I am sorry to say that I have become successful at the office. I have proven myself to be a worthwhile employee and have been given the opportunity to take on more and more responsibility. This is excellent for my career but exceedingly troublesome for my home life. I am a avid proponent of work-life balance, but there are simply not enough hours in the day to do it all. And while I would like to preach to you about how family comes first, sometimes the family is trumped by the bills I have to pay, the groceries I need to buy, and economic security.
That’s why at my house we do not squander the free time we might have. When I come home, I get on the floor and play with my little geeks as soon as possible. This is as much for their benefit as it is for mine. I need to play with my kids as it helps me center myself and feel better about the world around me. I don’t care how bad my day is at the office; simply talking to my kids puts me in a better mood.
Playtime is a healthy mixture of sports, reading books, playing with cars, imagining we are Transformers, and of course, playing board, card, and dice games. I always try new activities with my little geeks, repeat what works, and doing all I can to make every minute enjoyable. I also listen to my children to learn what they want to do. One of the activities they are fond of, especially in the winter, is watching TV with the parents, snuggling up under the blanket, and eating a snack. What we let our children watch is very important to my wife and I. We do not just randomly flip on the TV and walk away. Little children are very impressionable and their minds are like a dry sponge that soak up anything and everything. Although, oddly enough, the instructions to “put down the toilet seat” never seems to stick.
It is because my children are young and impressionable (albeit selectively so), my wife and I review any television programs before we allow our children to watch them. We even do this for “G” rated movies, as sometimes what is shown or hinted at might be a little too much or slightly inappropriate for our children. And, yes, I know I am coming across as over protective, but I would argue that it is far better to be safe than sorry. Why cause unnecessary stress or discomfort to your child when there are so many other activities that will bring them nothing but pleasure and comfort?
I have commented a few times about Walmart’s and P&G’s Family Movie Night program. These are made for television movies that focus on bringing families together to watch meaningful and relevant content that is meant to reinforce family values and encourage family discussions, while entertaining at the same time. I was even able to visit the cast and crew during one of the movie shoots. I have seen enough of the movies to know that they are enjoyable and fun to watch with my family.
Like most family movies for television, the acting is sometimes over the top, the dialog can be silly, and the situations downright eye rolling. But it is all in fun and my little geeks have not watched enough movies to truly critique the filming, actors, or script to any degree. This results in the kids having fun watching a new story and the adults being treated to some lighthearted entertainment.
Who is Simon Miller?
The latest Walmart and P&G Family Movie Night movie, “Who is Simon Miller?“, kicks it up a notch in the cool department. Spies and espionage dominate the main story line bringing a slight feeling of danger throughout the film, as well as mystery. In fact, I’d say this is the most exciting movie from the Family Movie Night program yet! Kung Fu, spy gear, exotic world locations, and thick foreign accent are all mashed up to deliver an enjoyable family entertainment experience.
There is some gunplay in the movie and light violent fighting sequences, but nothing I would consider overly graphic or terrifying. Still, I would caution those families with very young little geeks (anyone under 10, perhaps) to first give this movie a quick view for “parental approval”. For some families, such movie sequences will not be a problem. For mine, with children ages 6, 4, and 1, I do not believe my little geeks are yet old enough for such things.
There are some great family values sprinkled into all the movie action. Lessons in honor, truth, responsibility to family, and doing the right thing are given again and again but never in a way that seems heavy-handed or out blatantly out of place. I don’t mean to suggest that they are invisible or subtle, however. After all, Family Movie Night is about educating as much as entertaining. Your children will have no trouble picking up the nods to specific values which will give you, the parents, a great opening to ask questions, make comments, and say things like, “See? Even spies know it is a good idea to always tell the truth and put down the toilet seat!”
“Who Is Simon Miller?” will premier on Saturday, August 6 on NBC at 8pm ET/7pm CT. You can learn more about the cast and the movie at the official site. To keep up-to-date on the latest happenings, visit the Family Movie Night Facebook page and join in the conversation with other parents.
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.