We love the storytelling of great movies and programs. We love the education that really great, well-thought and well-intentioned programs can offer : introduction to various cultures, reinforcement of positive values, insights into various human conditions, explorations of the world-at-large, etc…
However, we “hate” those programs and movies that offer our children the following: reinforcement of commercialization, violence, overly sexualized stimuli, negative stereotyping, relentless flashy stimuli (often found in cartoons), etc …
At first becoming parents, we were going to do away with television altogether – especially considering that even when we appreciate a program that is offered, we have no control over the commercials that are displayed. (Halis would love to have Isaac watch football with him – but the “boob & butt” / “T & A” commercials are ridiculous!) So, we opted for PBS (commercial free & educational) programming and movies that meet our approval. This seems to be working for us. However, it took alot of movie previewing to figure out which ones we would allow into our family! And we had to let go of some of our very favorite movies (i.e. Elf) when they did not meet our basic standards.
My parents and some friends picked on us a bit for being so careful and critical in deciding what our kids watch (we include Meg in this – thus the plural “kids”). But what you allow into your child’s brain & consciousness may have a profound effect on who they become, what their values are, and how they view the world. So, this is VERY important to us. Some may argue that we could do away with TV & movies altogether (I have read all those Waldorf articles) but we firmly believe in the benefits of great programming, and plan to use television as a positive tool (how could our son possibly grow up without having Mr. Rogers as his neighbor?).
As a result, we have come up with some very specific opinions on what is worth watching. And now I’d like to share our thoughts with you, with the idea that some of you may be as concerned as we are about what goes into our kids brains 🙂 Certainly, you may disagree with our opinions, as every family is different. I share our thoughts with you merely as a catalyst for discussion and not as a sermon. Your thoughts are most welcome!
Here are our faves:
Babe : our favorite movie of all. Frankly, there are too many reasons why. Just watch it 🙂
Secret of Roan Inish : ahhh … this movie has me believing in fairy tales! It is so refreshing. Great for showing kids that their family/ cultural history matters and is worth preserving.
Disney’s Cars: generosity & community will serve you better than narcissism and isolation. History is worth preserving. Folks from all walks of life can live together with respect and harmony.
Extreme Home Makeover : Thank God we don’t need their help. And Thank God they are helping others.
Elf : was a fave of ours until we adopted a child. Terrible depiction of adoption. Makes a total mockery of adoption. Sad.
So, there are the views of our family. We would love to hear about yours! Of course, our opinion is that “It’s A Wonderful Life” is the best movie ever made … and we are getting geared up to watch it several times this holiday season. Thank God for movies like this & for a television to watch them on 🙂