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Archive for May, 2008

I just took my kids to see Nim’s Island this past rainy Saturday. Well, the movie was alright– not as much adventure as I was hoping for, but the scenes of Nim swimming through the water with her sea lion buddy were pretty cool for, um, the children.

Though I don’t consider myself prudish or overprotective (does anyone really?), I like to know what I’m setting myself up for taking the kids to see (or rent) a movie. Am I asking for “what the hell is that?” coming out of my children’s mouth at dinner, while mimicking their new favorite character? Or are they going to be practicing kissing each other for days after seeing a movie? I like to be a little prepared…and maybe I am little protective.

So, a friend of mine forwarded me a link to this site: Kids-In-Mind. What I like about the site is that in one glimpse, I can see a clear “yeah” or “neah” for kids. It has a ranking (from 1-10) of Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, and Profanity, for each movie, and it shows it clearly like this: 0,1,0 (which is like Winne the Pooh), or 8,10,8 (the Zombie Strippers).

I mean, this is helpful, right? Well, I guess it is helpful if you are very confident in what you feel is okay for your children to see. Otherwise, you’re in trouble. For example, when I checked out the Kids-In-Mind critique of Nim’s Island, and saw that it scored a 2 for Sex and Nudity because Jody Foster was in a bikini on the beach, I started to wonder: “Is it bad for my children to see a woman in a bikini?” And then when I saw that under Profanity, it listed Nim’s quote, “lousy sharks”, I wondered to myself when “lousy” became a profanity.

After turning off the computer, pouring a glass of wine, and removing myself from the wacky world of present-day parenting, my old perspective returned (which, in case your wondering, includes a bit of “boy, did those Puritans do a number on us!”). We saw the movie, my kids didn’t blush at Jody Foster’s bikini shots and they’re not running around yelling “lousy brother!” at each other (though it would be better than what they DO run around calling each other).

Even more important than movie critiques, Kids-In-Mind reminded me how important it is to be true to myself, and keep cool during these years. It is only going to get harder in the years to come. Do I really want to burn myself out with needless worries at this point? Nope.

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