July 23, 2010
On our last family trip, I grabbed some movies I had been keeping hidden in my drawer. Made by Featurefor Families (FFF), these shows consistently deliver engaging stories with strong, moral values and correct principles.
I enjoy watching them with my children and discussing the events and dilemmas they present.
I found our first FFF movies at a yard sale. I brought them home and my kids really enjoyed watching them. I started keeping my eyes open for the brand and found more at thrift stores. I liked how they had a summary of the story on the video cover, along with suggested questions for family discussion.
After we finished residency and Mike got a “real” job, I ordered a few movies directly from Feature Films For Families. I had never paid full price for a movie before that, since I was used to getting ours at yard sales, but I wanted to support a company that was creating wholesome entertainment.
I’ve long been dissatisfied with the appropriateness of what’s coming out of Hollywood. For a long time we didn’t go to the movie theater more than once a year. We didn’t feel there was much worth watching or spending our money on. As we started to have kids, it seemed even harder to find shows we felt were appropriate for them, not to mention inspiring.
As I collected and watched FFF movies I realized they were appropriate entertainment for our family, and they were also inspiring us and building our characters. This was the type of educational material I searched for when we made the decision to home school our children.
It wasn’t enough anymore for something to not be “bad.” If we were going to spend our money and time on media, I wanted it to build us, help us learn the difference between right and wrong and motivate us to be better people.
Every year or two since, I have bought another batch of movies for our family. From time to time, outside media does capture our attention, especially as my kids get older. I’ve been getting lots of movies and classic shows from Netflix.
Sometimes my kids aren’t as interested in watching our FFF movies. In order to beat the competition, I just plan to put one on when not much else is going on. Family trips in the car are perfect opportunities. Not only are my children a captive audience, but my husband and I can hear the story and talk about it when it’s over.
Most these movies are available for $12.95 on the Feature Films for Families website. Amazon has many for $5 including shipping from individual sellers.
It’s easy to be passive about media. If we are aware of how much our children learn (good or bad) through this medium, we as parents can be proactive in using this powerful tool to reinforce the principles we’re trying to teach at home.