“Nope. Not gonna let my kids watch that. Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy saving the day? Not in my house. We have a hard enough time knowing what to do with those things. I am not going to let Hollywood put more logs on those fires. No. Sir. Ree. Only Jesus saves in my house.”
I felt alot more righteous after I thought it. You know how it goes for us church people, right? We feel so much better about how spiritual we are after we think of 25 reasons Hollywood is so unspiritual. [I need help don’t I?]
But as any parent knows – saying in your mind what you won’t let your kids do usually comes back to get you. Luke turned 8 on Saturday. Wanna know what he wanted to do Saturday night? Watch . . . . Yep. Rise of the Guardians. Know what I watched with my 3 kids and wife on Saturday night? Yep – Rise of the Guardians. Know what else? I loved it. Thought it was great. Couldn’t wait to go to sleep to see if Mr. Sandman was gonna show up. Wanted to lose another tooth so that the. . . okay, I’ll stop. But you get the point. I enjoyed the movie.
I learned some things about myself, my kids, and Hollywood. School is out. Summer is here. Your kids are going to start looking for stuff to do.
Here are some thoughts about movies and parenting to maybe help out this summer:
1. Kid Movies Aren’t All Evil.
They’re fun. They’re entertaining. They’re something you can do together. There are some really good ones out there.
2. Kid Movies Provide GREAT talking points.
Since Saturday night, I have been able to take certain portions of the movie and revert it back to them, or a truth from the Bible, or just to laugh with them. For instance, at one point Santa takes Jack Frost into his closet and asks Jack what his ‘center’ is. In other words, Santa knew his purpose in life (his ‘center’). He pushed Jack to know his. This provided a great talking point for me and the kids about our purpose. Know what? They got it. Why? They had just seen a movie run by experts who know how to relate to kids.
3. Kid Movies Almost Always Picture the Gospel.
I’m serious. Take Rise of the Guardians. The “Man in the Moon” appoints Jack Frost to rise up and destroy the evil Boogey Man. Yes. You read that right. The Boogey Man wants all children to live in fear. The “Man in the Moon” chooses not to just “let it be,” but sends one who can conquer. Sound familiar? Yep. God appointed Jesus to destroy the works of the devil.
Monday morning at breakfast I talked about that – for maybe 3 minutes – and guess what? All 3 kids were engaged and intently listened while they processed the connection. I’ll take 3 minutes of having them all engaged any day.
If you think about it there is almost always a bad guy wanting to mess everything up and a good guy who is appointed to set it all straight. WE know that ultimately this has happened in Jesus. We can use these things, however, to help our kids understand it deeper and more fully.
4. Kid Movies Almost Always Provide GREAT Visual Examples
If you watch carefully, usually there is a smart aleck kid or a child with a major attitude. Also – without fail – the parents are usually the idiots in these movies (especially the dads!). These things are what make these movies (and many of the ‘kid friendly’ shows on TV) so dangerous. There’s (usually) no bad language or violence or sexual content. But there is an ‘air’ of bad attitude or ‘dumb’ parents that is extremely disappointing. Instead of just refusing to let our kids watch anything, I think it is good to let them see and watch things that contradict what the Bible teaches – SO THAT – you can talk to them about it and help them SEE it. It’s one thing to tell your kids what should or shouldn’t be done. It’s another thing for them to actually SEE it and then have an explanation.
What to do with your kids this summer?
My first suggestion would be to take and keep your kids OUTSIDE as much as possible. For those extra hot or rainy days – however – read a good book and watch a good movie. Watch it WITH THEM. Then, when they least expect it, throw out some intentional thoughts. After my Monday morning 3 minute Gospel connection who knew I would think, “Thank God for the Boogey Man!”???