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Movies and Elementary Children

by Ronald A. Rowe | April 12th, 2012 | Elementary

My six-year-old son came home from school the other day and told me that the parents of some of his classmates were crazy. To say that this comment piqued my interest would be a gross understatement. Intrigued, I asked him to clarify just why he thought so.

It turns out that several of his Kindergarten classmates had seen all four Indiana Jones movies and all four Scream movies. It was hard not to agree with him. Every parent has his or her own standards concerning age-appropriate movies. Sometimes, dad and mom may have two different sets of standards, which is a problem. But the trick is enforcing your standards uniformly without bowing to outside pressures.

It’s harder than it might seem on the surface. When my older son was 7, we allowed him to have a movie night and sleepover at the neighbors’ across the street. We’d known them for two years and he played with their children nearly every day. We were assured that movie night was “family friendly” and, maybe naively, took that to be some sort of universal standard. The next morning we learned that the movie of choice was the PG-13 rated Walk the Line.

Not an offensive film, not as outrageously inappropriate for a young child as Scream, but not exactly Dumbo, either. That was the day that we learned that everyone — even people you know well — can have wildly differing views on the term “age-appropriate.” Learn from my mistake and remember to get the specific title if your young ones are going to see a movie chosen by another parent with their own set of standards.

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