My kids once watched the movie Jumanji with our babysitter when they were little. Big mistake. Huge. Because the seemingly harmless viewing led to three straight months of nightmares about monstrous jungle predators.
Lesson learned. Just because a film is billed as "family friendly" doesn't mean you shoudn't check it out first—or at least get the 411 from Common Sense Media—so you'll know how many sleepless nights you're in for.
But while the parenting challenge when it comes to monitoring on-screen violence may be real, it sometimes works the other way too. Just ask Kelly Clarkson, who stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show the other day to talk up her new children's book and confess that while her daughter River Rose is only 2, she's already headed into not-so-age-appropriate movie territory.
"She went from Finding Nemo to Jurassic Park," Clarkson revealed to the talk show host. "I know, judge me. It's fine.... It's just, she loves [the movies] and she's not scared.... She doesn't know to be scared. She thinks they're playing."
What happened was this: River Rose became obsessed with dinosaurs after spotting them in a museum exhibit. So when Clarkson's sister started watching the sci-fi dino flick one day, Little Miss Thing got hooked.
"Seen all of 'em. She loves 'em," Clarkson admitted. "When people are being attacked, she literally laughs and is like 'Ahhh!' I don't know what that says about her here [pointing to her heart] ... or here [pointing to her head]."
Sounds like one brave little girl to us! In fact, maybe she could teach my kids a thing or two!
Clarkson instinctively defended herself to the audience, saying, "I'm a good mother!" We know you are, mama! What mom hasn't sworn she wouldn't let her kids do something, and then ended up breaking her own rules when real life kicked in? Not many moms have to admit that on national TV, though. We definitely admire Clarkson's honesty, and the fact that she can laugh about a not-so-proud parenting moment.
What not-necessarily-acceptable movies have your kids seen?