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By Cathy Franklin

Watching movies together as a family

The popcorn is popped. The drinks are cold and on the coffee table. The kids are in front of the television waiting for the movie to start. Mom turns the streaming device on and the opening credits start to roll. This is a movie they have all been waiting to see.

What types of movies are children and adults interested in watching together? What things do adults want their children to learn? Here is a general list of types of movies and some of the questions those movies can induce children to ask their parents :

• Animated/Fantasy – Many movies fall into this category. The characters seem more real than they used to; they have the same conflicts and problems that real people have. Watching this type of movie together may open up children's minds to possibilities they have not thought of before.
• Action/Adventure – These movies move through the storyline at an accelerated pace. There may be violence and cursing, so caution is urged when young children will be watching. They may bring up questions about other lands or cultures.
• Drama – These stories sometimes delve into subjects that can be very hard to discuss with a young one. This might be a good way to open up a dialogue with children on a particular subject. On the other hand, it may be a subject best left for when they are older and can understand more.
• Horror – Not appropriate for young ones. This type of movie should be avoided for family gatherings. They usually have bad bloody violence, lots of language, sex and nudity.
• Science Fiction/Superheroes – This type of movie usually has a lot of action, mild romance, some violence and language. It could open up a dialogue about "what if you had superpowers . . ."
• Romance – It depends on the film; there are some that are very mild and some that are not mild. Use discretion when choosing this type of movie.
• Comedy – Another movie type that may or may not be appropriate for the family. Language and innuendos usually abound in this type of movie. It depends on the age of the children.
• Thriller – A type of action movie. These may have violence, language and other objectionable things.
• Crime/Mystery – Can be a simple "whodunit" or very complicated and violent. Adults should consider these movies carefully. This type of movie can open a discussion about the values of life.
• Monsters/Zombies/Vampires – Depends on the age of the children and the rating on the movie. Most of these movies will have graphic violence, language and/or nudity and sex scenes.
• Disaster – This type of movie can be about the end of the world, a single event, or several events. Watching these movies with the family can bring awareness of things going on in the world that affect the lives of all humanity.

It's not an easy job choosing a movie for the whole family. But watching the right movies can bring families together and open dialogues about subjects that may not be discussed otherwise. Choose the family movie wisely.

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