Should I Take Ratings For Kids Seriously?

Should I Take Ratings For Kids Seriously?

Last week when I dropped Cooper off at school, one of his friends was talking to me about how he was going to see the movie Thor the next day.  As I walked out of the school, I had to check and Googled the movie.  It is rated PG-13. 


I was surprised that this four-year old boy was going to see that movie.  Maybe he wasn't and I should give his parents the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe this child saw an ad for the movie and assumed he was going to see it...who knows. 


However, this was not the first time one of Cooper's friends told me about a movie they were going to see that I would never consider taking Cooper to.  I know a few of the kids told me about how they saw Iron Man, Transformers, etc.


Many of the boys in Cooper's class are huge fans of Iron Man, Batman, Spiderman, Transformers, etc., including Cooper.  I know for sure that Cooper has not seen any of these movies yet he still loves the toys.  It is crazy to me that these toys are made for kids who supposedly are too young to see the movie. 


For Ken and me, we try to only have the boys see G-rated movies.  Friends and family think we are nuts as they tell us that PG stands for 'parental guidance'.  I guess for me I am trying to minimize their exposure to violence, rough language and anything else that makes a movie/program PG.  I am trying my best to let them be kids and keep that innocence of childhood as long as I can. 


It's hard though and there are times that we 'bend the rules' a bit.  I really wanted Cooper to see Star Wars as I love it and he does too even though he had never seen any of the movies.  Other Disney movies that I would think would be fine to see are also PG like Tangled, the Incredibles and Happy Feet.  We have watched all of these movies, and yes we have skimmed through parts of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace that were 'safe' to watch. 


It is truly a parent's call as to how they want to raise their kids and what they want to expose their children to, and certainly not my place to judge.  And yes, it is called a PG rating because it is our responsibility as a parent to decide what is right and wrong for our children. 


On a side note:  After Cole watched Tangled and Happy Feet, he had no problems going to sleep that night and did not have any bad dreams.  However, when Cole watched Toy Story 3, he had a hard time going to sleep and bad dreams because of the clapping monkey at the daycare.  So here is an example of a G-rated movie causing problems and two PG-rated movies being fine.    


Here are a few options for TV shows and movies that are fan favorites in our house.  They are shows and movies that honestly everyone actually likes to watch. 


TV Shows:

  • Curious George
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Word World
  • Imagination Movers



  • Cars
  • Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3
  • Monsters Inc.
  • Finding Nemo
  • A Bug's Life


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  • Great entry Lisa! My son, who is 3, had the same problem after watching Toy Story 3, he was scared with the crazy monkey at SunnySide. Our rule is that we sit down with them to watch these PG movies so we can explain to them the good and the bad and why the bad is happening (and that is only a movie). That crazy monkey from TS3 actually has helped us to teach him that his tantrums look like when the crazy monkey starts to scream. So when he starts crying and kicking for no apparent reason, we remind him of the crazy monkey and because he doesn't want to be like the crazy monkey, he usually calms down. I guess, the point is seating down with them on PG movies to explain what they are seeing. Same with Tangled, we needed to explain to them the witch, since she is indeed scary. My husband and I are also huge Star Wars fans... however, he have not showed those to them already. Probably when the Blue-Rays come out! :)

  • Thank you and great to hear from another Star Wars fan!

  • When my kids were younger I used to heavily rely upon Kids in Mind: I found their ratings and in-depth reviews to be really, really helpful.

  • I always stuck with the G rating when my boys were young. Now that they are a bit older, I find I cringe more at the PG13 movies they watch in comparison to several R-rated offerings. Sometimes, with the PG variety, the insinuations made are worse than the real deal the R-rated shows provide.

    I was scared of the monkey in Toy Story 3 :) Great Blog.

  • My son was 3 1/2 when we saw "Iron Man 2". No problems. He sat quietly -- the only thing he said out loud was "Iron Man won!" when he beat Whiplash at the F1 race near the start of the movie. At "Despicable Me", he cried because the protag was scary-looking, and never won him over with the conversion of his character. We left the theater about midway through the movie. Oh, parenthood.

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