Today I’m going to talk to you about the benefits of watching movies for children. Yes, movies. That thing I haven’t had any contact with since Emma was born. I’m sure any real-life mom will agree with me when I say that, for me, movies now only have beginnings: ten tiny minutes during which you’re filled with faith and think that your children will stay away while you enjoy a good movie after lunch. Ha! I don’t even remember how many times I fell for that one … You start by putting your feet up on the couch, and pulling the blanket a little bit … and next thing you know, they are on top of you screaming in your ear.
Do you know any single mom that has two free hours to watch a movie? On top of that, movies are getting longer and longer! I remember when we used to choose movies by the plot. Now, my priority is the film length: if it goes over 83 minutes, I don’t even make an act of faith. In other words, I am just happy to watch the trailer. And what about those attempts, at night, when they have already fallen asleep? Triumphantly, you think: “This is my moment, ooooh yeaaah. But you’re so tired that you start by putting your feet up on the couch, pulling the blanket a little bit … and next thing you know, you have fallen asleep.
So Daniel (my husband) and I have resigned ourselves to watching only kids’ movies. If you can’t beat them, join them! The problem is that kids like to watch the same movie over and over again. Be that as it may, what is unquestionable is that watching movies is a wonderful thing, for both young and older people. That is why I would like to know what are the benefits of watching movies for children and why it is good for my children.
Benefits of watching movies for children in eight takes.
- Take 1: Transmission of values. During these Big Brother days (not Orwell’s; the other one) it is something that we cannot take for granted. Psychologists claim that films are a source of transmission of cultural, social, educational and emotional values. However, we the parents should make sure that the values that certain films transmit are in line with ours and with the current times… my daughters do not need a prince and a shoe in order to be remembered. The transmission of values is something that should also be sought in the stories we choose for them. Mumablue’s personalized books educate in values in the first person as the child himself is the hero of the story.
- Take 2: Development booster. Cinema allows children to develop their empathy and critical spirit, thanks to their identification with the characters. In this way, they become familiar with strategies to solve conflicts, when facing situations that, although fictitious, have a reference in the real world. It’s the same with adults: right now I live in a duality between Bridget Jones and Mr. Wolf.
- Take 3: It helps to control emotions. This is one of the most useful benefits of watching movies for children. Through identification they can understand emotions, which in the long run will give them more control over them. Being able to approach negative feelings such as sadness, fear, or anger from the outside allows them to understand them more clearly. I am so prepared to deal with Daniel’s freezing if we hit an iceberg during a Caribbean cruise!
- Take 4: Visual culture. Yes, my friends! Visual culture does not mean Christmas videos that you get on WhatsApp! Visual culture development is linked to arts education. Nowadays, images have become an important part of our lives and it is important not only that children learn to look, but also that they become familiar with visual communication and the reading and analysis of images.
- Take 5: Sensitivity sharpener. Due to its visual and sound nature, films provide elements that stimulate sensitivity. This is the basis of emotional education and films allow children to begin to appreciate situations to which they were previously indifferent. In fact, this happens with any story, be it a film, a story, or even an advertising commercial. Once, I cried with an Instagram Story…!
- Take 6: Encourage critical thinking. Enjoying the story and its plot, as well as the ability to observe and understand different forms of audiovisual communication, increases perceptual skills. This leads to the development of other skills such as codification, assimilation, or recovery of knowledge, thus feeding critical thinking. And that, in the times of Big Brother (now, Orwell’s), it means a lot. The development of critical thinking is one of the great benefits of watching movies for children because it will set them free when they grow up.
- Take 7: Creativity stimulation. Cinema is an inexhaustible source of stimulus for a child, as it makes them associate ideas almost immediately and encourages imagination and artistic expression. Of all the benefits of watching movies for children, the ability to make them creative is what worries me most: will they be more likely to unleash their creativity on the living room wall? I say this because, often, I don’t know if I’m at home or at the Guggenheim.
- Take 8: Teaching. Films present themes, situations, arguments, ideas, data, names, costumes, places, landscapes, music, etc., which stimulate cognitive capacity and provide global knowledge, thanks to the fact that they are interrelated. Anything that teaches something is valuable, and the cinema is one of the most complete arts in this sense. For example, I know what they call the quarter-pound in Paris thanks to Pulp Fiction.
After reading these eight benefits of cinema for children, I think no mother will think twice about giving in to children’s demands to see a film. Cinema can be enjoyed at home, that’s for sure. But for cinema to be real cinema, it has to be seen on a big screen and under the pressure of not being able to snore during the duration of the film. Oh, those were the days when you could watch a movie in a real cinema! With that popcorn smell, its solemn atmosphere, its surround sound system… (the very uncomfortable armchairs, the big head in the front, the strange chewing of popcorn, the 15 minutes of commercials before the film…) I miss all those things! Anyway, patience; I’m going to look on the Internet to see if there are any release forecasts for 2030.
I’m a mother, but I still like going to the movies… And not watching the movie! And that’s it.