Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mom Essentials #1

I've decided to start a new series that requires much less intensity and vulnerability than "Confessions of a Real Mom." Over the past several months, I have come to realize that there are things in a mom's arsenal that are "musts" for every mom. Each week, I'll post a new product, website, discipline or "whatever" that I think will help you be a better mom. Some weeks, I might feel more generous and post a couple of essentials. ;-)

Since this is the first of the series, let me define what I believe to be Mom-Essentials.
1. The item must be easily accessible and preferably free.
2. The item can be as much for the child as it is for the mother and vice versa. For example, you might not make your child an appointment for a massage but for you, its effects will ripple through your family!

Welcome to the Essential Aisle!!

Essential: ScreenIt.com
Type of Product: Website
Cost: Free (although you can subscribe for just $24.95 for the entire year)

I have been more than disgusted in recent months at the children I've seen in movie theaters showing an R-rated movie. Brad and I saw a movie on Saturday night that was chock-full of violence and oh, the language! Before the movie started, two families walked in with children under the age of 7 and it was all I could do to stay in my seat. It infuriates me that parents would expose their children to the elements that come with an R-rating.

You might not be taking your children to these movies, but even PG and PG-13 movies are laden with sexual innuendoes, "mild" cussing, and violence that Hollywood deems appropriate for certain ages. Even PG rated movies can (and do) contain sexual content! Come on, Moms! We have the responsibility to protect and preserve our children's innocence by NOT exposing them to EVIL. I don't know about you, but I don't have the time to preview an entire movie before showing it to my kids so I've found a website that does it for me.

Screen-It is an online site that rates movies in 15 (yep, that's fifteen) categories, with ratings that include: None, Mild, Moderate, Heavy, and Extreme. It then explains the rating(why), the plot, gives a word to parents, and describes in full detail every time a cuss word is used, every sexual anything, and more. Not only will this give you a complete list of everything your children will see and hear, it will help you determine what movies to see yourself. (Brad and I have often changed our mind about what movie to go see after reading the online review at ScreenIt.com.)

Here's a idea of how they rated the newly released "Julie and Julia" which is rated PG-13. All this content is directly from ScreenIt.com. (I haven't seen the movie...)

Alcohol/Drugs: Heavy
Blood/Gore: Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude: Moderate
Frightening/Tense Scenes: Minor
Guns/Weapons: Minor
Imitative Behavior: Mild
Jump Scenes: None
Music(Scary/Tense): None
Music(Inappropriate): None
Profanity: Heavy
Sex/Nudity: Heavy
Smoking: Heavy
Tense Family Scenes: Heavy
Topics to Talk About: Moderate
Violence: Minor

It sometimes makes me laugh when they describe some of the detail under each category. For example, for this movie, one of the "Sex/Nudity" scenes is described as: "Julie and Eric passionately kiss while clothed." It's seemingly mild but the reviewers & raters find it completely necessary to include it to better educate parents!

Please visit this site regularly and commit to protecting your children. Guard your home against the evil that will enter through the movies we play on screens. Their eyes are the windows to our children's souls so let's let the Light shine more brightly than the darkness.

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