When it comes to parenting, unless a child is in physical danger, I always vote MYOB.
I saw my first R-rated movie at about 7. It was ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’ and my mom allowed/asked me to watch it with her for a reason. In her first two marriages, she was beaten and worse by her husbands. Then when I was 7 or 8 a close family friend had to move in with us for awhile because her husband put her in the hospital. My mom had several long, difficult discussions with me about what was happening and why. Watching that movie together is an experience that I will never forget, but I really think that it helped my mom put this sort of thing into perspective for me. Lots of long discussions followed, and it was the beginning of a lifetime of hearing “If a man ever hits you, even just once…” It was a real fear for her, and she was doing whatever she could think of to try to help me understand the current situation, and to avoid ending up in it myself as an adult.
Yeah, you could probably make an argument against this, but to borrow a term from those Catholics, it’s really a matter of prudential judgement. It would have been rude and inappropriate for someone to insert themselves into that and try to tell my mom how to parent, because as outsiders, they couldn’t even begin to know the situation or the context. The same applies here.
My mom was overall very strict about what I watched-but she was the type to judge every movie on their own merits. There were ‘R’ movies that I was allowed to watch in the single digits, and PG-13 movies that I wasn’t allowed to see while I lived with her, it really depended on the content and the issues involved. My brother and his wife take a different approach with their parenting though. They have almost no restrictions on what their kids watch, and even when their kids were young they didn’t have limits or rules in place. So far, all of their kids are well-behaved, kind-hearted people who get very good grades. Different strokes.