Sponsored by Disney’s Tomorrowland
When your kids are really young it’s easy to decide what sort of movies and TV shows to put on for them … if you stick with G rated programs then you are pretty safe.
That family movie rating means it’s not going to raise too many issues that you need to work through with your kids. Now I have to admit I love a lot of the animated movies and although they may touch on some adult concepts, or even include a few jokes that go over the head of the children, they can be enjoyed at any level. There will come a time though fairly soon when you need to start to filter their movies and you will move into that awkward PG rating area.
The Parental Guidance [PG] rating means exactly what it says … Is not just another level which is still safe for all eyes but rather something that puts the ball back into your court. It’s up to you as the parent to decide whether this content is suitable for your child. I say child and not children because no two kids are developing at exactly the same rate and so it gets quite tricky when you want to put something on for the whole family.
I know some parents take the approach that if something is an issue in the world, then why keep it from your children, but that ignores the fact that processing ideas well means that the brain needs to be ready, and it might require some time to talk through what something means with your kids. I want my children to be able to understand and deal with issues when they are ready to and when they need to. This is exactly why the PG rating is given that name.
When to Move On?
Its not that hard to know when to begin looking at some more advanced type movies because usually your kids will tell you … They will say things like “This is a baby movie!” or “The kids at school are all watching XYZ show.” Obviously other factors such as what books they are reading or topics that they are talking about will also give you an idea. Many families find that this happens around the 7-8 year old mark although most have probably watched PG movies before this anyway and I’m not trying to give any indication of a standard. In fact, if you go through your movie collection you will probably be surprised to find what movies are actually rated PG.
A rule of thumb that has worked well for us is that we tend to:
- Read reviews on some particular family friendly websites for a heads up of what is in the movie that we might need to discuss
- If we are unsure then one of us will watch the movie the first time with the kids
It’s very rare that we would stop a movie but rather if we watch it with them we can unpack it much better in our conversations afterwards.
What to Look For?
Once again it’s up to you what flags a movie as not appropriate for your child but some of the things that we look for as things to consider or discuss afterwards are:
- Positive / Negative messages
- Positive / Negative role models
- Violence – casual, graphic, etc
- Cruelty – sometimes this is worse than violence
- Sexual themes or content
- Consumerism – brands, themes
- Drug abuse
All of these are subjective which is why it can be so valuable to watch with your children when that is possible.
Actually the same goes for when we move into M rated movies too. The problem is that as children move closer to the top of the PG rated bracket and towards the M rated movies it begins to get very difficult … especially as they become more aware of what their friends are watching. They obviously don’t want to be left behind and yet we don’t want them watching EVERYTHING available if they are not ready. It can be hard to find a movie that includes enough excitement and action without a lot of the negative themes and ‘inclusions’.
Generally we’re looking for something that is not animated (in a childish way) and that looks like a real movie. Fortunately there are people producing movies that combine the two but you’ll have to do some digging to find them.
Disney are a company synonymous with family friendly productions and they are making some great PG movies that are designed for this in-between stage of development. They are amongst a group of brands that give me a little more confidence to show a movie right out of the box.
Their 2015 movie Tomorrowland (George Clooney, Britt Robertson) is a great example of an adventure film with plenty of positive themes but that doesn’t skimp on the action or production values that my pre-teen kids love. It still contains many issues that are great to discuss with your ‘developing minds’ and it will keep them entertained and watching throughout.
We actually watched this with our kids because after viewing the trailer I thought it would be quite fun and I wasn’t disappointed … It was action packed! We put it on for one of our regular Friday night movie nights (complete with pizza and popcorn) and the whole family enjoyed the movie. After watching it I just checked in with my youngest about how he felt during the scene where one of the characters passes away and we had a nice chat about that. If you are looking for a movie to keep the tweenagers entertained over the school holidays … pick up a copy of Tomorrowland – “Imagine a place where anything is possible”. It is available on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD now.
So I guess like most parenting, what’s important is that we are intentional and manage or coach our kids as they develop. We want to expose them to the right things at the right time and be available to discuss any issues that may arise so that our children become well-adjusted and are able to fit in well with their peers. Take the PG rating seriously and look for those movies that are appropriate for your child at whatever stage of development they are at.
We are giving 8 lucky families the chance to win a Disney Live Action Blue Ray Movie Pack valued at $329. The pack includes:
Into The Woods
OZ: The Great and Powerful
Muppets: Most Wanted
Alexander and the Terrible
The Lone Ranger
For your chance to score this amazing prize all you need to do is answer this question on the blog post below:
Why would you love to win this Disney Blue Ray Live Action Movie Pack?
Terms and Conditions: Entering the Giveaway: To enter you must answer our question as part of the Giveaway entrance. You are able to only enter once via each entry option for this Giveaway. Do not submit duplicate entries or addresses as this will not improve your chances of winning. Use of Entrant Information: Any information you fill out for this Giveaway will not be used for any other purpose except to notify you if you are the winner. Drawings: The winners will selected based on the answers to the competition question. Prizes: Eight individual people will each receive a Disney Blue Ray Action pack valued at $329 including: Cinderella LA, Maleficent, Into The Woods, John Carter, OZ: The Great and Powerful, Muppets: Most Wanted, Alexander and the Terrible, The Lone Ranger. Eligibility: Each email address may win only once. The Giveaway is open only to legal Australian residents 18 years of age or older. School Mum is not responsible for (1) typographical errors, misdirected or incomplete entries; or (2) computer or telecommunication system failures or similar disruptions to email services and/or the Internet. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. The competition ends at 11.59pm on the 16th of October.