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How firm are you with age ratings on films/games?

(292 Posts)
BowieFan Thu 13-Oct-16 21:11:18

DS1 and DS2 are both 14 (15 in two weeks) and I've pretty much let them watch anything up to a 15 since they were about 11, as they were both sensible kids and most of the time they were watching the films with us anyway.

18 rated films are kind of an approval basis. DS1 is a horror nut and I have no issue with him seeing things like The Exorcist or Friday the 13th. Anything like 50 Shades of Grey, they'd have to come to me first to have a discussion on why it's not a healthy relationship and all that, and if they understood it I'd probably let them watch.

Games don't come up that often but I've pretty much let them have GTA and CoD since they were 12 as me and DP are both gamers and understand what they're playing. We wouldn't let them have horror games until this year though because we're aware they affect you differently to horror films.

How firm are you on age rating things?

notquiteruralbliss Thu 13-Oct-16 21:14:46

We don't check ratings. DCs don't seem traumatised.

BearFeet Thu 13-Oct-16 21:14:57

Ds is 10 in Feb. He's allowed to play 12 games and watch 12A films and some 12 films if we've watched them first. No more than that.

Mamabear14 Thu 13-Oct-16 21:16:26

No way would my almost 12 year old get GTA. Not for years. However I did let him have call of duty last Christmas, he was the last of his mates to get it then.
He does know however, that if he gets ragey too much, or starts hollering about shooting people more accurately with his mates then I go up and switch his Xbox off, middle of the game or not. And he has to do his homework first!

BrainPrions Thu 13-Oct-16 21:18:25

I think it really depends on the kid. Mine is a toddler and has strict ratings because she gets scared easily. As she gets older, I'll adjust the ratings to what she's personally capable of handling without quoting inappropriate things, acting up because she thinks the behavior is ok, or being rude to others because it was funny in a movie.

redskytonight Thu 13-Oct-16 21:19:52

I'm apparently a weird parent who believes that films/games have a rating for a reason.

The DC were allowed to watch some (depending on what it was)12 films from age about 10/11. Oldest DC is 12 and won't be allowed anything with a much higher rating until much older.

I call myself weird as most other parents I know seem to have allowed 12s since about age 4, and 15s since about age 10.

cloudyday99 Thu 13-Oct-16 21:20:05

I think it depends hugely on the child. DD- 13 has sought out and watched 18 films but appears completely fine about them. But DSD - 16 had nightmares after an 18 game recently. Though DSS - 13 was absolutely fine with it. Have had to ban it though to protect DSD. Generally I think if they watch a lot of movies then they learn to cope with scary stuff younger. And the same with games, if they play a lot then they learn to disassociate from it, but if they just play occasionally (like DSD) then they more easily find it disturbing

BearFeet Thu 13-Oct-16 21:22:45

She'll probably do all those things anyway brain regardless of what she watches come 5 anyway winkgrin

inneedofchocolate Thu 13-Oct-16 21:24:58

I usually do a search of games and their content. My 11 year old is very sensible and understands that shooting/war type games are not representative of real life. He is allowed to play COD but not to speak or listen to others online- he mutes them. He is only allowed to speak to real life friends and we monitor him regularly. He is not allowed GTA because of the sexualised content and graphic aspects of the game.

bostonkremekrazy Thu 13-Oct-16 21:28:13

I'm with you Redsky. Ratings are there for a reason - we adhere to them. We also often view films for content before our dc see them. We have had to remind schools that showing dc a PG film without parental permission is not appropriate, but seems other parents were not bothered......mostly i think because their children had often seen said film without parents supervising at home anyway.

YouMakeMyDreams Thu 13-Oct-16 21:30:27

I use the ratings as a guide. I'm not super strict I know what each individual dc can cope with. Oldest is Dd 13 and she hasn't watched horror but I'd probably let her watch stuff others may find inappropriate but I know her so know what level she's at.

BrainPrions Thu 13-Oct-16 21:32:45

She'll probably do all those things anyway brain regardless of what she watches come 5 anyway

She does it now. The Good Dinosaur apparently has a slew of death threats I never noticed until she came up to me growling saying "I'm still gonna squeeze the life out of you, but first, get me cheese?"

Or Zootopia has some interesting quotes out of context. My kid was upset about spilling her cereal cried going "I'm just a dumb bunny". That was a long talk about why she was a smart bunny, and even the smartest bunnies make mistakes.

Which is why she doesn't get anything above a child rating. I'd like to minimize the damage to just kid show quotes. Those are bad enough to manage. grin

Avengerhart85 Thu 13-Oct-16 21:33:45

My 5 year old has seen all the 12A superhero films at the cinema they happily let him in...I always thought 12A was similar to PG but if the children are in the cinema alone they have to be 12.

LyndaNotLinda Thu 13-Oct-16 21:36:40

I'm really strict. Otherwise where's the excitement in growing up?

Eolian Thu 13-Oct-16 21:40:33

I go by the ratings unless dh and/or I have seen the film or played the game and think it is suitable in spite of the rating (which happens quite often).

BowieFan Thu 13-Oct-16 21:46:16

Yes, we let the kids watch 12s at about 5. Most of them are no worse than what used to be a PG in the 80s. E.g. the violence in Marvel films isn't as bad as what got passed as a PG in Temple of Doom in 84.

I've never had issue with the GTA games as they're very very cartoony in their violence and the sexual stuff is pretty easily avoided. People who have issue with them don't seem to have actually played them.

TeenAndTween Thu 13-Oct-16 21:48:52

I don't care too much what other people do with their own children.

But it makes me livid if my child goes to another house to play and they are then shown something over age. Do what you want with your child but don't inflict your laxness on mine.

(Includes any parents organising a film party for a child and showing an overage film).

SaucyJack Thu 13-Oct-16 21:50:33

Mine are 9&11, and I let them watch anything up to a 12.

Mostly it's fine. 10 Things I Hate About You was faaaar ruder than I'd remembered tho.

BowieFan Thu 13-Oct-16 21:51:04


The age ratings are just guidance. They're not legally enforcable in the home.

When you actually realise how ridiculous some of the ratings guidance is, you'll learn to make your own mind up. E.g. a film like Pride getting rated 15 because it dealt with gay themes and featured a dildo in one scene on a table, but a film like Titanic got away with a 12 despite featuring frontal nudity and graphic violence.

I know my kids and what they can handle. Plus, both of them are intelligent enough that they can stop watching something if they find it too intense.

We watched The Walk with DS2 (a PG) over the holidays and he found it too intense because of all the heights in it. So he got up and went upstairs.

Are other kids not capable of knowing their limits?

Tattoosandteadresses Thu 13-Oct-16 21:55:45

Not at all strict but I watch the movies/play games first or ask opinions from people who have before I let them.

I was reading Stephen King et al at 13, imagination can be worse than any horror movie grin

BowieFan Thu 13-Oct-16 21:56:27


We've always checked with other parents before we do that and had a system in place where a kid can go somewhere else in the house with an adult if they're finding it too much.

If we stuck to age ratings, the kids would've never seen films like Pride (a film everybody should be made to watch), The Grand Budapest Hotel (a classic) or Annie Hall (same).

Ratings are basically nonsense. Jaws is one of the most scary films ever made and is a PG. Texas Chainsaw Massacre has one tiny bit of blood and is an 18. Star Wars A New Hope has someone decapitated and billions dying when their planet explodes, but is rated U.


BowieFan Thu 13-Oct-16 22:00:21


Same here. Considering at their age I was out drinking and smoking weed, I'd much rather them be watching films or playing GTA, to be honest.

I remember reading The Shining at that age and scaring the shit out of myself, but I got over it pretty quickly. It just cemented my love of reading, because that was the point that I realised how powerful writing I can be. I'm an English teacher now, so I turned out alright!

EdithWeston Thu 13-Oct-16 22:00:23

"Are other kids not capable of knowing their limits?"

I'd say most form are not capable, which is why the PG and 12/12A categories are so useful in the sense that parents can be alert to their DC's maturity and capabilities and make decisions for them accordingly.

My older teens happily watch 15s and play GTA (though racing only) but we're seriously shaken by the Woman In Black (cusp of 12A and 15)

BabyGanoush Thu 13-Oct-16 22:01:38

I am strict

DS (14) not even playing COD or GTA yet (well, not at my house anyway)

My 11 yr old can watch 12 movies but not 15s

I also have parental controls on wifi etc.

Am sure they find their way around it all (at friends' houses) but I am not facilitating or encouraging it.

BowieFan Thu 13-Oct-16 22:01:40


I suppose that's true but what I meant is - do most kids not know they can leave/turn it off if they're finding it too much? I'm 40 but if I'm finding something too intense on my own, I'll turn it off.

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