What are your thoughts on children (9 and above) watching the Hunger Games?
My son's friends have seen the Hunger Games and even play the video. I enjoyed the books myself and even the movie. My son has not seen the movie yet. With it coming out on DVD, I know he will be asking if he could. I have let him watch PG-13 movies before, like Pearl Harbor, but I have a problem with letting my son watch a movie where kids have to kill other kids to survive. What do you think?
I think 9 is way too young to be the cut-off age. My kids are grown but when they were younger the "cut-off" age for their watching stuff I didn't think was age-appropriate was when they were working and could pay for - and get themselves to - movies without my help; money; or approval.
I was far less concerned about the occasional TV show or movie that had a little something related to sex in it than anything that had killing and/or violence in it. In general I didn't want them watching stuff that was "heavily sex related". I didn't mind a little reference or remark here or there. With violence and/or killing though - no. People used to say to me that they'd see it outside the house if they were at a friend's house - when they were eleven to early teens - but my thinking was that it wasn't a steady diet of it; and also that - if nothing else - they'd at least know that in our house violence wasn't ever acceptable or considered entertainment for kids.
I didn't see Pearl Harbor because my mother had a young first husband killed in WWII. My father was a WWII veteran. I won't watch WWII stuff. I think - though - that something like Pearl Harbor is a very different thing for - say - a ten- or eleven- year old than Hunger Games. It's apples and oranges.
Sit down with your son and have a discussion about the movie before hand. I would make sure that he understands what's going on in the movie and why. If you choose to let him watch it, watch it with him the first time if you have the chance. Then after the movie you can talk about it again and get his opinions on the movie and clarify some of the more adult concepts.
I do think 9 is a bit young. However maturity levels vary widely in most children, so it's up to you to determine if he can handle the movie and process what he's watching.
We have a 10 year old and he wants to read the book, but we have decided to hold off for a little wile longer for the reason you outlined.
I think 9 or even 10 is too soon, the book is very raw when it comes to hunger, violence, killing, etc, it portrays an image of a society that sees as normal a child killing another child. As adults we know the difference between facts and fiction, children don't, at 9 years old they may seem like small adults but their minds are not ready to understand the concepts behind the book and movie and it will just cause a big confusion, probably giving him a sense of helplessness. I remember when my older niece was 9 years old and because of Ice Age I started explaining the concept of Global Warming and how our world could change on account of that... I know, very silly of me, but it seemed so plain,that I really couldn't understand all the mess that went through her head afterwards and the fact was that she got so scared that she didn't sleep at night...
Your question reminded me of my son's teacher who asked her 6th graders to read Hunger Games. I was shock and wanted to have my son be excused from the book club. But my husband said that it's fine as long as the teacher guide the students properly. So we talked to our son and made sure that he felt comfortable reading a book like that. He decided to read it and the outcome wasn't bad. However, I definitely think watching the movie is a bit too much for a 9 year old because of all these horrible images.
Some of the concepts in "The Hunger Games" are rather complex. None of thte violence is purely gratuitous and does reveal the characters in the story. However, the ideas revolving around a corrupt and repressive state are also revelatory and important to gaining full understanding of what the story is about. The Character of Katniss Everdeen is so noble, decent and pure - all too rare these days - that to be exposed to her is a good thing.
I would watch "The Hunger Games" at home where everything is more controlled and safe without the massive sound and images of the movie theatre. I think 9 is not too young to be exposed to a story about nobility, self sacrifice, courage and intelligence. Katniss Everdeen, in my opinion, is as good a character as Harry Potter.
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