Our family finally watched the fourth Harry Potter movie the other day. Actually, it was the first viewing for my daughter and I, but I think my wife first watched it not long after it was released in 2005. She’s been a constant fan of the books, and she was more excited about watching the films than I was at the time. I’ve since learned to appreciate the series, and I’m enjoying following the story arc and experiencing each movie in the series along with our oldest daughter.
Our coming late to this party was deliberate. We decided some time ago that we weren’t going to expose our eldest to all of the available HP movies in quick succession, but instead ‘spread them out’ over time. Our reasoning for this was based on a couple things.
1 – My wife had read the books and was of the opinion that the series generally gets more intense, more ‘adult’ with each installment. She felt some of the more intense situations- including the demise of some main characters- was best left for..later.
2 – We think it’s OK for kids to wait to experience some things. If next-to-nothing is left for later, what is there to look forward to? Where are the milestones? It’s OK to slow down, to anticipate. There’s no need to rush.
While we did get a bit of push-back on occasion, it was pretty minor; usually amounting to a valiant-but-ultimately-futile effort to tread the well-worn path of “but _____ is my age and (s)he’s already seen all of them”. At which point we would explain that different families do things different ways. We also reminded her that even though it sometimes feels like ‘everybody else’ is doing that thing you’re not allowed to, that’s really not true; we could both think of other kids who hadn’t yet seen all of the movies. Some kids her age had only been allowed to see the first and or second; some families we knew did not watch them at all.
I understand opinions around this topic (every topic?) vary widely and are clearly subjective. Generally, we think the culture seems hell-bent on snuffing out the ‘innocence of childhood’ as quickly as it can. I’m for extending that period of time as long as I can.
They have the rest of their lives to be grown-ups.
There’s no need to rush.