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#1 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is inspired by my 10-year-old daughter's desire to watch The Hunger Games. But, I'm really wondering, in general, at what age you let kids watch movies of various ratings. Like at what age is PG OK rather than just G, and at what age PG-13 - do you actually wait until 13? I'm undecided. I guess R rating too - do you wait until 17 or 18 or let them watch those before that age?

Would you let a 10-year-old daughter watch The Hunger Games? Read it? I know all her friends are watching the movie and reading the books. I'm just so unsure! She has wanted to watch other PG-13 movies too and I've said no.
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#2 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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It depends on the individual kid. Ideally, you pre-read/view the book/movie and decide for your kid.

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#3 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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I think that while ratings are an OK guideline, you really need to watch all movies if you want to supervise what your kids are going to watch.  Even the stuff you remember loving as a kid.  :)  I was so excited to rent Parent Trap (the original, with Hayley Mills) and watch it for family movie night, because I adored that movie as a kid--but the adult me was cringing like crazy over the smoking, the fact that a husband hits his fiancee, the ex-wife slaps her ex-husband and there's some allusions to this being somewhat sexy, and his fiancee slaps his kids around, AND the kids beat each other!  :D  And this was a G-rating!  I probably would have let them watch it anyway (they seemed nonplussed) but I wish I'd rewatched it.  :)

 

I think 10 years old for the movie of the Hunger Games might be pushing it.  I'm sure there are some kids that would be okay with it, but if your kid is NOT used to seeing graphic violence in live action movies (Star Wars, ect.) then it might be intense.  There are plenty of things that I would have no problems letting my kids read right now but I would not allow them to see in movie form.  When I was 10, my favorite book was Ender's Game.  It changed my life and let me feel a connection that I hadn't had before.  When I was 12, I was heavily into Tolstoy.  At 10 though I would NOT have been ready to see the violent visual sequences that a movie of Ender's Game would have had, and at 12 I would not have been ready to see Anna put her head on the train tracks.  Seeing for many people triggers differently than reading, and as you read you may miss certain things (esp. as a child) that you are going to have thrust in your face graphically in a movie.

 

So you need to be careful about that.  because a child can read and likes a book does not mean they are ready for the graphic/visual representation of it, where a lot of focus may be different on certain elements (sex and violence in particular) that they may have conceptualized differently in their own heads.

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#4 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 01:43 PM
 
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I like using http://www.kids-in-mind.com/ to check on movies; at least I have an idea of what's going to go on.  My eldest is pretty sensitive so even at 9 we don't watch anything that's not family rated; even Ice Age and some of the Land Before Time videos has been more than she could bear at times.  My 6 year old is ok with a bit more drama, but it won't hurt her to wait.  

 

I think it's a pretty common experience to watch a movie before we're ready as kids & be freaked out by it - I'd rather be the voice of moderation and keep that stuff tamer than it needs to be. 

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#5 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 01:58 PM
 
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Basically, I use ratings as a general guideline, but I try to take on a case by case. My kids are 3 and 6, and I usually don't green-light movies just because they're rated G, and I don't rule out movies just because they're PG.  I've been taken aback at some things that were allowed in some G movies but not phased by some of the things that garnered a PG rating for other movies. While they're not even on the table at this point, I don't plan on making them wait till a specific age for PG-13 and R movies.  

 
I preview sometimes, but sometimes I just rely on Common Sense Media.  It gives specifics about movie content as well as a recommended age. And a couple of times I've just gone with my gut when taking my oldest to the theater for a G movie. I don't think I'd do that for a PG at this point.  
 
I'm not sure about a 10 year old and The Hunger Games as I haven't read it (although I think every single person I know has including my husband) or seen it yet, but it sounds like it's pretty violent.  I guess it would depend on the 10 year old?  I can't imagine my daughter would be ready for such a movie in just a few years although I could see maybe some mature 11 or 12 year olds being able to handle it.  
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#6 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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We did take my 10 year old to the Hunger Games (met friends of his there and one of their little brothers who is only 6).  Both my kids (10 & 13) enjoyed the movie *but* they have seen Harry Potter, lots of super hero movies (not Dark Knight), LOTR, Indiana Jones, etc...  I would not make the Hunger Games the first PG-13 movie my child saw unless they were older *and* had read the book.

 

My daugher, at this point, has basic permission to watch PG-13 movies without checking with us (so, at an overnight she wouldn't need to call about watching a specific PG-13 movie).  Neither have seen an R movie, though I know a lot of their friends (and cousins) have.

 

Both kids saw Harry Potter & Star Wars before 7ish, btw.  DD had read the ones out by that point, DS has still not read them all.  DS definately sees more scary/violent movies than DD did at the same age which is a function of both birth order and personality.


 

 

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#7 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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I took my 12 yo daughter and 7 year old son to see the Hunger Games on Friday. I didn't think it was overly gory or scary, although at the urging of my 12 yo (who has read the series), I told my son to look away from the screen during the wasp scene, and he did.

 

I don't mind a bit of violence, a bit of sexual content or a bit of swearing for any of my children if the movie is a good one. I will normally prescreen when I can.  My 12 yo has seen a few R rated movies, ie The Breakfast Club, but she's rather mature for her age, and isn't about to run out and smoke a joint or tape someone's buns together as a result of what she's seen in a flick.

 

I realize I am more liberal with my guidelines than most parents, but I am ok with that, as is my husband. My kids seem pretty kind, thoughtful and undisturbed. Shrug.


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#8 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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I took my 10 year old to the Hunger Games movie.  She had already read the books (as have I) and there was enough panning out of the camera with the direct violence that I wasn't too worried.  I think the ratings are OK for guidelines and I use them whenever someone else's child is involved - with my own I use personal discretion.  Both of my boys (one 11 and one 7) have more problems with viewing violent imagery than my daughter (I'm guessing simply because they are both also more visual) so I would choose movies differently for them.


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#9 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 07:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

I think 10 years old for the movie of the Hunger Games might be pushing it.  I'm sure there are some kids that would be okay with it, but if your kid is NOT used to seeing graphic violence in live action movies (Star Wars, ect.) then it might be intense.

 

....So you need to be careful about that.  because a child can read and likes a book does not mean they are ready for the graphic/visual representation of it, where a lot of focus may be different on certain elements (sex and violence in particular) that they may have conceptualized differently in their own heads.


 

I agree with this post. Completely.

 

Hunger Games had to really work at keeping a PG-13 rating -- the material would have more easily fallen into an R rating. It's a rough movie.

 

In our group, there was an 11 year old who has read all the books who at the end of the movie said she thought she was really border-line on being ready to watch the movie. She found it a tough movie - even though she had read the books. It's about kids, not much older than her, being forced to kill each other for the amusement of adults.

 

There were several small children in the movie, and honestly, I think that was just bad parenting. This is NOT a children's movie. One little voice loudly said "mommy, I'm scared."

 

I think if I were in the OPer's shoes, I would start by letting my child read the book and then I would discuss it with her again. I would make sure she knew exactly what she was getting into. I would see it with her at a time when you talk together afterwards. I would not let her go with friends to see the movie, because she may change her mind during the movie and want to leave, and if it's just the 2 of you, she has that option.  There's a lot to talk about in this movie, and it can spawn really good conversations.

 

You could also consider waiting until it is out of DVD and watching it at home. Movies are less intense on smaller screens when one can skip difficult parts or turn down the volume.

 

But 10 was about the point for us when my kids started seeing PG13 movies, and when other parents didn't seem to think much of letting kids watch them at their house, during sleep overs etc.

 

 


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#10 of 32 Old 03-27-2012, 07:45 PM
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Depends on why it's rated PG13, but in general, I'm waiting until my ds is actually 13.  I'm much more willing to let him hear language than see violence,though, so I still take it on a case-by-case basis. I go to imdb.com and look at the parental advisory of movies I'm thinking about. 


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#11 of 32 Old 03-28-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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A big part of it for me is knowing your child and knowing if they, at any given age, will be able to handle it.  I'm a big movie buff and have been for a long time, but I wouldn't let DD see a movie until I've seen it first.  DD is five and has seen a lot of PG13 movies, but not before I've seen them and determined that (1) it is something that she can handle, and (2) it fits within our value system as far as language, etc..

 

Funny little thing, but DD loves the movie Jurassic Park and has watched it many times.  Prior to her watching it, though, we had big discussion about movie production, what is real, what is not real, actors, etc.  In fact, early on we watched the "making of" Jurassic Park too, and she's become a big Spielberg fan - but this is due in part because DH and I love everything from Ray Harryhausen on...and film and theatre production is always a big discussion in our house.  On the other hand, DD (like myself when I was young) is terrified of the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz (a G movie).  It is interesting to me how terror can come in the most innocent of images or stories.  To this day I remember being absolutely terrified by that image.

 

As far as Hunger Games, etc., frankly I would need to know more about the books and the movie before I would make the decision (including seeing it myself first; or at least seeing it together with a lot of foreknowledge).  But, as far as a set age to engage in these things, I really don't go by that meter. 

 

Edited to add that I don't believe the rating system existed at the time that Wizard of Oz was made, but given the prerequisites of the rating system, it probably would have qualified as a G, as most anything made back in those days.


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#12 of 32 Old 03-28-2012, 11:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

This is inspired by my 10-year-old daughter's desire to watch The Hunger Games. But, I'm really wondering, in general, at what age you let kids watch movies of various ratings. Like at what age is PG OK rather than just G, and at what age PG-13 - do you actually wait until 13? I'm undecided. I guess R rating too - do you wait until 17 or 18 or let them watch those before that age?
Would you let a 10-year-old daughter watch The Hunger Games? Read it? I know all her friends are watching the movie and reading the books. I'm just so unsure! She has wanted to watch other PG-13 movies too and I've said no.


My dd will be 12 years old in a few days. She hasn't read The Hunger Games books but I have. I think I would have allowed her to read them at age 10 if she really wanted to as long as we discussed them. I think they are intense dark books and better suited for older teens rather than 10 year olds. They are about children killing each other until only two are left alive.

I might ask dd to wait on the movie until it is on DVD at least so we can watch them at home.

 

I decide on movies on an individual basis with the rating as a guide. I do not let dd see a movie just because everyone else with a kid her age decided it was okay.

If a movie was PG-13 or R and dd really wanted to see it then I would look it up and see why it had that rating and make a determination. Kids In Mind or Internet Movie Database are places that you can find info on movies. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392170/parentalguide http://www.kids-in-mind.com/h/hungergames.htm

 

 


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#13 of 32 Old 03-28-2012, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've decided that it's ok for her to read the books. We might wait until it's out on DVD to watch it. I'm not sure about that yet. She's saw the last Harry Potter movie on the big screen, and only got scared at one point, and didn't get nightmares or anything, and overall thought it was awesome. But the theme of kids killing other kids is what I'm unsure of.

Thanks everyone for the input!
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#14 of 32 Old 03-28-2012, 11:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I've decided that it's ok for her to read the books. We might wait until it's out on DVD to watch it. I'm not sure about that yet.


 

I think that's a good plan.

 

when my kids were young, I was very careful about media. But as they got older, I really, really lightened up. Somewhere between 10 and 12 is when I think things need to lighten up. I, personally, think it's a lot more complicated than just deciding and then declaring what kids should be allowed to watch.

 

When kids are old enough to spend time at home alone, parents lose a bit of control over what they see. When they go over to other people's houses to play or spend the night, the parents really don't have any control. The older the kids are, the less likely the other parents are to be paying attention or to assume that PG13 movies aren't an issue. In other words, eventually this becomes a losing battle. Your child will have access to PG13 and then R rated movies *at some point.*

 

I think our choices become if we are involved in that process and talk to them about it, and if we've built the kind of relationship where they are honest about what is happening when they are away from home.

 

I think what you are doing is talking to your DD and finding a middle path. Very positive stuff for your relationship with her thumb.gif


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#15 of 32 Old 03-29-2012, 02:10 AM
 
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OP read them first yourself please.  Especially book 3.  Holy heck!  Honesly they were pretty rough for me and thinking of my 9 yr old she would not be able to handle it. 

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#16 of 32 Old 03-29-2012, 04:48 AM
 
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I think another thing that can make a difference is whether, at this transitional kind of age of 10, you experience the media with your child.  We definitely allow our older children to read pretty much anything we would, but we read it ourselves as well, and we discuss what we've read.  I think the OP's plan to have her child read the books first is a good one not just so that she can feel out where her child is at, but also to give herself time to familiarize herself with the subject matter.  It's one thing taking your own child to a movie and being familiar with the themes, it's a whole other thing if your child goes out to a movie  with friends and you are unfamiliar with it.  I try to make a little effort to be aware of what types of media our kids are interested in and watch/play/read some of it myself (or my husband does) so that I know where they are coming from.  I hope this might help as they get older and are away more.  My oldest son is very into video games, and his friend plays some games that I wouldn't be comfortable with.  But because my son plays the games he is allowed in our home (mostly RPG's) with his Dad, and his friend (who plays an awful lot of shooting games) plays the games with his own father, we both have households where the boys check in with their own parents about family comfort level.  We, as parents, are comfortable discussing with the friends' parents about what our regular household rules are.  And nobody is playing without the parents being around to discuss questions and values that come up over the games.  Movies and books are much the same way.  If as a preteen you take time to be aware of the media your kids are interested in, when as teens they experience more on their own, they'll have a background of having an informed, interested adult to discuss things with.  Both DH and I were blessed with parents who stayed in touch with what we were interested in individually and as a generation. I want my kids to have that same sort of comfort level with us.


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#17 of 32 Old 03-29-2012, 05:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have read the books and I loved them.

So far she is liking book 1 anyway. Actually, she said it's the best book she's ever read. Maybe she's ready for more action and I should let her read more YA books. There are a lot of these dystopian YA books.
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#18 of 32 Old 03-29-2012, 06:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I've decided that it's ok for her to read the books. We might wait until it's out on DVD to watch it. I'm not sure about that yet. 


That sounds like a good plan. 

 

I think 10 y.o. is probably on the borderline for this movie. I haven't watched it yet, but 15 y.o. DD went to the Hunger Games on opening day last week.  She said that it depicted a lot of the immediate "before" and "after" of violence - eg. the  facing off in a conflict and a knife being held and then a quick jump cut to a wounded person, but not the actual knife thrust into the person. If that makes any difference....

 

DD's assessment is that the Hunger Games film is too violent for children. She was sitting next to a couple of kids who were around 8 y.o.'s and their mother. They left the movie about half-way through. 

 

I imagine that some parents will face a tougher dilemma when their computer-savvy kids who weren't allowed to see it in the theatre are downloading either pirated versions or the iTunes release. It's a lot harder these days to regulate viewing habits if your kids have unmoderated access to a computer. 

 

BTW, DD said the movie was very well done and a very good adaptation of the books save for a couple of things.

 

 

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#19 of 32 Old 04-02-2012, 04:12 PM
 
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I might consider letting her read it if she handles intense scenes and violence fairly well. But I'd say the movie is far too intense, based on my unfortunate choice to see the movie opening day at 3:00 p.m. I'd say there were a least six kids in the movie who had crying jags of at least ten minutes each. Miserable movice experience for me and them. The books are more interesting and more philosophical. More about the Katniss' personal experience and feelings. The movie is more about the spectacle. I certainly wouldn't let her see the movie without reading the books first.

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#20 of 32 Old 04-03-2012, 08:55 AM
 
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I read the books and loved them.  I remember reading "old school" Stephen King at a very young age (I consider 10ish to be very young) and handled them fine.  With a mature 10 year old I'd *consider* the books. 

 

I haven't seen the movie, but DH (who did not read the books) saw it and is still disturbed (didn't like watching kids killing kids, esp one snapping another's neck.  But maybe that's the "Dad" in him, KWIM?  (and this is a guy who loves WWII movies etc etc)

 

I think going with the read first is a great idea.  If I had doubts, I'd preview the DVD myself first and make the call based on what I thought (that's what I'd do on any questionable movie, anyways)


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#21 of 32 Old 04-03-2012, 11:47 AM
 
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I tend to take it on a case by case basis.  Many kids movies are PG these days even though they are much tamer than the G rated versions from my childhood.  Some PG-13 movies are also kid friendly, Adams Family and Doctor DoLittle are two that come to mind.  It really depends on the movie and the reason behind the rating for me.  R is not a rating I feel comfortable with yet though.

 

As for the Hunger Games, I read the first book and I wouldn't let my dd see it.  I told her what it was about and she decided she would rather not see it anyways so it wasn't an issue for us.  I was surprised to learn that the books were targeted towards kids, but I think they mean kids meaning teenagers not kids meaning elementary school children.

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#22 of 32 Old 04-03-2012, 02:55 PM
 
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I think it completely depends on the child. My kids are really really sensitive to visual images and so we've severely restricted movies. My kids are able to handle things in books (such as Harry Potter) that they can't handle in movies (dd spent most of the Harry Potter movie with the dementors upstairs waiting for the scary parts to be over -- no way would she have been able to do a theater). Other kids aren't as bothered by visual images, but I know my kids, their tendency toward nightmares and their sensitivity to visual imagery.


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#23 of 32 Old 04-17-2012, 08:39 PM
 
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I think it depends on the kid, the movie, and your family...ds is 4.5, and there are some "kid things" I don't let him watch, like sponge Bob, but he likes Harry potter, and LOVES the narnia Movies

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#24 of 32 Old 04-18-2012, 12:22 PM
 
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hmm...I thought I'd replied on this thread.

 

Which movies I let my children watch, at what ages, varies wildly from movie to movie, and from child to child. DS1 could watch anything (he could watch stuff that would turn my stomach) from a very early age. He had an amazingly precocious grasp of the difference between tv/movies and reality, and has never been "haunted" by anything he's watched. He's never had a nightmare or anything like that. My other kids aren't quite like that, though.

 

The first thing I do if I'm thinking about letting my kids watch something is go to imdb.com and check out the content advisory on the movie. There have been a couple that dh and I were thinking about, and then found from the advisory that they were nothing like we'd been expecting, and were completely inappropriate for our kids. I haven't done any prescreeening, as I find the imdb advisory tends to lay it out for me pretty well...and getting screen time without the kids around is almos timpossible, anyway.

 


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#25 of 32 Old 04-24-2012, 12:19 PM
 
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one huge difference i have noted is the movie experience vs the at home tv screen experience.

 

some movies i wont let dd watch on the big screen. like hunger games. nope. only because of the 'thinking' aspect and to see all that emotionality - nope. my kid is not ready to handle it. she will be ok but i know it has the potential to pursue her thoughts and dreams for a long time.

 

however i have given in to hunger games the book. she really, really wants to read them. and i have shared my misgivings about it and we have come to a happy medium where she will stop reading if it gets too intense for her. 

 

my dd has been watching PG-13 for a long time. as others have pointed out it really depends on the child. at 4 dd could watch certain PG13 movies but not some G movies. she loved spiderman the movie but she could not sit through A Bugs life. how on earth that got a G rating with a character like Hopper I dont know. 

 

so what i am saying 4 weeks ago when u first posted and i read it - i said absolutely not. 

 

now 4 weeks later i am buying my dd the series of books (most of her 4th graders have read it, some said they wish they hadnt - dd has talked to both camps and decided she still wants to try it). 

 

we'll see how she does after the book to figure out if she wants to watch the movie or not. 


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#26 of 32 Old 05-05-2012, 09:06 PM
 
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My husband was seriously disturbed by the hunger games movie. So if he was, I would say no way to a child. That means, non-adult. But really, media is very subjective in lots of ways. We are very strict with what our kids watch. But we as parents are pretty strict with ourselves as well. We rarely watch R... Like pretty much never. And we don't watch pg13 with a lot of sexual content either.

My dh and I are in the film industry. We know the effects visual media has on the mind and heart. Reading books, however acti e your imaginationis, is not the same as watching a movie.

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#27 of 32 Old 05-05-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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In general, the MPA ratings system is kind of arbitrary, so it really does depend on the movie's content, not the rating, and also your values. For instance, I'm quite happy to let my son watch some sexier content, but am less cool with the violence. Ratings do not reflect this preference, so it's pretty important to review the movies first.

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#28 of 32 Old 05-05-2012, 09:31 PM
 
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I didn't let my son read or watch the Hunger Games, but we just came from The Avengers after watching it as a family including my 6 year old and my 9 year old. So clearly the rating alone isn't an issue for us. Both movies are PG13.

 

We also use Internet web sites that describe potential objectionable materials. We also consider the what we know of other similar movies and talk to friends who have seen movies.


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#29 of 32 Old 05-09-2012, 04:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

I didn't let my son read or watch the Hunger Games, but we just came from The Avengers after watching it as a family including my 6 year old and my 9 year old. So clearly the rating alone isn't an issue for us. Both movies are PG13.

 

We also use Internet web sites that describe potential objectionable materials. We also consider the what we know of other similar movies and talk to friends who have seen movies.

 



Just curious....what was it about The Hunger Games that you didnt want your children to see? I took my daughter who is 10, she is not a very deep thinker so i wasnt sure she would really "get" the themes involved. With a younger child that would be my only worry, would they really "get" it (issues of freedom vs. oppression, etc)....my two 4 yr old boys are REALLY into superheroes right now, and i kinda wanted to take them to see The Avengers but i wondered how violent is is and heard there are huge long stretches of just crazy fight scenes. I'm not super opposed to film "violence" but it might be too much for them.


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#30 of 32 Old 05-10-2012, 07:51 AM
 
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Just curious....what was it about The Hunger Games that you didn't want your children to see? I took my daughter who is 10, she is not a very deep thinker so i wasn't sure she would really "get" the themes involved. With a younger child that would be my only worry, would they really "get" it (issues of freedom vs. oppression, etc)....my two 4 yr old boys are REALLY into superheroes right now, and i kinda wanted to take them to see The Avengers but i wondered how violent is is and heard there are huge long stretches of just crazy fight scenes. I'm not super opposed to film "violence" but it might be too much for them.

I don't really consider the two movies even in the same categories. One is about children killing other children and one is basically a live action cartoon. While both are in fictional universes, the universe with the giant green man feels a lot more fictional to kids. While every kid wants to be a superhero that is different than already being a kid. Seeing kids placed in the situation that the Hunger Games does is going to feel a lot more real and personal. My son actually has a sister he would do anything to protect, he doesn't actually have a superhero alter ego.

 

Heck 1/2 of the movie fight scenes are amongst characters on the same "side" so you know as the fight starts that they will make up and be friends again once it's over. That is very different than 22 children dying while an audience cheers them on.

 

Hunger Games would just be way to personal and real for my kids. They'd basically "get" it far to well. The issues of oppression, freedom, corruption, etc. would bother my son a lot.

 

Plus my kids had already seen the Iron Man movies and the Spider-man movies so I knew that they were comfortable with the cartoon violence that the story portrays. 


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