Do Movies Have An Impact On Kids

Do Movies have an Impact on Kids?

Hey guys!!  Many, many thanks to George Schalter for contributing this guest post.  I hope you all enjoy it!


Two movies that our kids have really enjoyed in their young lives are the How To Train Your Dragon movies. Once they saw it, our older one had to read the Cressida Cowell books, while our younger one traced out pictures of dragons. Their favorite party was one where the cake was shaped like Toothless. They even persuaded their grandmother to play dragon games  with them. That was the clincher for us – kids are influenced by movies!

The Visual Medium’s Impact

In the UK, there is a ban on junk food ads during children’s TV programs (though they are exposed to these visually attractive and many times funny ads, during the hours they watch TV with their families). In this article one boy is quoted – he actually said he could ‘lick the screen’ after watching an ad for junk food!

The visual medium has an impact. It’s a well-researched fact that age-appropriate and well-designed visual content, can have a positive impact on kids over two. For younger children there is nothing better than actual play and real life, for good cognitive development. Even among older children, it’s always smart parenting to watch content together and talk about it, instead of just letting the kids watch what they want. Before selecting games, parents can Common Sense Media reviews to decide on appropriateness. Brains in children are young and plastic, leaving them open to influence. It would be sad day indeed when kids start believing that the world they see on a screen is the real world around, and totally miss out on the real world we live in.

Impact of Movies
Kids watching a movie by Loren Kerns

The Importance of Depicting Strong Characters and Relationships

Movies and virtual games dominate the content devoured by children. The advertising for movies starts from before the movie is even released. When kids are bombarded from all around by a movie and its characters, it makes sense to say that kids are affected by these characters. Children’s behavior is deeply affected by the movies. If kids see a lot of violence towards women, kids, animals or any other character, there is a good chance of their extrapolating that real life would be similar, especially if they come from troubled backgrounds with nothing contradicting reel life. On the other hand if kids see strong female and male leads who are egalitarian and fair in their relationships with others, their belief systems will include the very same values.

3 Movies and their Impact

  1. Wall-E

This is a terrific movie which helps kids realize the amount of e-waste we generate. With devices proliferating, the problems of e-waste are taking on gargantuan proportions. Few adults and fewer kids realize the amount of e-waste we generate. Shot through the eyes of a cleaning robot, it shows how lonely loneliness can be and how thrilling love can be. It’s but natural to love the character of Wall-e and root for him as he chases his chance at happiness.

  1. Ratatouille

We all loved this movie. It’s a visual delight and throughout the movie we wanted the underdog hero to triumph. The odds weighed heavily against him, but his perseverance pays off in the end. The kids made themselves chef’s hats and we found them frequently in the kitchen stirring pots and offering help. This movie helps kids understand the phrase ‘chasing dreams’ despite difficulties.

  1. The Lion King

This is a classic thanks to some marvelous storytelling. Parts of it were a little scary for our younger one when he watched it for the first time, but our kids love this movie. In fact we have watched it more than once. It’s a great movie to help kids understand responsibility and to face up to fears.

Wrap Up

Yes, movies have an impact. Should we stop kids from watching movies? Not at all. Things we as parents must emphasize:

  1. Movies are not entirely real
  2. Movies are just another form of entertainment
  3. The same story can be told by different people in different ways emphasizing different aspects of the story. Talk about the characters and their viewpoints.
  4. Talk about cause and effect of actions observed in some movies.
  5. Talk about how things might be different in our world.

It always helps to read a fellow parent’s take on movies and how it has impacted their kids. It might help parents see beyond the entertainment element in the movies they watch.  We don’t go to parenting schools, so it’s always a help to read what a fellow parent has to say!


Author Bio:

George Schalter loves being a dad. He and his wife share the joys and responsibilities of bringing up their two children. As believers of good all round education, they spend a lot of time playing with their children and spending time outdoors. As George is the writer in the family, he blogs at Educational Kids Games.

Facebook, Twitter, Google+

Share This:

The Stepping Stones To Independence

As your children grow older, they’ll constantly strive for more independence. And one of the most gratifying things as a parent is knowing that you’re able to provide that to them as they mature. But it’s difficult to know how to give them the independence they need. Below, you’ll find some of the most important milestones in your child’s development from a kid to a mature adult.

Clothing –

The Stepping Stones to Independence

(Image Source)

This may sound silly, but one of the most important things to a young adult is what they look like. What a teenager wears can affect them socially, and even damage their self-confidence in the long term. And, let’s face it, we’re all a bit out-of-touch with modern fashion. So it’s incredibly important to allow your maturing offspring the chance to have at least some say, in the clothing they own. A lot of parents struggle to trust their children with matters of finance, so why not teach them early? Giving them a choice when it comes to managing their money can embed a good head for budgeting early on – perfect for when they move out!

Leaving Home –

The Stepping Stones to Independence

(Image Source)

Everyone remembers the burning desire to be free from the shackles of their parents’ home. But going it alone in today’s world doesn’t cut it; they’ll need some help. Whether it’s to go to College or simply because they want more freedom, this is arguably their biggest step towards independence. It’s not bad or wrong to help fund or even simply find a place to live, but at this time, pressure will be on them like never before. They may also need help down the line, but teach them early on can limit the problems they encounter.

Learning to Drive –

The Stepping Stones to Independence

(Image Source)

Being able to drive and own a car is something most people take for granted. But when you think about it, it’s probably the biggest provider of freedom you have. There are so many options for A-class driving lessons available nowadays; it can be hard to choose the right option. If your child is still at school and has a lot of free time in blocks, intensive courses have proven to be incredibly successful. These courses teach you how to drive over a short period, like 1 or 2 weeks. And they usually consist of much longer lessons than traditional courses. If your child works, it can be hard to take so much time off. So they may have to go with a traditional course. Once they have their license, they’re going to need help getting a car on the road. Even if it’s just advice, you can help your child get a safe and reliable car, without taking freedom away from them.

Hopefully, this can give you some good ideas to help with your kids and their progression into the adult world. It’s alright to help your children through this stage of their life, but sometimes, you may need to take a step back. Remember, the most important part of independence is choice.

Share This:

Like Father, Like Son: Ways to Improve That Important Bond

When you want to improve the relationship and bond that you have with your son, it can be tricky. If you, as a father, are not as close to your son as you would like to be, there are some steps you can take. It’s all about growing and extending that bond naturally, and in a way that is long-lasting. Read on to discover some of the very best ideas.

Don’t Force Things Too Much

Forcing conversations and relationship growth with your son can make things even worse than they are right now. Bonds don’t grow through force. They grow through natural development and real connections between parents and children. So, don’t expect things to get better if you force an unnatural way of building relationships on you both. It simply won’t work, and you’ll quickly realise this. It will just make your son feel more uncomfortable, so it’s not worth your time or energy.

Like Father, Like Son: Ways to Improve That Important Bond

Photo Source

Do Things You Both Find Fun

Instead of being forceful, you should aim to relax things a little. This is usually the right way to go about things. So, you need to be willing to come up with new ideas for how you and your son can spend time together. You should aim to find tasks and activities that you can do together without other people getting involved. And you should both find them fun. Something you find fun or interesting might not be enjoyable for your son. Go to the beach with a watersports toy and spend the day trying it out. Things like this are natural and enjoyable for you both, and your bond will start to strengthen.

Like Father, Like Son: Ways to Improve That Important Bond

Photo Source

If You Want Your Son to Share Things with You, You Should do the Same

Many fathers want their sons to be more honest and open with them. It’s a common complaint from fathers that their children keep things to themselves and don’t feel able to share things. Well, first of all, you should remember what it was like to be that age. Sharing personal things or even details of what you were doing that day can be difficult or unappealing. And if you want them to open up and talk to you more, you should be able to do the same with them. When they see that you are able to talk to them about things, they should do the same.

Take on a Large Project Together

Large projects are useful for solidifying bonds because they can be taken on together. And they also tend to take a long time to do. That means that you can spend plenty of time with your son getting something done. It could be anything. You might want to build something or do a DIY project. Kids usually like to get involved and take on adult projects that are hands-on. As long as you stay safe and keep them protected, this can be a great idea. Alternatively, you could take a more active role in helping them with school projects they need to complete.

Share This:

Dawg Fans: Don’t Give Up On Kirby Smart!


Hello loyal readers!  As you probably know, I bleed Georgia Bulldog red and black.  This has been a roller coaster start to the 2016 season.  A first-time head coach and a true freshman at the helms has made it a very interesting beginning to the season.  From getting absolutely pounded by Ole Miss, to losing the Tennessee game on a prayer (literally), to getting beat by measly Vanderbilt, this team just seems like it hasn’t found its identity.

I am getting very frustrated with recent chatter about how Georgia shouldn’t have jumped straight to Kirby Smart before considering other options.  Fans around the country are already saying Kirby should be fired.  I just can’t grasp how comments like these are already being made on a brand new head coach 7 games into his tenure. We gave Mark Richt 15 years before enough was enough.  Can we not at least give Kirby several years to build his team?  Most of the players aren’t even his recruits.

He’ll Get the Job Done!

I’m here to urge all UGA fans (and maybe convince myself) to not give up on Kirby Smart yet.  This guy will get the job done.  Nick Saban groomed him well and he is a UGA alumni and former player. It always takes time when a new coach takes the lead to get a winning team together. Nothing happens overnight – especially in college football. Kirby has proven through his years at Bama that he has the leadership skills needed to be a successful coach in the SEC.  He’s helped win some very big games for the Crimson Tide, and it’s only a matter of time before that experience rolls into Athens.

Jacob Eason Will Improve!

Jacob Eason has been performing exactly as I expected a true freshman quarterback to perform in his first 7 games. I see many things he’s doing wrong today that he will correct as he gains experience.  He’s done a fairly decent job passing the ball, but accuracy is something he needs to work on.  That too will come with experience.

Nick Chubb is Still a Great RB!

We all know Nick Chubb worked his tail off following his gruesome injury in the Tennessee game last year, and he looks like he’s almost back to 100%.  There is something different about Chubb this year though.  He’s only had a few games where I have felt like the old Chubb was back.  Maybe it’s because defenses are stacking the box to reduce the chance of him breaking out into big dashes.

Luckily, we’ve had solid performances this year from Sony Michel and Isaiah McKenzie. These two guys are perfect supporting cast members for Chubb. I’m actually beginning to become convinced Michel is faster and more talented than Chubb is, and that’s saying a lot. These guys aren’t turning the ball over much, if at all.  Ball control is crucial to winning in the SEC.

Our Defense is Getting Better!

Defensively, this team has done ok, minus a few games here and there.  I think we will see an improved defense towards the latter half of this season and an even more improved defense going into next season.  There have been plays where I think Kirby was outcoached, and then plays where it looked like it couldn’t have been drawn up any better.

Hunker Down, Dawg Fans!

So Dawg fans, although this has been a disappointing season, let’s not forget that we wanted the change, and we got it.  Mark Richt did a lot for UGA, and in some ways is still doing a lot for the school. Most of the players on the current team are HIS recruits – not Kirby’s. I think the change in coaching was needed, but it’s going to take more time to get this team up and running smoothly.  I, for one, will not be calling for his head this year.  To me, this season is all about finding out what we have and how to make it work.  There is no question we have a ton of talent just waiting to win us a national championship.  So let’s be patient and give Kirby an opportunity to build a winning team.

I’m headed down to Lexington on November 5th to watch my Dawgs take on Kentucky.  We stomped them last year, so I am hoping for the same result this year.  I’m a little nervous about it this year because we should have stomped Vandy, but came up short.  Will we come up short again?  I hope not!

Go Dawgs!


Share This:

Dear Kids, Volume 20


Dear Kids,

We had a super cool weekend!  I had been away for work from Tuesday through Thursday. Being away from you guys for that long is so hard!  I always look forward to play time after I get off of work, and when I can’t do that, I get depressed!  Here are some pictures of our fun weekend playing outside.  I love you all!















Share This:

Here Goes Nothing: How To Get Yourself Ready To Propose

Here Goes Nothing: How To Get Yourself Ready To Propose

Photo Credit

When it comes to proposals, the ladies have it easy.

Let’s face it, asking someone to spend the rest of their life with you is a big deal. It’s like saying: “I think I’m great, we’re great, and you should hitch your cart to this wagon”. It’s advisable you don’t use those exact words, but that’s the general gist. Few of us are ever going to do something that is going to expose us to fear, uncertainty and gut-wrenching hope the way a proposal is. Your intended holds your whole future in her hands, and no matter how sure you are, there’s always that element of doubt.

If you’re thinking the time is coming to get down on one knee (or however you want to do it) – there are ways to lessen the stress. And I’m not just talking about dropping hints you think it’d be great if your girlfriend were the one to propose, either. You can do this! You just maybe need a few nudges to get you there.

#1 – Talk To Her

Here Goes Nothing: How To Get Yourself Ready To Propose

Photo Credit

What Not To Do: “Girlfriend, I love you and want to ask you to marry me. How would you feel about that? If I did that, would you say yes or shatter my heart into a billion pieces and wreck my entire existence?”

What To Do: Be subtle; even make it a joke. She does something that makes you proud of her? Joke, “any more of this and I might just have to put a ring on it”. The way she responds – laughing and nodding along, or running out of the room screaming – will tell you a lot about where she’s at.

#2 – Engage Subterfuge

Here Goes Nothing: How To Get Yourself Ready To Propose

Photo Credit

Her friends; her Mom; anyone in her life, really. You can get an idea of where your girlfriend is at by talking to them, so long as you can trust them with the secret. If you are going to go down this route, then it’s best to make sure you plan to propose pretty soon after. The longer you leave it, the more at risk the secret is.

#3 – Ring Talk

Here Goes Nothing: How To Get Yourself Ready To Propose

Photo Credit

You have two options when it comes to the ring.

a) You buy a cheap costume ring as a representative of the sentiment, and then she chooses the one she wants to wear for the rest of her life.

  1. b) You take a gamble and buy the real ring from the off. There’s plenty of ways to do it, from browsing diamond engagement rings to quizzing her about gemstone preference. Don’t worry too much about ring size, though. Most rings can be adapted, so no string-around-the-ring-finger tricks for you.

#4 – Plan Something She’d Love

Not every woman wants a big proposal worthy of YouTube. On the other hand, some women will feel it’s an opportunity missed if you don’t go all out. If you don’t know which kind of woman your girlfriend is, there’s a chance you don’t know her well enough to be proposing. Small and quiet or loud and proud? Always put her in mind when it comes to the planning. That’s a pretty good rule for marriage, too!

Share This:

Haircut Day for Little Man

Hey guys!  So today was little man’s haircut, and his first visit to an actual barber shop.  He’s only had his hair cut a few times, but today was a real experience.  My father in-law had to keep giving him candy to help stop the crying, but the trick worked in the end.  I really think the end result was great! What are YOUR experiences with toddler haircuts??







Share This:

A Day Trip to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium


A few months ago, we took an hour and a half drive to Columbus, OH to spend the day at the wonderful Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  This was the first time we had been to this zoo in years.  We decided to buy the annual membership, which basically paid for itself after one visit.  The Columbus Zoo is one of the top zoos in the US so we are lucky to live so close to it.

Unless you get there early, it’s nearly impossible to see everything in one trip. Plan ahead and map out what you want to see the most.  It gets crowded this time of year so be prepared to wait in line at some exhibits.

















Share This:

Nine Months To Go, Time To Setup The Nursery!


Your wife is having a baby, wonderful news right? Well, yes it is and don’t let the fact that you’ve only got nine months to get the nursery ready stop you cracking open the bottle of champagne. The non-alcoholic bottle of champagne, I might remind you. You see? I knew you would start to panic because already there’s a lot to do. You have to buy the crib, paint the room, get the toys and make the home safe. I suggest you think about making your home safe first. The crucial buy is going to be the baby gate for the stairs. I know what you’re thinking. They don’t start crawling straight away! Oh, my friend, it happens far sooner than you think. Tick this box off now, and your wife will thank you later, trust me. Now that’s out the way, be sure to buy some covers for the plug holes. The last thing you want is them sticking their fingers in them. Trust me, they stick their fingers in everything they can get their hands on. After a few short weeks or months, your home will be fully baby safe. Now it’s time for the big job. It’s time, drum roll please, to prepare the nursery.

Don’t Trap Your Fingers In The Crib! 

If I were you, I’d suggest buying the crib in store rather than online for a fairly sensible reason. I have heard horror stories from dads that ordered the crib online only to find the instructions weren’t in English. Good luck getting it setup when you’re trying to learn Japanese by reading the instruction manual. Or, possibly Swedish? There’s another advantage of buying in store too. They might offer the possibility of setting up the crib for you and you’ll want to take them up on this offer. It will save you hours of stress when your wife is already reaching dangerously high hormone levels.

Buy A Mobile

This is going to be your new best friend once the baby comes, trust me. Kids cry all the time. For the first few days, you’ll be lucky to get even a few minutes sleep. But if you switch the mobile on, you might get lucky. It could send them right into la la land as soon as you lay them down. I feel I should offer a disclaimer here and tell you that I can’t promise this result. However, I have seen it work wonders in the past so make of that what you will.

A Blankey, A Toy?

Basically, you need anything for the little one to hold for comfort. Okay, maybe not anything but how about combining those two ideas of a blanky and a toy. Not sure what I’m getting at? Don’t worry because Makaboo has them and they are called lovies. Half blanky, half plushy, your little one soon won’t go anywhere without their stuffy.

Gender Neutral?

You might want to be careful painting your kid’s room if you don’t know the sex of the baby. It can be a bit awkward if you end up with a boy and have a fluorescent pink room. Of course, I would never recommend you paint a baby’s room this color. In fact, it might be best to opt for gender-neutral colors like a pastel orange or yellow.

One last tip? Don’t forget to buy a baby monitor. Without this, you’ll constantly be running back and forth from your room to the little one. Then again, who am I kidding? You’re going to be doing that anyway when your paranoia rises after you can’t hear the baby for five seconds on the monitor.


Share This:

My Kid Just Said…#47


During the car ride to the grocery store yesterday, my 8 year old daughter said:

Daughter:  Daddy, why are there “resternats” that don’t allow kids?

Me:  Because some restaurants are just for grown ups to go and have a date night.

Daughter:  Hmm, well, if we have Donald Trump, he’s not going to let us go anywhere, daddy.  He’s going to make us stay at school.  How mean!

Share This:

A Trip to Barnes and Noble


My kids LOVE to read and I’m super proud of that!  We recently took a little trip over to Barnes and Noble so that they could each get a book.  They love this store!  It’s more than just going in to buy a book – it’s an adventure!  Here are a few pictures of that fun day!

My 2 year old is in love with Thomas the Train.  He can’t seem to get enough of it anywhere he sees it.


My 8 year old loves helping her baby brother find books!


He played with the Thomas the Train activity center nearly the whole time we were at the store.


I asked my 10 year old to give me a serious look as he was browsing for books and this is the look he gave me.


My 2 year old found a Thomas book and found a cozy place in the store to sit down…for 10 seconds haha!


He just loves to explore all of the colorful books in Barnes and Noble!


Some of the books were a little too high up for him, but that didn’t stop him!


My 8 and 6 year old said, “Seriously, daddy?”


My toddler found more books that interested him!


So I asked him to say “cheese” here, but the key is getting him to actually look into the camera.


While my 8 year old looks for books, my toddler forgot about one he had just found and took off for another section of the store!


Share This:

Once In A Lifetime Epic Treks Around The World

When talking about epic treks you may be fraught with worry about the physical challenge and test of endurance that they require. But trekking around the world can be a powerful way to reconnect with nature and life and is also a great way to invigorate and revitalize the soul. On top of that, visiting such areas of outstanding natural beauty is a real eye opener about how important traveling around the world can be. And if you want some of the best easy flight hacks to get you out there in a more affordable way, check them out on my blog right here.

Once In A Lifetime Epic Treks Around The World

Picture source: Pixabay

Kumara Parvatha, South India

India is one of those once-in-a-lifetime destinations that is incredibly beautiful to visit. The culture, history, temples, palaces, cuisine and scenery is a world apart from anywhere else. Our first expedition on the list is the Kumara Parvatha trek in southern India. It’s not for the lighthearted as it is considered the toughest trek in South India. But the rewards at along the way and at the summit are outstanding. Kumara Parvatha is also known as Pushpagiri and is part of the Western Ghats mountain ranges. There are two trails that can be taken; the first takes about 5 hours and the second about ten. Both offer trekking through lush evergreen forests, rocky cliffs, and rugged grasslands.

Once In A Lifetime Epic Treks Around The World

Picture source: Flickr

Cinque Terre, Sentiero Azure, Italy

Our second trek is more family orientated and is the Cinque Terre hike in Italy. We choose this trek for families, because if the children get tired, you can always jump on a train to get to the next town. But if you’re all up for the challenge the trek is about seven miles between all five towns on the Blue Trail. As you trek, you’ll pass through magical towns steeped in history, all against a backdrop of beautiful cerulean seas. It’s wonderful to experience all of this Mediterranean charm while also undertaking an exhilarating challenge. You can undertake the challenge in one day or stop at each pastel-hued town to enjoy the vibrant culture of Italy too. There are some steep steps and rocky roads to take on. But the rewards are immense, with views all the way to Corsica and also the chance to see dolphins along the way.

Once In A Lifetime Epic Treks Around The World

Picture source: Pixabay

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

There are thousands of routes to trek the Inca Trail, but the trek to Machu Picchu is one of the most popular and is a true once-in-a-lifetime trip. The scenery will truly take your breath away. Machu Picchu is one of South America’s most incredible ancient sites. It has remained well preserved since the Inca Empire and is still very much isolated. A classic trek will take four days and starts at what is known as kilometer 82. The hike takes you through spectacular rivers, Inca hillfort ruins and panoramic views of snow capped peaks. Climbs are steep, but the breathtaking landscape is worth it. You’ll meet with sizzling sun and scorching winds as you reach 4,200m at Dead Woman’s Pass. From here you’ll climb the ruins of Runkuracy, pass through small Inca dwellings and the Inca Baths before descending over a thousand steps to Winay Wayna. On your final day, you’ll trek another hour and a half until you meet with the incredible beauty of the 550-year-old citadel of Machu Picchu.