27 answers

PG-13 Movie for 9-Year Old Birthday Party

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."

What can I do next?

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.

Thanks!

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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.

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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"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

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

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

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!

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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

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

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

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

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

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