Today my son calls up from his friends house. He is calling to ask if he can attend a movie with a friend. My son is 9 and was asking if he can go see an R-Rated movie. The movie in question was Death Race – http://www.moviefone.com/movie/death-race/30380/synopsis . Death Race is the new movie out about guys in prison who are in a violent race for freedom or death. Now I know little about the movie other than what’s been in previews but know enough that my 9 yr old son (nor really his 10 yr old friend) shouldn’t attend an R rated movie. Per the MPAA the following is the definition of the R-rating:
“An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.”
Pay particular attention to the last line, which I will repeat here: “Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures”. Now I will give my son a great deal of credit for calling to ask, but more disturbing is that my son then comes home from his friends house (which he was at for a sleepover) because the parents were going to take their 10 yr old son anyway. I beg your pardon.
First let me just say, how awful to invite a child over to a sleep over and then send him home when he cannot attend a movie so you can still attend the movie. My wife and I were shocked that a family would say “I am sorry you can’t see the movie. We are going to send you home and if we get home before it’s too late, you can come back over and finish the sleep over”. If this had been one of my children in the same situation and they had a friend who couldn’t go do something, the response would have been we will go another time. However, I can say with 100% certainty that my son would not even be allowed to consider an R-rated movie at 9 or 10 years old.
Secondly….why the F are you taking a 10 yr old to a R-rated movie? Maybe it’s just me but I think parents today are getting more and more liberal with what they expose their children to at younger and younger ages. On the synopsis for Death Race it states the reasons for the MPAA R-rating: for strong violence and language. Now the strong violence can be seen in just about every action movie anymore, to include the latest in the Batman series. However, the strong language is something a 10 yr old doesn’t need to be hearing. By taking your child to this movie you are essentially condoning repeating language they hear in the movie. I am not naive enough to think kids won’t pick up things in public that they could hear or see in a movie. However, it’s altogether different when you as a parent willingly take your child to watch something that is generally not for them – like an R-rated movie.
When I was 10, my parents would have immediately said no you are not seeing an R-rated movie. I just see more and more examples of this type of parenting going on. We wonder why children today show less and less respect for their parents, teachers, law enforcement, etc. I am sorry but there is a time and place for everything, but 9 or 10 is not the time for an R-rated movie.