For our last official Friends Friday I was going to take Braden and Megan to see Kung Fu Panda. That was when I thought it was rated G. But today I discovered it's PG.
I have issues with the violence... Let me elaborate.
I think kids are literal at this age (5). They take everything at our word. If we say something is hot we mean the temperature hot and they don't touch the stove. We tell them not to play in the street because they could get hit by a car, so the stay in the yard. We tell them not to hit their brother because it is hurtful both physically and emotionally.
I don't use sarcasm with Braden. I don't think he has mastered the complexity of language enough to understand that I mean the exact opposite of what I am telling him.
Everything I show Braden is to educate him on the world around him. Stoves are hot, lawn mowers spit rocks, seat belts, sunscreen etc. When a bug dies, it's dead. We need to share our toys and speak kindly... and when we hit someone it hurts.
When Braden wants to know about rocket ships I show him pictures and books and video of real rocket ships. If he wants to learn about anything I show him the REAL depiction of it.
And if he wants to learn about fighting, hurting, and killing (people or animals) than I want it to be the real thing.
Mason and I got into a huge discussion about this the other day. He thought I was trying to shield Braden away from the natural violence of humans. He thought I was just being 'soft'. Plus I have been thinking about this since last years bang bang post and this and this post. I told him that if Braden wants to learn about guns we should take him to a shooting range. If he wants to learn about hunting Mason should take him. If he wants to see how to kill pluck and cook a chicken I will take him to a farm (or where ever you take someone to see that sort of thing)... AND if Braden wants to learn about violence I will show him REAL violence.
He can watch the soldiers on TV in Iraq, he can watch history films from the 60's of people being attacked during protests or watching boxing... you get the idea.
Now of course he doesn't watch any of this stuff at the moment. Right now Braden is still not verbally proficient. He has a hard time putting thoughts and feelings into words... he isn't able to carry on a 'real' conversation about a topic. I don't think it would be in his best interest to expose him to something that should be talked about and discussed .... when he can't discuss.
So back to Kung Fu Panda. I get that it is just a 'fun movie' with a whole bunch of positive messages. But I also went to http://www.kids-in-mind.com/ to read just what violence occurs. Of course it is a martial arts movie... I knew there was going to be a lot. I read the whole review. Some of the instances of action/violence are pretty mild, but some are pretty intense too ( An animal fights with his father figure and is shown striking him almost to unconsciousness) and there is just so much of it.
What is a mom to do? Relax the 'rules' this one time. Stand my ground and take them to see WAL-E in two weeks? Just go bowling and forget this whole movie nonsense?