My nine-year-old is obsessed with all things sci-fi. Star Wars, Star Trek, it doesn't matter. Books, movies, LEGOs, toys, food: if it's got one of these logos, it's all good.
With the release of the new movie Star Trek, I'm torn. I know Jacob would love it; that he would revel in seeing a non-cartoon movie for a change, and my husband--also a sci-fi guy--would love to take him.
The problem is, it's rated PG-13.
Part of me says that Jacob is already exposed to a lot of things in the world that should be rated PG-13, if life came with situation ratings. Riding the school bus with older kids. Hanging out at recess with younger brothers of middle- and high-schoolers. He hears thing, sees things. I'm not stupid.
But, he also is not getting this info from me, or with my endorsement.
Movies are art, and they are entertaining and educational. Yet what does it say to a kid when his parents take him to a movie with lots of violence, the "f" word and partial nudity in it?
Everyone is quick to judge, and a mother making a decision about how to raise her children is prime judgment real estate that starts before our kids are even born. Natural birth or epidural? Home or hospital? Breast or bottle feeding? Attachment parenting or not? Gender-specific or gender-neutral toys? Spank or not spank? Co-sleep or own beds? Harvard or Yale? It never ends.
And as any mother (or anyone who reads the newspapers) knows, it's easy to find "bad mothers" everywhere. Some throw their kids out of the car for fighting. Some even write books about it when their so-called 'bad parenting' becomes a hot topic of debate. And no matter how many people yell that these mothers are terrible parents, there is an equal amount of people who agree with and support their choices.
So truly, the decision must be up to my husband and me. We are damned if we do and damned if we don't. Regardless of what we decide, I doubt we'll end up on Oprah. And the best case scenario is the movie will spark a new passion for art and film in Jacob, and he'll grow up to be the next George Lucas.
To all you parents who struggle with decisions about your kids (are there any who don't?), may the force be with you.