Asking the Right Questions: 5 Things Parents Should Do Before Watching a Movie With Their Family

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Asking the Right Questions: 5 Things Parents Should Do Before Watching a Movie With Their Family

By Dr. Ted Baehr

Note: This is part of our parenting series. For similar stories, click here. 

Before the video (or go to the theater when possible) brainstorm with your child for prior knowledge about the story or content matter.  This gives you an opportunity to share a short description of the movie’s plot and characters.  Before the film begins you can encourage children to imagine the characters and what could happen.  If the child’s thinking is activated prior to the passive activity of watching, they can engage in the story and learn from the plot on the screen.

Prior to viewing the movie or the video:

  • Talk about the title, images and ideas about the plot.
  • Predict the character types and action in the film.
  • Ask what your children know that they can bring to the film.
  • Use MOVIEGUIDE’s “In Brief” as an introduction to the film.
  • Plan to stop the video for predictions of a character’s actions or plot twists, but too much stopping is not recommended as it may disrupt the rhythm of the film.

HINT: With videos, set the timer so that if you or older children see something worth discussing in the video, you can easily return to that section after the movie.

Editor’s Note: These articles are adapted from Dr. Ted Baehr’s THE CULTURE WISE FAMILY and THE MEDIA WISE FAMILY books. You can buy them from www.movieguide.org or on Amazon.

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