets goals for herself, reflects on her successes and shortcomings, holds herself to a high standard. She always stays true to her values in face of adversity. Gabi is a hardworking single mom who balances her kids' needs with her own.

Violence
Sex

Some hints at tween crushes. Talk among tween girls of getting their periods, cycling together ("cycle sisters," they call themselves), using tampons.

Language

Rarely "shut up" and name-calling like "nerd."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Diary of a Future President follows the ups and downs of a Cuban American middle schooler whose experiences help prepare her for an eventual rise to the presidency. The show sets up its reflective look back at 12-year-old Elena's (Tess Romero) everyday life and then settles there for the duration, rather than bouncing back and forth between Elena's adult and tween personas. The show's honesty in dealing with issues like difficult emotions, stress, and troublesome people raises worthy talking points for families. Other topics -- menstruation, for instance, which is discussed frequently and frankly -- may inspire questions, depending on your kids' age and awareness. This feel-good series features a diverse cast, a strong family unit, and a hardworking, self-assured tween who aspires to -- and eventually achieves -- great things.

 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRaisingaminnie March 5, 2020

Great role models and a cute show

I gave an age 2+ rating as I personally have not found anything inappropriate with this show. I see some have had issues with them talking about periods, which... Continue reading
Adult Written bysuns34 January 25, 2020

Not for younger kids!

Was excited to sit with my kids to watch a new show. We turned it off when they started talking about tampons and being "cycle sisters". I don't... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byseaweedbrain374 February 22, 2020

Interesting Show, but Not for Younger Kids!

On Fridays I’ve started to look forward to watching Diary of a Future President on Disney+! It’s so much better than the ridiculous shows on Disney Channel now... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byiKonic_Kpopper April 30, 2020

Amazing show!!!

I’m 13, but I started watching this when I was 12. Many adults say that it is not for kids, but I believe it’s perfectly fine. I found out about periods in 3rd... Continue reading

What's the story?

In DIARY OF A FUTURE PRESIDENT, Elena Cañero-Reed (Gina Rodriguez) revisits the musings in her middle school diary, reflecting on how the challenges she overcame at that point in her life helped prepare her for a political career that brought her to the White House. As she reads and remembers, the setting changes, and we meet 12-year-old Elena (Tess Romero), her widowed mother, Gabi (Selenis Leyva), and her older brother, Bobby (Charlie Bushnell). Having just started middle school, Elena finds it filled with uncertainty, disloyal friends, academic pressures ... and then there's a curveball she's not expecting at home! As Elena's life takes one turn after another, she details the ups and downs in the diary that years later helps tell her story.

Is it any good?

Romero's charisma helps elevate this show, which otherwise runs the risk of being overlooked because of its overall mellow vibe. There's no shtick, no gags, no hyperbolic silliness for laughs; instead it's a straightforward and relatable look at the unpredictable late tween years, happily guided by a smart, industrious, well-rounded kid. Because the story gives away the ending at its start with Elena's ascent to the presidency, it's easy to settle in and watch things transpire without wondering where events will take her someday.

From puberty matters to social drama to winging it on an assignment after mixing up the due date (yikes!), Elena's day-to-day issues hit close to home and mostly keep to appropriate topics, but the extent of some discussions, especially surrounding periods, may not be for all families. But talk about crushes, periods, and other timely concerns don't overwhelm Diary of a Future President's content -- there's still plenty of room for strong messages about family relationships, adjusting to change, and working hard toward your goals.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Elena's strong self-awareness in Diary of a Future President. What do you think accounts for it? How does it help her weather the storms that come at home and at school? Can you relate to Elena's self-confidence? In what kinds of real-life situations would this strength be most valuable?

  • What influence does Elena's Cuban heritage have on her determination to succeed and achieve? How do her mom's stories of coming to America help inspire Elena? What family traditions do you have that reflect your own cultural background? Why is the United States called a "melting pot"?

  • A recurring theme in this story is adapting to change. Why are resilience and perseverence such vital characteristics in success? When have you learned valuable lessons from change that was difficult or unwelcome?

TV details

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For kids who love Disney

Themes & Topics

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