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My husband and I love watching movies. We also enjoy having movie nights with our children. However, it is getting more and more difficult to find movies that do not contain tons of name calling, innuendo, violence, and even curse words. The best solution we have found is a TV Guardian. It mutes out the words that we find offensive and replaces them with a nicer word in closed captioning. How do you protect your little ones from seeing and hearing things that you find objectionable?
Well, we mostly just focus on obvious kid oriented movies for my daughter to watch. It would be nice to watch some of these new movies with her, especially the ones with the dogs, but it seems like a lot of them are still too suggestive for a four year old. It's so sad what they decide children can see nowadays. We pretty much avoid the theater at this point, but I do think we're going to go see the new Ice Age movie when it comes out. My daughter loves dinosaurs and we'll need some mommy daughter time after the new baby gets here.
My husband watches A LOT of TV, quite a bit of which is not kid-friendly. He doesn't watch those types of programs when the kids are around, and opts for less-offensive content (though I don't often agree).
My kids also know that they're going to hear profanity in the world around them, especially on TV -- and that no matter what they hear, they're not allowed to use those kinds of words. We also don't allow guns or any other type of "play" weapons in our house. If they're exposed to violence on TV or in movies, we tell them that that's not real life and reinforce that even when they play, violence is not okay.
Unfortunately, I have a story relating to movies that is a little heart breaking. The other day, I was sitting with my 21 month old daughter and she was watching The Backyardigans. She went running into the other room to play with her mommy for about 10 minutes. No offense to The Backyardigans, but I began channel surfing. I stumbled on "The Dark Knight" and was watching until my daughter came back. She came bouncing into the room and became terrified when she saw Heath Ledger as The Joker on the screen and came running into my arms.
For two days afterward, she was telling mommy and me she was afraid of the TV. I felt so guilty, but what was done was done. She has gotten over it and it's not a big deal now, but I learned a valuable lesson about age appropriate programming.