Lily is really starting to get into sitting down, relaxing and watching a movie with me. Over the past couple of months, she’s been obsessed with Harry Potter. She loves watching the second one (The Chamber of Secrets) which involves a large snake, an even larger spider and a nutty house elf and she tells everyone all about it. Whenever she talks to her friend’s parents about it, I get that look and question saying “you let her watch Harry Potter? She’s far too young for that!”
I honestly didn’t see the problem! We have the first three on DVD and they are probably the most child-friendly of them. The first one is a great film which I feel lets a child’s imagination come to life and Lily found it fascinating! The later films are completely inappropriate for someone her age, but I know when the time comes, she’ll love them just as much. I left these conversations feeling like a poor parent who exposes her child to too much. I thought Harry Potter would be a great film for a child! It’s filled with magic, creatures and above anything, friendship and family. She talks about how Harry, Ron and Hermione are “bestest” friends and I love that!
The whole thing got me thinking about what films are appropriate for children and how you make that decision. Don’t get me wrong there are some really obvious yes and no films. I’m not going to let her watch films full of sex and violence, but I’m not going to stop her watching something with a sad theme involved with it. I know some parents who won’t let their children watch the start of Finding Nemo because the mother is eaten by a shark or let them watch Peter Pan because the crocodile is too scary. I think at the age of two, these films are fine for Lily and if she asks about what’s happening, then I explain it in an age appropriate way.
I also started thinking about cinema trips and how to pick films for Lily to see. A lot of parents (including myself) are not 100% sure about the rating system for ages and films, so here is what the BFBFC (photo from Premiere Cinemas Cardiff) states as a guide:
A lot of my friends with children the same age as Lily have started taking them to the cinema but it’s something I am struggling to do. One reason is making sure it’s a film she can see (can’t watch it before like a DVD) and two, I don’t want to spend the whole time telling her to be quiet, sit still or walking up and down to the toilet! It feels like a milestone we should be reaching now that she is almost three!