When discussing having a “movie night” in the backyard with some friends and their kids, I suggested “The Matrix.”
Our boys are seven and five and they’ve seen many R-rated movies like this, so I didn’t think much about the rating when I made the suggestion. We show our kids these kinds of movies and we use them as teachable moments. I’d rather teach my children every possible thing I can rather than try to shelter them from something only for them to learn the same things from less savory characters.
Some parents do shelter their kids from the realities of sex, drugs, violence, the news, etc, and that’s fine. Despite the fact that many parents judge us for letting our kids watch these kinds of movies, I’m not here to judge. As long as you are a loving and present parent, I don’t know that my way is better than yours. To each his/her own.
That said, I just don’t understand the logic.
So, I asked.
“Why wouldn’t you let your kids watch The Matrix,” I asked.
“Because it’s rated-R,” they said.
“Yes, that’s someone, other than you, deciding that something is inappropriate for your kid. What makes them more of an authority on your kid than you? What in that movie do you actually think is bad for your kid?”
“The violence,” they said.
Okay, so, I can understand not wanting to expose your kids to violence, even though it’s an extremely violent world and they will eventually learn that, but I get that parents want to protect their young children from that. However, if the violence is the issue, then why let them watch PG X-Men movies, or The Incredibles, or Bugs Bunny for that matter? I mean, all these movies are full of violence, only worse than a movie like The Matrix, this violence is inconsequential. Bugs Bunny will shoot Daffy Duck in the face with a rifle, and Daffy just walks around all funny and dizzy for five seconds and then he’s perfectly fine. At least, in a violent R-rated movie, kids can see that violence has very bad consequences, such as death. I mean, unless you explain to a five year old that television isn’t real, and you explain what acting is, they don’t get it; they think it’s real. So, if you are going to teach them that Bugs Bunny isn’t real and that the violence is fake and real violence harms people, then how is it more harmful to go next level and let them watch The Matrix?
Like I said, to each their own. Your kid, let them watch what you want. But I get tired of parents judging us when our intentions are good, we’re good parents, we’re raising good kids, and our logic on this is sound.
Why can’t parents just mind their own business?