Researchers at Dartmouth School of Medicine found that more than 2.5 million kids ages 10 to 14 have seen movies restricted to older teens and adults. Some are watching them on the Internet, others at home and still others are sneaking into the theaters.
Experts are concerned, saying movies are uniquely engaging. For two hours, kids are held captive in the reality of that movie. That means the R-rated sex and violence have more power than television or video games to change how they think or even act.
New research suggests that keeping kids from R-rated movies can help them from drinking, smoking and doing a lot of other things that parents don't want them to do.
Connect with Kids offers some great advice to parents. Before allowing your teen to head off to the movies for a night out, it is important you find out as much information as you can about the movie first. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests:
- Read reviews. Look in the newspaper for a review on the movie
- Check the Internet. You can often find sites dedicated to the movie. This will provide you with a little more information on the movie content.
- Talk to friends who have seen it. Often the best way to determine if the movie is appropriate is to ask someone who has seen it.
- Choose carefully when considering movies with PG-13, PG, or even G ratings. Remember a PG movie that contains some violence or nudity will have a much different effect on a five-year-old child than it would a 12-year-old.
- If you are still not sure. See the movie yourself first. You are the best judge as to whether this is appropriate for your child.