Entertainment Living Well

Navigating PG-13 Entertainment With Your Teen

You’d like to keep your kids innocent forever, especially when it comes to entertainment. Your little ones will become teenagers eventually – often sooner than you think. When your teen expresses that he is ready for “edgier” entertainment, you can be prepared.


Understand the Rating System


Most families know that G and PG films are supposed to be kid-friendly, but they may not be familiar with rating system specifics. The Motion Picture Academy of America (MPAA) defines a PG-13 film as one in which “some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.”


PG-13 films often contain violence that while not persistent, is more intense than what a PG film allows. Blood or gore may be present. Additionally, PG-13 films’ language often is a concern. Profanities can be harsh and sexually driven, although consistent use of sexual language requires an R rating. Some PG-13 films may include sexual content; other than excluding sex from G-rated films, the MPAA has no guidelines on this content type.


Know the Movie


See the movie yourself first. If that isn’t possible, watch trailers and read reviews. As you do, think about what your child can handle. If your child is sensitive, he or she may not be ready for the violence in certain movies. Additionally, the violence and profanity in PG-13 movies may inspire some kids to imitate that behavior. If you decide to let your kids see a certain film, tell them what’s in it. Let them know you won’t tolerate aggressive behavior or bad language in your home.


Discuss Afterward


After your child sees the movie, discuss it. Ask, “What did you like about it? Was there anything that disturbed you and if so, what?” Many websites offer discussion guides for specific films; download one if available.

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