The Instant Family Movie is GREAT, but It Isn't a Family Movie

I absolutely loved this movie! One minute I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, the next I was crying like a baby. That was a great depiction of the emotional roller coaster that is foster care.

What I loved about The Instant Family movie was its authenticity. They don’t gloss over the hard parts. Truthfully, there may have been a time or two the chaos was played up a little, but only a little. It can get really crazy sometimes.

While I loved the Instant Family Movie in all respects, parents should be cautioned: THIS IS NOT A FAMILY MOVIE! At least not in the exciting, fun, anyone can be in the room sort of way. There are a few things to consider before you take your kids, foster or not, to the theater.

  1. Triggers

    I remember when Eli first came to live with us. He was a 15 year old black male in the house with the whitest people you could possibly meet. Shortly after we had a family movie night. Someone wanted to watch The Blind Side. It’s a great movie, after all. That’s when we learned to think about triggers.

    During the scene where Michael flashes back to being a young boy ripped from his home and taken away in the police car, Eli stood quietly. There was no meltdown, no rage, no tears, but definitely an impact. During the scene he disappeared upstairs.

    You really never know what will trigger memories of home and the trauma surrounding it, but you can be certain the Instant Family Movie will do its part to hit those buttons. We didn’t take our boys to see it. We wanted to see for ourselves if we thought they could handle it before we dropped them into that emotional quagmire. We were glad we did.

  2. Language

    If you have a zero tolerance policy on language, this movie isn’t for you. It isn’t gratuitous and it isn’t prolific, but there are several of the more “advanced” curse words used in this movie by adults and children.

    As a foster parent you can almost certainly expect colorful language to enter your home at some point or another, it really is part of the deal. The move does a good job depicting that from the kids, but it can be jarring to some.

  3. Sexual Content

Dealing with this topic is another inevitability of working with children from hard places. Many have been abused, seen someone abused, and/or been exposed to pornography and explicit lifestyles from a very early age.

The movie does tackle the subject and may be inappropriate for some age groups. This may also fall under the Triggers category for children who are victims of abuse. I know people aren’t terribly comfortable talking about sexual matters with children who are often far too young to be having that talk, but the reality is we need to be prepared.

All in all, we absolutely loved the movie. For the most part it was a very true depiction of the craziness that is Foster Care. I particularly appreciated the emotional roller coaster we were invited to be on. We’ve been on that ride before and it resonated with us.

If you are considering foster care, by all means, watch this movie, then call your local agency and get your training started. We need help out here!

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