PG-13 Movie for 9-Year Old Birthday Party

Updated on May 20, 2010
N.S. asks from Buffalo Grove, IL
27 answers

My soon-to-be 9-year-old SD wants to have her birthday party at the movie theater when her favorite movie comes out, Eclipse. She is totally into the Twilight movies and her Mom and Dad have felt that they are okay for her to watch.

However, the movie IS rated PG-13. We don't let her see every PG-13 movie, we usually check them out on one of the websites that gives a detailed description. While my SD is really into Twilight, none of her friends are into it. I also know that many of her friends are NOT allowed to see PG-13 movies and I've explained this to her. She still wants to send out invitations "just in case they say 'yes.'" (I mentioned it to some of the parents of her friends just to see what they would say and they said that they would have to pass on it.)

I'm afraid that if we do this kind of party, hardly any kids will come. When I suggest another kind of party she gets all stubborn and says "well then I don't want a party!" I've also suggested she invite ONE friend to the movie for a special girls' day (she could invite the one friend I know is allowed to see that kind of movie) and do a different party for all the rest of her friends. No dice.

Before I tell her "that's it, you're not having an Eclipse party so either think of something else or you don't get a party," do you think inviting a bunch of 8-9 year olds to a PG-13 movie is inappropriate? Should we send out the invites and if she ends up with 1-2 kids coming then she'll have to deal with it? It's what she really wants. I just think maybe we'll look like idiots as parents for sending out the invites.

Edited to add: Yes, my fear is that #1 we will look like "irresponsible parents" to those of her friends who are conservative and it may influence them being allowed to come over (I do not allow anything over a PG to be shown in the presence of her friends at our house unless I have the parents' permission). Also it puts the parents in a bad position if they have to tell THEIR kid "no, they can't go."

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone for their opinions and suggestions!

I didn't want to get all complicated, but it's SD's mom that's really into the Twilight stuff. My SD has not read the books, they are over her head. I read them and would not allow her to read them anyway. Especially the last one. It's SD's mom that suggested the party at the movie and wanted us to invite her friends because her mom doesn't know any of her friends. This may also be why SD is so adamant about having the party at the movie. We often do joint BD parties and we hosted last year.

I'm going to have my husband tell her mom that we talked to the parents of the kids and they don't want their kids to see a PG-13 movie. I was nervous about sending the invites and looking like irresponsible parents, plus none of her friends' parents know her mom (they just know me and my husband). Hopefully that will squash the idea and maybe they can have a family party for the movie. I don't want to put any of her friends' parents in the awkward position of having to tell their kids "no, you can't go to that party."

On a complete other side note, I personally am against young kids seeing PG-13 movies and I don't like her seeing the Twilight movies but she doesn't seem negatively affected by them so far. She's not my daughter, so it's not my call. However, her friends are ones that she met through me, and I know all their moms so it's my reputation on the line. I want to draw the line and I will.


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answers from Chicago on

wait for a 5 month old....probiotics only skip the fish oil for now


wait for a 5 month old....probiotics only skip the fish oil for now



answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't think you would look like "irresponsible parents". My son (age 8 at the time) got an invitation from a friend to see the first Iron Man movie and the thought "irresponsible parent" never even crept into my mind!!! I didn't let him go because I do allow him to see PG-13 but after I have watched them and decided for myself.


answers from Sioux Falls on

There is no way I would let my little girl go to it. Way too young. There is a reason it is rated that way.

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answers from New York on

"Eclipse" is not appropriate for a 9 year old. I think sending out invitations is inappropriate and irresponsible. One of the hard lessons in life our children need to learn is they can't have everything they want. Tell her you will take her to see Eclipse, but she can NOT have an Eclipse party. If she says "ok then I don't want a party". So be it.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Haven't read other responses so this may have already been said. Sorry, but this is inappropriate to send an invitation for something like this. And yes, I understand it is her b-day, but that doesn't mean you can't tell your child no or give her two options...#1 invite the one friend to go or #2 pick something else, if she refuses then it's time to stand up as the parent and say well those are your two choices and you are old enough to understand this and if you don't choose either then it's no party and leave it at that.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I will not allow my son to watch a PG-13 until he is 13. I would not allow him to attend this possible party and you are right, he wouldn't be allowed to go to your house if I found out that he was allowed to watch a PG-13 movie there.

Tell your daughter no. You are the parent and it is your job to set the boundaries and define them for her. If more parents would parent then all of us would have a much easier job.

Thanks for your post!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

In my personal opinion, it is in NO way appropriate to invite 8 and 9 year olds to a PG-13 movie. We didn't get to watch PG-13 movies as kids until we were 13 and even then, my parents had to review it first. My older son is 8 and I can't imagine him watching just any PG-13 movie. Granted he has watched a few (like Transformers) but I wouldn't let him watch something like the Twilight series. I think kids just grow up too fast these days, especially if they're watching movies like that. Grown women were raving about how New Moon improved their sexual desire and sex life in general, so I definitely wouldn't be taking 8 and 9yo girls to it!


Edit: BTW, my son just turned 8 and we did a movie theater party for him, but the movie was "How to Train your Dragon" in 3-D....much more age appropriate.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

I would say no to this. It seems to me that she could have a vampire-themed party if she'd like, and find a different movie to watch that is somehow related. You could go old-school and show the Munsters or the Addams Family! That would make for a fun party and then all of her friends could come. If she says no, well then, maybe she gets a family party this year and can watch Eclipse all by herself later. But I agree with you, there's the possibility that if you send out these invites, other kids may not get to come over for the party AND the parents may think twice about sleepovers etc in the future. My first thought was being in the position of the parents who aren't comfortable with the PG13 rating - how their daughters will beg and plead to be able to go, and they will have to choose whether to be "the meanest parents ever!" or otherwise compromise their values in order to let their daughter attend. Not a good feeling as a parent! I would hold firm on this if I were you, and insist on a different movie, or this year she just has a family party and that's it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

This is a hard one. We do not allow our 9 year old to watch ANY PG13 movies. The rule of thimb in our house is if you 12, we will view the movie first and then decide if it is approriate for you to watch. And even then if there is something questionable, we view it with them. I think 9 is too young.

I would not allow her to have this kind of party, or at least she needs to choose an appropriate movie for 9 year olds. You need to tell her like it is - choose a different movie, choose a different party or there will be no party at all. I guarentee you that her "this or nothing" attitude will change. Give her a deadline to decide by so that you still have time to prepare for a party.

I can tell you as a mom who is a little more conservative, not only would I not let my daughter go to a party where a PG 13 movie was being shown, but I would also question if I should be letting over that childs house to play.

Good luck with this one

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

It sounds like she's being very stubborn.
Yes, it's HER birthday, but she also has to consider her guests.
Why can't she choose something else that all of her friends will be allowed to do, and go see Eclipse with you and dad?
She's turning nine and aready telling you "no dice" ?
"If I don't get what I want, I want nothing at all" ?
I personally would call her bluff, but that's my opinion.
Is it more important to her to get her way or is it more important for her to have friends and do things they can all have fun doing?
My son likes getting to pick his favorite foods for his birthday, but he knows that most of his friends won't eat what he likes, so for the party, he chooses something everyone will like and we make his favorites separately just for the family. It's called compromising.
What we let our kids watch is our business, just the same as what other parents allow is their business.
Even if she could get friends with permission to go, 2 hours is a long time to sit in a movie theatre watching something you're not enjoying. I'm an adult and a friend came from out of town, she kindly offered to take me to see a movie. I wasn't rude and didn't want to hurt her feelings, but I just couldn't wait for it to get over. You can only go to the bathroom so many times without irritating other people.
PG-13 is there for a reason. If I let my kids watch something like that, I could turn it off, remove them, or at least be there to discuss it. I wouldn't want that responsibility for other people's children. At your house it might be different, but at a movie theatre? What if you pay for all that and you end up in the lobby with kids while she sits and watches the whole thing herself?

I understand that birthdays are supposed to be for the birthday kid, but like I said, her being stubborn or forcing an issue just to have her way is something I would avoid allowing to happen.
What about when she's 10 or turns 13 or expects a $250,000 sweet 16 party?
It's not always a good idea to give our kids EVERYTHING they want.
Especially not at 9. Especially if it's something their friends don't want to do or will be allowed to do.

I hope you get some great responses and get it worked out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

It seems to me like you've given your daughter some excellent alternatives to having a full blown Eclipse movie party. It's up to her to choose one of the alternatives and if she chooses not to have a party, that's up to her. This is pretty touchy...I don't think she realizes that she might lose some friends over this because their parents will think of your daughter as a bad influence. These movies really aren't age appropriate for 8-9 yr olds. Saying "no" to her now might make you her least favorite person (for a while), but, trust me, you'll be protecting her. Stand your ground, Mom!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I think it's ok to do as long as you are being upfront about the movie, but keep in mind you are putting the other parents in the difficult position of telling their kids they can't go to a party that they will THINK every other kid is being allowed to go to. I know it's our job as parents to say no even when it makes us unpopular, but I still don't like it when another parent puts it on me to be the bad guy.

I'm assuming there would be more to the party then just watching the movie? Maybe pizza or cake afterwards? If so, maybe you could just take your daughter to the movie and then have the party at a restaurant close to the theater afterwards. She sees the movie and then meets her friends for pizza and cake after?

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My daughter is also 9 and I will say upfront that I tend to be more 'relaxed' and use things as 'talking moments' rather than not expose her to stuff, so there are several PG-13 movies that we have seen together. She is also neck-deep into the Twilight craze ("team Jacob" btw!!!!).

Having said that, I did not allow her to see the movies, but I did allow her to start reading the books (except for book 4, which I have heard has a higher level of adult content). I felt like the images she would produce in her own mind around that particular content would be SIGNIFICANTLY different than images produced for her by a grown-up.
I would not allow her to attend a party where the movies are shown, and I would be furious if a PG-13 movie was shown without notification. So, I agree that you are in a pickle.

How about you have a Twilight "book" party? She can have the decorations and theme, but no movie? You can divide them into "teams" get the t-shirts from Target for each girl as their party favor and then have them read or act out (less compromising) "scenes" from the book?

I agree with other mom's who said this is the pre-curser to every party you will have til she's 18. And when my daughter wants something that is 'beyond her years' and then begins to pout if it looks like she won't get it.... it's an automatic NOPE, just based on attitude (or lack thereof). If she's not reasonable and won't compromise, I would probably call her bluff. This is a great teaching moment for her to start learning the skills of "you can't have everything you want", even if it is really really important like a birthday party.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Well.... the majority consensus of the parents you know, said they would decline. So why waste buying and sending out invitations to all those kids.

Next, if your SD is pouting and saying she doesn't want a party then, then call her bluff.
Your option for just inviting one friend was fine. Or 2 friends. That is fine to me.

Next, this will be a precursor... re: her age and upcoming issues... about her getting her way or not. AND how she is going to respond to that.
So keep this in mind.
A kid this age has to have boundaries.. .and not just getting their way by pouting and throwing attitude.

She has to learn to compromise. Tell her, it costs money to buy invitations and then for you to write them out/prepare them... and many of her friends parents are going to decline. So that is the REALITY.

I would really make sure, she knows that she has to "compromise" sometimes... and for her b-day party... there is already an indication that not many of her friends will be allowed to go. And if they all get invitations to go... they will be probably nagging their parents to go, and it will be not a happy thing... especially if most parents are already saying it is not allowed for their kids.

So, her option is inviting just a couple friends.

Sure its "her" birthday... but that doesn't mean a parent has to have the kind of party the child wants, if it is not appropriate or out of range per budget. That's life.

Personally, I would not let my kid go to it. That movie is not for 8-9 year olds. That is only 3rd grade. 2nd grade for some.

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Hi NS,

You've got a double whammy here. First, it's a PG13 movie and second it's a movie about demonic forces. She's probably thinking if only a couple of kids show that's okay, but she can't see the problems it will cause down the road. These parents may disassociate their kids from her completely. I think you need to tell her the whole situation. She is nine and is only thinking concretely about that party. You need to take control of the situation realizing that she can't.



answers from Saginaw on

Hmmm...I'm not sure I would allow my daughter to see a PG-13 movie at 8-9. It would probably vary on the child but as a whole or average I don't think many 8-9 year olds are ready to watch a movie rated PG-13.

I think I would be a little hesitant to send out invites to a party for a PG-13 movie if it was me. Although, it does sound like you've warned her and your probably right most would not show up and that would be her choice. I think the invitation to such a party reflects the parent, and I'm not sure that is giving off a good vibe about the parents. Next time she may want a slumber party and in the back of some parents mind might be this invitation.

By the way I know a couple parents who have let their 4 year old watch the twilight movies. My daughter is also 4 and I couldn't imagine letting her watch them but then she got scared over viewing the previews for Where the wild things are and the new Alice in Wonderland movie.



answers from Seattle on

We watch PG13 movies with our 7 year old all the time... certainly not ALL of them, but we saw Avatar in the theatres 3 times, own all of the Pirates of the Carribean, Indiana Jones, & Star Wars movies. He's seen all of these movies (and similar, and the "making of" each of them) so many times they're memorized.

I'm not an irresponsible parent, and thus don't give a durn what other parents think, or what I "look" like to them. (Disney gave our kiddo nightmares for WEEKS on end -although Pixar never did- but the pirate-zombie things struck him as enormously funny. Go figure.) I do not, however, want to put other parents in an awkward position. So I check with other parents before EVERY movie... including G rated movies. People have different value systems and different hot buttons. So I treat others as I would like to be treated. I ask ahead of time, instead of assuming a yea/nay.

Kiddo has 6 VERY close friends. They're also all very different from each other, and come from very different families. For his 8th bday, he really wants to have the party at "The Last Airbender". ((Which is ticking me off... because the durn thing isn't even rated yet AND it's by an "iffy" director.)) We've talked to kiddo about it.. and it's guaranteed that WE will go see it (and possibly with 1 or 2 friends), but that it's 50/50 as to whether or not we can have it for his party. Once the durn thing gets rated, I'll talk to the other fams to see if all or most would be okay with it. If they are, grand, party time. If a few... we'll all go see it together, but have a different party.

We always have 2 parties anyway. One a birthday party (the saturday affair) and one a special family thing on the day of.

Personally... as far as Twilight goes... I've read the books, and seen the movies, and am going with my SIL & 10yo neice to go see Eclipse when it opens. ((And am getting her the graphic novel for her 10th bday this month... she's dyslexic, so it's right up her alley, she's been soooooo frustrated trying to get through the 300-500 pages of the books)). About half the girls in her class are really into the series... about 1/4 don't care either way... and about 1/4 parents won't let them have anything to do with it... but it's gotten so many kids into reading more upper level stuff that most of the parents are just thrilled that their kids' noses are shoved in books.



answers from Nashville on

Ugh, what a predicament.

I agree with you that you should plan an age-appropriate party. I don't know what my rule will be on movies when my son is that age, but it is likely to be more relaxed than a lot of other parents I know. My parents were very lax about that kind of thing, but it was because of how mature we were, and how we could watch something without it influencing our morals or scaring us. If my son is the same, I would be relaxed about it. But having read all the Twilight books, I don't know that I would want my 9 yr old daughter to see that movie, just because of the content, not the rating.

If I got that invitation, I would most likely say no. I haven't seen the movies to be fair, they may be edited down some. But even me who would be more relaxed about it would probably not let my 9 yr old go. It would be a shame for your daughter's party plan to be ruined when no one comes, but it would teach her the lesson of being stubborn and not listening to your advice about different things being appropriate for different families. But birthdays were always very special in our family, ruining a party is awful to me.

I think I would probably tell her no on the Eclipse party, that can be a special treat only for her and to think up something else if she wants to celebrate with friends. That way she is still getting her special birthday treat of the movie, and it is up to her if she wants to compromise and have a party or not. Incidentally, I saw a Care Bears movie for my ninth birthday party. :) I had also seen Poltergiest at home by then, but that was not birthday party material.

Good luck!



answers from New York on

My parents were very lenient about movies. So, I don't think it is a big deal, but others may. Maybe in the invitation you can just flat out mention that the movie is PG-13. This way the parents can make the decision.

If your SD ends up with a few or no people who can come - o'well, you told her that it may be an issue!!!



answers from Minneapolis on

I would tell her you've already felt out a few parents of her friends (tell her specifically who you've talked to), and that they have told you they won't allow their daughters to go to her party and see that movie. Ask her how she will feel about disappointing her closest friends for whom it will become a huge battle with their parents, who will then have bad feelings towards your family for causing the turmoil by sending the invites when they've ALREADY told you "no thanks" They may not even show the invites to their daughters. If they told you they won't allow their daughter to go, then I think sending the invite is in poor taste. I would tell her you are not sending invites to those girls whose parents have already said no.

I do think 8-9 is too young for that movie. I'm taking my almost 11 year old (who has read all the books) but I won't take her 8 year old sister. I think I would be annoyed if my 8 year old was invited to this movie, because it would be a huge battle to tell your kid they can't go to a party, but a number of her friends are going. Have you read the books? Twighlight and New Moon are OK, but Eclipse starts getting into a much more mature story line. So yes, you will be creating a controversy if you plan this party for her, I'm sure.

If she still really wants this enough to shake-up her frienships, which it will, I would have her make a list of friends, excluding the ones who said no to you, and send out the invites. Include the trailer web site and the web site which details exactly why the movie is rated PG-13, so the parents can decide for themselves armed with all the info, if it is OK. Then at least you're being up front. Your daughter should know about the real possibility it will be a very small "party" and be prepared to go through with it (as in NOT planning a whole other group event) even if it is just 1-2 kids are allowed to go.



answers from Chicago on

wait for a 5 month old....probiotics only skip the fish oil for now


wait for a 5 month old....probiotics only skip the fish oil for now


answers from Cincinnati on

Will your daughter be okay if you have a Twilight (i.e. magic) themed party without actually watching the movie? There are lots of Twilight-related party products out there right now.

My daughters are 7, 10, 14 1/2 and really only the 14 year-old is into the whole Twilight book/movie theme. I've read the the first 2 books and seen the 1st movie and I agree with the other moms who have responded that most 9 year-olds as well as their parents just aren't ready for them to watch most PG-13 movies, especially in a group setting like a party. All involved with the party planning, you, your daughter, the other parents, and the other girls, will most likely be put in an awkward situation that definitely could be avoided.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't think you would look like "irresponsible parents". My son (age 8 at the time) got an invitation from a friend to see the first Iron Man movie and the thought "irresponsible parent" never even crept into my mind!!! I didn't let him go because I do allow him to see PG-13 but after I have watched them and decided for myself.



answers from Chicago on

If you put it on the invitation that that is the movie they will be watching then I think it's ok. You can always have the movie as the last part of the night, or the first, then put that on the invite - "We will be watching Eclipse starting at 8, if you want your child NOT to see this movie, please pick up by 7:45. Otherwise pick up will be 10."


answers from New York on

How about if let her know that you spoke to the parents as a verbal invitation and the parents said no because their children are too young for that kind of movie and that they would not allow their kids to come to the party. Maybe then, she'll realize that she is better off going to the movies with her friend and having a different type of party with her other friends. And tell her the parents you spoke with so she doesn't think you are lying about it, not that I think it will take your sleep away; but just so she can see you are right. Does she like skating? bowling? or maybe a movie night at home?
Hope this helps



answers from Pittsburgh on

I know this probably won't help much, but I had a friend who had the exact same situation when "New Moon" came out. She was TOTALLY into it, and her mom allowed her to see it, but she was only 8.

She ended up seeing the movie with just her family, then had a "New Moon" themed party at home with plates, cups, etc. Her mom is VERY creative and made a "New Moon" cake and made up "New Moon" games. They even found "New Moon" favors, like buttons to wear, etc.

The mom DID have to explain to the parents that they would not be watching the movie. She asked several parents before the party and they said their children would not be allowed to see it.

Like I said, I know it won't help much ... if she has her heart set on it, it will be hard to talk her out of it, but it's an option.

Good luck!



answers from Wichita on

I love the Twilight Saga (books & movies), but I would not let my boys (8 y/o & 4 y/o) see them becasue they would give them nightmares. However my boys are very much into Transformers & Iron Man (both are PG-13) & we let them watch those with us (never without us). We make sure that we remind them 'don't repeat anything you hear in this movie'. Just make sure the parents know. I would have a regular party with the Twilight decorations, then afterwards go to the movies with the kids that can go.
God bless!



answers from Orlando on

I would let her have the party & invite who she wants. But put on the invite that the movie is rated PG-13. Let the other parents decide. And, if no-one comes oh well. Or if only a few kids come. She knew that going in. Oh, and I guess I am in the minority but my daughter is almost 8 and has seen both of the Twighlight movies that have already been released. She's mature for her age and doesn't get scared of that type of thing. There are no bad words or sex - just a little scary. I'm not sure about the one coming out in June though. I've watched both before I let my daughter watch them.


answers from Chicago on

My 12-year-old is into Twilight so I get your daughter's excitement. However, I think you'll have mostly "nos" for the party. Not only because of the age thing, but the theme as well. My nieces are 13 and 15 and they aren't allowed to read the books or see the movies. Ditto for a lot of other kids in our area. I know some of the parents think I'm a fool for letting my daughter read the books and see the movies. However, that's my business not theirs. Maybe could she invite just a couple friends she knows for sure would even want to see the movie and would be allowed to?


answers from Sioux Falls on

There is no way I would let my little girl go to it. Way too young. There is a reason it is rated that way.

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