8yo kid, 12a rated film(31 Posts)
I have a dilemma.
DS is 8, but a late August birthday so youngest in his school year.
He's been invited to a friend's 9th birthday party, we accepted the invitation not knowing what the actual plan for the party is.
Now it turns out the plan for the party is to watch a film that is 12a rated and having read the plot on Wikipedia I don't think DS should watch it. I think it's probably OK for a 10yo. The friend whose 9th birthday it is is probably quite mature for a 9yo as he has several elder brothers and spends family time in pursuits that are generally more teenage-focused. Ds is an only child and is emotionally quite immature for an 8yo so there is quite a gulf.
Every possibility seems wrong to me - I asked the mum of birthday boy to confirm the film and she said they would change the film if I didn't think it suitable. However although that would solve it I feel that would be really inappropriate and unfair for the birthday child to not have the film he wants for his party. DS would lose the respect of his friends if his mum either triggered a change of film or prevented him from attending. I don't want him teased fir being too babyish (this happens at a low level already as naturally as the youngest in the year DS is always going to be among the last to grow out of enjoyment of stuff aimed at younger kids eg he got flack for still liking octonauts)
Anyway this film has quite a bit of violence and has some quite nasty features of death, betrayal, occult themes and horror that I don't think DS is at all going to be able to deal with. For comparison DS doesn't like Dr Who as it is too scarey. But some 12A films have been OK eg he was fine with The Force Awakens.
I deliberately left the film title out because it's the general principle of the dilemma that us at issue, not the merits of the specific film. Plus adding the film title would make this totally identifying.
I wonder how much attention any of them will pay to the actual film, with the excitement of being together? I’m afraid what I decided to do would completely depend on what the film was so it’s hard to help!
At the cinema- probably not. In a house, with his friends there and an adult to support/distract if it gets too scary- I probably would. Again, couldn't say for definite without knowing the film.
I get that you think mentioning the film is too identifying, but really we can't answer your question without knowing it. My ds is super-sensitive too (and 12, so this is coming up more and more often), but as you say in the OP, some older films are ok, some aren't.
Well, if the Mum has offered to change the film, then I wouldn't have thought she was the sort who would be unkind enough to mention why. She'll just say she realised it (replacement) was a better film for a party, so your ds wouldn't be teased from that pov. That seems the best solution to me. If you don't let him go, that is when they will ask 'why not', if he'd already accepted.
I can't understand parents who do it though. When you are looking after other people's dc, you make sure what you offer is suitable for all of them.
It's a no from me. Trust your gut instinct, he's your child and you know him best. One birthday party isn't worth the possibility of days/weeks/months of nightmares and distress.
I always err on the safe side with films, as the images are impossible to get out of one's mind once they're in.
I would watch the film myself and see what it's like. Then take a view. I think also as they get older it's sometimes a good idea to put the ball in their court. Ask ds - it's quite a scary film, I'm not sure you'll like it, do you still want to go. What will you do if you really don't like it - ask hosts mum to call me to collect you, ask host if you can do something in another room. I find with parties there's always one who'd rather be playing with something in the bedroom or something anyway.
Thanks for responses.
ok if it makes that much of a difference to being able to express an opinion - it's one of the later Harry Potter films.
He's read and enjoyed the first 2 HP books but not seen any of the films yet.
It would be in a family home so I guess leaving the room and playing upstairs would be an option if he gets scared - but I am just as concerned by the concepts in the plot that aren't so much scarey frightening horror as just ideas which a young 8yo brain isn't ready for.
A HP film? That wouldn't bother me one bit then. My children love them and none are anywhere near 12 yet by a long shot.
My 7 year old has seen all of the HP films. They are harmless.
Which bits do you have issues with?
HP may be 'harmless' for other people's children, but this has ZERO relevance to how your child will react to them.
Some parts of the later HP films are very scary and sinister (Voldemort and his gang); 'good' characters get killled, etc. I have a sensitive 8 y.o. boy, and I've only just let him watch the first HP film, supervised.
Those saying "leave it up to him, he can leave the room if he doesn't like it" - I think that's too much responsibility to put on a child that age; asking him essentially to 'self-parent', AND whilst in someone else's house. Not fair on him, if you think there's a reasonable chance he'll find parts of the film upsetting. Nightmares in someone else's house? Not nice at all. Would you wake someone else's mum up in the middle of the night because you were scared? I wouldn't.
You will always get people saying 'they are harmless' / 'my dc has watched every 18 there is and he's only 4' ( <- possible slight exaggeration ), but that hardly connects with the fact the film board have suggested, or advised there is content in the film that it is better to wait until you are 12 to see it. That is the whole point of films having classifications.
Yes, my dc have watched various films before reacing the required age, but that is my judgement call, knowing my individual children. Even within my family, there are differences - 2 would possibly have been ok with the HPs at just turned 8, one definitely wouldn't. None would have 'removed themselves and gone to play elsewhere in the house' if this was what 'the crowd' were watching at a sleepover. Even if anyone's child would do that
which seems very unlikely to me by the time they've decided they don't like what they are watching, they've already seen stuff they didn't want to see.
Maybe suggest they watch the first one if he hasnt seen any of them.
Is there actually an age limit with the 12a's?
We watched jaws (12?)when DS was about 9 - I was monitoring like an over anxious mum in case he got scared but he didn't - only a bit upset when the dog got eaten!
A DVD will be rated 12 rather the 12A as 12A is only used at the Cinema
If it's Harry Potter YABU. They're made for children and most children his age will have seen the films/read the books. The books are far more graphic with violence than the films
Tbh I think more likely that your DS (and half the rest of the party) will be bored/confused watching a later HP film having not seen the others/read the books. At that age it is hugely unlikely they will sit still and watch it, we had a movie party recently for some fairly grown up 8 year olds and the amount of film actually watched was negligible. It was all messing about, climbing about, a LOT of noise and sweet eating. I wouldn’t worry about it being too adult, highly unlikely they will pay much attention!
I wouldn't think they'll do much watching to be honest, they'll be messing around, chatting and eating!
Honestly, I'm pretty sure most 8 year olds will be fine with Harry Potter. They are kids films and he's now at the age where he knows that none of it is real. If I was the party boys mum, I would be very surprised any parent of an 8 year old considered this film unsuitable. Maybe ask your Ds? It could be a lesson on resilience and he might be tougher than you think.
A later HP film is imo a ridiculous choice for the party. The Mum is totally wrong with agreeing to it.
1) it is a 12A
2) the youngest attending are only recently age 8
3) it is in a sequence of films and the best way to enjoy that is to have watched all the previous ones
4) it has scary stuff which may be fine for some 8 yos and/or for those who have read all the books so know what's happening but will be massively unsuitable for many.
I think you need to find an urgent alternative engagement.
I hate it when parents show over age films at parties. it is totally unnecessary, there are loads of PG films that could be watched instead. The parent should have said upfront 'sorry DS, I know you want that film but it is a 12a and some other parents may not be happy and I don't want to put them or your friends in an awkward position so please choose something else'.
My 13yo still fast forwards through parts of the HP films (especially dementors).
The thing with 12 films is that different children are affected differently by them. Jaws that a pp mentioned was a 15 when it was originally released, yet it's shown on daytime TV now.
My 10 yo has only seen the first 4 HP films. It will be a while before we let her see the later ones.
I really can't understand the race to let children watch films that the film review boards have decided have a more adult theme. There are loads of great films aimed at children and not enough time to watch them all.
I would speak to the mum, OP, and see if they can watch something else.
It really depends which HP film it is, I watched the first three with DS when he was 8ish but then stopped there. Only recently have we watched the fourth and he's now 10 and he was fine.
Yes, they are based on childrens books but there are events and topics covered which I found DS needed a bit of reassurance with. Would watching the first together be an option..test the water so to speak?
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