The Splash Effect: Movies From My Youth Are NOT OK For My Kids

It all started with Splash.

My kids were on a mermaid kick a few years ago so I decided to record the Daryl Hannah-Tom Hanks classic for them. What could be sweeter than a Disney flick about a lonely guy who falls in love with a mermaid? It just happened to be playing on HBO at the time so I taped it to show to my daughters. THANK GOD I was up late one night and decided to watch it without them. Do you remember what “Allen” and “Madison” did when they first met? Let’s just say that she was the horinest mermaid to ever grow legs.

Splash was rated PG when it hit theaters back in 1984 but there was some serious action happening onscreen. There was also LOADS of profanity, but they swore in ALL the “Kids” movies back then. Remember the “penis breath” line from E.T.? Have fun explaining that one. It’s like the time I tried to watch Ghostbusters with my kids. What could possibly be wrong with Ghostbusters? Do you remember the ghost who was into oral sex? My daughter asked, “MOMMY, what is she DOING to him???”

That’s when I realized that the movies from my childhood are officially NOT OKAY for my children.

Let me be clear about this. I LOVE DIRTY MOVIES. Profanity is also one of my favorite things on the planet. Just not in front of my kids.

They’re a little older now (7 & 11 years to be exact) so I decided to loosen the reins, as far as movies go. My kids have heard enough profanity to know that it’s out there and that they aren’t supposed to use it. If the occasional shit, ass, or DAMMIT shows up in a movie, I don’t really care. That’s why I recorded The Karate Kid and Adventures in Babysitting for all of us to watch. I loved BOTH of those movies when I was a kid and couldn’t wait to share them with my girls. Was I wrong?

Well, The Karate Kid ended up being a good call. YES, Daniel San swears like a champ and there’s even a drug reference (remember when Bad-Guy-Johnny rolls a joint in the bathroom? I didn’t either.) but it’s all subtle enough to be manageable. Plus, the story is so awesome that it outweighs the cons.

Adventures in Babysitting was a whole other story. My oldest daughter stayed home sick yesterday so I thought it would be the PERFECT movie for us to watch together. I forgot that the WHOLE story revolves around a PLAYBOY magazine. Emma had gone all 11-years of her life without hearing of dirty magazines but NOW she knows. She doesn’t know why guys WANT dirty magazines, but she sure asked me. MULTIPLE TIMES! The profanity was also unreal. One of the key scenes in the movie was when Elizabeth Shue yelled out, “Don’t F**K with the BABYSITTER!” Yep, I’d forgotten about that one, too.

So, if you’re like me and making a list of “MOVIES TO WATCH WITH THE KIDS,” add The Karate Kid and scratch Adventures in Babysitting. Next on our list is Harry and the Hendersons, The Legend of Boggy Creek and The Sandlot so I’ll let you know how that goes. Also, if my kids start using some extremely salty language on the playground, you’ll understand where it’s coming from.

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