PG-13, did you wait until they were 13?


New Member
easy child and difficult child are going to grandma's house for a sleep over tonight. We stopped at the video store so they could get a movie each. difficult child is 10, easy child is almost 12. She grabs a movie that is rated pg-13. I said no and she got upset with me that she's probably the only one who can't watch pg13 movies and it's not fair that she can't because difficult child is younger.

Did you guys wait until they were 13 or was it depending on the movie? We let them see Ghost Rider (the rating on the video box said pg, yet when we put it on it said pg13 (canadian ratings are different than the states) but we had already told them they could. It had some scary things but that was it.

Am I being a stick in the mud?


Hi Christine,
no, I didn't really care if they watched PG-13 movies before they were 13. With difficult child 1 she was doing X-rated stuff by that age anyway....PG13 was pretty tame compared to her own life! I probably am not a good one to answer this--felt like that kind of thing was so minor compared to what I was dealing with, just didn't seem important. I'm sure others will come along and give you a better answer!


New Member
I think it depends on the movie and the child. I chose by why a movie was rated PG13 or whatever. I didn't mind some violence, some scary scenes but I didn't want my daughter to see sex or almost sexual acts. A Jackie Chan movie was no problem to me. A Steven Segal movie was no way. But I do agree with your 12 YO that she's probably one of the very few who can't see a PG13 movie today.


New Member
I've been bit on the but by this twice recently. I have a very mature 12 year old easy child, but my other kiddos, 11 and under, not so mature. Between "Norbit" and "Because I Said So", I WILL NOT be doing this again. When they said crude humor, I thought for sure it was going to be similar to Shrek, over their heads, no such luck. I had all the kids asking me what an orgasm was in no time. I just said "Ask Pa Pa" (my dad). He was so thrilled with me. hehe. I wish I had been more careful, and until now I was, but after these two movies, I will be from this point on. My 2 PCs get exposed to R rated stuff at bio dads, but these PG13s were my only two "ooops" and my last two. We'll be waiting until everyone watching is 13 before we do that again.


Like meowbunny, I base it on content. For instance, Dr. Doolittle is PG-13 and I had no problem letting my kids watch it way before the age of 13. If it seems to be more sexually based or has drug scenes, then it's a no. I am more cautious with difficult child than easy child because difficult child is much more gullible, susceptible and easily led than easy child who has never had a problem standing up for what he feels is right. If his friends are doing something he doesn't like, he just comes home. No fuss, no fight, no hard feelings.

If we do get blindsided by a scene I feel is inappropriate, I take the opportunity to discuss it, offer my views and listen to the kids' feedback.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
I agree that it depends on the movie and the child. There were some movies that I adamantly refused to allow either easy child or difficult child to see and then there were others that I allowed one but not the other. There were movies that were based on so called true stories that I made my girls do research projects on if they wanted to see it bad enough so their opinions were not skewed by Hollywood. There are a couple of movies out there that I did not allow them to see and they have never seen because by the time there were old enough, the movie has lost its appeal. And, there are some movies out there that I did allow them to see that were rated R or PG-13 that other parents probably would not allow their kids to see because it had educational value or the ability to heighten their personal awareness and growth. I do not go by the rating systems - never have. I think it's crap.


Active Member
We try to watch the movie ourselves first. In our case, difficult child 3 is cautious about being exposed to stuff he shouldn't be watching - he covers his eyes when South Park is on! The older ones are all adults, they have seen it all and will tell me what they think about the content, for difficult child 3. If there's any doubt, we watch it too, then we watch it with difficult child 3.

Some mild sexual stuff, such as Ranma 1/2, one of the kids' favourite animés, which has some animation nudity involving bare breasts (no detail) in bathing scenes which are necessary for the plot - we let him watch but with supervision. The character in that cartoon has a curse on him, he turns into a girl when hot water lands on him or he is immersed in hot water (as in a Japanese bath - and they are communal baths). The story is more about the confusion in the other characters, as well as the stress of having to live with such a curse. A girl in the household likes the main character (the boy) but finds herself confiding this to the strange girl sharing her bath. Apart from the necessary nudity in the story, there is nothing sexual, not even a kiss.

And yet - it's rated as our equivalent of PG13+.

Our ratings are advisory only, until we get to R rating, which is "show ID, nobody under 18 allowed to watch it" or X, which is not for public screening anywhere, only available for private purchase and then only under very strict conditions - ID must be shown. I just had a look on our shelves, we have some very strange standards. Family Guy is M, same as Ranma. "For Mature Audiences Only". "From Hell" is MA15+, which means parental guidance recommended under the age of 15. Other things we have at MA15+ include movies I would not have thought were a problem. Other films rated G, I wouldn't let difficult child 3 watch. "Bring It On" is rated M, but I'm not sure difficult child 3 could handle it.

I do think it also related to the child and what they can handle. difficult child 3 needs to watch films that are fairly gentle (stylised violence only, preferably slapstick and keep it to a minimum), with a positive ending and some thought-provoking social situations in between. The Japanese stuff is interesting because it is so different, socially. It gives us a good opportunity to explain cultural differences to difficult child 3.

We also see cultural differences between us and the US, in terms of what is acceptable and what isn't; what is sexual and what isn't. For those who remember the Seventies, did you ever watch "Solid Gold" on TV? It was a pop music countdown show coming to Australia out of the US, where the top songs of the week were selected from and performed, often by a 'cover' group, with the backing dancers, the "Solid Gold Dancers", doing their stuff in the background. No video clips; just the show, like a cabaret. Sounds innocent - but my mother turned it off because the dancers, despite having no navels showing and discreet cleavage, were wearing leotards which revealed almost all their behinds, like a thong. Back in those days, navels were not permitted to be shown on US TV, as far as we could determine. On "I Dream of Jeannie", Barbara Eden's navel was covered by a high waistline, although her cleavage was very much on display.
In video clips, we see lots of behinds being shaken at the camera and it makes no sense to us - our culture is almost all cleavage. Or topless. In summer, a lot of our beaches will have topless girls on them in varying quantity. A few beaches take it all off. But a skimpy behind - our blokes don't seem to be into it.
Just an example.

The Japanese apparently consider the nape of a woman's neck to be highly erotic. I saw a Japanese calendar once, handed to me in hushed whispers. It featured women in geisha make-up, mostly head and shoulders, from behind or part-profile from behind. In its own way just as depersonalising as porn, but nothing that Western society would consider sexual.

We organised a pyjama party for easy child when she was 11. We hired a lot of films we hadn't seen, based partly on the rating and partly on easy child's clamourings because the title looked interesting. One film, "Killer Clowns From Outer Space", sounded like it would be so ghastly as to be fun. it actually had the kids terrified and they couldn't get to sleep. So our moral - always watch it first, in case it backfires.



Depends on child. difficult child watches many action movies that are rated R. Watches some scarey movies. No sex. Try to stay away from the vulger language and drugs.


Roll With It
We go with what seems Ok for each child. We have no say (and no interest in having a voice) re difficult child. That is so not a subject I will ever deal with regarding him.

Jbird can see many PG13 and R movies, depends on the movie. thank you is just now being allowed to see some PG13 movies.

I screen the violence much more than the sex. I don't care to have lots of violence in our videos, but what we feel is OK on the sex topic many other parents feel is not OK. But the violence they let their kids see is not OK with us.

I think you have to go with your instincts. Just MHO.

My daughter is starting to argue with me over movies with the "I've already seen an R movie and this is just PG13." My standard answer is "OK, no more PG anything movies." A week or two with the non-G movies locked up solves this for a while.



Active Member
Child by child but generally age 11, and then with permission. It's funny but when they were younger elementary they used to really get on me for this since many classmates seemed to have few restrictions, but it's rare now. Once my oldest called home from a slumber party to see if he could watch Jaws. The mom said it was his idea too.

My daughter (9) is less impacted by aggression, violence etc than my boys and she's seen a few: the first Pirates (which seemed slapstick violence) and Revenge of the Sith with the Lava Fried Anakin scenes cut out.


Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
We have let our kids see pg 13 movies before they were 13. husband reads a lot about movies so he usually knows if it is something difficult child could handle well. As for easy child before she was 13 as long as we didn't think it would scare her it wasn't a problem.

I teach 5th grade and most of the kids are watching pg13 movies. They get upset that when I do have a rare movie day in the classroom I won't show anything more than g or pg. Mostly I stick to G ones. They think I should show the pg13 too but I'm not willing to do that.


Former desparate mom
<span style='font-size: 11pt'>The pg13 is a guideline and it's not always accurate depending on the child.
I let them see Jurassic Park but was somewhat dismayed at the violence for my 6yr old easy child. He turned and told me "mom it is just special effects". :surprise: I always tried to keep them shielded from graphic violence and gritty reality. A lot of the movies that I was on the fence about ratings, I watched with them to help them interpret what is movie fiction and what is reality. Same with cartoons where parents tend to be painted as oblivious morons.
Look at your child and see what they are ready for and what you are comfortable exposing them to. My baby sis lets her sons watch all sorts of actions movies. Her kids don't seem any more or less well adjusted than mine who were somewhat insulated. </span>
I had to share a funny, but mortifying story from when our kids were younger. We took them to this lovely movie about beauty queens called American Beauty - - - which had nothing to do with beauty queens. I had my two movies mixed up and here we are, watching this very odd movie, when a huge scene comes on the screen between the mother and another man. All eyes must have been on husband and I as to why we could possibly bring these young girls to such a movie. I quickly grabbed them to go get some popcorn when that scene came on and then much of the rest of the movie went over their head (at least until we walked out of the theater before it ended).

We didn't mind that our kids watched PG-13 movies before being 13, as long as it wasn't too violent. To this day though, difficult child will still not watch ET, because my Mom played it for her when she was 2 and it scared her so much. She used to talk about ET coming through her walls at night, etc. She's almost 21 and I still can't get her to rent it and see that ET was not a bad/scary person.

Oh well - - - good luck and watch the titles of those movies - - they can fool you, LOL!


Active Member
I also agree that it depends on the child. "PG" stands for parental guidance, so it all depends. PG-13 was a standard set after some movies were just too violent for a 7 year old, but wasn't quite enough for an R rating. There was a particular movie that started it, but for some reason I can't remember which movie... was it one of the Supermans? It was a movie in the 80's.

I know someone who brought their five year old to see Pirates 3 and Spiderman3. Honestly, I think that is just positively ridiculous, but it was no big deal for them. I saw spiderman and I thought it was way too violent for my 7 year old. There is no way I would bring her to see that movie. I can't imagine bringing a five year old boy, but I'm not the one who had to sit up at night with him through the nightmares.
Absolutely depends on both the movie and the kid. GFGI was about 7 or 8 when Jurassic Park came out. I knew she would not be able to handle it until she was about 12. Even at 12, she had bad dreams.

GFGII, on the other hand, reported seeing Creepshow at her dad's house when she was FOUR (um, hello?). It did not seem to bother her at all. Now, I ripped him a new one, and do NOT allow her to see rated R movies. I preview PG-13 movies before I let her see them. Spiderman, Pirates, Fantastic 4, they are among her favorites.

She is DYING to see the Simpsons.