Keeping My Kids In Mind

I am a big fan of Kim Komando. She is the genius behind all things tech related: websites, e-mail, software, gadgets, you name it – she has covered it. In a newsletter I read a few years ago, Kim wrote about a free site that peaked my interest. Our family of movie fans enjoy streaming things on Netflix. Yes, I turned into THAT mom. The one that swore I would never let a TV babysit my kids.

While I am not one that allows my kids to watch TV 24/7, there is still the occasional time that television is a much needed distraction. Examples: waiting for a table at a restaurant or the dreaded grocery store trip.
When it comes to streaming a movie there are the obvious "R: rated choices that you know are for adult audiences. These are movies that we do not allow our kids to watch. Then there are some movies that might not be so clear cut. Kim's article has introduced me to a site that goes beyond the generalization of the movie rating system. The site I am referring to is Kids In Mind. This site enables me to make an informed decision about a movie choice based on criteria that matters most to me.

I like Kids In Mind because I can find out about the content of a specific movie and decide if it is a family friendly movie with ease.

The criteria for a good family movie that matters most to me may not rank that high in importance to others. That is where the Kids in Mind site comes in handy. For example, when my son was at the very impressionable age of 5 years old, he was very taken by the TV series The Dukes of Hazard. What boy wouldn't be mesmerized by the coolness factor of The General Lee? While I find this series a bit on the raunchy side as an adult, I do recall watching it as a child. I find myself wondering why my parents allowed us to watch it.

I will admit at the age of 5, my son did not understand the sexual connotations of the show, especially since he was much more interested in the action. After allowing him to watch only two episodes of the TV series it became quite clear to me that watching a show that highlights racing away from the police and jumping over bridges in cars was not for him. After just two episodes my son had mimicked the actions he had seen on the show and in the process destroyed a handful of metal die cast cars and dinged up the paint on at least half of the cars/trucks in his collection.
Needless to say this is not the sort of behavior that we want to encourage. We have since talked about fantasy vs. reality and are working hard at helping him understand that movies are for entertainment. We are now more diligent about the action and violence that are in movies that we allow our children to watch, and we are happy to use Kids In Mind to help simplify the decision making process.

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