Children's movies are widely available. Children are exposed early in life to television and movies. As our babies age they will develop favorite television shows and children's movies and many parents will have an extensive video library. Whether we just watch children's TV shows or we purchase movies for children on DVD or VHS it is important to be aware of the show's content.
Recently there are more and more shows geared for younger children, particularly toddlers. Mister Rogers Neighborhood and Sesame Street are still aired after many years but now we also have Bob the Builder, Teletubbies, Dora the Explorer and many others. Many of these shows are educational, teaching reading, math, analytical thinking or moral values. Besides teaching, television often allows a parent to get a bit of a break by keeping a child entertained. Most professional will recommend that you limit your child to two hours of television a day whether the show is educational or not. With the heavy promotion of programs it is very hard to adhere to this standard particularly with children over the age of 5.
Many other shows are not educational and it is important to monitor what our children watch and also what we watch. Many movies and television programs can expose children to violence, drug use, criminal acts and sexuality and parents must decide if it is appropriate for their children. Watch television with your child and maintain open lines of communication. If you decide your child can watch a certain program be ready to discuss the program.
It is very important to remember that children must also get exercise. Walking and playing outside is an important part of their development. Children also need to exercise their minds. Incorporate a variety of activities into their day and do not structure your day around the television.
Having said all this, there are many quality children's movies available. Whether you want children's movies on DVD or prefer your children's shows on VHS, there are good choices available. Disney movies are almost always appropriate for children of all ages. Pixar Animation also makes several appropriate children's videos. Most children's television shows like Barney, Sesame Street, Elmo, Dora and Bob are also appropriate and very popular. Children's DVDs are more common than VHS tapes but both can be found. Many educational videos for children are also available. A wide variety of subjects are covered in educational videos, from reading readiness and potty training to history, manners and more. Videos can also be a way of beginning to discuss sensitive topics with children.
Monitoring and controlling television for the older child is a bit harder. You will probably allow more diverse programming and there will be exposure to violence, crime and substance abuse as mentioned earlier. Rather than trying to shelter your child from these negatives turn it into a positive by discussing the program or movie. With proper supervision and open communication television and movies can be an asset.