As some of you may know, there is a new movie in town. Actually, it’s a remake of an old movie – “Annie.”
I’m quite sure most, if not all are familiar with this movie. A little girl is being raised in an orphanage. The woman running the orphanage is horrible to the kids. Annie finds her way out to a better life. Yada, yada, yada.
This time around Annie isn’t in an orphanage, but in a foster home. Annie is not white, she’s black. Her foster mom is not a nice woman. Annie finds her way out to a better life. Yada. yada. yada.
While I have not seen this movie, this movie is most certainly stirring negative emotions within the foster care community. Or at least it is causing a stir within some of our local foster care community.
Foster parents certainly don’t want to be portrayed as horrible, money hungry, kid-hating people. And while I know most foster parents are not at all like the foster parent portrayed in Annie, nice loving foster parents won’t make Hollywood a lot of money. Also, for those who haven’t done foster care, let me just tell you that running a home daycare would earn someone a lot more money than foster care does. So the movie probably doesn’t do a great job of depicting the truth about foster care. But that’s not my point here.
My rant is not about the modern-day version of Annie. My rant is that a foster parent or any parent for that matter, took their child(ren) to see a movie, rated PG and then complained about the content.
So let me start by sharing the definition of a PG rated movie.
A PG-rated film may not be suitable for children. The MPAA says a PG-rated should be checked out by parents before allowing younger children to see the movie. There could be some profanity, some violence, or brief nudity, however there will not be any drug use in a PG film. http://movies.about.com/od/miscellanous/f/film-ratings.htm
Seriously, I understand how touchy we can be as foster and/or adoptive parents. We don’t want our children subjected to material that may cause them more emotions distress. But what part of a PG rating would make any parent, foster or otherwise, think that the content would be perfectly fine for their child(ren) to see? Especially if those children are your foster children.
This is a PG rated film that may not be suitable for children and should be checked out by parents before allowing younger children to see the movie. If you neglected to take the rating into consideration and did not review the movie first, then don’t complain about the content. Simply share your concerns about the movie with others who may find your review helpful and then move on.
Now, as parents, we are not perfect. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we don’t use our best judgment. But let’s use these opportunities to learn and to teach. Talk about the content of the movie. Talk to your children about the truth of foster care. Make sure they understand that actors playing a role in a movie doesn’t necessarily represent reality. Most of all, if you don’t want to have these conversations with your child(ren), then don’t review a PG rated movie with them. See it by yourself first and then decide if you think the content is something they can handle.
That’s my rant.
There is a good website (Adoption at the Movies) which send out updates on movies and explains how it might impact children (particularly children who have dealt with loss/adoption/etc). I highly recommend for any adoptive parent (or foster care parent). (PS I may get to blog again…soon! Life has been crazy)
Thanks for sharing this information.
Hope you blog again soon. I miss your updates.
Here is the link for Adoption at the Movies. We rarely see movies but I find their reviews so helpful. http://www.adoptionlcsw.com/
I hope to blog again soon too!
I’ve noticed that ratings have changed a lot since I was a kid, too. What used to be considered PG-13 is now easily a PG, and R-rated content is much harder than it was in the 80s. It’s easy to forget until you’re coming out of the theater and you say to yourself, “I CANNOT believe that was rated PG!”
I agree with you Rachel. When we were in our teens, my parents would not allow us to see R rated movies. Now PG-13 movies are the same or maybe worse than the R rated movies in my teens.