Instant Family is a movie specifically about foster parenting – I absolutely LOVED it!
WARNING: Instant Family is NOT a family movie!
When I mention in conversations that I’m a foster parent, what usually follows is a barrage of inquisitive questions. How do you become a foster parent? Why are the kids in foster care? What happened to their “real” parents? For the most part, a majority of people don’t understand what it’s like to open your home to not only children, but to caseworkers, CASAs, inspections, etc.
The Instant Family movie will help debunk some of the mysterys and myths about what it’s really like being a foster parent.
The Instant Family movie was written by real-life foster parent Sean Anders, who wanted to show reality. The Instant Family movie follows a naive couple, Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) through the actual complicated process of becoming foster parents.
Foster parents know that foster parenting is encased with awkwardness and the crazy emotional rollercoaster of a case, and the Instant Family movie doesn’t shy away from that truth. The awkwardness of meet-the-kids events, children you don’t know immediately moving in, the honeymoon period when all the kids are angels, the back-and-forth of a case, etc.
Foster parenting isn’t easy, and the Instant Family movie shows how hard it really is.
However, the Instant Family movie is NOT a family movie.
WHAT FOSTER PARENTS MUST KNOW ABOUT INSTANT FAMILY:
1. EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
If you are a seasoned foster parent, you already know that sometimes kids from hard places may come into your home with some extremely colorful language (no matter the age). The cast (both adults and children) use explicit language that is scattered throughout the film, including the f-word, and even the p-word. Most curse words are used only a few times.
2. SEXUAL CONTENT
Experts estimate that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthdays! (from Darkness to Light) This statistic is even higher for children in foster care. Although the heavy topic of sexual abuse isn’t the sexual content depicted in the Instant Family movie, the parents have to face teen sexuality. Pete and Ellie’s inability to discreetly handle the situation brings out side-splitting belly laughs. Again, this is a topic that parents of all teens in today’s digital age must broach. Learn a lesson from Pete and Ellie! 🙂
3. BIRTHFAMILY TRIGGERS
The Instant Family movie shows the reality of the rollercoaster of how a case easily can switch back and forth from adoption, to reunification, and back to adoption. I got emotional watching the children get caught in this emotional turmoil on the screen (and I’m an adult). This particular topic could be very difficult emotionally for any child that has been in the foster care system. And even if your teen seems well-adjusted, this storyline could unearth all sorts of confusing emotions that will be hard for a young mind to process.
All this being said, I LOVED the Instant Family movie! And I encourage you to go see it with your friends.