Parents rely on the standard ratings of movies to determine which films are appropriate for their children to watch. The general rating of ‘R’ on a movie may indicate that the film includes nudity, violence or strong language. While many young teens may feel that they are mature enough to watch a rated ‘R’ film, parents may certainly disagree. It can certainly become a bone of contention within a family if a teenager is begging to be allowed to watch movies that stray from the ‘G’ or ‘PG’ rating and parents would prefer they stick to the Disney genre just a little while longer. Here are some points to consider before allowing your teen to watch an ‘R’ rated movie.
What Elements Of A Rated ‘R’ Movie Are You More Or Less Comfortable With? Rating a movie ‘R’ can mean several different things. The film may contain no nudity but strong language and violence. The film may contain no violence but the storyline may include strong sexual content and vulgar language. Before allowing your teenager to watch an ‘R’ rated movie you must first decide what components of such a film you feel very strongly about and what components you feel your teen is ready to handle. Some parents may feel much more comfortable with their teenage daughter or son viewing a film with strong language but draw the line at nudity and sexual situations. Others may feel less comfortable with films that depict graphic violence. Researching the movie beforehand and determining exactly why the film received an ‘R’ rating may make the decision process much easier.
Will You Be Watching The Film With Them? You may be more reluctant to allow your teenager to watch an ‘R’ rated film if you will not be watching the film with them. Viewing the film with them will allow you the opportunity to share your family values and dispel any myths or unrealistic scenes displayed in the film. Watching an ‘R’ rated film together can provide a pathway to an open line of communication about important issues that may otherwise not come up easily.
Does Your Teen Handle Strong Media Images Well? There is a broad range of reactions to strong media images among teenagers. Some teens will suffer from nightmares or experience anxiety due to films or television shows that have very serious or scary themes while others will not lose a minute of sleep or give it a second thought once the program is over. Very serious and sad subjects such as illness, death or violence against women or children may have a lasting and profound on some teens while many others will not associate a fictional story with the probability that the same situation could occur in real life. Gauging your teenage son or daughter’s past reactions to strong media content can help you to discern whether they are ready to handle a particular ‘R’ rated film.