We are quickly entering a gray area here at Casa Wente. See our oldest is 9 1/2. We said she's too young for PG -13, although many of her friends are allowed to watch them. I was even the mean mom who said no when a friend brought a movie to our house to watch for a sleepover. Then my kid, she read every single Harry Potter book in 6 months. Well hell, if she can read and understand (she made 100% on every AR test) then why for the love can't she watch the later movies? So we decided she could. But of course there is no 700 page Simpsons book. How do we decide she's ready for that cultural phenomenon? Huh? Someone? Anyone?
Then my fellow bloggers and parents of similarly aged children Steph and Stu at Badmom said they let their offspring watch The Simpsons Movie. Woot! This meant someone knew the answer to my question which I promptly asked in their comments section "I'd just like to know the official age for watching the Simpsons. Please and thank you." Which resulted in the following email exchange.
In our house it's 10; Mason very nearly planned an entire Simpsons party for his birthday this year. He did, however, have a marathon Simpsons-watching day to himself after turning 10 (we have all the seasons on DVD).10 for the Simpsons huh? Well, I know that as far back as I can remember I was watching The Young and the Restless, As the World Turns and Guiding Light all summer long. I think I was 10 for the summer of Kelly and Morgan, ah young love. That began my life long dedication to The Guiding Light and John Wesley Shipp (who played Kelly) ya'll may know him as The Flash or most likely Dawson's daddy. Oh yeah the point here, I can't imagine letting my daughter watch a daytime soap. And apparently the TV Ratings agree as daytime soaps are TV-14. Oh and those cartoon people? The Simpsons is TV-PG which is not recommended for the under 10 set.
I feel a little ridiculous that is has become such a big deal. The Ingalls family would be appalled that this is our growing-up milestone...
Thanks. I do wonder if we are too worried about this, my parents didn't edit what I watched as a kid, I don't think it hurt me. I think I'll be blogging about this issue soon.
Hey if we were the Ingalls family we'd be getting our teens ready to marry and build a house of their own. Of course then we wouldn't have to live with the whining and complaining. Maybe they were onto something there!
Good point about pioneer families...Hmmm.
I also watched TV 24/7 and turned out a reasonable person (so I say), though I do wish I'd done more reading & writing as a kid. We just felt like there is so much grown-up dialogue in The Simpsons that everyone's life would be easier if watchers were nearer to jr. high age so they'd get most of the jokes & innuendo.
Good luck :D
Black and white, right? I wish! Fairly recently we started letting both girls watch PG movies from when we were younger. Except guess what. We are OLD and those movies were before they added that pesky little 13. Gremlins and Beetlejuice, whoops those would so be PG- 13 now. In fact in 1984, explicit violence in the PG-rated films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins were "the straws that broke the parents' backs". Their complaints led to the MPAA introducing the PG-13 rating. Wow, way to undo all that careful parental control we'd been working on for 9 years. Just a side warning for anyone who hasn't recently watched Gremlins, there is a scene where the girl talks about her father dying stuck in the chimney as he was playing Santa for her and "that's when she found out there was no Santa Claus." Um yeah, I SO didn't remember that either until I was watching WITH my kids. Luckily I was trying to divert their attention with bright shiny objects as she was telling the gruesome tale and they missed that last part. Now they are only allowed to watch with us so we can say, oh that's a sad story she's telling, lets skip to the naughty gremlins, click.
Not only did I watch soaps but I have a laundry list of movies that my parents let me watch that I can't believe. They took me to see both Ordinary People 1981 and Reds 1981 when I was 11. My hubby counters this with inappropriate but BORING. Which, well he has a point because I don't really remember either movie, but I do know I was NOT allowed to see Endless Love 1981 or Blue Lagoon 1980. But I distinctly remember going to see Saturday Night Fever 1977 and Grease 1978 as a double feature at the drive-in. My dad slept in the backseat while my mom and I watched the movies. I was 8 years old people, I am thinking most of the sex stuff went over my head, I was just there for John Travolta. Another lifelong boyfriend. NO he does not believe in Aliens, sticks fingers in ears, la-la-la-la I can't hear you! Where was I? Oh yeah, so if the movie is over their heads or BORING that doesn't make it automatically okay, does it?
Also in the gray area, Outsiders 1983 now listed as PG-13 originally PG. Is my Harry Potter reader ready for this one? I believe I may have to review it first for myself. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for my daughter, I mean do you remember the cast of this flick?
So Internets... how closely do you monitor what your kids watch? Are we just too concerned? We all turned out fine, right?