Exploring reading / watching options

The hidden emotional tone and content of typically available books and movies / tv programs can be overwhelming for some kids and as a result they don’t spend much time with their family watching tv at night and may struggle to keep up with peers who want to or are watching other more intense topics e.g. horror. Search engines may only search within a category of Children’s programs on services like Netflix and kids may need an adult to sit down with them or to sit down in advance and go through and find appropriate programs and place them into an individual list for their kids to watch later. Discussion about the ratings is common, however discussion about the details within the ratings or how specific that is to an individual can make the difference between someone being happy to sit and watch an entire movie and then starting to learn to explore this type of visual content versus someone who prefers to play on an iPad / computer because they have complete control over the choice of apps / games and hence topics. There can often be a discrepancy between happiness to engage with a horror based topic on an app where there are weapons used and characters can regenerate as compared to watching a movie or tv program where there is verbal discussion through dialogue about what is happening within the horror theme and more detailed spotlighting of the timing of the exact horror ‘actions’ which then stand out more easily and are more linked with everyday actions e.g. when people get overwhelmed or angry and raise their voice or the content from the nightly news where police are involved. Children’s reading books available at any one time period may have more of an emphasis on kids fitting in and may heavily use words like ‘loser’ etc or be about topics of bullying and being able to protect yourself. As a ‘leisure’ activity these can be extremely overwhelming for kids and may result in kids not wanting to read at all. This may have an impact that has been seen over the longer term where kids were interested in reading or were ‘happy’ within reason to read with small thin books but as the content became more complex and books thicker they showed huge levels of disinterest and may only do so under the force of school required tasks.

Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (2015) The Princess in Black.  Candlewick Press.

Goosebumps movie versus It movie.