In the past decade, Summer G-rated movies geared towards kids ages 10 and under have become alarmingly scarce. Consider this year's offerings, namely, "Maleficent" and "How to Train Your Dragon 2", both highly entertaining stories, yet each movie has a PG rating based on assorted criteria such as use of language, violence and sexual content. In other words, parents should expect to be fielding a boatload of questions from their children while viewing each film. An unfortunate situation, since these movies have been marketed to young kids, yet are not necessarily appropriate for them.
The toy industry plays a role as well by producing movie based toys for young children. The result? A silent endorsement of these movies regardless of their questionable child development merit as well as an added layer of pressure for parents to overlook common sense. After all, what Mom or Dad doesn't want their little angels to be happy? "Please can we see it?... Pleeeeeease!!!"
So what's a parent to do? And how can parents collectively wield their economic power to sway movie studios and the toy industry alike to change their ways? Here are a few ideas to start the discussion:
1. Make use of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. Most of these services have kid-appropriate content, some of which they produce exclusively. Parents can more closely scrutinize what their kids can view.
2. Stop going to movies that are not age-appropriate for the kids. Simple, right? But not easy, we know. Still, think of the long-term benefits over the short-term strife of telling the kids "no" to inappropriate films. The movie and toy industry will react accordingly if profits diminish.
3. Take the opportunity to engage in other activities. Believe it or not, fun can be had without plopping down in chair to be entertained by images on a screen. Kids can draw or paint, play outdoors, read books, partake in sports, bike riding, skating, hiking, nature walks, visit zoos, visit museums, visit aquariums, write, make their own videos, etc. The possibilities are endless.
What are some of your ideas? Please leave a comment below and let your voice be heard!