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Unsuitable films for children

(67 Posts)
MawB Sat 21-Sep-19 21:38:14

Babysitting - DGS 1 (9) has just come downstairs close to tears saying he is frightened by something. So got him beside me on the sofa and tried to tease it out of him.
LSS it seems he was recently at a friend’s house and saw either film or the trailer for the new Stephen King film “Pennywise” (?)
I have never been a Stephen King fan and googling the film/character it scared the lights out of me!
We chatted about how his mummy and daddy or I or his other grandparents would never let anything harm him, how his school (a lovely CofE primary) cares for not just his learning but his emotional development and how his loving family could not possibly be more supportive and caring.
I have to tell DD about this when she she gets in, but my initial reaction is how could another parent be so negligent as to let their own 9 year old, let alone his friend, watch something so terrifying and unsuitable.
I am actually very cross as DGS is a lovely sensitive and highly intelligent boy who thinks deeply about things and has clearly been very affected.
Who’d be a parent nowadays?
Any thoughts, advice, experience of this sort of thing?

Peewitt52 Sun 22-Sep-19 14:23:42

IT/ Pennywise scares the pants off me and I’m (age wise anyway) an adult. I can completely understand how a child would be terrified.

KatyK Sun 22-Sep-19 14:05:29

I can remember having nightmares about a film when I was a child. I have no idea what it was called but it showed a little girl being taken away from outside a ranch by Red Indians (as we used to call them). I was terrified of Indians (I am now fascinated by them). DH thinks the film may have been The Searchers.

Maremia Sun 22-Sep-19 13:46:25

Yes, it is constant warfare trying to keep our youngsters safe from media predators in all forms. You just have to be vigilant while they are in your care, even if it means sitting side by side through eons of lego blogs, Youtube slime making films or whatever interest they are have. It's the pop ups that are the menace, and the other 'suggested' programmes shown down the side of what you are watching with them. They are only ever one click away from disaster unless all of your machines have appropriate blocks.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:37:11

notanan2 totally agree with your post.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:32:59

The strange thing in our case is the girl who didn't watch the scary videos has gone on to become an actress and act in them.

HannahLoisLuke Sun 22-Sep-19 13:32:40

This reminds me of a time, years ago when I called on my daughter for a coffee and her three children plus friends were watching a home recorded vhs tape of Fireman Sam, Postman Pat etc on a wet miserable afternoon.
After she'd made our coffee she went into the other room to check on the children and to her absolute horror saw that they were watching The Silence of the Lambs! It was previously recorded on the same vhs tape and hadn't been completely scrubbed before reusing the tape.
She just switched it off and breezily asked if anyone was ready for a biscuit.
None of the children ever seemed to suffer any after effects but on checking the tape afterwards they'd only seen a couple of minutes thank goodness.
She was extremely careful about reusing old tapes after that!

Day6 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:32:00

Maw I am still amazed that a film which terrified me and played on my mind (as a middle aged woman,) "The Woman in Black" the one with Daniel Radcliffe has a 12 certificate!!!

I'd have been damaged for life if I'd watched this supernatural horror at that age!

Your poor Grandson. I was absolutely horrified when I viewed on of the X Box games my (adult) son and his friends were playing. It involved players being killers and shooting or otherwise murdering baddies on screen. It was terribly violent, but players splattering the figures on in a gruesome fashion was greeted with howls of delight by the others,

They were adults but I know much younger children play these hideous and very violent games - some of them very tense and scary. I wouldn't allow my sons Nintendo boxes when they came out. They were teenagers then and I was viewed as a real spoilsport but I was so glad that their childhoods and teen years were spent mostly in the fresh air and not sitting in front of TV screens or video games/mobile phones.

I think parents have a duty to monitor what their children are watching. One of our young GDs tried to con us into letting her watch a Netflix programme designed for American teens. It was complete tripe but showed girls having dream lives, lusting after boys, using make-up, gyrating sexily to music, preening themselves, deceiving adults - all to pop songs with dubious (sexual) lyrics. We told her it wasn't suitable and distracted her, but she pleaded with us to let her watch it. We said no - and when I mentioned it to DD, her Mum, she too told me it was banned at home. Apparently a school friend, aged six, watches it and did while GD was at her house, supposedly playing.

My DD was very annoyed.

I do hope your chat with your DGS helped him but sadly, with children now having TVs in their rooms as a matter of course, one has to wonder when and where they'll be watching the next unsuitable film or programme.

grapefruitpip Sun 22-Sep-19 13:27:35

Oh it's heartbreaking to see innocence spoiled.

My son cried for weeks about Aslan....that was only the teacher reading the story.

Poor kids, growing up with this filth available to them.

Tigertooth Sun 22-Sep-19 13:22:37

The other child’s parents probably didn’t know - it was just a trailer so probably just popped up as an ad on Netflix or something.
Not great but perhaps showing him some footage of how films are made, prosthetics, make up etc will
re-Inforce that it’s not real,

notanan2 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:15:57

And as another poster said, its not always "horrors" that dusturb.

My children were fine with fiction, could appreciate that it wasnt real, but one went through a phase of getting upset and stresses about cbbc newsround which they show at school!

notanan2 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:13:32

There are benefits to exploring macabre themes in "safe" settings like a movie but it does need to be age appropriate.

montymops Sun 22-Sep-19 13:12:12

I can remember when Jaws was shown on television- maybe late 70’s or early 80’s - at a time when children could watch it. Two of my children ( all now in their 40’s) were completely fine and not disturbed at all when a man’s leg was bitten off ( they are both now in the medical profession- a surgeon and a GP) my middle son was quite traumatised- had nightmares, banged his head against the wall and it took him some time to get over it - some children are much more sensitive and of course in the case of Jaws - it is true that animals can and will injure humans- unlike fantasy films where belief can be suspended. Children will get over it but my son still hates any violent films - even though he is a big rugby player.

notanan2 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:07:33

I personally think that Hunger Games should be on the curriculum, it is an excellent study of propoganda, media and politics. But secondary not primary. All teens should read it IMO. The last book is horrific but was hugely tamed down in the film, which was a relief as I did not want to see the visuals on that scene.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 22-Sep-19 13:03:30

My AC are all fans of Horror films, no idea why as Mr.Gravy and I are definitely not!!

When we had sleepovers here from the age of 11 there was usually a "scary" film, but other parents were always informed and we knew one of the girls would watch tv with us till the girls had watched the film. She was never bullied or tormented for her dislike of being scared she was an integral part of their group.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 22-Sep-19 12:58:33

The Hunger Games is a 12A in the U.K. with the fight to the death scene cut.

Chestnut Sun 22-Sep-19 12:51:27

MissAdventure I genuinely think some adults haven't a clue, obviously even some teachers. Maybe it's due to the way they were brought up.

MissAdventure Sun 22-Sep-19 12:33:21

When my grandson had his last day at junior school, they had treats and sweets, and a film.
The film was 'The hunger games'!

Chestnut Sun 22-Sep-19 12:13:53

This is a subject I feel strongly about due to all the horrific content now available in games and movies and even TV programmes. The makers of these things aren't worried about children seeing them as long as they make their buck!

When we were young there was no possibility of seeing adult content. It was shown only at the cinema and you had to look old enough to get in. I saw my first horror movie at 13 years (I looked older) which was 'The Crawling Hand' and gave me nightmares even at that age.

I think we have to make sure children understand there is some very scary stuff out there and to be careful when visiting friends. We have told my 8 year old grandson there are movies he can see when he's older, but if he sees them now he will be scared. And there are movies which are so scary he may never want to see them, even when grown up. They need to know these things exist. Explain that some people like scary movies, but not everyone. They also need to be assured that they are just movies and however frightening nothing in them is ever real. Nothing in a movie will ever happen to them, and no movie monsters will ever get them!

Rosina Sun 22-Sep-19 12:11:36

I am always concerned about what chidlren watch, and the one thing that keeps coming back to me is that what has been seen cannot be unseen, and often there is damage because children are too young to cope with the scenes of violence, or horror, or worse still sex. Working in a school it was a real eye opener to learn what some children had watched at home, presumably with parental consent. At seven, eight and nine they were not old enough to deal with what they saw and it upset them.

missdeke Sun 22-Sep-19 12:07:51

I was terrified by a film when I was small about a hand coming out of a wall trying to steal a necklace, and consequently became scared of gaps, e.g. an open door causing a strip of light on the bedroom wall or a letter box not properly closed. About 10 years ago I saw The Cat and The Canary, and realised that this was the film that had terrified me, it was a Bob Hope comedy!! It's not always horror films that cause problems.

I still have to sleep in darkness with the door firmly closed!!

Davidhs Sun 22-Sep-19 12:07:31

There are always going to be sensitive children that are badly affected by graphic scenes in film and that is why films are censored and graduated including PG, Parental Guidance.
Not all parents do take notice of the age restrictions, but it’s not only censored films or TV that is harmful, there were a few mainstream programmes that were banned in our house. Notably, Eastenders - do we really want our children to learn that the continuous drama portrayed, is “normal” behavior

KatyK Sun 22-Sep-19 12:04:52

When our DD was about 12 she had a phase of wanting to sleep in our room as she was 'scared'. We found out that she had watched The Exorcist at her friend's house.

vickymeldrew Sun 22-Sep-19 11:52:22

Trailers for horror films are only shown during other films of a similar nature. They are not allowed to be shown amongst films with a different certification. It’s naive to think they are seen ‘by accident’.

notanan2 Sun 22-Sep-19 11:37:17

We chatted about how his mummy and daddy or I or his other grandparents would never let anything harm him

You can't make promises like that!
You will lose his trust if you do
Things will harm him, like it or not, and you promising they wont isnt helpful.
You need to stay honest while reassuring.

He will see worse on friends phones (and maybe his own) over the next few years so he needs tools to deal with it: how to say "no I dont want to watch that" etc. Its a starting point for wider discussion.

You cant "tell" which friends house will be lax on this sort of thing but if I was to generalise I would say that the posher naicer parents tend to be worse at keeping tabs and controls on their kids gaming and viewing than the "rougher" looking families. Maybe it comes down to logistics: in a 5 bed house you can be less aware than bunched together in a flat? I dont know!

I dont find asking the parents a great predicter either: the ones who swore blind that they were really strict on that sort of thing were the ones with the sneaky kids who knew their way around the parental controls!

The sad truth is, you cant predict or prevent it, you can only teach them what to do if it happens to make it stop and not go along with the crowd

Growing0ldDisgracefully Sun 22-Sep-19 11:18:11

I'm sorry I can't offer any advice as I've no experience of this type of situation. However, having said that, I had weeks of nightmares in my first year at secondary school, after our English teacher read out to us The Monkey's Paw (the book was then used for some class exercises). I didn't feel able to tell anyone about this at the time. So the cause of nightmares aren't necessarily always from 'banned' sources.