There are so many movies available today that tout "family friendly viewing" but sometimes include scenes that some parents are surprised were included in such a film. Finding a movie for your family to watch without covering little eyes or little ears can sometimes be a challenge but if you are armed with a few tips and tools to seek out and find the best movies for your family then it isn't so hard at all.
Research, research, research! If there is a movie that is playing at the movie theater or has been released on dvd, your best bet to start is to do some research on the internet and get the skinny on the movie. Many movie review websites will discuss the thematic elements of the movie as well as the movie's rating. Several websites which can be found by searching for family friendly movie review will even tally every single incident or occurrence of potentially disturbing images, violence, language or other inappropriate content for young children. Every family is different, so while reading these reviews, take into account your own personal value system that you have in place for your children.
If there is a movie your child has asked to see and you still can't make a determination based on online reviews, ask your friends who have the same standards you do and see if they have or have not watched the movie, and if so, what is their opinion of it. If this doesn't work, consider renting the movie yourself and view it with your spouse. You'll be able to spot any potential issues ahead of time and determine whether or not it is appropriate for your child. When telling your child they cannot see a particular movie, be sure to let them know why. It can be difficult for a child who cannot see a movie that all of their friends have seen, so share with them why you have made your decision and why you believe it's best for them. An added bonus: pick out a movie that IS appropriate and is perhaps similar in style or theme to the movie your child wanted to watch.
If your child is older, it may be appropriate to watch the movie together. Discuss ahead of time what sorts of things are appropriate or inappropriate for them to watch and why so that your child understands your decision. Explain that excessive cursing or violence or crude language may be a deal-breaker for the movie and that those scenes will be skipped or the movie turned off. If your child is learning to make positive choices, give them a chance to be in charge of the remote. The opportunity to screen the movie will make them feel more grown-up and they may surprise you by turning off the movie and telling YOU why it's not appropriate. If they don't quite catch on when you'd like, gently suggest pausing the movie to talk about what was seen or heard.
Always be available to your child to talk about what is and is not appropriate and why and use this as a learning experience for your child to make informed choices especially if he or she is out with friends!
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A Raleigh Baptist Church parishioner in North Carolina has provided the information in this article. For more on this and other Bible Study information, visit them today.
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