Watching Movies With Kids Is Torture

Jeanne Sager

watching tvFamily movie night. Three words that make my spine tingle ... and not with anticipation. With dread. With utter fear that the subject will come up, and I will have to partake.

They're three words that commercial land has turned into some mystical experience. Sorry commercials, I know it's a bunch of baloney. Watching half the kids' movies out there is the parental equivalent of walking over hot coals. Painful. And pointless.

When a mom tells me she previews every single movie before her child is allowed to watch it, then sits down to watch it again with her child, I cringe. I can't imagine watching some of these movies once! Now I'm expected to watch them twice? And since children are involved, I suppose I'm not allowed to do either while drinking? Or mocking?

Because when it comes to kids' movies, I am a "trust the ratings" mom all the way. As long as it says "G" or "PG" in the Netflix info, I'm perfectly happy to hit the "play" button and walk away. She can tell me what happens later (and she's 5 -- trust me, she will). Anything to save me from sitting on the couch, feeling like I should be driving nails into my eyeballs just to escape the utter insipidness of a My Little Pony short story.

The fast-approaching DVD release of Tangled is a big deal in my household -- and not merely because my daughter has been begging for it ever since the clerk at the Disney Store offered us the chance to "put in your pre-order now!" It will mark one of maybe four occasions where my daughter will watch a movie that I've not only watched once with her before (in the theaters) but have watched. Period.

There are the rare exceptions. I'll cop to a Disney fetish, and Tangled got me all tingly as it successfully served up another worthy "princess" role model for our girls. Ditto the likes of Toy Story and The Princess and the Frog -- all movies that I'll willingly sit down and watch with my daughter. And I'd say I'm a fair shot better at this whole thing than my husband, who fell asleep in the theater a few weeks ago when we took our daughter to see Gnomeo and Juliet. (What can I say? I have a wee bit of a gnome fetish. Coupled with Elton John, and even I couldn't say no.) There's some great children's television out there too. I'll watch Phineas and Ferb any day of the week. Alone.

But I refuse to be a glutton for punishment. There are ratings for a reason. And I read them. I won't park my kid in front of the TV to watch Black Swan or Blue Valentine any time soon. So she can watch her own movies. I'll watch mine. We're just not family movie night types.

Do you preview your kids' movies?


Image via jerine/Flickr

Read More