twilight series and kids who want to watch it - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 42 Old 07-04-2010, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So...I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation! My daughters started hearing about twilight at school...they are 6 and (nearly) 9. Since then, I read the books, and while I admit they are engaging I also find a LOT of the ideas disturbing. But it gives us an opportunity for fruitful discussions as well. We have watched the first two movies...Twilight I previewed and New Moon we actually went on a girls day out with a neighbor and her two girls and the three of us. It was good and not overwhelming for them, or for me as a parent! We've watched all the miyazaki movies which have some violence and they've seen other things as well, and all the Pirate's of the Caribbeans.

Any reviews on eclipse from a parent's perspective? Who's letting their children watch it, and are you previewing it first?
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#2 of 42 Old 07-04-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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My SIL saw Eclipse (I haven't yet) and said it was pretty good but she would not let a kid under 13-14 see it. I don't know if you've read the books but the last one is VERY not kid-friendly. There's no way I would let a kid see a movie made from that book, or maybe even read it. We're pretty open about stuff and they've seen LOTR, Harry Potter, occasionally caught parts of Practical Magic or Fried Green Tomatoes and such with me. But I would not be comfortable with the Twilight series. Especially with Bella totally ignoring her instincts and hanging around people who are dangerous and knowingly putting herself in dangerous and sometimes near-fatal situations. But that's just me.

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#3 of 42 Old 07-04-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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I was appalled at the number of kids age 7 and under at Eclipse. I agree with PPs friend, 13-14 ok depending in the maturity of the teen, but not below that. I really enjoyed the books, the movies have been ok but not fabulous.
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#4 of 42 Old 07-04-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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I would not be comfortable to let a child under 12 watch those movies. I am a huge fan but I really think a lot of the content is very mature, that's why there have such a broad fan base. Seriously, I think these movies are for teenagers or young teens.
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#5 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the thoughts, that's where I'm leaning but it's a hard one to deal with "peer pressure" and "peer influence" wise. Part of me wants to be able to discuss the problematic aspects of this series (the submission, acceptance of physical abuse as signs of "love", the fatefulness which is inappropriate in such young people, etc.), without having them glamourized through the kids' friends. I've been meaning to talk with the neighbor we went to see the last one with and maybe that would be a good tack...although her kids are 13 and 9 so older than mine, but they've also watched Twilight over there, so I don't want the kids to see something later without me that I was reluctant to see with them, if that makes sense.

This is one of the hardest aspects of parenting for me. I had absolutely no censorship/graduated exposure to movies or books when I was a kid, but also absolutely no guidance about the topics either. Part of me wants to find some sort of middle ground...I won't be able to sheild my kids, but I also don't want to over expose them myself more than society already will. And I certainly want to be available to talk to them about sex and relationships, which we only have the vaguest conversations about now, but I know will get more intense. And I have to overcome my own aversion to talking about any of it! (Yeah, I'd kind of rather just not know, it'd be easier in a certain sense, but less parenting).

The fourth book really disturbed me on a lot of levels and I don't want to expose the kids to it, but at the same time they've already heard the general plot from their schoolmates who have older siblings. And we mostly homeschool, they only have two days of "blended school" with other homeschoolers! I can't imagine how the exposure must be in regular schools!
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#6 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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acceptance of physical abuse as signs of "love"
To what are you referring? The only thing I can think of is when Jacob forces a kiss on Bella, but she punches him for it. Of course that is in the book, in the movie they convienantly leave out the forced part.
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#7 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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My kidsa re 8, 9 & 11. I will be taking the 11yo to see it next week. The other 2 aren't really interested, though they have seen the first 2 movies at our house.

We don't censor alot. There are 2 movies we own that I've kept my kids from seeing. The last movie I'll preview to see how they deal with the birth scene
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#8 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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I was appalled at the number of kids age 7 and under at Eclipse. I agree with PPs friend, 13-14 ok depending in the maturity of the teen, but not below that. I really enjoyed the books, the movies have been ok but not fabulous.
I agree with the above. Honestly I think a lot of Twimoms couldn't get a babysitter so they dragged their kids to the theater. Kids way to young to watch it. It almost ruined the movie for me knowing there were so many kids there seeing things they shouldn't be seeing yet. I'd wait. My kids are almost 9, 6 and 2 and they haven't watched any of the Twilight movies. We've seen Harry Potter and LOTR but I think the stuff in Twilight just isn't appropriate for them.

I'm confused about the physical abuse comment too. I don't know what they refers to.

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#9 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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I don't know about the abuse, but I do think the whole pedophilia-like thing in the last book and the many semi-abusive rough sex scenes in the last book are definitly not kid friendly for my kids. I can't imagine them seeing that. I used to love Elvira as a kid, and I don't censor a lot, but that book is insane.

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#10 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Mine haven't seen any of them. My 8 year old begged to watch Twilight a while back and he lasted maybe 10 minutes. I think the idea of vampires scared him more than anything he actually saw in the movies.

He's watched LOTR and Harry Potter and other movies like that. But I think we'll have to wait awhile on Twilight.
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#11 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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I don't view the imprinting thing as pedophilia, there is nothing sexual between them and it's clearly explained as not sexual in Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. Although I was still disgusted by it because poor Bella just can't seem to get rid of Jacob and he annoys the crap out of me.
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#12 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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I don't view the imprinting thing as pedophilia, there is nothing sexual between them and it's clearly explained as not sexual in Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. Although I was still disgusted by it because poor Bella just can't seem to get rid of Jacob and he annoys the crap out of me.
I liked Jacob until that point. Actually, I have a little bro Jacob who looks almost identical to the actor and is totally obsessed with twilight. But to me, it reeks of pedophilia. He's head over heels in love with a newborn as his soul mate? Creepy to me. It gets very eerily close to child grooming.

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#13 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To explain the physical abuse comment, I was referring to how Bella was bruised and battered in their sexual encounters in the last book. I mean, hey, I bruise easy, but it's not supposed to be that way. I guess I work in a field related to domestic violence (child protection) and I've seen way too many battered women who justify the abuse. I'm sure this comment will be seen as wrong, and it probably demonstrates a bias on my part, but the fact that Stephanie Meyer is Mormon makes it all the more uncomfortable to me. I don't like the silence surrounding abuse and how easy it is for people to minimize physical overpowering as "not abuse" when really it makes a dynamic that is about power and control. Even the whole depression thing when Edward unilaterally decides to erase himself...it reeks of power and control, and her desperation to risk herself in order to feel his presence is just disturbing. It's disturbing that there is an "old fashioned" dynamic at place as well because, frankly, women in the turn of the century didn't even have the right to vote. I don't want to go back there. And I don't want my kids dreaming about a world like that, where they could be swept away by men who always have the power to kill them and can barely keep that power under control. (The fact that Jacob also has that dangerous quality about him is part of the whole problem. Again, it reeks of domestic violence to me.)

I think I'm in a little different boat than all of you, because my kids want to see the movie, are begging to see it actually. So I don't have the "they aren't interested" to fall back on. And I'm not super ecstatic about seeing it myself, I mean, I'm sure I'd enjoy it, but it's not a priority like it is for my girls to see it RIGHT NOW. Kids, lol.

Oh, on the imprinting/pedophilia, I guess it doesn't bother me as much...I'm not sure why. Maybe because it clearly is not sexual, at least how it's portrayed in the book. The fatefulness of it probably worries me more. Having rushed into an unhappy marriage at 21, thinking I was following the path of fate, I really hope others will have the benefit of not thinking of soul mates so much as finding someone they're blissfully happy with.
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#14 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 09:40 PM
 
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Hm, I may get flamed for this, but my 4 year old loves twilight and has seen the first two movies multiple times. But they aren't appropriate for everyone- she is a rare breed. Nothing phases her. She understands that it is fake, and isn't scared in the least. I will let her watch Eclipse when it comes out. Breaking Dawn? Probably not.

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#15 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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It's a vampire, a shapshifting wolf and a human. I don't understand why people are unable to see it for what it is, fantasy fiction. Nothing more, nothing less. There isn't even any actual physical abuse. The forced kiss is borderline. Edward spends 1500 pages turning Bella down sexually because it's not safe only to give in on their wedding night so she can have sex as a human for once. I just don't see any of it as abusive, even if I really insisted on forcing real life on to a fantasy book.

If it's not your thing, no biggie, but I wouldn't even bother to see the movies then.
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#16 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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It's a vampire, a shapshifting wolf and a human. I don't understand why people are unable to see it for what it is, fantasy fiction. Nothing more, nothing less. There isn't even any actual physical abuse. The forced kiss is borderline. Edward spends 1500 pages turning Bella down sexually because it's not safe only to give in on their wedding night so she can have sex as a human for once. I just don't see any of it as abusive, even if I really insisted on forcing real life on to a fantasy book.

If it's not your thing, no biggie, but I wouldn't even bother to see the movies then.
I've never understood this either. It's a paranormal romance. It's not two humans. Things are different. I don't get it.

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#17 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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I forgot to say this before, if due to your personal experiences the whole story is wrong to you then I'd just flat out tell your kids no they can't see it and why. It's not like they can't later see the movies once they are old enough or adults. It's not a once in a lifetime thing. At 6 and 8, I wouldn't even consider taking them though, I'd have said no from the begining.
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#18 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 10:30 PM
 
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I've never understood this either. It's a paranormal romance. It's not two humans. Things are different. I don't get it.
For some people who have been in abusive relationships it can hurt reading some of the things in the books. A lot of it wasn't through the books, but at the end. I'm not saying I hate the books, but the last book I really dislike and won't read it again. I love Anne Rice's books, doesn't mean I agree with all of it, or even certain ones in series. Doesn't mean I might not ever let my kids see Interview with A Vampire when they're teens. And sure, it's fiction. Or "paranormal romance". Doesn't mean we have to approve of all of it. We're not burning everyone's books, right?

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#19 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 10:35 PM
 
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Dd has watched both so far with me and when eclipse comes out on pay per view we will sit and watch it, she is 9y. The only reasons that I didnt take her with me to the movie was because of $ it was my time for myself alone.

They are stories for fun only reading to much into them and comparing them to real life makes no sense to me. The wolves imprint who they imprint on they have no control over but when they do the love they feel is age appropriate. I have read the books twice each now and never got any sense of pedophilia in any way.

 
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#20 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 10:40 PM
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It's a vampire, a shapshifting wolf and a human. I don't understand why people are unable to see it for what it is, fantasy fiction. Nothing more, nothing less. There isn't even any actual physical abuse. The forced kiss is borderline. Edward spends 1500 pages turning Bella down sexually because it's not safe only to give in on their wedding night so she can have sex as a human for once. I just don't see any of it as abusive, even if I really insisted on forcing real life on to a fantasy book.

If it's not your thing, no biggie, but I wouldn't even bother to see the movies then.
exactly!

I will take my 10 yr old. She read the books and we have had great discussions about them. She is very mature for her age and will be fine with it. I previewed the first two movies before letting her watch. But I really think that if it weren't for all the "twi-fans" who are crazy women, most people wouldn't think twice about it. I won't take my younger kids (7 and 4) and they have not seen the other movies or read the book. They have vague interest because of the hype. However, both of them get scared easily and I don't think they would understand what was really going on anyways. It may be entertaining, but I think it would go beyond that to terrifying for them.

I think the books/movies have been overly scrutinized. It is just a story. That is it. Little Mermaid is also Just a story with some similar themes, but again, just a story. If people watch a variety, they will see them as stories. . . pictures from an imagination.

FWIW, my youngest dds have only watched the first HP movie. My oldest watches them after she reads the books. (With exception to the first movie, I have a book first policy).

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#21 of 42 Old 07-05-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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My 9 yo has seen the first two movies, and has both books, too (though, she has read the first one, and parts of the 2nd).

I don't know enough about Eclipse (haven't read the book or watched the movie) to decide if I would be okay with her seeing it. She hasn't seemed interested in it, despite the hype and paraphanilia - so I think she's just over the twilight stuff or has realized it's too mature for her. That said, I don't mind that she saw the first two movies at all.

Really depends on the maturity of the kid, I think. My DD seems more like a 12 yo to me in a lot of ways (emotionally, mentally, physically).

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#22 of 42 Old 07-06-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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It's amazing to me how many people use the excuse that their child is SOOOO mature as a way to justify taking their young children to a movie clearly intended for an older audience.

Children are children. Let them be children. There is no reason they need to see it at such a young age. Sometimes I think it's more for the moms anyway. The moms want to share twilight with their daughters like they are girlfriends. They're kids, ot girlfriends.

And as far as the peer pressure thing? How about teaching kids that we don't alter our values just because other parents allow things that we don't. How about teaching kids to stand up for what they believe and to not bend your beliefs just to go along with the crowd?
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#23 of 42 Old 07-06-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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It's amazing to me how many people use the excuse that their child is SOOOO mature as a way to justify taking their young children to a movie clearly intended for an older audience.

Children are children. Let them be children. There is no reason they need to see it at such a young age.
I agree with you. I've had a similar rant since I saw two very little kids come out of the Jurassic Park movie years ago. I mean, who really needs to see a disemboweling? Certainly not a pair of 5 and 6 years olds.
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#24 of 42 Old 07-06-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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It's amazing to me how many people use the excuse that their child is SOOOO mature as a way to justify taking their young children to a movie clearly intended for an older audience.

Children are children. Let them be children. There is no reason they need to see it at such a young age. Sometimes I think it's more for the moms anyway. The moms want to share twilight with their daughters like they are girlfriends. They're kids, ot girlfriends.

And as far as the peer pressure thing? How about teaching kids that we don't alter our values just because other parents allow things that we don't. How about teaching kids to stand up for what they believe and to not bend your beliefs just to go along with the crowd?
I used the maturity aspect b/c I honestly think it applies. I do think there is often a huge difference in an immature, mature, and 'normal' 9-10 yr old. Some kids are more sheltered than others; some are more shy than others; some are more developed all around than others. As parents, we should take their individual maturity into consideration when making decisions. I see it all the time about if said kid can walk home alone or to the store or whatever. I most definitely went on the fact that my DD could pass for older than she is (and I'm not just talking physically), when I let her see Twilight and New Moon.

As for your second point - I have never seen or read any of the series, so it's certainly not me wanting my DD to come along or get into what I like. And despite seeing the first two movies, she is still a child who plays with zhu zhu pets and such.

Honestly, it was (in part) after conversations here on MDC that I let my DD see the first two movies. No one could come up with anything that was truly inappropriate in either one. Same when talking to people IRL who had both read the books and watched the movies. I get that the books go into more detail - and mentioned up-thread that my DD had only really read the first one (and it's likely some of it went over her head). So, really, if anyone has any insight as to why exactly Twilight or New Moon are too mature or scary or whatever, please let me know. I'm not talking about Eclipse, and this thread isn't focusing on that particular movie, but as I said - my DD is just not interested in it at this point, and if and when she is, I will have to decide if I think she's ready to watch it. From what I understand - yes, it gets more mature as the series progresses.

I'm not trying to argue; we all come from this from different viewpoints and opinions obviously vary. But seriously, I'd love to be enlightened. If someone can convince me that my DD is now scarred for life, I'll admit I maybe should have made her wait a couple more years to see them. Is it the kiss? The werewolves? The overall storyline?

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#25 of 42 Old 07-06-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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I agree with you. I've had a similar rant since I saw two very little kids come out of the Jurassic Park movie years ago. I mean, who really needs to see a disemboweling? Certainly not a pair of 5 and 6 years olds.
ITA, I remember quite fondly that dh and I got to go see Jurrasic Park finally when we were down visiting my parents and got my mom to babysit LOL.
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#26 of 42 Old 07-06-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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So, really, if anyone has any insight as to why exactly Twilight or New Moon are too mature or scary or whatever, please let me know.
I just don't think there is any need for children to get sucked into a paranormal love triangle romance story, where one of the main characters is being hunted in every single movie/book.


Nor do think it's advisable to start them on the beginnings of the story when the last 2 are completely inappropriate for anyone other than teens and above due to the graphic nature IMO.
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#27 of 42 Old 07-06-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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I just don't think there is any need for children to get sucked into a paranormal love triangle romance story, where one of the main characters is being hunted in every single movie/book.


Nor do think it's advisable to start them on the beginnings of the story when the last 2 are completely inappropriate for anyone other than teens and above due to the graphic nature IMO.
I agree. But I totally admit to bringing little kids to movies some people may deem too old for them-I never have a babysitter! My 2 yo has gone to see Harry Potter at the theater (when she was 1), but we read the books and she could have cared less that a movie was even on. She does like Jurassic Park, though, and acts like a T-Rex when she eats her food.

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#28 of 42 Old 07-06-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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I used the maturity aspect b/c I honestly think it applies. I do think there is often a huge difference in an immature, mature, and 'normal' 9-10 yr old. Some kids are more sheltered than others; some are more shy than others; some are more developed all around than others. As parents, we should take their individual maturity into consideration when making decisions. I see it all the time about if said kid can walk home alone or to the store or whatever. I most definitely went on the fact that my DD could pass for older than she is (and I'm not just talking physically), when I let her see Twilight and New Moon.
I have a 8 yo who acts like a 30 yo. She's very mature, responsible, etc.... Everyone comments on her maturity. I would never use that as an excuse to expose her to mature material. At the end of the day, despite maturity, she is still an 8yo child.
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#29 of 42 Old 07-06-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
I just don't think there is any need for children to get sucked into a paranormal love triangle romance story, where one of the main characters is being hunted in every single movie/book.


Nor do think it's advisable to start them on the beginnings of the story when the last 2 are completely inappropriate for anyone other than teens and above due to the graphic nature IMO.

I do see what you are saying, but I guess at the time when my DD was super interested (probably b/c her best friend was obsessed with it), I thought about it for a while and talked to others and came to the conclusion that it would be okay for her to watch the first and then later on, second movie. She liked both, and we talked about them, and I honestly do not think she lost any innocence or was upset by what she saw. So, I still think I made the right choice. She was begging me. I felt like this wasn't something that, as much as *I* don't care for Twilight, was 'bad' or grown up enough to keep from her. She has a lot of say in what she sees, reads, and listens to, and it's what works for us.

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Originally Posted by amcal View Post
I have a 8 yo who acts like a 30 yo. She's very mature, responsible, etc.... Everyone comments on her maturity. I would never use that as an excuse to expose her to mature material. At the end of the day, despite maturity, she is still an 8yo child.
Fair enough - that is your view, it just doesn't happen to be mine. If I would let her at 12 or 13, (which is not an adult, either - and hey, Bella isn't an adult) then I would let my particular kid at 9. It's not an excuse - as I don't have to defend my choice to anyone - it's just how it turned out. My DD is certainly not sheltered from other 'adult' things, as we don't censor a lot, and she's been exposed to a variety of situations/people in her 9 years of life. Honestly, the first two movies seem tame compared to a lot of that. I respect that others live life completely differently. And you know, at the the end of the day, my child is also still a child. What she wants to do today is go to Build-a-Bear, not look for vampires.

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#30 of 42 Old 07-06-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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Whether or not you let your child watch the series is very individual decision. DS saw Twilight and New Moon when he was 11. He is 12 now and we will be seeing Eclipse. There is no way I would have let him watch any of these movies when he was 6 or even 9. He got frightened easily and would have had problems sleeping. I think it depends on the child.

IMO the Twilight series is no scarier or less violent than the last few Harry Potter movies.

I agree with what others are saying that you just can’t compare a relationship with a vampire or werewolf to a real life one! I also did not find the imprinting with Jacob offensive.
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