The Tween Years | R Rated Movies + Television
I should probably start this post by saying two things:
1. I remember a time before PG13 rating became a ‘thing’ and
2. I’m probably considered strict or conservative by many when it comes to screen time
Both of these things probably color my stance on movies and television. I remember my parents saying, “Close your eyes! Close your eyes!” during certain parts of movies growing up. There are two stand outs moments that are seared in my brain. The first is when the Arc of the Covenant was opened and all the Nazis faces melted. The second was during The Right Stuff. To this day, I don’t know what Ed Harris was doing, but I assume kissing or worse, sex, was involved.
My parents didn’t have the luxury of a PG13 rating. So there were things that popped up they weren’t anticipating. And it’s entirely possible my memory is fuzzy, but I don’t remember as many ‘family-friendly’ movies when I was younger.
Today, I have figured out what to avoid, for the most part. And Dave and I search Common Sense Media if we have any questions. For instance, the kids have been asking about Winter Solider. I won’t let them see that, but I read that the first Captain America would probably be okay.
I’ve also found that going back to older shows like Rocky and Bullwinkle and The Munsters satisfies the kids. What’s not to love about a flying squirrel and silly moose? Plus, the language is sophisticated and playful, which I think helps hold their attention. I also have a soft spot for the reworking of fairy tales. (That’s probably me being a nerd though ;). The Munsters is just slap-stick.
There is a problem going back to the classics though, they lack any and all diversity. Or worse, when there is, the characters are a stereotype. It has lead to some weighty and difficult discussions about race and media. Ones that we should probably all be having even about present day movies and shows.
How about you? How do you feel about tweens watching R rated movies? And any tween movie memories you’d care to share? Here are two of mine: The Dark Crystal kept me up at night and has me, to this day, a teensy bit afraid of puppets. Yeesh. And I vividly recall watching Over the Top with my BFF at the time. Our friendship ended shortly after. Probably over the shame we felt sitting through that horrible movie together.
ps. Did you see this study? “The research to date suggests that keeping kids from R-rated movies can help keep them from drinking, smoking, and doing a lot of other things that parents don’t want them to do.”