It’s fall! With cooler weather, and Halloween just around the corner, family movie nights are sure to happen. Halloween is a great time to watch fall films and snuggle up with your favorite blanket, it’s also the time that scary movies pop up more frequently on your streaming services. While toddlers and young children may not understand what is happening in a scary or violent movie, studies show that children are still psychologically affected by what they see. Kids who watch violent movies, including Halloween horror films, tv shows, or video games, are more likely to develop sleep anxiety, sleep disorders, and aggressive and self-endangering behaviors.
Help keep your kids safe this spooky season and ensure that your family movie night is worry-free by following these tips!
Tip 1: Do your research
If you know that your family will be having a movie night, or if you hear your kids talking about a new film, do your research beforehand! The internet is full of useful websites that provide descriptions of the content of shows and why they have received their ratings. Check out movieguide.org, pluggedin.com, or kids-in-mind.com to read up.
Tip 2: Use the kids setting
If you don’t have time to sift through your movie selection, that’s okay! Most streaming platforms have a “kids setting” that you can find under the settings menu. Adjust the profile to the famil-friendly mode and pick a movie from there!
Tip 3: Try a new platform
If you haven’t already, you should check out Vid Angel! This platform works as a filter and removes any content from films that isn’t family-friendly. This is a great option if you have older kids who really want to see something, and it only has a rating because of a few scenes. Just set your preferences for censoring and enjoy the film!
Tip 4: Involve the kids
As tricky as it may seem, involving your kids in the decision process is important! When parents always select the movie, kids don’t learn how to pick for themselves. When you have younger children, you can narrow the choice down to a handful of parent-approved movies. As they get older, teach your kids how to do their own research on media so they can decide whether or not something aligns with their values. Doing this gives kids the skills they need to be responsible adults who make wise media choices!
Tip 5: Communicate
Kids are much more likely to follow the rules when they understand why they exist. If your kids want to watch a film that doesn’t match up with your families rules and values, then you should explain how. It’s important to explain how the film could affect them negatively. They don’t have to be happy that they can’t watch the movie, but they should understand why.
Movie nights are great ways to bond with your kids, and explore new ways of thinking and living. We hope these tips make your next one an easy activity.
If you would like more information and support on parenting practices, check out our home visiting programs.