artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


16 November 2010

Am I a bad parent? Or an awesome one?[More:]
Harry Potter 7 opens on Friday, and it looks awesome. I would really like to go see it, but both the husband and I are struggling with whether it is appropriate for our 7 year old (or 7 and 3/4 year old, as she would say). It looks somewhat intense and scary for a second-grader.

Possibly relevant information: she has seen every HP movie in the theater before this one. We have read some of the earlier HP books as bedtime stories with minimal ill effects, and she LOVES the Magyk series. Which can be a little scary and intense at times. And oh yeah, her name is Hermione.
Well, I can tell you that there's no way I'd bring my 9 year old Sophie to see it.


She's so easily scared by films, and doesn't like being scared, at all. My point is that you likely know your child :-) If you think she's up for it, and by the sounds of it, she likely is...I bet you're right.
posted by richat 16 November | 20:46
I don't know if I can handle that film, and I'm 27 and 1/2. So yeah, I dunno.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 16 November | 20:50
IANAParent, remember watching IT when I was about her age, and have no idea what Harry Potter is all about anymore:

Could you discuss it with her to see if she thinks that it might be scary? I suppose if she's really excited she might say no even if she means yes. But at the same time, she's read the book so she knows what happens. Maybe go see an early afternoon show to maximize the time between [scary image] and bedtime.
posted by youngergirl44 16 November | 21:14

You might want to read the last book before you decide. It has some really scary moments, like at the beginning, where somebody is killed by You-Know-Who just for fun after she's shown hanging upside-down in mid-air crying. And that's just a character nobody knows; it only gets worse.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 16 November | 21:52
The thing is that in the books, the characters not only age in real time, but the books - developmentally - age with them. I read all of these as an adult, and the first four or five were witty, sweet, and slightly spooky in that cozy-campfire-BOO! Sort of way.

But the latter couple of books were downright chilling in that they are conjuring up characters and storylines that really deal in the nature of pure evil - what that is, what it does, what it looks like. Unless your daughter is unually emotionally precocious, I have a feeling that the movie evocation of this is going to be dark, dramatic, and work pretty hard to be nightmarish. The HP audience this is aiming for isn't little kids any more - it's kids like my friend Jesse, now 17, who grew up right along with the books and doesn't want to find the climactic movies babyish. Since I know they'll be trying to scare him, I'm pretty sure they'll be too scary for a little one.

I also was kind of scarred by a decision my parents made to allow my brother to watch the movie Poltergeist when he was about 7. It triggered intense nightmares for him, he regressed a little, and was squeamish about movies and TV for years afterward. And he was the one begging to watch it - he'd seen a trailer and heard about it from his friends, and he was so sure he wanted to see it. Bottom line, he wasn't ready to deal with it, and it was really rough on him for a while at a pretty young age.

Wait a year or so; you won't be losing anything.
posted by Miko 16 November | 21:59
I did read the last book. Immediately after it was published. I was quite worried that Rowling might kill off Hermione - I remember some buzz about a "major" character getting killed, and I was worried about having named my daughter after a literary character that suffers a terrible death. Hermione doesn't get killed, but she does endure some torture.

The problem is - it is hard to know how much of the book will make it into the movie. Some of the clips on imdb are using a very action/thriller oriented cinematography, but no one is actually injured (petrificus!) or killed. Voldemort is a little ick (WTF happened to his nose? you can't be unethically immortal AND have a nose?), but really, in the end he is pretty impotent.

Our current inclination is to go and just cover eyes prn.

So... probably bad parents.
posted by jeoc 16 November | 22:07
Check out the links in the article - some are very specific about what the movie shows - especially the "Commonsense Media" link.

Another idea: you go see it first, and decide for yourself.

Asking kids to decide isn't a great strategy. At the pre-abstract-reasoning stage, they are just not able to evaluate something that's hypothetical, abstract, and in the future like that.
posted by Miko 16 November | 22:08
Miko, your link is for the last HP movie. We took her to see that without hesitation. Deathly Hallows part I is the one opening this weekend.

Regarding the Half-Blood Prince movie, my daughter says she cannot remember it "because I have short term memory loss."

posted by jeoc 16 November | 22:17
Oops! You think I would have caught that since I'm wound up to see the new one.

Anyway, like I said, preview it yourself before making any promises. No kid I know has ever died from not seeing a movie right away.

The "short term memory loss" comment is pretty interesting. Without knowing your kid it's impossible to say, but one thing their minds can and do sometimes is simply gloss over/block out stuff they aren't ready to manage. Either that or the experience just wasn't that distinctive in her mind. Maybe if you do decide to see this one, you can rewatch the other films that led up for a refresher and a way to guage readiness.
posted by Miko 16 November | 22:27
Here's a link with a blow-by-blow for the current movie.
posted by Miko 16 November | 22:36
Whichever way you go with this, I don't think you're a bad parent. The fact that you are considering whether this is an appropriate movie for your child denies that.

I would not take any of my younger kids (8, 10 & 12) to see this movie. We have refused to allow our 12 year-old to read the last book, because she will no doubt be scared shitless and it's also a bit too 'adult' for her. In our opinion, for our child. Some friends of ours made an interesting choice on the series of books - their daughter (now also 12) has only been allowed to read the books as she reached the age of the characters (although she may be a little ahead, I guess).

Only you know your child and her capacity to cope with the movie, although the fact that she seems to have blocked out the previous instalment would give me some concern, unless she is prone to forgetting such things. Kids are generally poor at making decisions about what's suitable for them, but good at pretending things that they can't cope with happened, sometimes with negative consequences down the track.
posted by dg 16 November | 23:08
Am I a bad parent? Or an awesome one??

I will go with: 'yes'.
posted by pompomtom 17 November | 00:39
I'm 42 and I thought DH was SCARY---SPOILER:

The hand Voldemort gave Wormtail strangling him....EEEEEE!

I would rather wait until a kid is 9 letting him/her see that onscreen; older if s/he is easily frightened.

Going off on a tangent, The Social Network was rated pg-13 and included a scene with coke being snorted off a young woman's belly. HUH? That should have made it an automatic R
posted by brujita 17 November | 00:56
Really cute pic from the Harry Potter premiere.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 17 November | 09:36
I will go with: 'yes'.

I think this is a general principle of parenting.
posted by Miko 17 November | 10:20
Once things are on video, you can fast forward the bits that you don't want the kids to see. What a shame to take a series that is so appealing to kids and add so much violence.
posted by theora55 17 November | 12:15
We're not taking our 8 year old. She's pretty tough usually, but the Harry Potter ride at Universal freaked her out and made her cry. I'm worried the new movie will be far too intense and have the same effect.
posted by jrossi4r 17 November | 12:35
I will go with: 'yes'.

I think this is a general principle of parenting.

Funny, my general principle of parenting is 'no' ;-)
posted by dg 17 November | 16:59
What a shame to take a series that is so appealing to kids and add so much violence.

To be fair, the violence is in the books too. There's just something different about reading it to yourself and watching it on film. For one thing, with reading you can tinker with the narrative and visuals in your head to tone them down or amp them up, as needed. You can also close the book, put it down, take a break, go get a hug or pet the dog or do something else to change your mood. In a movie, especially in a theater, you're sort of captive to the sounds, sights, mood, and space, and this dominates the senses much more.
posted by Miko 17 November | 17:04
Spoiler (sort of)

"Ron (Rupert Grint) is in the midst of fighting off a darkly magical Horcrux that manifests hallucinations of his greatest fears one being the prospect of Harry (Radcliffe) and Hermione (Watson) making out. Ron watches in horror as his two pals, naked and covered in silver glitter, swap a whole lot of spit."

A Twilight redux? Now that's scary!
posted by Ardiril 17 November | 17:20
I've seen the movie already (and read all of the books), and the only part I would be worried about for a 8-year old, who has seen the rest of the HP movies, is the scene that Ardiril posted above. My understanding that the scene is motion-capture CG type stuff, but is still a little creepy, and uncomfortable even for grown adults like me.

I mean, if your daughter can make it through a bunch of zombies crawling out of the lake, and the septum-severum curse, as shown in Half-Blood Prince, then this movie is pretty tame.
posted by jabberjaw 17 November | 18:26
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I admit I am SO! EXCITED! about the movie, but it probably is not appropriate.

So, who wants to come babysit?
posted by jeoc 17 November | 20:16
septum-severum curse

You mean Sectumsempra, of course?
posted by unsurprising 17 November | 21:22
Uh ... of course not ... I ... OBLIVIATE!
posted by jabberjaw 17 November | 23:05
I'm beginning to realize || Blown away