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CrazyMom
01-01-2015, 11:12 PM
I know parents who strictly abide by the film industry standard of no PG-13 until their child is 13.
I know parents who take six year olds to R rated films, and parents who don't allow PG-13 until their kids are 16.
I know parents who preview everything their child wants to read, watch and listen to..... and those who let their child try read anything they choose themselves from the library.
I know parents who won't allow MA 14 video games in the house, and those who are comfortable letting their young kids play them.
Same with music...etc.

What's your personal philosophy about letting your kids be exposed to edgier culture? Where do you draw your lines? Do you have any lines? Or do you think full access is best, because at least you can talk about things and discuss issues/consequences/etc. when everything is out in the open?

Are you more bothered by violence or sex? Neither? Both? Why?

Are there any books/films/music/games that you absolutely will not allow ever?

Avalon
01-03-2015, 02:36 AM
For movies, I will often check the parent's guide on IMDB. It gives detailed information on how much nudity, violence, coarse language, frightening/intense scenes, etc... takes places in the movie. I'm not terribly concerned about sex, nudity, or coarse language. I am more concerned about adult themes, and how scary/intense the movie is.

My husband is the gamer in the family and I defer to his authority on video games. Usually, "cartoon violence" is not a concern, but graphic depictions of real violence involving people are no-no's. Plants vs Zombies is fine, and Grand Theft Auto is not, for instance.

I did make my daughter wait until she was 12 to read the Hunger Games. Mostly, I don't worry about what she's reading. Then again, she hasn't picked out anything at the library that I would worry about. I do have a quick look at what she's picked, mostly out of curiosity, not that I would necessarily prevent her from reading it. I have pre-read a few books just to check. I definitely wouldn't hand her Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, or 50 Shades of Grey. Sexual violence and torture are probably the only things that I actively try to keep out of her world.

MNDad
01-03-2015, 04:23 AM
We're still at a stage where we preview; and we're pretty cautious. There are even some commonly-read books for children (e.g. Wimpy Kid) that we've steered DD away from because we don't like the cynicism, language and strange family dynamics depicted. I imagine we would become less controlling about her reading as time goes on. (Part of the problem we face is that her reading fluency has outpaced her age. It's becoming a bit of a challenge to find books with the right length and complexity that aren't aimed at older kids.)

We watch a movie once a week. It's always tame. I'd preview anything scary, violent, etc. when the time comes.

As I write this, it sounds like we're some sort of fundamentalist family or the like; but enough of the edgier parts of culture seep in from the edges, that I don't regret in the least maintaining our little oasis of idealism as long as possible.

Starkspack
01-03-2015, 08:13 AM
We definitely actively screen. Fortunately, DD dislikes movies for the most part (not sure why), so we don't often battle that. Like MNDad, things like Wimpy Kid get passed over. I do want to preserve the innocence of youth as long as possible. There is so much crap out there. Some is overt, but more often it is the "Roseanne" type sarcasm/humor that has so pervasively infiltrated our culture that we view it as normal. I'm not so Pollyanna that I think we should be back to Leave it to Beaver. But I just don't like the way kids speak to each other and adults these days, and I think they get it straight from movies, TV, internet, and books.

Besides, I'm the sarcastic smart-ass in our house. I don't want competition. :_laugh:

aspiecat
01-03-2015, 09:30 AM
I have always vetted all forms of media for DS. Now he's 15, I don't vet quite so closely, but if he really wants to see/read/play something that I would prefer him to not see/read/play, he knows he has to give me good reason as to why. From age nine to 13, he had to give a PowerPoint presentation to convince me of his reasons why he should be allowed to try something to which I otherwise would give a resounding NO. Nowadays, the reins are loosened but he has to promise to be responsible with something of which I disapprove. For instance, in June last year I gave him conditions under which his stepfather and I would approve his having GTA 5, a game he'd been wanting for a while. If he met the conditions by the beginning of December, he could get the game.

He *did* meet the conditions, so he was allowed the game.

I still do not like the game, not one teeny bit, but he has so far proved to us that he can be responsible with it (such as refusing to join in missions his online buddies design that he finds distasteful). For this game, as for any movie, TV show or book, if he starts showing an attitude change that can be traced back to said movie, TV show or book, then things have to be scaled back.

So far, he's being mature about everything and not questioning my occasional queries on x, y and z.

Aspie

fastweedpuller
01-03-2015, 09:49 AM
We actively screen too. Books-wise, I will admit to being a huge snob and really only allowed "literature" until she could hold her own (she's one of those late readers) but now she gets more freedom to choose and thankfully she doesn't choose crap. Movies: we've always enjoyed movie time as a family and always consider her when choosing. For example, we all really loved seeing Boyhood on Thurs night but knew it would have language and sad situations and bad teenage decisions...but seeing it and pausing it and answering her questions when they came up was great. (She'll be 11 at the end of this month but she's fairly immature/not pre-teen angsty if that helps) Video games...grr. We're still holding the purse strings but her friends like what I would consider to be "older" games. That day will come but it's the one area I don't have much confidence in monitoring.

I will say though homeschooling has allowed us to filter nearly EVERYTHING yay

If she's uncomfortable with anything she's read or seen, though, she still feels like she can ask us our opinion or for help. I want to hold on to that as long as possible!

alexsmom
01-03-2015, 12:02 PM
We filter and adjust what we let our kids watch.
Diary of Wimpy Kid got so many appalled reviews from other parents I know that we just skipped it entirely. Just because something is *made* for kids doesnt mean its appropriate. DS watched Lord of the Rings with us when he was 5 or 6 with us, and we were perfectly willing to stop the films at any point where it was too intense for him. Harry Potter was darker and more violent than I liked for him - we watched the series at home.
Game of Thrones, Battlestar Galactica - not til hes all grown up.
Other than that, though, we just dont watch things inappropriate to mixed audiences.
It helps also that we have Tivo, so all shows on the tv have been pre-approved - there is no accidental watching of icky cartoon station or broadcast trash. Wild Kratts, Word Girl, and science shows are pretty much all he can watch.
Im also with Avalons husband for video games - cartoonish violence is okay, realistic violence and sexual violence is not. No Grand Theft Auto here, although Serious Sam - where a *hero* travels back through time and kills monsters (FPS) in ancient egyptian or mesoamerican temples is what DS9 is playing now.

I can understand parents setting strict rules about what their kids see - way more so than the parents that just let their kids see any movie, play any game, read any book.

No, I would not let my son read Clan of the Cave Bear. Or Fifty Shades of Grey.

aspiecat
01-03-2015, 12:27 PM
I ought to add it's a huge grey area for most parents, right? What is suitable for one kid might not be for another, even if they are the same age. Another homeschooling mum I know has a teen DS's age. He's extremely intelligent, takes part in G&T classes for MENSA kids and has a very mature approach to most things. Trouble is, he will not watch, read or play anything where death is a theme. So his parents have to ensure that there is little violence and death in whatever he is exposed to, otherwise he gets very upset. DS, on the other hand, has no issue with death being a theme, and has been able to separate fantasy from reality from an early age.

Sex, however, is the opposite for DS and this other teen. The other kid is very matter-of-fact about it, whether it's in a book, or part of a TV show/movie. DS, OTOH, hates anything to do with the mention or viewing of sexual scenes. He's a real prude LOL.

So when something is R because of violence or language, DS is fine watching it, and I am fine with him watching it. However, if the R is largely because of sex, he won't even consider it.

Aspie

BatDad
01-03-2015, 12:35 PM
Like many of you, we also screen, but the ratings are just a guideline. We only have one TV in the house, and my 9yo has a good self monitor where he will simply find something else to do if we did not catch something before we watched it. His reading is about half fiction, and when he chooses books, I honestly just give them a quick glance.

For games, there are the set of games that are simply not allowed in the house. Like movies, he knows when there are times I want a game to myself, and he is off to something else.

What we have to monitor more so are the comic books. We have developed our comic interest together, but I quickly realized that "comic" does not mean "child can read." I have a set of books that he does not get to read until teenage years. So I will scan or read many of his books, and I even direct him toward characters that are more suitable for a 9yo.

I'm sure my 3yo will be different, but my 9yo doesn't even like to see the kiss in Frozen.

Avalon
01-03-2015, 12:42 PM
From age nine to 13, he had to give a PowerPoint presentation to convince me of his reasons why he should be allowed to try something to which I otherwise would give a resounding NO.

Aspie

I LOVE the Powerpoint presentation. I'm impressed that he actually did it. My daughter was after me for an Instagram account for a long time. I told her that all she had to do was write a short report explaining what it is, how it works, and what she wanted to use it for. I never got my report, and she still doesn't have Instagram.

Starkspack
01-04-2015, 08:21 AM
Power Point presentations, short reports.....filing all this away for future reference!! It is a perfect example of sometimes kids ask for things that they really aren't THAT invested in. They'll beg and plead, but at the end of the day, it isn't really a big deal. DD does this sometimes. She doesn't throw hissy fits, but she does sometimes beg for something repeatedly, and when we successfully redirect her attention, said thing is simply forgotten.

Aspie and Avalon, your strategies are terrific for the older child - a new way to "redirect" their attention. You want it bad enough? Make your case! I love it!

CrazyMom
01-04-2015, 11:03 AM
We had a pretty different approach to cultural stuff. Like most things, we let her lead, and stepped in only when we felt very concerned...which was WAY less often than most people would be comfortable with.

I'm far more sensitive to violence than sex, particularly sex and sexuality that is presented as loving. Nudity? Meh....so what? Network TV has people getting shot in the head as part of your typical crime drama.... and I'm supposed to worry about someone's boobs or penis being out, or brief depictions of consensual sex? Not likely.

Ultimately, my theory was that she would encounter all of this stuff culturally at some point without my being around.....so I might as well take advantage of that small window where I could comment and ask her questions and discuss consequences/safety/ideas about morality, etc. Was also interesting to observe when this stuff started catching her interest. I figured interest was a good sign that it was time for a discussion.

In many ways, we sort of encouraged edgier themes...because it was interesting to discuss them, get her perspective, express our perspectives, talk about real life concerns, talk about what made the story worthwhile and whether the difficult element was necessary and why. It's individual....each kid has a different tolerance, different maturity level, different level of interest. We let her explore it all and very seldom had any permission conflicts.

Elle and I are huge haunted house enthusiasts. Elle did haunted houses that teens and adults enjoy....at about age ten....and loved them. That said, she also enjoyed live adult theater very young and had a good grip on fantasy-vs-reality quite young. But different kids have different temperaments. We had the cousins with us one year when all the girls were about 13. Elle and her slightly younger cousin LOVED doing haunted houses together. Her slightly older cousin was absolutely terrified of them, so of course we took care not to traumatize her. Kids should never be forced to watch/play/read things that make them uncomfortable, IMO. No means no....and it's important to pay attention to this when peer pressure is involved.

I think most parents would be horrified by the books/films/cultural blah blah that I let my kid experience at a young age (if it caught her interest)....but it worked well for us. She grew up to be a pretty positive, enthusiastic person with good street sense and empathy for a lot of different kinds of people. She's knowledgeable, she's not judgmental, she values herself, and has healthy relationships. She's pretty well-rounded.

Sometimes I think we infantilize kids....not because of fear for their development or how much they can handle...but out of fear for ourselves coming to terms with our kids living in a world full of dangers and a lot of negativity. (which exists in spite of a lot of positivity, beauty and goodness) Also...some of those conversations are tough to have. Sometimes it's easier to say....hmmmm, not until you're older....when in fact, it might be a better idea to put your cards on the table while your kid still has interest in knowing what you think and is likely to be more influenced by your attitudes.

Older teens are FAR less interested in what you think...than younger kids. It's something to bear in mind. It's also worthwhile to keep in mind that historically, kids have had the darker realities of life thrust upon them at far younger ages, and they survived with character.

The world is a complicated place. Kids are more resilient and aware than we ever give them credit for. Would be nice if they lived in a PG world, and I think sometimes we try to perpetuate that idea for them......but in reality that's not the world. All our best efforts to isolate them from it can't change that.

Mariam
01-04-2015, 11:47 AM
We gage this on a case-by-case basis. Movies, books and tv shows we may screen if I have concerns about adult-themes, violence, scariness of the story, and bad-tween attitudes. DS is really sensitive to scary stories, so we may try something out he is interested in it, but we will cut it short if it is too scary.

The Disney tween shows are annoying and have influenced DS's attitude, which we have now banned for the time being. (I guess that Wimpy Kid books would be out too.)

Nudity we don't worry about in the right context. We look at artwork with nudity (such as Michelangelo's David). As long as it is not exploitive I am generally ok with it. And language is not an issue for us.

dragonfly
01-04-2015, 01:05 PM
There were a couple PG-13 movies we went to see when ds was 6 or so. The rating was for intense/scary scenes, so we prepared for it, brought a favorite pillow for comfort, etc., but it turned out to be a non-issue, as he wasn't upset by them. We are not big movie-goers though, so it wasn't something we encountered often. We rented a lot of videos, but he was only interested in the kids' shows at the time. I suppose if there was something questionable, we would have held off until he was older.

The only thing we really prohibited him from seeing for a long time was South Park. It's on tv fairly often, and he couldn't help but notice it. We told him it was off-limits and why, and he was careful not to see it. If it came on, he would literally say "Ack," and run out of the room (partly for comedic effect). We let him see the World of Warcraft episode, because he was into the game at the time, and I pre-screened it, so I knew it was pretty much okay for him at that age (12, I think?).

There was other stuff that went on a case by case basis, but for the most part, I didn't sweat it. I figured, he's going to find this stuff eventually, at a friend's house, or whatever, and I'd rather not make too many things into something forbidden that he therefore goes out of his way to see or do.

At 17, I don't think there's anything I need to pre-screen for him. He seems to do that on his own just fine.

IEF
01-04-2015, 02:43 PM
I think I know my kids better than the film industry does. I screen my 6yo's content for scientific and historic inaccuracies and psychological manipulation that he doesn't have the maturity to recognize more than for nudity and naughty words. There was an R rated movie in the early '90s that had such a great soundtrack, such beautiful visuals, and such a strong positive message that my then-three year old never questioned the fact that I always managed to sit on the VCR remote at the same place in the film and flutter about squealing, "i don't know WHAT's wrong with the TV! let's try this...no this...no that..." until I had fast forwarded past a rape scene.

ImReallyThisCrazy
01-16-2015, 12:54 PM
We don't actively censor or screen media. A lot of folks disagree with me on this though. My children will be exposed to "real-life" in one way or another, eventually. Some exposure happens quicker than "others" think that it should, but really, that's just society for ya. There is nothing more brutal than the news media, and that's seen in homes (not ours, its boring), but at grandparents, restaurants, etc.

My children aren't extremely interested in violence, sex, etc. Those types of shows, movies, and books aren't their go-to things. They are attracted more towards "age appropriate" content.

There are classic movies, documentaries, and other films that wouldn't be deemed appropriate for my kids by the film industry standards, but who cares, I don't. Sometimes those things are incorporated into our lessons.

quabbin
01-16-2015, 03:05 PM
At this age, DS is sensitive about conflict (literally cried over a difficulty in Peg + Cat the other night) and prone to picking up annoying phrases.
I basically screen TV/movies on an opt-in basis (letting him select from an age-appropriate set of choices that I've checked out beforehand; he has seen a few PG movies) and books on an opt-out basis (he's not capable of reading much that I'd be worried about him reading, but if he picked up something I objected to, I'd say so).

zcat
01-17-2015, 03:53 PM
I know parents who strictly abide by the film industry standard of no PG-13 until their child is 13.
I know parents who take six year olds to R rated films, and parents who don't allow PG-13 until their kids are 16.
I know parents who preview everything their child wants to read, watch and listen to..... and those who let their child try read anything they choose themselves from the library.
I know parents who won't allow MA 14 video games in the house, and those who are comfortable letting their young kids play them.
Same with music...etc.

What's your personal philosophy about letting your kids be exposed to edgier culture? Where do you draw your lines? Do you have any lines? Or do you think full access is best, because at least you can talk about things and discuss issues/consequences/etc. when everything is out in the open?

Are you more bothered by violence or sex? Neither? Both? Why?

Are there any books/films/music/games that you absolutely will not allow ever?

I tend to make decisions on a case by case basis. Ratings can be a good guideline but I look to see why they have a certain rating. Dd is 14 and I will advise her of content and let her decide to watch or play some things that have a more mature rating. Some things I really prefer we watch or play together first so I can answer questions or see how she is reacting. She is a sensitive kid. She gets upset easily and dwells on things for a long time. It isn't so much that I wouldn't ever want dd to see sex or violence so much as the type of behavior/emotion, sex or violence I think she can handle at the time.

Dd hasn't asked to read anything I would consider inappropriate for her. I probably wouldn't want her reading books with very graphic kinky or violent sex or a huge bunch of gross violence but that isn't really the kind of book she wants to read on her own anyway.

alexsmom
01-18-2015, 11:10 PM
Have you seen This Film Is Not Yet Rated? It has a cynical look at who is making these ratings decisions. Literally tracking down the self-righteous people who screen movies and hand out ratings.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006) - IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493459/)

CrazyMom
01-18-2015, 11:52 PM
That's an eye opening film, alexsmom. Have seen it and learned a lot about the history and the process. Thanks for bringing that up!

Misha
01-19-2015, 01:57 AM
My husband and I screen things first as well. I also like to check common sense media (https://www.commonsensemedia.org) for reviews and comments. My husband can be far more lenient than I, and he watched "The Avengers" with the girls. fast forwarding through one or two especially scary bits. They absolutely loved it, so he and I screened "Guardians of the Galaxy" which we knew they would love. So, we watched it together and now they're trying to figure out how to build their own baby Groot robot.

crunchynerd
01-26-2015, 05:18 AM
Because my kids are really sensitive (like both their parents!) we find that old rated G is usually fine (like 1990s or earlier, and the older the better, 70's G is truly All Audiences) but the more modern, the less trustworthy that designation tends to be. I was shocked to have us all watching a Disney (I think; if it wasn't, it was a good knockoff) movie that was rated G, and in the first 5 minutes showed a Cossack soldier butting a little boy in the head with his rifle. Off it went.

I've heard the arguments about how kids are going to find out this, that, and the other about the evils of the world, and yes, they will someday, but I don't agree that just because they are going to drive someday means it's okay to put them in front of the wheel at 6.

But I also was UNUSUALLY sensitive, and so was my DH as a kid, and so are our kids. People could criticize me that they are this way because I sheltered them, and I would contend that I sheltered them because they are this way. I know whereof I speak. I tried letting them watch The Lion King. My daughter was almost 10, my son nearly 7. The daughter ran out of the room when the evil uncle lion even first appeared onscreen, and the son persevered until the scene where the evil uncle gets Simba's father killed/trampled while trying to kill both him and Simba...and then he was staring, horror-struck, silent tears streaming down his stricken face, and we turned it off, and it took a long time to get over that. And this is the son who is usually pretty into action...he likes Iron Man, the animated series, which I think is too dark, creepy, and violent for a 7-year-old, but he finds it 'exciting'. But it was giving him nightmares so my husband and I had to say no more at least for now, and not at all, in front of the 4year old and the baby (who does notice and react to what is on a screen).

But heartwrenching things like someone deliberately trying to kill a child or his parents? No way! And I don't imagine there are any little kids who would be better off watching that kind of thing. I also hold heartless things like people showing complete disregard for the safety and wellbeing of others or animals, in contempt. It's like insensitivity is an infectious disease. Shows seem to get more and more upsetting, I guess because they are trying to get even an emotional twitch, from an increasingly numb public.

We've basically given up on Disney, unless we want a case study for demeaning stereotypes of both sexes, and/or the repeating theme of parents not caring for, or abandoning, or abusing, their kids, or else being heartless, selfish, or stupid incompetents, and/or kids acting hatefully to each other as a matter of course, especially if they are siblings. That said, there are some Disney franchise shows my kids like well enough to watch them sometimes, Kickin' It for my son, and LabRats. My daughter finds LabRats to be less BAD than a lot of other Disney junk like iCarly (she thinks that is beyond stupid)...they sampled ANTfarm (horrid, vapid, even more formulaic than LabRats!) and a few others, and basically, LabRats was the best of a bad lot, though my daughter hates how the female characters are almost token, and have no personality beyond the stereotype of being a girl (obsessed with looks, materialistic, all about shopping and clothes, and a mixture of snide, sarcastic, and self-absorbed that makes them truly unlikeable in exactly the same way each time)...kind of like Smurfette minus the niceness.

As for the ratings, I trust them as accurate if they are for shows 30 years and older. Somehow, there seems to be this slide of standards, or desensitization, such that what was once R is now PG or PG-13, and what would once have been X, is now R, and what was PG, is now G, and there basically almost isn't any genuinely "G" content being made.

I guess it's not just whether there is fighting or explosions, but the moral context of it, and also how graphic and horror-inspiring it is or is not. The Lone Ranger and Zorro and Jackie Chan (the less violent and graphic of his works, and the cartoon series) are great, even though they show people in a moral context of fighting evil honorably (not entering a debate here) but a Cossack soldier rifle-butting a little boy in the head in cold blood? Totally different, and unacceptable to us. But even something that is okay for my 7 year old son, isn't good for my 4 year old, so the older kids have to wait til the younger ones are asleep to watch anything the younger ones shouldn't.

I have also found we trust British kids' content far more than American, for having some semblance of virtue.

Mariam
01-26-2015, 06:34 PM
Crunchynerd - DS is very sensitive too and we have had to censor his movies/videos heavily for content. For example, any movie where the parents die, especially the mom is a no go. I didn't think about what a popular theme it was in kids movies and books until it became an issue. So no only Lion King, but Bambi, Fox & the Hound, Star Wars and Harry Potter.

When you mention the Lone Ranger and Zorro being less violent are you referring to the old movies or the new ones. I haven't seen the new ones.

I am thinking about starting to listen to old radio shows, that may help with less graphic content.

Norm Deplume
01-27-2015, 09:01 AM
For movies, I will often check the parent's guide on IMDB. It gives detailed information on how much nudity, violence, coarse language, frightening/intense scenes, etc... takes places in the movie. I'm not terribly concerned about sex, nudity, or coarse language. I am more concerned about adult themes, and how scary/intense the movie is.


Netflix and commonsensemedia.org also have good parents' guides. Because we're apparently comic book/superhero nerds, a lot of violence creeps into our viewing. But that didn't happen until DS was old enough to understand very well the line between fiction & non-fiction. We don't allow any horror movies though, or violent action movies that are not super-comic-booky. No bloody cop dramas for us!

I'm a little more cautious about sex, mostly because it's harder to explain. But DD is almost 13 and I need to get over my issues with that-- when I was her age I was watching soap operas all summer. I do not want her to learn everything she knows about sex from Days of Our Lives...

Mariam
01-27-2015, 11:04 AM
But DD is almost 13 and I need to get over my issues with that-- when I was her age I was watching soap operas all summer. I do not want her to learn everything she knows about sex from Days of Our Lives...

I had to laugh. My mom watched Days when I was a kid, so I remember growing up with the show and I watched it through college.

CrazyGooseLady
02-14-2015, 08:46 PM
My oldest son, now 12, has ALWAYS been very sensitive. He would run out of the room with Curious George cartoon on PBS because the monkey was doing things that most kids would get in trouble for. He had a hard time with Lion King the first few times (first was at my mother's house, and I didn't realize he had seen it.) Mostly, I let that son regulate himself. If he wants to leave, most of the time I let him leave. There are some movies that we rent, and want him to stay and have him do so. It may sound mean, but reality is, he eventually did watch all the Lion King and other movies, but it took a lot of going in and out of the room. We just don't go to the movies much because I don't want him leaving....

We watch, and have always watched, the Simpsons. We talk about it, we talk about if what the person said was nice, should women be treated a particular way, what could have been said instead, are YOU allowed to say that word, what would you do if Nelson was bullying you.....and so on. It serves to start some conversations. And, because we homeschool and they have a pretty good historical context, my kids "get" a lot of the jokes that other kids their age don't get. Or if they don't I can relate it back to history, music, or what ever. A lot of people think that I am aweful for letting my kids watch it.....but I do think it has caused them to think about situations, and allows them to be pretty well rounded. And yes, oldest son still walks out on some of the those episodes too!

CrazyGooseLady
02-14-2015, 08:49 PM
Oh, the movie "My Neighbor Totoro" is about the best movie ever....no scary "bad" people, some cute maybe invisible to some critters, and a couple of kids who miss their mom who is in the hospital. It was the only movie that my sensitive kid sat through the whole thing without leaving. And some really amazing art work....love the clouds.

IEF
02-28-2015, 01:22 PM
I had to laugh. My mom watched Days when I was a kid, so I remember growing up with the show and I watched it through college.

Me too. Mom used to send my sister and me out of the room when it came on until it just got to be too much trouble. After I got rid of the TV in '96, she used to tell me about the antics of the Hortons and the DiMearas on the phone as if they were our relatives.

Teri
02-28-2015, 01:40 PM
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the book series that got my reluctant reader to become excited about reading. Mine read Hunger Games at 9,10 and 11ish. It was a couple of years before the first movie.
I guess, for the most part, I don't filter. We avoid explicit sex scenes, I guess.

Lux
03-11-2015, 04:54 PM
I'll share what I did with my daughter, who is now one of the most level-headed 17 year olds I've ever known.

Years back, she asked me if she could listen to some rapper who was notorious for singing about women, in a degrading and de-humanizing way. I wouldn't listen to him for those reasons.

What I told her was this, "If you think about how I've raised you, and your own grasp of what's right and what's wrong, you should be able to decide this for yourself. A great clarifying question you can and should ask yourself, is 'how does it make me feel when I hear his words?' and if you're okay with it and don't feel anything questionable come up, then you can listen to it."

When it comes to movies, with her, we've done the same thing. She's watched rated R movies throughout her teen years and isn't twisted up because of it.

My son, on the other hand, has less of a level head and is very experiential. He's spontaneous, he can be rash, he has trouble thinking things through and usually will mirror the energy he experiences. So with him, it's quite different. We usually look at the product, and make our initial decision based on what we know and find in research on it, and if we allow it, he knows it's as a trial run. Then we judge it by how we see him after playing that game or watching that show or that movie. And if he shows negative behavior afterward, it's something he can't play or watch again until he's more mature.

Hope this helps. So far, trusting our instincts about what we know of our children, trusting ourselves to know that we have given them the tools to succeed in life, and trusting them as much as is fitting to do, has been a great approach for us.

Good luck!


I know parents who strictly abide by the film industry standard of no PG-13 until their child is 13.
I know parents who take six year olds to R rated films, and parents who don't allow PG-13 until their kids are 16.
I know parents who preview everything their child wants to read, watch and listen to..... and those who let their child try read anything they choose themselves from the library.
I know parents who won't allow MA 14 video games in the house, and those who are comfortable letting their young kids play them.
Same with music...etc.

What's your personal philosophy about letting your kids be exposed to edgier culture? Where do you draw your lines? Do you have any lines? Or do you think full access is best, because at least you can talk about things and discuss issues/consequences/etc. when everything is out in the open?

Are you more bothered by violence or sex? Neither? Both? Why?

Are there any books/films/music/games that you absolutely will not allow ever?

Free Thinker
03-11-2015, 06:17 PM
We are still deciding about a lot of this, as our kids are growing up. Apparently we aren't very strict w/ language (oops), and while I do not like sex scenes, I'm okay with a minute or so of nudity in a movie- particularly a behind, what is the big deal? Movies we judge on a case-by-case basis. I don't want my kids to have nightmares over scary movies, but I also don't want to over-shelter them from violence either. They do watch fighting movies, and I'm fine w/ that. I don't like monsters, vampires or gory movies, and I wouldn't let them watch stuff like that, in part b/c I wouldn't watch it myself. My ODD is wanting to read some books that I'm not always sure about. I've been screening them if they come from the adult/teen sections of the library. She wants to read Hunger Games and Divergent, and some kids her age have, but after reading them myself I decided to wait. Just because she can read them, and they don't have anything I don't approve of for her age in them, doesn't mean I think she should read them. My thought is that if she waits a few more years, the books will have a deeper meaning to her. I don't think she'd get everything that happens in the books right now, at 12, like she would at 15-17. I do want her to read them at some point, though! I think they are great books that provoke a lot of thought.

Jackieky
02-08-2016, 01:45 PM
Hubs is an avid gamer -- he decides what is best and I trust his judgment. I believe hubs varies by particular game not by rating. We've explained to our son how some parents monitor video games more closely, so to always be aware of what is allowed if around other kids or parents.

aselvarial
02-08-2016, 05:01 PM
We aren't following the suggested guidelines AT ALL. Some movies that are PG or even PG-13 we've already watched. He's seen the Avengers (mostly, we skipped the part where Tony flew into the other world). He's watched Star Wars whatever the 4th one is named. He's watched Doctor Who. For us, it isn't age, so much as maturity level and what will give him nightmares. If he had my husband's imagination, I could show him the Indiana Jones where the Nazi's melted and he'd be fine. Unfortunately he has my imagination and I still get freaked out by the Luck Dragon from Never Ending Story (seriously, that thing is creeepy!!)

Games we don't really screen, but he just plays whatever my husband has for now, and he's not really into first person shooters. I think the most graphic is a Star Wars Bounty Hunter game. Mostly he enjoys the Lego games and Disney Infinity.

Books? I may screen. Especially if its an author I've never heard of, or that just is firmly in the "if this was a movie, it wouldn't be made as it's too freaking graphic".

Mostly, we screen to avoid nightmares and get a good nights sleep. :-)

B&Z Mama
02-09-2016, 11:04 PM
I screen pretty heavily. My oldest son (7) is also very sensitive. He would cry over the Blue's Clues Big Musical Movie when Sidetable Drawer would start to sing a song in a minor key. That took us months to get over. Could never watch Winnie the Pooh either because of the minor key music and the scary talk about the huffalump.

Now he's older, he's less sensitive. I was prepared with the remote to fast forward during the tunnel scene of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I remember being terrified by that - apple not far from tree, etc.), but they were like, no mom, that's not scary at all.

But I still screen. I rely on common sense media a lot, and usually preview as well. I feel lucky in a way, because they are not exposed to other kids on a regular basis telling them what they should like, so they are perfectly content watching content for "younger" kids and also "girl" shows. We watch a lot of of Disney Jr and PBSKids, because I like how the characters (mostly) treat each other with respect. Movie wise, so far we have stuck to older stuff (Mary Poppins, Willy Wonka, Jungle Book), Studio Ghibli stuff (Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, Ponyo) with some newer stuff that I've previewed thrown in (The Lorax, Knight Rusty). I tend to avoid most Disney stuff due to the insipid gender stereotyping.

As far as books, Capt. Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid will probably never make an appearance at our house, because of the reasons others have mentioned above. However, superheroes are on my boys' radar, and so we do have graphic novels aimed at the littles crowd as well as easy readers about superheroes. None of those have the violent content that I probably will have to deal with someday. My kids have no interest in picking their own books (other than superheroes) so right now I am able to load up our library cards with my choices.

I don't care about nudity. But I do care about violence, sarcasm, bullying, and mean/disrespectful behavior in general.