What are Kids Watching These Days!?!

Movies have very easy to understand ratings attached to them. These ratings are there for a reason.

Call me an old prude if you want to but I think that there is just some material that children do not need to see. I know that there are some scenes in movies that even I don’t want to see.

That is why I find it so disturbing to hear what a lot of kids are watching at home these days. I regularly hear that students in Grades 2, 3, and 4 are watching horror movies such as Saw IV, sex comedies such as SuperBad, and other violent films that they probably shouldn’t be watching.

About four years ago, I was supplying in a Kindergarten classroom. These students were 4 and 5-years olds. One student was telling his friends “how cool” a scene was in Kill Bill. He then went on to describe, in detail, a scene where someone plucks out someone else’s eye in a fight scene. This was coming from a 4-year old. I couldn’t believe it.

I have seen this inappropriate talk and action from elementary students every year since then. Kids as young as four years old are reenacting and retelling scenes from movies. I find it disgusting.

I don’t know why parents are letting their children see these movies. I wish that these rating were a bit tougher. Perhaps we should make it illegal for children to see restricted movies. That way, as a teacher, I would have recourse to act on this. As of now, I can’t really do anything about my students watching inappropriate movies.

When I try to tell my students that they should not be watching these movies and that I don’t even like watching these movies, they just ignore me. It seems like every day one of my students is quoting something from television or a movie. Half of the time they don’t even know what they are talking about because they don’t really get it. They just think it is cool.

I don’t think it is cool. Not one bit. But these kids get reinforced by their friends and they seem to be given free reign at home. Am I the only one that sees this as a problem?

I just wish parents would use some common sense. Let children stay children for as long as they can. Let’s protect them from violent imagery, mature subject matter, and inappropriate material.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and join this discussion. Thanks.

5 responses to “What are Kids Watching These Days!?!”

  1. Horrific, isn’t it? I had a student (10 years old) who eerily had no emotions and that I was convinced fit the profile to grow up and become a serial killer (please don’t think I’m horrible; I did whatever I could to help this kid) who was obsessed with the movie Saw. What!?!?!? No child should ever see this movie, ever. Heck, I won’t even watch it. Anyway, I’m sick and tired of parents wanting to be ‘cool’ and let their kids watch whatever they want. Or worse, be apathetic and not monitor what their kids are seeing.

    Prime example – shows like Family Guy and South Park. I enjoy these shows because of their social commentary. Will my daughter ever be allowed to watch them – absolutely not. The number of times I have heard a student of mine (so aged 10 or under) refer to Family Guy or South Park is ridiculous. I actually cringe and encourage them not to watch. They aren’t old enough to understand what they’re seeing.

    It’s the same as putting a computer into a child’s room and letting them have unlimited access to the internet with the door closed. Kids are curious; we can’t blame them. Parents have a responsibility to protect and guide their children. There is a reason that ratings exist – sure, they’re only a guide, but parents need to take some responsibility. Preview what your kids want to watch, and make a responsible decision.

    No child should ever be watching Superbad (or a myriad of similar films) either. A child that is 9 years old or younger cannot possibly comprehend the sexual humour. Who knows what damage is being done.

    I could go on about this forever. Seriously, this is a topic that I feel really passionate, and I’m glad you brought it up, Chase.

  2. Its too bad that there are so many avenues to get to any of these ‘adult’ materials that a kid wants to see. The advertising, CGI laden video games and overworked parents (who use television and the internet as babysitters) naturally lead them to areas that in a perfect world they would be kept from. I feel lucky to have grown up in a time before cable television and the internet when a kid could stay a kid for much longer than today. Being raised on a safe military base and NOT knowing allowed my imagination to focus on more simple things. It may seem cliche but I was raised on adventure stories and comic books as opposed to the torture porn of movies like Saw and Hostel. Most kids today can’t help but grow up with an negative effect on their psychie, a loss of innocence and the realization that the world can be a very dark place. That is what makes me the most sad. I won’t even get into the damage celebrity culture and the fashion industry create.

  3. Hi Kay and Elle,

    Thanks for sharing. I sometimes wonder if I am the only person who sees something wrong with this. Too many kids these days are constantly referring to inappropriate movies.

    I wanted to mention Family Guy in this post as well. I think parents need to monitor what their kids are watching and set strict limits. I’m glad that we are on the same page here.

    Hi Calvin,

    You make a good point by adding video games to this discussion. Video games also have inappropriate content for children AND, of course, they also have ratings.

    There is much to be said for imagination and letting kids use it. I know that as a kid, I was only allowed to watch television for a specific amount of time each day. There were limits. And I’m glad my parents set them. I grew up using my imagination just like you did and I’m all the better for it.

  4. I know exactly what you are talking about – I was shocked at what some of the grade 1 and 5 students I help out with are watching!

    I find some parents blatantly ignore rating systems. I once had a parent *SCREAM* at me when I worked at Best Buy many years ago. They had bought a Family Guy DVD for their kid not bothering to look at the rating or find out what the content even was and when they brought it home for their kid to watch they quickly found out. So of course their recourse was to go back to Best Buy and scream at me, a minimum wage employee who not only did not help this person pick out this DVD, but also has no control over what this person buys or lets their children watch. I also have no control over rating systems or what kind of entertainment is out there believe it or not.

    And this is the world we live in. A place where rather than taking responsibility for one's own actions, we'll just blame someone else. BUT until we figure out that maybe it's bad, we'll just let our kids watch whatever they want – it's likely someone else's fault anyway!

  5. Hi Michelle,

    Thanks so much for your comment.

    What a crazy story.

    Here's my favourite quote on this subject,

    “About the only power you have is the power to discriminate. Living in a culture like this, you have to make choices, and search out what has the most authentic content or substance.” – Crumb, R. & Peter Poplaski. The R. Crumb Handbook. MQ Publications Ltd: London, 2005 pg 60.

    This quote is inspiring. I don’t think people realize the power that they have. I’m often amazed at the drivel that we are fed on the radio, television, and cinema. I carefully choose the types of media that I let entertain me. I don’t simply accept whatever is shovelled my way. We need to teach our kids that they don’t need to either.

    When you really think about it, discrimination is a powerful too. We need to be able to distinguish between two like objects. This is what this quotation is really about. We always have a choice in everything and we need to explore our options, to make distinctions, and to make choices based good judgement.