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How do I explain to my 14 year old why he shouldn’t watch some films?

(29 Posts)
StrumpersPlunkett Sat 17-Mar-18 17:03:02

So he has friends who watch 18’s all the time.
We have always rationally looked at stuff and some 15’s we say yes to and some 16 computer games but we have a blanket ban for now on 18’s.
He really really wants to know why I won’t let him watch human centipede as his friend watched it last weekend.
No no no no no no

But. We have never parented like that. It has always had a goodbye explanation to ease their understanding on our decision.

I have tried saying that it will put images and concepts into his mind that he will never be able to remove at a time when his mind isn’t developed enough to process those images/concepts. But this didn’t do it and tbh isn’t good enough.


TheCrowFromBelow Sat 17-Mar-18 17:17:26

Why isn’t it good enough? It’s the reason why you are saying no, isn’t it?
Apart from the film sounds like utter bollocks but that’s not a valid a reason for censorship.
It’s 18 for a number of reasons, which you have explained, and he’s 14.

CapnHaddock Sat 17-Mar-18 17:19:25

It's too old for him. It has adult themes and content which the BBFC has deemed suitable for an 18 plus audience.

Why do you need to have a discussion? You're the parent, he's the child. What other parents let their children do is neither here nor there

BattleaxeGalactica Sat 17-Mar-18 17:30:25

Whether your explanation is "good enough" for him or not isn't the point. You've said no. You've explained your reasons and as you're the adult that's it.

scatterolight Sat 17-Mar-18 17:32:17

Good question OP. I admire your tenacity here. I wonder if it might help to give your son a parallel. Most people agree that, on the whole, it's good to treat your body with respect. To stay fit, avoid junk food etc. Yet people treat their minds like trash cans. Pouring damaging and unhealthy ideas and images into it with complete disregard to the effect on their psyche. Avoiding gore, smut, porn and sick ideas exemplified by the Human Centipede is choosing a healthier mental path.

It is a difficult concept because teens, particularly, pride themselves on exploration and being open to new ideas. And they're tricked by the media, and their more foolish peers, into thinking that dabbling with the edgier side of life is part of demonstrating maturity.

Good luck and don't doubt yourself. You're right about this!

Fekko Sat 17-Mar-18 17:32:36

Because you can't 'unsee' gross things, and some of the 18s have some pretty sick images and ideas in them.

itssunnybehindtheclouds Sat 17-Mar-18 17:37:17

I like scatters suggestion. I think it makes sense and is a proper explanation rather than fobbing him off.

Eolian Sat 17-Mar-18 17:39:20

Tbh if he doesn't understand why some things are inappropriate for children, I'd be a bit concerned.

Eolian Sat 17-Mar-18 17:42:44

Either he genuinely doesn't understand, or his "I don't understand" is just code for "I understand perfectly well why it's inappropriate, but I want to watch it anyway and hope I can persuade you by making out that you've got no logical reason to stop me".

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sat 17-Mar-18 17:47:44

I’m a bit unclear as to why your entirely reasonable explanation wasn’t good enough for him - it’s not as if you just said “no, end of”.

DS is 15, and I’ve told him he can’t watch Game of Thrones yet for exactly the reason you gave and he’s fine with that. Ironically, I think the more mature a teenager is, the better able they are to grasp why they’re not mature enough to watch some stuff.

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Mar-18 17:57:10

Have you asked him why exactly he wants to watch such a disgusting film?

wanderings Sat 17-Mar-18 17:57:36

It's difficult. At that age, if I had been told I couldn't do it "because I wasn't developed enough", I would have damn well done it to make a point, and maybe regretted it.

My suggestion to get him onside would be to try and think of something he was once shocked and appalled by, that did freak him out a bit, or that used to scare him (if you can get him to admit to any such thing). You might have to go back to childhood a bit. Not necessarily a film, but something that happened that he didn't like, such as having an injection. Ask him how he felt about it, and then tell him that seeing this film would make him ten times worse, he'd lie awake thinking about it. Or tell him about a time you saw something you wished you hadn't. (I once watched something inappropriate aged 15 - I felt sick and faint for the rest of the day.)

The trouble is, at his age, simply saying "because I say so" or "because I'm the adult" is going to make him all the more curious; forbidden fruit is all the more appealing because it's forbidden, and next time he won't check with you first. It is hard to explain why 18 films are bad for you without telling what's in them.

Take a similar traditional teen battle: smoking. My parents spent a lot of time telling me why smoking is bad for you, that it costs, saying "I know I'm a bad example", saying that my peers might encourage me to smoke. But interestingly, the one thing they did not say was don't ever let us catch you smoking.

An argument I remember using as a teenager was: "at school they make us read horrible stuff like Lord of the Flies, full of boys killing each other, a pig's head impaled on a stick; or Romeo and Juliet committing suicide for each other". They made us read Wuthering Heights as well. Or they made us dissect sheep's eyes, I can't unsee that! Or that history is full of really horrible and sick stuff such as beheadings, genocide, slavery, war. In year 8 they made us do a debate about violence on TV, when most of us were at an age when we were not supposed to have seen it.

Apoa Sat 17-Mar-18 18:43:58

But this didn’t do it and tbh isn’t good enough.
Why isn’t it good enough confused it’s been marked as 18 by people with experience and research into what is suitable for what age. Explains why it’s been rated as it has.

StrumpersPlunkett Sat 17-Mar-18 20:14:48

thanks folks
He is a v competent chef and v v sporty so I think the junk food analogy would work.
There is no negotiation about it but with everything we have tried to gain proper understanding rather than just no means no type of thing.
I thought the not being able to unsee it would work (certainly I was traumatised by watching "The Accused" when I was 12!)

StrumpersPlunkett Sat 17-Mar-18 20:15:54

oh and he was going to watch it because some of his 'friends'?!? watched it last weekend

noblegiraffe Sat 17-Mar-18 20:28:25

Seems like he’s trying to prove himself to his friends. Not a good reason for doing something.

StrumpersPlunkett Sat 17-Mar-18 20:31:38

indeed giraffe which is another reason I don't want him to rebel against our rules for the sake of it, I want him to understand why not..

forcryinoutloud Sat 17-Mar-18 20:34:14

OP, stick to your guns is all I can say, cos they are the bloody right guns. These films are given an 18 for a reason and tbh, if I had my way they'd have at least a 25 CERT , never mind 18. Show me a teen that magically turned into an adult at 18 and I'll run naked down the high street.

Scatter you speak wisely and I applaud your post.

Jaxtellerswife Sat 17-Mar-18 21:16:17

'Because I said so' is quite lazy parenting past a certain age. It's just common sense to explain things properly. I think op is right and is great for talking to her son about it.

DrEustaciaBenson Sat 17-Mar-18 21:29:19

Ask him what he would say to a much younger child - under ten, say - who wanted to watch or play one of his 15 or 16 rated films or games.

Goldmonday Sat 17-Mar-18 22:50:23

Oh gosh, let him watch it and I guarantee he will never question age ratings again!!! 🤢🤢🤢🤢

MinaPaws Sat 17-Mar-18 23:17:27

I bet half the friends that 'watched' it last weekend didn't see it at all. hey all big themselves up at that age. DS2 was always saying boys were allowed 18+ computer games/DVDs etc and it turned out they weren't.

MinaPaws Sat 17-Mar-18 23:27:44

Why would any parent let a 15 year old watch that sort of film?

Blizzardagain Sat 17-Mar-18 23:29:03

You don't need to justify it. Your rules and I don't blame you, that movie is vile.

At the same time, at that age he'll probably find a way. I know I did.

Wanderwall Sat 17-Mar-18 23:41:25

That film is horrific.

Tell him it will freak him out.

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