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To think my 6yo shouldn't watch The Two Towers?

(80 Posts)
StuntNun Sat 16-Feb-13 09:58:16

I just walked in to our living room to find DH had left DS1 (10) and DS2 (6) watching The Two Towers which is rated 12. They were at the scene in the Dead Marshes where Frodo falls in the water - this bit and they were both freaking out. This has happened before resulting in DS1 refusing to go upstairs by himself and DS2 starting to come into our room at night after having nightmares.

DH says I am being unreasonable: the kids should enjoy being scared and that I am projecting my own fears on to them. My opinion is that it's okay for them to watch a film rated above their age so long as one of us is with them. For example to warn them that a scary bit is coming and that they can close their eyes if it's too scary and I'll tell them when it's over.

The problem arises because DH's parents let him watch whatever he wanted including Jaws when he was six, whereas my parents were more likely to go by the ratings system although they did have some flexibility around it.

So AIBU to not want my kids to see films rated above their age without parental permission?

BlatantLies Mon 18-Feb-13 00:46:33

The Joker is really creepy..... shock

StuntNun Sun 17-Feb-13 20:18:22

Jaws was a PG on release but it was changed to a 12 on DVD.

StuntNun Sun 17-Feb-13 20:16:33

We did take both boys to see the Hobbit at the cinema but we were with them and DS2 did spend a couple of scary bits cuddled into me so he couldn't see them and I could tell him when they were over. It's really watching these sort of films without parental supervision that concerns me more. I remember being terrified of Young Frankenstein as a child and my dad saying, "But it's a comedy." I didn't get the jokes though, I was too young and it just seemed scary to me.

On a related subject my DB just asked me if he could show the boys The Dark Knight. <Facepalm> I think the Joker and especially Two Face might be a bit more than they can handle. However they are watching Avengers Assemble with him instead which they have seen twice before (with me both times). It really is a minefield, DH can't see why Avengers Assemble is okay but The Two Towers isn't. But I'm going by the children's reactions to the film and they were scared of the goblins and the Dead Marshes in The Two Towers but they weren't upset by the scary bits in Avengers.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 17-Feb-13 19:28:03

Jaws was a PG? Wow. I watched that when I was about 9 (I think) and was terrified to go in the sea for at least a year afterwards.

BlatantLies Sun 17-Feb-13 18:33:45

I agree that with most films you can simply wait until your DC are old enough to see them on DVD. However, if ever a film was made to be watched at a cinema it was the LOTR Triology. It's brilliant on any format but best on a huge screen especially when you are 6 grin

DadOnIce Sun 17-Feb-13 18:16:58

He should be allowed to watch it once he's read the book smile

cory Sun 17-Feb-13 18:13:12

I am one of the parents who would use my own initiative to decide what is appropriate for my own children in my own home. And might also use the zapper to avoid certain scenes in an otherwise appropriate film.

Why would "you are not to see this film because I think it is inappropriate" be more double standards than "you are not to see this film because the censor thinks it's inappropriate"?

Dc are more likely to respect my judgment than the censor, particularly since the day I was refused to buy a CD because I was accompanied by my dd; the tracks in question were on the radio all the time and dd couldn't avoid hearing them unless she were to go and live in a cave somewhere with no radio signals.

One of the more educational things I did with dd was to watch the This Is How We Made This Film part on the LOTR box set when she was about 6. She has never been able to take any monsters seriously since, because she knows anybody who dies just falls onto a blue bouncy mattress. The only drawback is- she is desperate to try for stage school.

StuntNun Sun 17-Feb-13 17:18:18

Yes there is something to be said for having the films to look forward to. Jaws is my DH's favourite film so it will be a big day when we get to sit down with the boys to watch it. What's wrong with savouring the anticipation of that day rather than rushing into watching it when they aren't quite ready.

WilsonFrickett Sun 17-Feb-13 17:08:57

I think another thing is my DS7 is perfectly capable on calling me out on any perceived double standards. So if I let him watch film A which happens to be a 12 I think is OK, when I then say 'no' to film B that's also a 12 but isn't OK, then I'll have a battle royal on my hands. Far easier to have a blanket ban atm. It's not like the films he will enjoy will melt away between now and him being the right age.

aldiwhore Sun 17-Feb-13 11:39:21

There are some U films that my children don't watch...or rather, find disturbing. The LotR trilogy well, exactly for the reason BlatantLies suggests... my personal opinion is that it is suitable for MY children.

I always watch a film before deciding if it suitable or not. So the rating system has it's uses... my children know Father Christmas is just a story... we 'believe' in the moment, we are engrossed, we discuss reality/fantasy. The discussion and relationship with my children is key, I believe, the films they view, the games they play are not the strongest influencing factor in their lives.

BlatantLies Sun 17-Feb-13 10:46:23

My DC's never believed in Father Christmas and I think they all had a good grasp of what's real and not real. That said, it doesn't mean that they didn't find fictional things scarey. My eldest was always scared of the evil step Mum type figure. (cruella D'vil type characters)
LOTR has no (or very little) swearing, no sex but a lot of 'non bloody' violence and a lot of scarey monsters.
The orcs are creepy but very fictional IYSWIM . I guess the Quebec Film Censors gave it a general rating as they thought it was ok for little DCs and Quebec'ers are a contrary lot

I am glad I took my DD to see the movies. It was a fantastic experience for us all. We saw it on a huge screen which made it all the better.

I was always impressed that my DD sat glued to her seat and enthralled for each of the LOTR movies. It was probably the longest time she has sat still in her whole life.

I still agree with the OP though as I don't see the point of DC's seeing movies or having video games above their age rating.

StuntNun Sun 17-Feb-13 09:56:08

You're quite right Steppemum about the ratings being there for a reason. In some cases a younger child can't really understand what they are seeing and doesn't get upset the same way as an older child so it seems as if they could cope. For example when I saw E.T. at the cinema (age 6) I couldn't understand why my big brother (age 9) was crying, whereas he found it upsetting. But you have to consider each film in it's own right. Jaws was rated PG when it came out but I wouldn't let my kids see it yet. On the other hand they watched The Amazing Spider-Man (12A) quite happily. I'm sure some 18 year olds aren't ready for Paranormal Activity, I know it freaked me out and I'm 36!

HoratiaWinwood Sun 17-Feb-13 08:35:00

What's the point? Well, like a later poster said, LOTR is a special case. The only other PG he has seen is Rise of the Guardians, otherwise we are a Shrek/Toy Story/etc household.

It hasn't opened the floodgates to say "ah well all PGs are fine" and then next year "ah well he's nearly six so let's stick a 12 on".

aldiwhore Sun 17-Feb-13 02:01:48

Steppemum thanks for knowing my children better than me. Very helpful.

I don't misunderstand key stages in child development in general, but they are not hard fast rules and perhaps if you acknowledge that what is a good rule of thumb in child psychology or teaching practice when you're training to work with a mixed bag of children who are not your own may not be 'right' when dealing with an individual child who you know well, you may see why my hackles are up and I found that comment patronising...

I can safely say, as a woman who adores story telling and fantasy and fairytales, that I know the difference between fantasy and reality, and as such, as a mother, it has always been a hot issue with me as a parent from the get go. My children certainly knew the difference between fact and fiction at a young age, they knew the difference between a story and a reality.

I knew faiyrtales weren't real at 4 years old. I was just more able to suspend that disbelief. I also had parents who never assumed I knew, and we'd discuss it.

My sons don't refuse to watch Snow White because they think it's real, they refuse because it just creeps them out.. yet an orc doesn't.

BlatantLies Sun 17-Feb-13 01:13:25

In Quebec, Canada, where my 6 year old DD saw the LOTR movies are rated G by the Régie du cinéma ;

   G = Visa général (General Rating): May be viewed, rented or purchased by persons of all ages

So I think I am officially in the clear. grin

mind you the Québécois do like to do their own thing

steppemum Sun 17-Feb-13 00:22:22

I am very strict on this.
The film is rated 12 for a reason, so it isn't suitable for a 6 yo.

I think people who let younger children watch inappropriate stuff are actually miss understanding some of the keys in child development.

A child under 7 has a very blurred boundary between fact and fiction. that is why they can believe in father christmas coming down the chimney, when on another level they know full well that you don't have a chimney and if you did he wouldn't fit down and certainly couldn't get back up.

So when a child under 7 sees a scene in a film, it isn't pretend. It is real. Adn you only have to talk to a 6 year old about how films are made to start to uncover that they have no idea that the monster is made of rubber make-up. How could they unless they have paid a visit to a film make-up studio and seen the whole process.
The film holds a reality for them that we just don't get as adults because we have grown-up.

PG rated films are (according to the ratings website) suitable for children approx aged 6 and above, in other words, as they begin to understand it is not real.

My kids are not allowed to watch PG until 7 plus. That includes Dr Who, and other TV stuff which is rated PG

I cannot understand why you would expose your child to violence, horror, swearing and sex which is not age appropriate. To a 6 year old, it might as well be a corpse in the room on the floor as on the screen

OK - I'll get off my soap box now

StuntNun Sun 17-Feb-13 00:06:19

Domestic - yes I watched Jaws as an adult and really enjoyed it and have watched it a couple of times since. That's why I don't understand the rush for the kids to watch these films now. We have shelves of kids DVDs, DS2 came home from school on Friday asking to watch the Smurfs, he's not even interested in LOTR. And Batman Begins was ludicrous, the hallucination scenes in that are pretty scary and there's way too much violence. Although he did watch that one with them at least.

On the other hand I let them watch the Amazing Spider-Man which is a 12A and they both enjoyed that without being too scared. I suppose every film should be judged on its own content. My DS1 begged to leave the cinema when we went to see Alice in Wonderland and that's PG.

BlatantLies Sat 16-Feb-13 23:50:09

I don't think it is suitable for young DC's however my DD watched it in a cinema when she was 6. confused She is 16 now. I clearly remember covering her eyes a few times including when they showed the corpses under the water.
She enjoyed the film and we watched it a second time at the cinema a few weeks later.
We also took her to see the Fellowship of the Ring the previous Year (when she was 5) and the final movie the year after.

She is still a huge Lord of the Rings fan and has read and re-read all the books. We still have regular Lord Of The Ring-a-Thons.

I know I could be seen as being massively hypocritical as I have, otherwise, been very careful about what media my DC's have seen. My DCs were not allowed any first person shooter video games until 15ish and we followed the stated age ratings (within a year or so) for all other movies and games. Even thoughmy eldest is in his 20's they still don't have horrible violent games (like Grand Theft Auto) or movies in the house.

I treated The Lord of the Rings differently from all other movies as I thought there were just the most incredible movies ever made and that the spectacle of watching them at a young age outweighed the risk that my DD would be scared. I would NOT have let either of my DS's see the movies at such a young age though. (my eldest DS could barely watch Disney movies at that age grin )

I don't know what the age rating was inthe UK as we were living in Canada at the time where, I assume, it was a PG rating.

The fact that the OP's DC's were upset when they watched the movies shows that they shouldn't have seen it so YANBU smile

aldiwhore Sat 16-Feb-13 23:36:02

MrsO I didn't have to explain a thing.. my FIVE year old was utterly enchanted and understood as much as he needed to (but then, he'd seen them in order).

My 9 year old reads the book in between shoite school reading books... my 5 year old is desperate to learn to read properly just so he CAN read LotR!

Every child is different.

aldiwhore Sat 16-Feb-13 23:33:29

My five year old has seen all the Lord of the Rings films, yet I have banned him from certain U's and PG's... you know what your child will be disturbed by, upset by, damaged by.

Orcs and war will not be the things that hurt my child psychologically.

Sex, sadness, swearing, human violence will.

My five year old will not watch Snow White or The Iron Giant... they upset him.

YANBU however, this is something that should certainly be agreed upon by you AND your DH...

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 16-Feb-13 23:14:32

TheIcing - I can't watch the Walking Dead, and I'm 39!

DomesticCEO Sat 16-Feb-13 23:07:54

Thank you Mrs O - my point exactly!

MrsOakenshield Sat 16-Feb-13 23:03:41

but why, WHY do such young children need to watch these films? I just don't get it, there are so many fantastic children's films out there. LOTR trilogy are NOT children's films, and even The Hobbit isn't, and I speak as a big fan grin, even if the book is. A four-year-old watching it (even edited)? Jesus. What's the POINT, if you have to explain the whole thing? Keep it for when he can properly understand it, if you be that patient!

HoratiaWinwood Sat 16-Feb-13 22:56:57

Late back, sorry.

DH and I went to see the Hobbit. DS(4) had the book read to him (in patches) at the same time. He desperately wanted to go to see it; we said no.

At around the same time, the PG edits of the original LOTR trilogy came on the tv. I recorded them for myself, and noted the certificate.

I can't remember precisely why DS ended up being shown the LOTR films. I expect we showed him a bit so he could see the world of the book we had just read.

He watches probably half of the films. We fastforward through "boring talking" and battle scenes. These are not scary at 12x speed. We watch perhaps 15-20mins at a time (inc ffing) before he loses interest and wants Jake and the Neverland Pirates again.

Since I posted earlier, though, I realised I probably wouldn't show the film to a 6yo.

4 is young enough not to understand the darker bits - we have to provide a live audio commentary on most of it, which obviously we do at an age-appropriate level, eg "they need to destroy the Ring so the baddie will go away and everyone can be happy again".

But 6 is more aware. 6 would question why and imagine more vividly and so on.

Theicingontop Sat 16-Feb-13 20:41:05

Better than a 3yo I know who watches The Walking Dead. "She knows it's pretend..." - Hoookay... She says stuff like "Daddy if you annoy me any more I going to break your head and eat you" - I kid you not hmm

I was raised like your DH. I was allowed to watch whatever whenever, with my older siblings. I was never scared, it was just the way I was. If you have sensitive kids then you go by what you think is best. Tell your DH that the kids are not him, they have different tolerances, and tell him if he's going to let the kids watch 12 rated movies, that he needs to be there to supervise their reactions to it!

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