Every Friday evening is pizza and movie night for my family. My kids look forward to it all week because they get to stay up late watching a movie and they don’t have to eat any veggies. However, as parents, this night can be challenging for my husband and me. Our kids are 8, 7, and 5, so picking an appropriate movie is important. Because we can’t personally watch every movie before showing it to our kids, we’ve come to rely heavily on movie reviews for kids.
Until we turned to a few of our favorite movie review websites for help, we turned off many movies because of questionable scenes, misguided values, or language we don’t want our children to hear. As our world changes, my husband and I have had to set boundaries for our kids, which include what we will and won’t let them see in movies. We have learned that movie reviews for kids play an important role in pulling that off. Here are three reasons to use them.
1. To Protect Our Kids From Harm
There’s a list of subject matter I won’t allow my kids to see in movies—extreme violence, sexual content, bad language, raunchy humor, and disrespect toward others without consequences. My husband and I don’t believe these scenes add value or teach appropriate lessons to our children. Reading movie reviews for kids can help protect them from the scenes I don’t want them to see. My kids are only young for a short amount of time. I’m not afraid to preserve my children’s innocence by not allowing them to watch a movie that could destroy it. Once you see or hear it, you can’t go back. That’s why we use Dove’s movie review site, which rates each film for integrity, sexuality, language, violence, drugs, and nudity.
I’m not afraid to preserve my children’s innocence by not allowing them to watch a movie that could destroy it.
2. To Promote Good Values
In prep for family movie night, my husband and I search for movies that are life-giving or align with our family’s value system. Although it may take a bit of time and research, there are many movies out there that teach strong moral lessons and redeeming values and have characters who are role models rather than bad examples. While Hollywood produces a lot of what I’d never let my kids see, we’ve learned that it actually is possible to make a good movie without including violence, bad language, or sex. That’s why we like Common Sense Media’s movie review site. It allows us to use our children’s ages to search for movies that might be a good fit for them.
3. To Be Prepared for Uncomfortable or Difficult Discussions
We want to know in advance what our kids are going to watch so we can anticipate the conversations we may need to have after watching it. Movies can be a catalyst for some tough conversations. Nobody looks forward to discussing death with their kids, but when Mufasa dies in The Lion King, children may have questions. When P.T. Barnum neglects his circus crew in The Greatest Showman, we can talk to our kids about making mistakes, apologizing, kindness, and forgiveness. When you know what scenes your kids will see on screen thanks to a movie review, you can prepare in advance to address them. So we also turn to Plugged In for movie reviews, because it provides detailed descriptions of the content in popular movies, television shows, songs, and games.
What is your family’s favorite kid-friendly film and why?