Somewhere along the way, my 7-year-old got it in his mind that he could watch any movie he wanted.
Perhaps because our parenting of late has been a little hands off. Apparently, he’s gotten used to watching what the other kids are watching, and we’ve gotten used to letting him. He’s been flying under the radar with no ill effects. While Barbie movies used to send my older son, Adam, running from the room, Jonah didn’t budge at even the scariest Harry Potter movie.
So over the past few weeks, he’s been obsessing over the third Star Wars movie, talking about it constantly and making plans to watch it during his next birthday party. I wasn’t really giving this chatter my full attention (his birthday isn’t until October), but then I over heard him mention that a friend of his might not be able to watch it. That caught my ear. Hmmm, I thought, wonder what’s different than the original three PG Star War’s movies we’ve let him watch.
The issue came to a head last week when he had the opportunity to pick out a movie to watch at home while we took the older kids to see the “Hunger Games.” (Only after they’d read the book, mind you.)
Of course, Jonah wanted to watch “Revenge of the Sith.” Before we OK’d the movie, I pulled myself out of the parenting slump, and asked my husband to look it up on Common Sense Media. Turns out it’s rated PG-13 and recommended for kids 11 and older because of graphic violence and the turn of a beloved character to “the dark side.” Two thumbs down for Jonah.
After grumbling, Jonah announced his second choice was Pirate’s of the Caribbean “On Stranger Tides,” which was given the ok for older tweens and teens by Common Sense Media but got our thumbs down for Jonah. This infuriated him.
As we left for our movie, he wasn’t going to watch a movie. Anything suggested by his brother or sisters got a sour response.
But when we came home, the baby sitter reported that they watched the latest Muppet movie and loved it. And he was sound asleep in bed.
Luckily, none of the others kept us awake with nightmares after the “Hunger Games.”
Not even Adam.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 13, Lilly, 11, Adam, 11, and Jonah, 7.