Movie Selection Tips for Families

The Chin family had planned to spend every Friday evening unwinding for the weekend by watching a video together.

The first time they tried this, Dad put on “Finding Nemo”, only to have their preschooler quiver and quake minutes into the show.

A quick check on the MDA Films Classification Database showed a G rating. What does that mean?

Common Sense Media is a non-profit advocate on child and family issue that studies the effects of media and technology on young users. They had this to add: “Even though there are no traditional bad guys in Finding Nemo, there are still some truly scary moments, including large creatures with zillions of sharp teeth, the apparent death of a major character, and many tense scenes with characters in peril…”.

It rates movies for the following:
1. Educational value
2. Positive messages
3. Positive role models
4. Violence & scariness
5. Sexy stuff
6. Language
7. Consumerism
8. Drinking, drugs & smoking

Do check out the Common Sense Media website if you’re thinking of renting, borrowing or buying a video for the family.

What about NC16, M18 or R21 movies? If the rating fits your child’s age group, should he be permitted to watch it?

You cannot cover your children’s eyes forever, but you can teach them to discern the subliminal messages in the shows, and decide for themselves if these destroy or build character.

Watching movies together created shared experiences that families can use as points of connect. Dads can also use these opportunities to talk about the issues, and values raised in the movies, as well as to probe for children’s thoughts about things, so as to understand them better.

Categories: At Home, Events & Special Days, Free, Indoors, Short, Shows, TV & Movies, Websites

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