Choosing the correctly rated film for your children
By Theresa Blume
I am not a big movie goer, so I have not paid much attention to the ratings of movies lately. Call me old fashioned, but if John Wayne was in a movie, I might not have known exactly what to expect, but I knew what not to expect.
Unfortunately, it does not work like that anymore. I have been shocked by a few of my favorite—now ex-favorite—actors/actresses these last few years.
I discussed a latest movie disappointment with someone who asked me why I did not look at the rating before going to see it. I realized that I was relying on my perception of the actor/actress and discounted the rating.
I looked up my movie’s rating, and it happened to be R. Then I Googled ratings to get a better understanding of them since they have changed from what I used to know. Now the choices are G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17.
Having a rating is a good start, but I think we need more than a few letters to define films that have the power to influence young minds. Parents and grandparents need to know exactly what ratings mean before children see a movie.
It can be confusing as a parent to know how to best guide your children with so many choices, but as times change, we must learn how to deal with the changes. Here are some suggestions:
1. Learn what each movie rating means, and be aware of each movie’s rating before viewing at the theater or at home.
2. After watching a movie with your children, ask them what they think about the characters. Remind them that each person’s job was to be a character, and this is not who the person really is.
3. Encourage your children to read biographies of real heroes/heroines.
4. Take your children to plays, and enable them to participate in play acting to give them an understanding of pretending to be a character.
5. Use resources and tools to help your child develop good self-esteem so they are comfortable in their own skin. This will help them discern and make good decisions in the future.