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Parental discretion (or: When can a 10 year old watch Alien?)

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The Enigmatic Dr X:
A question for those of us with sprogs.

Do you let them see films with a higher certificate than their age? When?

I take the view that provided I am aware of the content (and I do check) then I am master of what they watch, not a set of arbitrary criteria imposed by a bureaucrat. My view is that I know better what makes my kids tick than someone working to an "average".

So, no shagging but plenty of violence, provided it is goodie v baddie stuff with no moral ambiguity. That's my take. I'm not fussed about language (they hear worse in school) and the violence in most films is the same as some cartoons.

So, Terminator 1 - out for the shagging. Terminator 2 - in.

But what about you? I'm skewed by my folks letting me see pretty much anything (the rude bits were fast-forwarded). But I'm scarred by seeing the Evil Dead at 11.

And, more to the point:

Can my 10 year old see Alien?

And, as Christmas is coming, what about the greatest Christmas movie ever - Die Hard?

If it were up to me alone, I would let my 11 and 8 year olds watch Alien. It's my favourite film of all time and a bit of an obsession for me, so I can't wait to introduce my kids to it. Unfortunately for me (and the kids), my wife will not stand for it.

I've got her to bend the rules a little bit and, with her blessing, shown the kids Poltergeist, Jaws, Dracula (the 1979 one with Frank Langella), both Hellboy films and Space Balls, all of which are of a 12 certificate or higher (no 18s though).

Me and the eldest had a day off together recently, and while the missus was out, I let him watch Terminator 2, which he loved to bits. I've sworn him to secrecy though, as the amount of swearing in it would send my wife into an apoplectic rage. As you say though Doc, he hears worse at school, so I don't see it as an issue.

The next time me and the lad are at home alone, I'm thinking of letting him choose an 18 certificate to watch. He's expressed an interest in seeing An American Werewolf in London, which I saw when I was about 12 or 13 without suffering any trauma.

In short, play it by ear. If you think they'll be alright with Alien, go for it. My biggest concern about letting them watch Alien isn't that they'll be too scared, it's that they won't like it. I'd be mortified...

Pegasus P Artichoke:
I have two kids and I have a very good idea of what will be too scary or too much for them when it comes to films

I've never been too worried about age certificates on films as long as I know it's something that they can handle, but I was brought watching pretty much anything regardless of age rating.

If we are watching something and it's getting too much then the kids just say so and the films goes off. Me and the boy have started watching the Mad Max films together and he is loving them, he's fascinated by the car.

Alien I would play by ear as that's designed to be scary and some kids find something's scarier than others but Die Hard is a fantasic Christmas movie and should be enjoyed by all ha ha

Old Tankie:
I would be less concerned about shagging and more concerned about violence.


--- Quote from: Old Tankie on 17 November, 2015, 09:45:25 AM ---I would be less concerned about shagging and more concerned about violence.

--- End quote ---
Mm. It's strange the way modern society works in this regard, and it continues into adulthood for a great many people. Look at US mainstream films and telly, quick to censor sex and blood, but happy to rack up insane bodycounts without even thinking. I got a bit weirded out by Agents of SHIELD when the characters in the previous season just started killing everyone they went near. I always think of that episode in Invisibles, where you get the backstory of someone casually offed without a second thought by one of the main characters a few issues earlier. (Swearing only really bothers me in that words with impact are now losing them, due to overuse, but then language evolves.)

As for the films and the readiness of any small human to see them, I suppose that's down to the individual parent. Only they know their kids, and can have a good guess at what will or won't affect them. That said, there is that random element. I remember being totally spooked by a scene in Ghostbusters for years, but watched 'worse' fare when young. That all said, you'd have to have a pretty well-balanced and tough 10-year-old to get through Alien without being horrified.


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