Our boys are movie lovers. They must get it from their Dad because I’ve said on more than one occasion “Life is too short, and movies are too long!” Don’t get me wrong, I do watch movies. Sometimes it’s nice to snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and popcorn and get lost in a really good story. I just don’t love movies as much as most people. Admittedly, I haven’t seen a lot of the most popular movies, like Stand By Me and Top Gun. Friends of mine were recently appalled by this!Regardless, my husband and I are in a constant state of disagreement over what movies we think are appropriate for our boys. I’m more strict with what I think they should watch and he’s a bit more lenient. In my defense though, I’m strict because our youngest – who just turned 9 – repeats EVERYTHING! Seriously, if it sounds even remotely inappropriate, he’ll repeat it just to confirm it’s inappropriate. Our oldest is almost 11 and we don’t worry about him as much. Although, he told me a few weeks ago that he wants to watch Game of Thrones because there are dragons in it. I laughed at him and told him he could watch it when he’s 30...okay, maybe when he's 25.
The problem with movies is the ratings. My hubby sees a rating of PG and thinks, “Oh, that should be alright for them!” Whereas I always go on IMDB and check out the Parent’s Guide first. Oh, how I love the Parent’s Guide. It lists all the sexual content, the amount of violence, the profanity, as well as scenes that might be considered frightening for some children. Under profanity, it will tell you exactly what words are said and how many times they're said. Sometimes I find that a PG movie is less appropriate than a PG-13. It all depends on your child and what you think they’re comfortable watching. Some movies jump to PG-13 strictly because of violence. Some kids would be able to handle that, while others wouldn't.
Here’s a simplified breakdown of the movie ratings to give you an idea what might and might NOT be appropriate for your kids.
G – General Audience. Anyone can see this movie. It’s meant for families.
Examples: Moana, Toy Story, Trolls
PG – Parental Guidance. This typically means it should be watched with a parent, or a parent should approve it before watching. PG movies shouldn’t have profanity but may contain a few words here and there that might not be suitable for younger children.
Examples: Detective Pikachu, Back to the Future, Harry Potter
PG-13 – Parental Guidance. Suitable for children 13 and older. PG-13 movies usually contain some sexual reference, a fair amount of violence is possible, and it could have an F-Bomb.
Examples: Avengers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shazam
Obviously, any rating above PG-13 is NOT suitable for children. Although, I’ve heard that some kids aged 12 and 13 years old have seen Deadpool. To each their own, but there is no way I would let my kids watch Deadpool until they were older. I just don’t think they’re ready for that amount of violence, language and nudity. (I’m not sure I was ready for it!)
So, how strict are you with what your kids watch? Share your thoughts below.