Do YOU go by Ratings?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 11/29/2011 ( 107 moms have responded )

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Or do you use your own judgement? I'm asking this because of a thread I started last week that got more than a little heated and I'm hoping this time it won't go that route.

My husband is studying 3D animation and game design so we both know and believe that the ratings on video games and movies are just there to let the public know that the game/movie may contain certain content that MAY NOT be suitable for some ages. It's there to allow a parent to make the choice themself. I've taken my 7 year old daughter to see some CGI PG movies starting when she was 4 because I was there with her and I'd read the reviews and the ratings beforehand. To me that is responsible parenting.

So again I'm just wondering what you allow for your children. Do you do research before allowing something or do you just go by what the rating for something is?

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Krista - posted on 11/30/2011

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Silly me to think that children can make choices for themselves.

In some aspects, I agree that kids can make choices for themselves. But if you are honestly trying to tell me that a 7-year old has the same judgment as an adult, then I'll cordially invite you to pull the other one.

As a parent, we often DO make choices for our kids, because they do not yet have the skills to make good choices for themselves. We choose what they eat, we choose what time they go to bed, and yes...we choose what media they are exposed to.

If you want to let a 7 year old watch Saw, then that's your prerogative. But I think you're fooling yourself if you think that a kid that age actually has the critical thinking skills to determine on her own whether or not she is emotionally ready to witness such things.

Tara - posted on 11/30/2011

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http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/stor...

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/7543...

A little info on how violent video games can alter brain function and chemistry.

I use a combination of ratings and my own previewing and researching.
I would much rather my kids see sex in a movie, sex between people who care about each other, not slutty all over the house sex.
I think that too many people get squeamish letting their kids see a couple of people making out, and that far too many people have no issue letting their kids watch people dismember other people, people doing drive by shootings, men preying on women or children etc. etc. to me that is the twisted, the dark, the evil side of humanity, that can exist, that does harm a growing psyche.
I think it's a shame that young children are not allowed their innocence. Just because a child wants to watch something and doesn't appear to be scared etc. does not by any means indicate that they are unchanged by the passive act of watching abhorrent, twisted and mentally fucked up-ness with their mom.

Jodi - posted on 11/30/2011

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"Tara A game can not alter your brain chemistry because it's not a drug. Unless you are on drugs it can not alter your brain chemistry. Any game can get you excited and give you an adrenaline rush if you're enjoying it, but it cannot permanantly alter your brain's function. "



Show me your research that says that. Because actually, research tells a different story. Did you not READ those links that Tara posted?



And for your information, there are many things that can alter your brain chemistry/function permanently that are not drugs. But I guess your biology degree taught you that? Or your physiological psychology studies?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/30/2011

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Amanda, there may be plenty of things to respect you for in your way of parenting, but having your children watch the most gory horror movies out there, is not one of the reasons. You may see nothing wrong with it, but I guarantee psychologist, therapist, teachers, and other professionals would disagree.

I find it unfortunate that you expose your children to such horrors. There is no need. We are parents for a reason, and one reason is to protect them from violence and horror. You ARE desensitizing them. You may not see it like that, but you are.

Jodi - posted on 11/30/2011

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Oh look, abuse could possibly alter brain chemistry permanently:

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-15364712...

Abuse is not a drug.



And this one - Menstrual Cramps may alter a woman's brain chemistry permanently:

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Non-...

Menstrual cramps are not a drug.



Mental illnesses are altered brain chemistry cause by various things. They are frequently not caused by drugs.



Have you heard of situations that "rewire" the brain? Stop using your eyes and your brain will rewire to compensate for that. It doesn't need drugs to do it. The brain's chemistry just adjusts to the stimuli outside of the body, and in this instance, there is no sight, so it adjusts accordingly and over time, it is totally rewired.



Gamblers. Gamblers brains are "rewired" so they get a constant need for the reward that comes with gambling.



Heck have you studied Pavlov?



So if this is the case, why is it so difficult to believe that continual and regular exposure to violence will alter the brain chemistry so that the person is desensitised to violence? It doesn't take drugs to do this either. It's a conditioned response. Basic psychology. Basic biology.

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Aleks - posted on 12/09/2011

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@ Megan,pls read above as I mentioned his age.

Also, in continuing above thoughts, I wonder if I let my 2.5yo be regularly exposed to stuff that my son now finds frightening, will that then make her DESENSITISED to this and she will not be frightened by it when she gets to be older and understand the context better (like my son now can due to his level of maturity and understanding the context, oh and by the way, he does know that stuff on tv is "not real")
So I wonder how much early and regular exposure to some stuff generally *desensitises* kids from the get go?
(just wondering out loud)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/07/2011

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And your son is how old? Different children, different ages, different ways of how things work. That's what I've been trying to say.

Aleks - posted on 12/06/2011

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I totally agree with the last statement that Laurelai Hoffmann made.

Also, horror films are not the worst thing that someone can watch in the world. There are that many effed up things out there that one can see and its not deemed "horror". Shit, how about watching a documentory about some of the most twisted stuff that occured in WW2, or the chemical warefare used in the past and present. Damn, that is enough to frighten me for life. Some of the things mentioned/shown (innocently enough) in some documentaries can cause serious anxiety for years to come for a child (or even an adult) and there is no "horror" around. Yes, like someone mentioned, there are things in Disney movies that may scare a child (my 5.5yo son spent half the Toy Story 3 burried in my shoulder!!! Stupid me for thinking I can trust Toy Story movie as the previous two he loved and still loves). He also doesn't like Ice Age 3 either.

Also, while watching Home Alone, my son was also scared (aged 6) while my daughter (2.5) was not, however, I wonder whether it is because she was not *mature enough* to understand the concept of why one may find some things scary???? So will see that if she is, say 4-6 yo, will she then find some things in Home Alone scary?



As for self sensoring - I was busy one evening, Harry Potter was starting on TV, son was watching, I was at my mum's. After about the first 30 minutes he started saying how this movie is scary or "probably a little bit scary". However, he still didn't stop watching it! He burried himself under the pillows or table, but kept one eye out on the TV screen. So yeah, self sensoring - my arse!

(btw, within a minute of hearing him say that the movie was scary I got there and switched the tv off and sent him off to bath - which is probably what I was busy preparing lol).

Jodi - posted on 12/05/2011

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Thank you Kim, that's exactly what I was referring to. I totally agree that children should be allowed their own choices, within certain limits, but that is very different to self-regulating.



Enough tact for you, Meggy?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/05/2011

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Kim pretty much. except I can't exactly jump in to my own thread since I kinda created it.

Groovy Girl - posted on 12/05/2011

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Meggy,
I just went back and read your original thread. You asked what we do as parents in regards to ratings. I added my two cents when someone brought up that children can self regulate. It's my opinion. Then you jumped in telling me and others that SOME children can self regulate depending on their maturity. Ok, so thats fine that is your opinion. Mine is still that i don't believe children have that ability. So we agree to disagree! Cheers.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/05/2011

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Jodi, you did the exact same thing on several different occasions in this thread. I just have the tact not to constantly point it out. I'd love to know which post I contradicted myself in because I don't see it. I read that I'm saying over and over that each child is different and they mature differently. They need guidance, but they should be allowed to make their own choices at different stages of their lives.

Children can self regulate to a point and it varies from child to child and age to age. A NORMAL (because I know I will get my post picked apart if I don't state something properly) 14 year old's brain is DIFFERENT from a NORMAL 7 year old's brain. And each child has different ideas of what they can and can't handle just like adults. And it's important to ALLOW them to try and make their own choices once in a while.

I hope that was clearer

Jodi - posted on 12/05/2011

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Meggy, I think you missed my point. I was arguing the fact that children can't self regulate. In one breath you are saying that children are capable of self regulating, and in another, you are claiming that parents should regulate. Which is it? If children are capable of self regulating, then they don't need the parents to regulate them. Right?

Merry - posted on 12/05/2011

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In the end there's no way to make this a black and white issue. It takes all types to make up the world and some parents are unknowingly raising the future crminals and abusers. I don't know if desensitizing kids to violence causes them to be violent. Idk if having alcohol in the house makes kids turn to alcohol. I don't know. But SOMETHING is causeing certain kids to turn in to violent abusive addictive bad adults.

We all can theorize about what causes these kids to turn into such adults but in the end, we all could come up with different reasons.



No one wants their kid growing into a criminal. But there's no shortage of horrible mean nasty adults. Someone raised them.

So that's why I'm hyper cautious about what my kids see. I want to try to avoid my kids going down negative paths. And so I try to avoid the things I think *might* contribute to aggressive adults.

And violent movies are one of the things I personally think could contribute to these negative tendencies.



I mean I'd love to know how some of the worst people in our generations were raised.

Then maybe we could avoid those things.



Edited to add- this was a very short simple and to the point post and I'm not intending to sound like anyone's kidsa re going to be criminals or abusers or anything. I'm just saying that there's got to be something we can do to prevent our kids from growing up like that and if being cautious about media influences as kids could possibly help them not think violence is ok then it's worth thinking over what they see.



This is SO VERY much NOT directed at anyone. It's just why I choose to be cautious about censoring what my kids see.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/05/2011

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True Krista, or their dads. Because I found out that DH allowed my 7 year old to play Duke Nukem forever and I flipped! When going by video game ratings I read the back, not the front for what the game contains. When I do movies I go by reviews and some clips.



ETA: I consider ratings just a guide. I use my own judgement and my daughter's maturity level to make the call.

Krista - posted on 12/05/2011

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True. But there are some damn clueless people out there who would have no idea where to even start. So at least it provides them with a bit of a roadmap.

Besides, there are some movies out there that upon first glance, LOOK innocuous enough, but contain some really mature content. So the ratings even help savvy parents weed through all of the choices.

Sherri - posted on 12/05/2011

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Although ratings are great there are no regulations on them anyways so really in the end it is still 100% a judgment call for the parents anyways.

Krista - posted on 12/05/2011

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Oh, I agree with you that MOST parents do know what is best for their kids. But some do not, and that's why things like ratings are necessary, because we can't always rely on mother knowing best.

Sherri - posted on 12/05/2011

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Correct Meggy. I think most parents know what is best for their own child. Is every parent incapable of making logical decisions, hell no. I think the majority of parents are quite capable of knowing what is best for their children.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/05/2011

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Krista, the fact that some moms don't know what's right for their child doesn't mean that ALL moms don't know best. By your logic you may as well say that you don't know what's best for your children and neither did your mom.

True, I know of a few women myself who are horrid moms. Including my ex's mom who was checked into a few state hospitals over the years. But does that mean that because she wasn't quite an adaquate parent that I don't know what's right for my own child? I should hope not.

Sherri may correct me if I'm wrong. But I believe what both of us are saying is that if a mother is mentally capable of deciding things and has a good relationship with her children then she does know what she's doing when she and her child decide to either watch a movie or play a video game that is above the child's age limit.

As a friend of mine once said: I'm not so insecure that I need your approval to know that I'm right. Meaning, I believe that I'm doing right by my daughter to allow her at 7 to make some of her own choices.

Krista - posted on 12/05/2011

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The thing is, though, Meggy, is that you're assuming that each and every parent has sound judgment skills when it comes to determining what is appropriate for their children.

They don't.

There genuinely ARE some parents out there who allow their child to be exposed to things that are wildly inappropriate. And yes, while children can vary with regards to their maturity level, there is still a certain range there. And there is some stuff out there that is not appropriate for ANY young child, regardless of that child's individual maturity level.

That is why ratings are there -- to give guidelines to parents so that they have a starting point.

The whole "mother knows best" argument that you and Sherri used -- well, it just doesn't hold water. Mother DOESN'T always know best. So to say that a parent's choice is automatically right and fine, just because they're the parent? That's really faulty logic.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/05/2011

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I don't even know if you bother reading the part where I say my 7 year old isn't put in those situations because I don't even like horror movies. I won't allow her to watch them until she's in her teens. Because I know I can't handle them and sometimes she gets upset from certain scenes in Disney movies.



Porn doesn't equal horror movie and you wouldn't show porn to a child because it's illegal. So yes it is moot unless you really don't keep your porn locked up or monitor what your child does online. Which I do. We're talking teenage brain vs child brain. Completely different, especially to those who insist on compairing data on the subject



The majority of children between the ages of 2-10 could care less about seeing someone naked becuase all they think of is 'ew cooties!'. By puberty boys will find an underwear ad worth watching because it has women in underwear. That's usually when you start talking to your kids about puberty, hormones and sex.



Sherri's right all kids are different, which is what I've been trying to say as well. You know your child better than anyone else and I know my child better than anyone else.

Sherri - posted on 12/05/2011

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I say just go with what you know is appropriate for your individual children. And some kids may not be ready for down right horror movies at 11, but some depending on the child may be fine with them. You have to know your children and just use your best judgment as to what is appropriate for them or not. It really is sooo simple.

Groovy Girl - posted on 12/05/2011

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Meggy,
The porn thing is not a moot point, i think Jodi was making reference to children being able to censor themselves. If a teen came across a porn video on their own, its all but likely they will watch it. Which in turn is why children are not allowed to watch porn. We have to censor them. So, it would seem that they need parents to help them decide what is appropriate for their age, with material that isn't porn because if left to their own devices their curiousity will likely take over censoring themselves.
I have no illusions that my 11 and 8 year old have and will see things that i might not approve of. But, in my home i will continue to TRY and make the right choices for there ages. I don't put them in a bubble. But i'm not going to say " Hey, did you boys want to watch this movie about a serial killer who cuts peoples bodies up for fun. This kind thing does go on in this world. You need to know this, so lets watch. They know there are bad people but i just don't see that they need me to expose them to the graphic horror of this. Just my opinion

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/05/2011

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Jodi, allowing a child to veiw porn is ILLEGAL here in Canada and in the US. So that's pretty much a moot point. Horror doesn't really equal porn so how is it the same? Seeing a naked person at 14 is a lot different from someone who isn't a teen during puberty and not all movies with a quick ass shot or boob shot are porn. Your kid in their teen years is a lot less likely to be affected in some way by seeing someone's butt double or boob double than a child. Or do you feel that your 14 year old is only as mature as a child?

A 15 year old boy is already looking at nudity behind your back so it's hardly the same comparison as allowing a 7 year old to do the same thing. Or allowing a 5 year old to view something scary (even though some 5 year olds consider parts of Disney movies scary) since somehow porn=horror movie.

Ok what's been seen can't be unseen, but if you see it once and you get a nightmare it's not like everyone will be scarred for life. As I've said before kids are smarter than you give them credit for and of course I'm not going to allow my child to sit in on something scary since I don't like scary movies. But if they do have a nightmare that's why you sit with your child and TALK TO THEM. You can't keep them in a bubble and protect them from infancy to the time they leave for college. And you can't realistically expect a teenager to not sneak something stupid like Porkies (or whatever that 80's movie was) behind your back.

Krista - posted on 12/05/2011

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Yeah, I'm with Jodi and Aleksandra on this one. What is seen cannot be un-seen.

So let's say that your 7 year old sees something and decides that it's just way too damn scary for her. Well...she already saw it. It's there, and can't be un-seen.

I mean, shit, I could expose a 5-year-old to movie showing an adorable basket of puppies being skinned alive, and he'd probably be terrified and run away. So yeah, he used his own judgment and censored what he saw. But the bit that he saw before he left -- what will THAT do to his emotional well-being?

Aleks - posted on 12/05/2011

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Self censor.. that is funny! Pity its too late for the child who HAS to self censor! As they have just seen something that they probably wish they didn't.

Jodi - posted on 12/05/2011

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I disagree Meggy. A 7 year old can only censor themselves AFTER they are already feeling scared (or horrified or whatever is making them feel uncomfortable). And no, a pre-teen or teenage boy will not censor themselves from a naked woman. They just won't. Do you think it should be okay for my 14 year old to watch porn and I should just allow him to self censor? Um yeah, like he's going to.......

Tracy - posted on 12/05/2011

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i usally check things first ,then you can decide if it's suitable for your child ,

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/04/2011

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Amanda's right to a point that ratings in the US and Canada can differ. I have Avatar the last airbender and some of the US and Canada ratings differ from one DVD to another. However I'm from the US and live in Canada and the US does have more ratings than Canada. But for the most part they're identical. I've also yet to see an R18 movie rating in the US in fact it's not even a rating. R by itself is a rating and that is used in the US and Canada.

Kim, kids are a lot smarter than you and some other people give them credit for. If my 7 year old is watching a TV program that she doesn't like or that scares her, she'd more than likely change the station. She's never been in that situation though because I don't like scary movies or shows myself and won't allow my husband to put something like that on TV period. Maturity and the ability to handle certain situations differ from child to child and adult to adult. For example, my brother is in his 20's and can't stand to go to a wake and see people laid out. However he can watch crime shows all day long. I on the other hand have now issue with the dead, but I don't want to watch a horror show because it will keep me up.

Groovy Girl - posted on 12/04/2011

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Hmmm, children censoring themselves. Of course, because i'm sure a 10 year old boy has the ability shut off a movie with naked women and sex scenes, or some guy slicing off another guys head. Cause we all know children are not curious creatures right? Hell, for that matter why do they even need us? They have got it all figured out by 7 right............

Amanda - posted on 12/03/2011

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I would also like to point out that ratings in USA are different then Ratings in Canada, for example In Time is rated PG in canada and in usa its PG 14. Many rated R movies in usa are PG/PG14 in Canada or even RA (which means as long as an adult is with a child they may enter the theater to watch it). Not often is a movie actually rated R18 in Canada.



I remember once my aunt telling me at age 16 I couldnt watch Terminator 2 because it was rated R on tv. I of course was confused as I saw this movie on my own in the theater five times at age 14, but its because USA rates movies way higher then Canada does. So this movie was rated PG in Canada, but rated R in usa.

Sherri - posted on 12/02/2011

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They may have some value but all it tells me is as usual it is up to the parent to decide what is appropriate for their child and use their best judgment.

Tam - posted on 12/02/2011

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Aleksanda (I love the way your name is spelled, by the way)

Guidance from others is always a good thing, in my opinion. Just because the ratings are not done by professionals does not mean there is no value in them, but that we as parents have more of an onus to make the harder decisions for ourselves. But that is always the case, no?

I prefer the way it is, personally. I tend to dislike it when someone tries to tell me what to do in my household, though suggestions are always good to have. Without such, we could not grow and learn.

Aleks - posted on 12/02/2011

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Hmm... seems you are right. Also, this is in the US.
I did a little bit of research and here is a link to the Australian Board:
http://www.ag.gov.au/www/cob/classificat...
Make it what you will of it. Guess I had higher beliefs regarding what our governements chose to direct/help us as parents.... guess I was SOOOOO wrong....

Tam - posted on 12/02/2011

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Oh yes, found the MPAA website. Under the FAQ asking about who the raters actually are, it states:

"Movie ratings are determined by a full-time Board of eight to 13 parents. Raters have no prior film industry affiliation. And all share the common prerequisite experience of parenthood. Raters work for the Classification and Rating Administration, which operates independently by submittal fees it charges to rate films."

www.filmratings.com

Tam - posted on 12/02/2011

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Quick note before I head off to bed. I did a search for some info about rating systems, since I know that there are inconsistencies between the different types of media. For example, comic books use a self imposed rating system for purely CYA purposes, but I was not sure about how motion pictures did it.

While Wikipedia is not usually my source for citing, I'm using it now as I am pressed for time. In regards to motion picture media, Wikipedia states:

"Contrary to popular belief, MPAA ratings carry no force of local, state, or federal law anywhere in the United States. The MPAA's rating system is administered by the Classification & Ratings Administration, which is not a government agency. MPAA ratings only serve as a consumer suggestion by a group of corporate analysts. After screening films, their personal opinions are used to arrive at one of five ratings. Theater owners voluntarily agree to enforce corporate film ratings as determined by the MPAA, which in turn facilitates their access to new film releases."

It looks as though it's rated through layman's opinion rather than a board of psychiatrists and so on. That's not to say that people with psychology degrees aren't somehow in on the process. I didn't find a checklist, but my search was not that in-depth, as I stated. However, it seems to me that media is such a broad category that creating such a list would be a monumental undertaking, if not impossible, and there would likely be no way that any real concrete conclusions could be agreed upon.

Link to the article I quoted: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Pict...

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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There is a code of conduct. If they say fuck more than once it's MA or something and all these other things about the level of sexual references and different swear words and stuff.

Aleks - posted on 12/02/2011

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I would like to add this little thought to the conversation. Who do you think decides what rating to put on a movie/game etc? And where do you think they get this idea from?



I bet they have a tone of psychologists (child and otherwise) and psychiatrists, behaviour specialists, etc among others, who carefully design a checklist (I bet you there is one!) of things that are deemed not appropriate for MAJORITY of certain ages. Sure ther are some kids that can *better* handle some topics... but I doubt they can truelly *handle* them in the manner that adults can. Reason: because as adults we hold a lot more information to be able to make judgements and analyse what we have seen and then categorise it in our brain of where this thing that we are viewing fits in (and from personal observation, some adults still don't have all the right faculties to do that, lol). Kids don't have this ability yet (you know, cognitive development and all that) - no matter how much you can explain to them what they are seeing(hey, try explaining calculus to an 8 year old... I bet only extrememly small amount of 8yo can handle or understand it! Very few in deed. Greater majority don't have the cognitive ability to understand it... nor all the other information needed to as well! Get my point? Heck, I bet that a good deal of adults don't understand calculus either, soooo.... yeah.... )



Also, most of you who "allow" younger kids, than stated on the ratings, to be exposed to this adult/older content seem to give reasonings based on YOUR prejudiced beliefs from your growing up or even adulthood and hurts YOU experienced -eg, you need info to deal with stuff. Yes, but its probably because YOU need that the most to deal with stuff YOU encountered. Your child may not be like that!



Like others above me said; YOU CANNOT UNSEE something. I have seen some stuff (as an adult) that I wish I was never exposed to let alone seen (in a movie). I also seen some stuff as a child and it affected me... neither good neither bad (can't say for sure) but I know that it did, and guess what? I didn't have nightmares about it.. yet.... was affected.

So, a child doesn't need to necessarily show outwardly the effects some things they may be exposed to, and yet be tromendously or just a little bit affected. And sometimes these effects rare their ugly heads much later on.



As for DESENSETISATION to violence. I have one thing: ALCOHOL and DRUGS. You may think your kids are not affected at the moment. They seem great kids, won't hurt a fly. How do you know that that frequent exposure to violence doesn't etch itself in their subconscious ready to pounce when they are drunk or drugged. And don't be in denial that your kids won't abuse drugs or alcohol - as that cannot be predicted at this point in time.



All I know is that alcohol induced violence is a huge problem where I am. And it has been growing at alarming rates (including female voilent acts while intoxicated). Somehow, it seems to be the generation mostly brought up on video games (usually violent - as majority are that, esp the more popular ones) and movies (most popular ones are chock full of extreme violence).

Just wanting to point this out. I don't know what the crime stats are like where you all live... but its like that here.



Ok, thats another of my 5 cents worth...lol

Tam - posted on 12/02/2011

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Amanda -

It is just my opinion, but I don't see any reason to need to defend your choices, to be perfectly honest. I agree with your summation of the trends and studies. Those things tend to be averages across a given range of people and all of us here know that generalizations do not tend to apply in real life situations.

Many of these studies also have valid studies that debunk their original findings. As for my kids, they are exposed routinely to things that society says is too mature for them, but that is because I think that knowledge is a person's best defense against the world. It is better to know about something when someone responsible is there to explain it, rather than when they stumble upon it in life with no basis for comparison. My kids know that hurting others is wrong, but they also know that police officers sometimes shoot the bad guys. They know that soldiers in movies go and fight wars, but they also see that I dress in my cammies every day.

That isn't to say I force them into uncomfortable situations. I keep a close eye on my little ones and even if they don't tell me something makes them uncomfortable, it's easy enough to see. When my kids were in the office during my ultrasound to see what genders my twins are, my daughter was scared by the sound of the heartbeat. I didn't see that coming, but it only took an explanation of what it was and a request that the volume be turned down to rectify the problem.

I think a lot of the issue with some ratings - not ALL, since I DO think there is content that no child should be exposed to until their more mature years - is the taboo and the absolute belief that no child could ever possess the presence of mind to accommodate the experience. However, this also comes into dangerous territory in this sort of conversation. As we place limits on our children's exposure, we are subconsciously mimicking our own comfort zones. In the end, what we are willing to directly expose our children to is directly linked to what we as individuals accept as permissible to ourselves.

Amanda - posted on 12/02/2011

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Im not going to defend my parenting choices any more, because I dont need to, but I wanted to say well put Meggy, problem with the internet everytime theres a new trend to explain/excuse bad child behaviour it fills up with studys to defend that new trend. Ie movies/games = criminals, sugar/red dye = hyper kids, and the list goes on. As I like to say, the internet can be a dangerous place lol.

Kristel - posted on 12/02/2011

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I'm a christian so I go by the ratings! I absolutely think they are for what the content is. I agree reading the reviews also helps and agree that is good parenting! I do not go to the movies being I'm a stay at home Mom with little Money to begin with. I wait until they are on dvd and rent them or if on sale I buy but same idea on seeing them. please don't think this is negative not my intent. Good post!

Merry - posted on 12/02/2011

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I think desensitization is a bad thing.
Saw is a sick sick movie that I think adults would be better off not seeing.
Maybe not quite child abuse but in that direction.
You can't un see anything.
Once you see it it's affected you permanently and even if you then decide its too much to handle the damage is done.
Kids can't make their own decisions because they're KIDS! If a 7 year old was awake in my house 'saw' would never ever be turned on.
Heck, I don't think I'd ever let saw IN my house.
I've never seen it and I never care to

Jodi - posted on 12/02/2011

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@ Meggy, if you choose to be insulted, that's up to you. I was not insulting you, I was stating that in MY opinion, you have not provided ANYTHING that says violent video games and movies does not alter the brain chemistry of a child regularly exposed and DESENSITISES them to violence (which, BTW, doesn't correspond with necessarily BECOMING violent). All you have been able to say is that your husband's career/studies are in this area. So no, given I have read studies that state otherwise, I don't take that on its merits. Be insulted by that if you wish. It isn't intended personally.



Provide us with some solid information refuting the studies and I will happily read them too.



And just for your info, I have not ONCE said I have an issue with showing a 4 year old a PG movie, or allowing my 8 year old to play an M game. I am one of those people who will judge it on an individual basis, and also based on the personality of my kids. I am not in anyway disagreeing that it is a subjective decision. I am, however, disagreeing with you that violent video games and movies don't have a permanent affect on young children.

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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I tink you have to be very careful what you put in your mind. When I was a really little kid I saw an episode of Baywatch where a kid falls down a hole on the beach. This was over 10 years ago but I dream about being stuck down a hole on the beach and I think about that episode nearly every day. What if no one had found the kid? What if his friend wasn't there to tell the Baywatch crew?

Merry - posted on 12/02/2011

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Well I don't go by the ratings, but in the opposite direction. I'm far more cautious about what my kids see then the average ratings.
But it takes all types to make the world so I try not to judge

Brenda - posted on 12/02/2011

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wow meggy, quite a heated topic! lol but these are the things that keep us growing & learning so thanks for starting it! As for ratings, I'd have to say I use them as a starting place, then use my knowledge of my own child from there since every child matures at there own rate no matter what their age, I myself am not much for videogames, I have a hard enough time finding time to get on here! lol so my 6 & 2 year old girls have only been exposed to vtech games, tree house tv & kids movies for me this is as much because of commercials as much as it's about ratings or content, I have taught my girls that words & pictures are just that they only become more when you use them, so I don't really worry about inappropriate songs or shows etc. because my kids know whats acceptable in our home, every family is unique & parenting is not a contest although some people seem to to act like it is lol personally I think the world would be a pretty boring place if we were all exactly the same! As for violent content making children violent, I suppose if they don't get any other input they could come to think it's acceptable behaviour but it doesn't control their actions, thats where we come in as involved parents to teach what is & isn't acceptable, even years & years ago when cartoons consisted of mickey mouse & the bugs bunny & tweety show I remember a story in the news about 2 young kids watching a cartoon where one character is attrachesd to a door & when the door opened he was bounced like a rubber ball,, it was silly & quite funny, unfortunately 2 small boys decided to act it out & the reality was a young child ended up hanging his baby brother from a door knob, it wasn't violent but children don't think about things the same way as we do as adults, they are children, it comes down to being involved & communication, just yesterday I said to my 2 yr. old, it sounds like you have a sore throat, want a peice of watermelon? it'll feel good on your throat...she took the watermelon & placed it on her kneck, outside her throat lol so I explained I meant it would feel good inside when she ate it! lol children think differently than we do! being involved is what counts & it sounds like you are to me, don't think you deserved some of the commente you got about this, so once again thanks for starting an interesting conversation!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 12/02/2011

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Jodi, do you read my entire post or just parts? Where did I say that my husband is working for a video game company? My husband is IN SCHOOL where they RESEARCH their findings and what they TEACH. It's even in the OP which you apperantly disreguarded because only your statements can be true. I find it insulting that you believe what I have to say has no merit simply because of what MY HUSBAND is learning to do for a living. Do you honestly believe that people who are in those industries don't do their research either? 3 to 6 months is dedicated to just the research for a game.



According to any information I can find between aggressive behaviour and video games scientists only say that they MAY do TEMPORARY altering of the brain by causing certain chemicals to be released during game play. So even scientists don't know for sure. It's also been proven that military training can condition someone's brain. If you believe that your child can become easily influenced by video games, then perhaps monitoring your child is your best option. That's responsible parenting. Blaming a video game for your child's behaivour is not. I've yet to hear of a case where a judge has ruled someone innocent due to the influence of a video game as an excuse for commiting violence.



When allowing my child to play a video game or watch a movie with a higher rating than her age group I look at the content on the back of the box (for video games) to see what is involved in the game. Which again is why I say Halo is ok but something like Red Dead Redemption is not.

Karen - posted on 12/02/2011

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Hi! I believe you are right in using your judgement and that it is responsible parenting. I also use my own judgement as well as my understanding of my child. He isn't like every other child. Not all children are the same. My son is 12 and has been seeing some PG-13 movies since he was about 6. Now I am using IMDB.com to determine if it's OK to take him to or watch with him R rated films. This film database has a parental advisory which specifically breaks down the entire film and why it is rated the way it's rated. I make my choices from the information I gather and then am able to explain why or why not something is or isn't acceptable. It's much easier for him to understand that way as well. Also, being a single parent I sometimes use information from films or games to start dialog about topics. That makes it easier to talk about some subject that you might not otherwise know how to bring up.

Carol - posted on 12/02/2011

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I USUALLY WATCHED THE MOVIE FIRST IF I HAD ANY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT IT THEN DECIDED MY KIDS ARE ALL GROWN NOW AND STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY I NEVER LET THEM WATCH THE SIMPSONS! RATINGS ARE A GOOD WAY TO START BUT SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO SEE IF FOR YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CAN ACTUALLY MAKE THAT DECISION

Sandy - posted on 12/02/2011

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I look at the rating, but also read the description on the box. I then compare it to my child's abilities. I also go on what I've heard people say about the game. For example, if friends say it's a great game because of the player's ability to decapitate a character or shoot a character to mush, I'll probably pass on it for my child under 16 years old.

User - posted on 12/02/2011

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I agree that the ratings are a guide, not final truth on anything, and I believe that parents should have the right to make decisions for their children and to be responsible for the decisions they make on behalf of or for their kids. Nobody is going to tell me what my child can or can't do unless it's based on law. I'm getting a bit philosophical here, but should anyone tell me my child HAS to have a certain vaccination at a certain age which doesn't pertain to their health at that point? Yes, I'm talking about the HPV vaccination but only because it's a perfect example. I don't believe that ANYONE should tell me my young child, or even my pre-teen or teenage girl should have the vaccination. Conversely, I don't believe that anyone should tell me my child can't see a certain movie or play with a certain toy because of their age. The parent is the person who should know their child best. I'm supervising at the movie or as they play with a toy that is rated as being a year or two too old for them, it's my business as a parent to make the decision based on my child's abilities and their understanding of the world around them. This is especially true for children who have older siblings. They are exposed to more, and different types of play than children who do not have siblings. Where do you draw the line? I say it's with the parents, and as a parent, yes, they should research and know about what their kids are doing or seeing.

Jodi - posted on 12/01/2011

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@ Meggy......

I will have to agree to disagree with you here.



You cannot compare pulling over a vehicle when you hear a siren (a voluntary response) to a dog salivating when they hear a bell (which is an involuntary bodily function). That involuntary behaviour is an alteration in the basic biology of the brain (i.e. brain chemicals, the way neurotransmitters transmit, which ones transmit, which chemicals our brains produce, or the way the receptors are uptaking the chemicals).



You have also not been able to provide anything of any scientific nature to refute the studies that have been linked in this thread other than YOUR opinion. Your husband works for a video games company. Of COURSE they are going to deny it can cause violent behaviour if children are regularly exposed. They have a vested interest in denying it. It is in their best interests to deny it.



So please forgive me if I don't take your word for it because your husband's company said so.

Aleks - posted on 12/01/2011

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@Tara Kruusi - EXACTLY! I have tried to espouse those exact thoughts in other threads regarding exposure of adult content to children. Thank you. You have hit the nail so succinctly on the head!

Tam - posted on 12/01/2011

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I think it really depends on what you are experiencing. My husband and I play a lot of video games. Most of the games we play, we allow the kids to watch while we do. We make sure to either steer clear of extreme situations involving sex and so on, but more for the avoidance of the 'why' questions than anything else. I'm pregnant right now and my kids (6 and 4) already know where babies come from, since they asked. I've always been of the opinion that if you are old enough to ask a question, you are old enough to get an answer. That answer must be tailored to age and understanding, of course. The same goes for media.

When it comes to movies or shows, it depends on the types of content. My kids love Ironman, Captain America, and a lot of other movies that have quite the level of violence. I'm fine with them watching it. In fact, the swearing in the movies doesnt bother me either, since they both know what is and is not allowed, and they know that there are consequences if they use bad language. However, I am also a huge fan of crime shows and the sort. Certain shows, like Bones, are usually okay since there is not too much disturbing content once the 'body discovery' is made and it actually holds some small educational value (now my son asks me about skeletons, how the body works, what happens when you break a bone, etc). Yet I make sure when I watch other shows, like Snapped or Deadly Women, I do so when the children aren't around. The reasoning behind that is because there are photographs and re-enactments of actual violence against actual people, and no amount of reproduction and stage dressing can truly copy the feel of some of those scenes. And I'm not really prepared to answer why some people kill other people in real life, but not because I don't think my kids would handle it - but because I know that the true crime shows are about true events and real people, versus the crime dramas that are about characters. To the kids, they'd probably think of every show as being about characters, since they have been taught that very little seen on TV is real.

To cut my rambling show, I control my children's media access in response to my own desire to field or not field questions about whatever it may be that they see. The important thing to take into consideration is the individual maturity level of your child and your ability to articulate answers that could satisfy their curiosity, and also your ability to provide damage control in the event that something actually turns out to be too much for your child. Like when my son almost had a melt-down when we were watching Wall-E (!) and he thought that the poor little robot got incinerated by the landing space ship early on.

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