It was interesting watching a pre-teen girl viewing a PG-13 movie with her parents. The movie had several inappropriate scenes dealing with language and adult sexual humor. It was said “She is not learning anything she hasn’t heard before.” Even if true, this is the wrong point.
Exposing a child to something inappropriate is only half of the concern. The other half is the silent approval the parents are giving to those scenes. It unconsciously endorses bad behavior. We adults know the difference of good and bad in movies but not all children do. Furthermore movies do such a shabby job of distinguishing between virtue and vice, heroes and villains and reward and consequences (especially in comedies).
The bottom line is that if parents are going to watch a risky movie they need to keep the child’s perspective while watching. This may be as simple as once or twice during the film giving small comments on how you interpret what just happened. When a child knows how you see an inappropriate action, they will realize that this is how others view it too. They won’t forget it either.
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