Censorship & Parenting

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Ha! Deliberately strident thread title to draw you in. How do you set guidelines about what media your children are exposed to? Do you?

Mrs. Kongvsgodzilla and I have slightly different standards on what movies are appropriate for a 5-year-old to watch, for example. Her criteria are based on her own childhood, during which she was allowed to watch pretty much anything, but she was essentially raised by bikers, who left her to her own devices. My parents on the other hand, held strong sway over my viewing and listening habits - movies were stopped in the middle at the first sign of trouble, records were confiscated for lyrics whose subtexts I wouldn't understand until much later in life. This brought me a lot of sorrow and confusion as a child, but as a parent, I find that I am more inclined to flinch when my kid sees something I think is inappropriate.

We always watch movies and stuff together, so one of us will explain (or fast forward through) stuff that we think is too sophisticated, or we'll point out behaviors and attitudes that we think are bad or unhealthy or dangerous. We don't let him watch stuff with sex or nudity in it. We don't have a perfect system, but

So what are your personal criteria? Are your kids allowed to watch PG-13 movies? R rated? Will you take their Weird Al Yankovic album away*? Will you let them listen to Purple Rain?

*never forget...

kingkongvsgodzilla, Tuesday, 15 December 2009 13:46 (twelve years ago) link

There are parts of "Little Miss Sunshine" that would put it beyond the 'acceptable' for kids of their age.

But, blimey, it's too much a film they would love, not to.

And they hear the rude words in real life anyway, not from us (obv) but in passing while out and about. So, yeah.

"Juno" is something they'd love also (they like the soundtrack CD a lot), but it's just the wrong side of adult. Sorry, kids.

Mark G, Tuesday, 15 December 2009 17:23 (twelve years ago) link

I censored Victorian Farm Christmas the other day. Going on about how Father Christmas hadn't been developed until the nineteenth century! My son (12) was starting to rewind it (damn you 'pause live TV') to show his sister (8 and a half) when I took the remote off him.

Ned Trifle II, Tuesday, 15 December 2009 21:54 (twelve years ago) link

Tend to restrict my 7 year-old daughter to PG stuff, but she wouldn't be interested in anything more adult tbh. Have a sliding scale for my 12 year-old on a case by case basis. We let him watch Sweeney Todd which was an 18 over here cos he loves that musical and I think the certificate should've been a 15 tbh. He can usually watch stuff with strong language, not so keen on him watching very graphic violence or horror stuff yet, don't really mind him watching stuff with nudity.

You treat your step-mother with respect, Pantera (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 15 December 2009 22:00 (twelve years ago) link

Not a parent, but from my own upbringing and being somewhat a part of raising my much younger brother, kids can watch pretty much anything without deleterious effect as long as you're an attentive parent and answer whatever questions the stuff raises.

Tbh I think quality of content, especially when it comes to movies and tv, is more important than 'age-appropriateness'. A constant diet of invisible editing, hackneyed dialogue and predicable plot lines can screw a kid up worse than seeing ppl doin' it.

(mostly not joking)

ENERGY FOOD (en i see kay), Tuesday, 15 December 2009 22:11 (twelve years ago) link

He can usually watch stuff with strong language, not so keen on him watching very graphic violence or horror stuff yet, don't really mind him watching stuff with nudity.

Seems reasonable.

l'homme moderne: il forniquait et lisait des journaux (Michael White), Tuesday, 15 December 2009 22:32 (twelve years ago) link

Like a lot of 12 year-old boys our Joel gets obsessive and geeky and repetitive about things he likes so as much as anything I'd rather he didn't obsess about adult movies at this point. And he's quite sweet and uncynical and I don't think mentally equipped to deal with adult themes yet. He's watched The Godfather tho, he quite liked that without getting v. hung up on it.

You treat your step-mother with respect, Pantera (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 15 December 2009 22:41 (twelve years ago) link

Lolol. My parents had this extreme hardcore porn video from my uncle. (Apparently with a woman sucking off a dog's penis. My dad threw up apparently cause it was so vile. Yes, my uncle's a pervert.) They said not to watch it. What did I do when they were busy in the shop downstairs? Watch it of course. Tbh I was scarred: a woman simultaneously "pleasuring" two guys fucked me up royally. Thank god I didn't see the bestiality.
They should have hidden it instead of letting it in the videorecorder. I was about ten at the time. BUt I don't think they knew how keen I was to watch R-rated things. They did censor, I guess, but I don't recall any strict rules. I think they let me watch movies for older kids but didn't pay too much attention so it slipped by me. (Well, the violence and such.) I remember being so scared of The Exorcist so I ran upstairs. My dad put the volume up so there was no escape. I was a teenager at the time.

Ophelia watches DIsney movies for her age. My husband takes it away as soon as it's not for her (too much violence, complex story lines...)

Nathalie (stevienixed), Wednesday, 16 December 2009 10:07 (twelve years ago) link

Learned my lesson wrt things I hadn't seen myself when I put Spirited Away on for the girls a few months ago. The opening 15min are deeply upsetting if you're 4 (and probably a lot older).

I'd been amusing Ava over the weekend by singing "big fish, little fish, swimming in the water; come back here, man, give me my daughter" - the whispered bit from the coda of PJ Harvey's "Down By The Water", which has a kind of spooky, sinister fairy tale aspect to it. Of course she wanted to hear the original song in full (which she loved) but I made sure I theatrically coughed over the word "whore".

Michael Jones, Wednesday, 16 December 2009 18:21 (twelve years ago) link

Our Hannah is frightened of Spirited Away too. I don't think there's much you can do about that kind of thing - lots of kids' stories have frightening elements, and children's brains can be inscrutable. I regularly had nightmares about Tarragon the Dragon from The Herbs when I was little.

You treat your step-mother with respect, Pantera (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 16 December 2009 18:36 (twelve years ago) link

The opening 15min are deeply upsetting if you're 4 (and probably a lot older).

Indeed, sniff, hang on, I think I've got something in my eye...

Ned Trifle (Notinmyname), Thursday, 17 December 2009 11:51 (twelve years ago) link

My kids watch all kinds of stuff that is supposedly "too old for them" (to use my parents-in-law's phrase) - mostly comedies which have somehow garnered certificates 12 and 15. They don't want to watch Dr. Who so there's not much danger of them accidentally getting engrossed in The Trees have Eyes 2 or something. The boy (aged 12) said to me that he didn't think the Blair Witch Project sounded very scary so I showed him the trailer and even that freaked him out. To a certain extent it's all moot, because fuck knows what they see around other people's houses/internets?

Ned Trifle (Notinmyname), Thursday, 17 December 2009 12:17 (twelve years ago) link

"Juno" is something they'd love also (they like the soundtrack CD a lot), but it's just the wrong side of adult. Sorry, kids.

lol juno would just confuse/bore kids I think

southern dads get tuckered out, totally (Curt1s Stephens), Thursday, 17 December 2009 12:27 (twelve years ago) link

i wonder about this sometimes, especially when everyone in 5 years time will have mobile internet with them wherever they go.

Tracer Hand, Friday, 18 December 2009 21:51 (twelve years ago) link

four weeks pass...

the only "inappropriate" thing we let our 5-yr-old see is the colbert report, which he has loved since he was about 2 -- i don't know why, i think he likes the music in the opening credits and then he likes the energy of the show (the cheering, laughing) and thinks colbert is entertaining to watch. he has no idea at all what any of it is about, and doesn't appear to care. one side effect is that he tends to become a fan of any musicians who play on there. that's how we spent half of last year listening to green day.

hellzapoppa (tipsy mothra), Friday, 15 January 2010 01:15 (twelve years ago) link

two weeks pass...

i remember PP playing grand theft auto:san andreas with a 4 month old beeps sitting next to him in an exersaucer. in the middle of a gang shootout he would keep saying to her 'its okay! theyre just going to sleep!'

no more springs no more summers no more falls (sunny successor), Thursday, 4 February 2010 04:21 (eleven years ago) link

LOL. Sarah has already told me I won't be able to play Half-Life or Bioshock any more once the baby is born.

congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 4 February 2010 13:48 (eleven years ago) link

haha. forget censorship there will be no time to play games and then when there is time your teevee will be playing nickjr 24/7

no more springs no more summers no more falls (sunny successor), Friday, 5 February 2010 05:31 (eleven years ago) link

i watch tv and play games way more than i used to cause i'm at home all the time, though.

Tracer Hand, Friday, 5 February 2010 19:20 (eleven years ago) link

two months pass...

My kid said he liked the song from the new Karate Kid trailer - Remember the Name, by Fort Minor, a linkin park side project - so I downloaded it for him. But I googled the lyrics first and had a last-minute attack of being my own mother and bought the censored version. Am I everything that is wrong with the world?

no. your kid is young and you don't want to expose him to crap he couldn't benefit from anyway. plus, it's not like you're censoring high artistic achievement. and you're aware of what you're doing. don't worry.

ampersand (remy bean), Tuesday, 13 April 2010 00:23 (eleven years ago) link

ive decided i want beeps to be like sarah silverman so i put her hair in pigtails and curse as much as possible in front of her

no more springs no more summers no more falls (sunny successor), Thursday, 15 April 2010 03:06 (eleven years ago) link

Do you need Matt Damon's number?

Mark G, Thursday, 15 April 2010 08:28 (eleven years ago) link


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