So, my son has seen Star Trek DVDs around and today he mentioned he wanted to watch one. I was reluctant but I put one on to see how he would react to the action and he seems to really like it. I am considering buying him a series. They are perfect because we only do movies/shows for less than hour a day after dinner. Generally we do two 25 min kid shows but with this one, it will only be one episode at a time since they are all about 50ish min long.
I think this is a show that will elicit all sorts of conversations about all sorts of ethical situations, so I like the idea in theory but maybe I am off my rockers for thinking of letting my kids watch it? You let me know if you think so!
Any fans of the show here? Which one would you guys recommend? I am thoroughly a Next Generation girl but I never gave the other series a chance. Maybe the others are better suited for a six year old and a 4 year old who will undoubtedly be watching some with her brother?
Or you could pick and choose by episode and skip the ones that seem unsuitable.
I waited till my kids were 8 and ten before doing Trek with them.
Admitting my biases: I love Start Trek, and I allow almost unlimited media for my DS. My dad was a Trekkie, so I grew up watching TOS; when I was a teen, me and my parents were glued to the screen watching TNG; before I went to college my dad and I watched DS9 together; while I was home on break we watched Voyager. I've seen all the movies (and we own most of them on DVD now).
My DS is 7 yo; he's been watching Star Trek movies for years (starting off with Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country b/c those were the only ones we owned at the time), but I think he started watching ST: TOS back when he was 5, almost 6. I started out getting a Season 1 DVD from Netflix to see if DS would enjoy the show. He got a little bored during the scenes where there's only conversation, but he loved the action and the aliens (especially the Tribbles!). He also adapted pretty quickly to the younger-looking actors. I ended up buying a best of DVD, and he'll somewhat regularly watch those episodes, but we never finished watching Season 1--he just lost interest in seeing new-to-him episodes (he does this with other franchises too, so it might just be specific to him and not a general little kid thing). He's watched a couple episodes of ST: TNG, but prefers the movies (they're more action-packed). DS has also seen a few episodes of ST: Enterprise (Netflix Instant Watch), but again, he hasn't felt the need to watch every episode.
Whenever he watched an episode of TOS, I was right there with him, watching along (b/c for the most part I didn't remember anything from the show). I had to explain some plot points and provide some context, as well as explain why the special effects looked that way (they did a beautiful job cleaning up the planet shots, btw). We never ended up having deep conversations about right/wrong, partly b/c DS didn't want to interrupt his viewing pleasure to talk, and partly b/c that's just his personality--he'll accept a sentence or two of commentary from me, but he refuses to discuss things in detail.
However, all his ST viewing has led to hours of imaginative play, mostly involving his building lots of LEGO Enterprises (the kid can tell at a glance if it's TOS, re-fit, 1701-A, 1701-D, or 1701-E), drawing lots of Enterprises, making sound effects of firing the phasers or photon torpedoes, etc. Oh, and he can vocalize the theme music at will, which will never get old for me. He also regularly devours the Star Trek Encyclopedia (we check it our from our local library).
In retrospect, though, one of the things I most enjoyed about introducing DS to the Star Trek universe was being able to share that cultural experience with him--DH, DS and I now have a shared history of Star Trek viewing so we can quote a line from a movie, or make a reference to one of the characters or plots, and the rest of the family just gets it. Right now DS and I are busy watching Doctor Who, but DH isn't, and I can tell he feels a little lost sometimes when DS and I get into more detailed discussions about characters, etc. It would also be nice if DH would watch it so I didn't feel obligated to explain it to him so he could understand what DS was telling him.
I'm a mom with four kids with a 9-year spread in ages. Despite all my care and intentionality in choosing what to expose my elder two kids to and at what ages, well, I discovered that by the fourth kid, there's really no point anymore. When my youngest was 5, I wasn't going to tell her 12- and 14-year-old siblings that the only stuff they could watch while she was awake (and she has never gone to bed before 10!) was stuff targeted at preschoolers. So she watched pretty much anything they did. This included a huge obsession with the new Battlestar Galactica at age 7 -- which has very adult content at times.
She is not a particularly sensitive kid by nature, but she hasn't been at all damaged or jaded by her exposure to "older" fare. She's a lovely, caring, gentle 9-year-old who plays beautifully with young kids and agemates, and hangs out easily with 12-year-olds. She's a very deep thinker, always pondering the nature or reality, of consciousness, of time, of human purpose. But I think that has more to do with her nature than her exposure.
Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
Thank you for your awesome responses guys. It looks like Star Trek (TOS) is the winner. I will get a couple of DVDs and test it out with him and if he likes it, we will play it season by season maybe and try out different ones! Thank you for all your suggestions!