I guess I’ll just come out with it.
We are not going to jump onto the Disney Plus bandwagon.
Now before I explain why, please know that I say all of this with much love, and this is strictly my own opinion. It’s not gospel truth; it’s what our family has chosen.
*Disclaimer – Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.
The last part of 2019 I’ve heard so many people be excited about Disney Plus. People are canceling their other streaming services and jumping on the Disney Plus service and are ecstatic about having all the classic movies available in one spot.
I wasn’t even going to try, and then lots of my children got sick right after Christmas.
So I signed up for the free 7 day trial.
Sean and I both looked through it, trying to find something we could watch as a family.
We looked, and looked, and looked.
And frankly, we were not impressed. We already canceled the free trial.
I know this is not a popular opinion. It’s growing less and less popular as every year goes on. But we try to be careful with what we let our children watch.
Before you think we are some perfect family over here that never watches anything, let me assure you, that is not the case. We enjoy a family movie night, and our children would watch a movie every day if we let them!
Sean and I had a long talk about this recently. We have to be so careful and on guard with what we watch is because it’s in our natural human desire to want to sit down and just watch a movie together.
If we watch a movie as a family, it’s an hour and a half that we don’t have to be terribly responsible as parents, we just sit back and let everyone watch the movie.
But it’s also a huge, never-ending stealer of our time.
Time is such a precious thing. You can’t buy it. You can’t get it back. You don’t earn the right to have more of it than what is already given. It’s just there, and you have to be careful with how you use it.
For our family we battle and fight against time and media.
We have set limits on the iPad we own. The children are supposed to be able to play games on it 20 minutes on Friday. It’s rare that a week goes by where that limit is strictly enforced though. Someone gets sick and we let them play, or a younger child is super crabby and we give in to the advantage of using the iPad as a babysitter.
There are even time limits set on our oldest son’s phone. At times he grumbles, but deep down he knows it’s best and that he can get so much more done with his life if he is not glued to a phone.
We made a decision years ago to not let our children watch all the Disney movies. They have seen some, but not many of them. My girls have never seen Frozen, or Tangled or many of the classics like Beauty and the Beast and Snow White. We try to avoid movies with evil witches and sorcery, and most of the Disney cartoons feature that.
Our boys have never seen Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Batman, Superman, Avengers, Harry Potter…the list goes on.
They have seen historical movies, like Gods and Generals, Gettysburg and Dunkirk. We draw the line at movies like Saving Private Ryan, because of how gory and intense it is.
What we see will never go away. Sean watched a lot of horror movies as a teenager and he can’t undo that, and hates even talking about them with me. I’ve given into watching things over the years because I hear so many other people talking about them, and think they surely must be ok if all these other people are watching them. I regret that, and it’s one of the top things on my list for this year to change.
The things we watch shape us, mold us, and help create our values. Each family has to decide what they are comfortable allowing in the home, and it will look different. But it’s a very important discussion to have. Don’t turn on the tv or go to the theatre without ever having the discussion of what your family values are and how those inform what you will/will not watch.
Otherwise you might find it the other way around. You might find that what you allow yourself to watch informs your values in ways it shouldn’t.
Media isn’t neutral. For every good theme you’ll find in a movie or show you’re likely to find twice as many bad ones. And that’s just Disney. A lot of shows/movies today have no redeemable value to them. None. They’re toxic and they’ll ruin your mind and spirit if you let them.
Take a minute to stop and reflect on what values you are wanting to pass onto your children. Should you do a media fast? Purge your DVD collection? Or do you feel comfortable with what you are letting your children watch?
*Do you need help creating a Family Mission Statement on what your family believes in? We share about how to do this in our Well Ordered Parenting Course!