The other day I was puttering about the house, doing my usual ‘mom’ thing of laundry and tidying and breakfast-preparing, when I heard my four-year old daughter ask her two year old sister “Do you think your friends will like this video?” Of course, I had to peek around the corner at what was going on, and there she was, pen and paper in hand, sitting up straight, grilling her sister. It made me smile.
We’ve only been reviewing titles for KIDS FIRST! for a couple of months, but it’s rubbed off. She kept going too, asking her sister if she liked it a lot or a little, and what she was thinking about. The answers weren’t always, well, intelligible, but it sure was fun to watch!
When we pop in any old DVD, I get asked if I will be ‘asking her special questions’ after it is over, and if I’m not, I get a disappointed response. My two year-old twins love choosing the smiling or frowning faces on the juror forms, and insist on scribbling on them once we’ve finished.
I started out as a juror because the children’s media is an industry I wanted to enter as a filmmaker, and so of course I have a natural tendency to want to see what’s out there. Now, I find the time we spend watching the movies to be just great together time. Filling out the forms gets my four year old talking and asking questions, and thinking about what she saw. It is obvious she feels it is special time with Mama, and I love that her questions have spilled over to whenever we’re watching TV or a movie, which has given me the chance to explain what commercials are for, and for her to pick apart for herself what made a character or scene a little scary. (Since then, she’s told me she likes it when movies are ‘just itty bitty scary!’)
Some kids play Doctor or Teacher or Firefighters. My kids play Film Critic. Maybe Siskel and Ebert costumes for Halloween? Hm—maybe!
By Hannah Dallman (KIDS FIRST! Juror)
Jurors! We want to hear your stories! Just email them in with a photo. To start your own jury, contact us or visit our jury website. March classes are forming now, so don’t delay!