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« Follow-up to "How to Save a Life" | Main | Are Economic Woes a Family Matter? »

September 24, 2008

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EdnaMom

I am 100% with you on your decision to limit the scary movies. My 7 year old loves Mary Poppins, and he is not at all ready to see Star Wars movies. In fact, he can't make it through a Disney movie without running out of the room in fear. You have to go with your instinct on movies no matter what the other kids are watching.

Sheri

I agree with you too! Even now that I'm not technically allowed to pick the movies we watch, as you can tell from my post I have set limits on what they can see.

Unfortunately I think we are in the minority. My 13 year old asks to watch R rated horror movies, because his friends have all seen them! I made him turn down a movie invite because I found out what movie they were going to be watching. Childhood is so short, I don't want to expose them to all this grown up stuff so soon.

When my oldest was around 4 or 5, he loved dinosaurs, was obsessed with them for several years. Everytime he told someone he loved dinosaurs, it never failed that someone would say "have you seen Jurassic Park?" To a 5 year old!! He begged and begged, and I think when he was probably 7 or 8 it was on TV, so I said he could watch it with us. Within 5 minutes of the first T-Rex sighting he was cowering under a blanket,lol. So sometimes mom is right!

callieandbatido

I really agree with all your comments! Childhood is so brief, let them enjoy it. There are so many great movies out there, why rush them to see one they aren't ready for? A few years back my girls (then 6 & 10) and my nephews (9 & 11) spent a night with my brother and his wife. They had no kids. Trying to pick out a movie for the group was a challenge. They decided on one of the Harry Potter movies but my older daughter informed him that they couldn't watch PG13 movies. He called to check with me and I said I didn't want my youngest watching a movie geared at 13 and older. He let them watch it anyways. TWICE. Both girls loved it, especially my 6 year old. She wasn't scared or creeped out like I thought she would be. But she thought endlessly about some of the graphic scenes she had seen and continually asked questions like "where does the blood on the wall come from?" & "why does he want to hurt them?" etc. Questions and thoughts no six year old should be wondering and worrying about. So I say keep them enjoying Mary Poppins for as long as they can. If we can't overcome peer pressure, how can we expect them to?

Zen Mama Wannabe

"If we can't overcome peer pressure, how can we expect them (our kids) to?" Wow - well said, CallieandBatido! That has really given me an AHA moment; I think/hope to look at it all much differently now.

Glad to hear there are others out there like Edna Mom and Sheri that share some of my feelings. Jurassic Park for a 5 year old - I think that is crazy! It scared ME to death and I was an adult! Give me Mary Poppins any day! :)

LarkLady

Lots of mixed feelings on this one! When I was growing up, movies weren't rated; most movies were suitable for any kid who was old enough to walk to the theatre on their own, so mostly it wasn't an issue. But I remember all my friends seeing Ben-Hur... and my mother wouldn't let me see it! I think she thought it was too violent -- but she was adamant: I was not going to see it, period, end of story. One of my friends saw it 10 times; that had no effect on Mom. I finally saw it as an adult and was at a loss as to what Mom thought she had to protect me from.

Now movies are rated, which as far as I can see only makes the problem a whole lot worse. Movies with PG-13 ratings far too often have material in them that I think is completely inappropriate for younger teenagers. "But Mom! It's PG-13!" And I want to respond, So where is it in the Constitution that guarantees your right to see something I don't think you should?!!?

On the flip side, I took my younger daughter and several of her friends to see a movie that was being shown at a local junior college, for which they would receive extra credit for their German class if they saw it and answered a few questions about it. But the teacher, in his introductory remarks, said it was rated R because of some language... which actually turned out to be some mistranslations for the most part. Quandry: do I pull all 4 of these kids (including my duaghter) out of the auditorium, making them miss an opportunity for some extra credit points? Fortunately, I was sitting very close to the teacher and was able to quietly and quickly ascertain that it really wasn't an R-level film... and we stayed, and he was right: we all enjoyed it and had an enthusiastic discussion on the drive home.

Mostly, Zen Mamma, I agree with you that each child is different and as a parent you have to go with your instincts about what your child is ready for -- even if occasionally you blow it, as I think my mom did with Ben-Hur. As your children grow older, you have to be willing to let them participate in the decision-making process. But as long as they're children -- under 18 -- you have the final say...

MVmom

I am torn a little bit by this issue. Clearly if something is grossly inappropriate for my children (as I deem it to be), they will NOT be doing it. However, I feel the need to let my children be a part of their culture as they are experiencing it, too. (There were parents who felt The Beatles were inappropriate for the children back in the day, however they were an integral part of the culture back them.) I think it is a fine line between exercising parental control and possibly imparting our own likes/dislikes on our children.

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