I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
February 18, 2016
The parents of social media are in a bit of a kerfuffle right now over the release of a movie every single 8 to 12-year-old boy in America is dying to see…
I did not realize until this week that for millions of moms and dads across the country, SUPERHERO + MOVIE = FAMILY NIGHT OUT! No need to check out the movie’s content ahead of time! Because it’s about a superhero! And superheroes are for kids! End of discussion!
Consequently, here’s what’s been going on this past week in movie theaters across the country:
Oh, the ensuing outrage of the many really truly wonderful parents who so innocently took their young and impressionable children to watch a simple superhero movie and were instead treated to a heaping helping of EXTREME VIOLENCE! FULL FRONTAL NUDITY! LOTS OF BLOOD AND GORE! PENIS JOKES! DRUGS! PROFANITY! GRAPHIC SEX SCENES!
And that was just in the first 15 minutes.
Wait, what? Did someone say, ‘R rating?’
What does R even mean to parents anymore? Raunchy? Raw? Rutabaga?
These days, a good many parents seem to be going with ‘Rutabaga.’ Although the public consensus among parents online seems to be that Deadpool is perhaps not the best option for kids (I’m guessing most of the offenders noted in the above Tweets aren’t bragging about their Deadpool family outing on Facebook), the subject did lead a number of parents on my Facebook feed who consider themselves to be ‘hip’ and ‘edgy’ to defend why many R-rated movies actually are okay for their preteens. Some of these parents claimed kids see so much violence and gore that they’re desensitized to it– therefore it’s okay for them to see bloody violence in an R-rated film. Others said nudity was okay with them, because bodies are beautiful. Still more said profanity and innuendo are just fine, because most kids already know all the curse words currently in use, and the dirty jokes go right over their heads.
To all this, I say… ARE YOU CRAZY?
Honestly, I can’t even believe this is up for discussion. When wondering whether or not the content of a particular movie is appropriate for my kids, I ask myself one simple question:
Does seeing/hearing the questionable content benefit my child in any way?
99.9% of the time, the answer is NO. Therefore, I’d like to suggest that if you are in doubt, RULE IT OUT– because here’s the thing– We are each allotted a dozen or so years of innocence in our lives (if we’re lucky)– Why on earth would we want to further shorten that time for our children? My kids will have DECADES to watch Deadpool and any other R movie they want, as many times as they want– and there is absolutely no benefit to them seeing it, or most other R-rated movies, before they reach the recommended age for R-rated movies.
On the flip side, I fully expect them to try to sneak and watch movies and television shows as they get older– That’s pretty much their job, just as it’s my job to set up passwords and filters on our cable network to try and keep that from happening. And I don’t have a fit when profanity or questionable scenes inevitably sneak into the picture from time to time as we watch television and movies together. It’s going to happen, and it is truly not the end of the world when it does. Oh, and full disclosure: I’m also that mom who took her kids to see Pippin. Side-eye in full effect, y’all.
As my kids get older, there will be times, I’m sure, when I choose my battles and allow them to watch a movie or show that I really wish they wouldn’t– I still remember, after all, the time my mom let me stay up late to watch V: The Final Battle the week it premiered on television. Seeing that alien monster birth was like an 80’s rite of passage and probably explains to some extent why I’m so troubled today.
Beyond that, it’s tough to vet a movie by its rating alone, or even its reviews– My husband and I have been using the site Kids in Mind for more than a decade and it is awesome- Common Sense Media is also good and includes reviews of books and video games as well as movies.
Bottom line, though, I have little sympathy for the parents who are taking their kids to see Deadpool— The trailer alone made it abundantly clear to me that this was not a movie for children… unless you are actively trying to steal their innocence and ruin their childhoods. And if that’s the case? Deadpool’s the movie for you!
Header Image via Fox Pictures