Do you ignore movie ratings?

Image: via Shutterstock

A friend of mine, who is a pre-school teacher, recently had a child in her class tell her how much he liked the movie Iron Man. Surprised that he’d seen it, she asked the rest of the class, all aged between four and five, if they’d seen it. Every single child had seen the film, which carries Film and Publications Board (FPB) rating of 10SVL.

Fun police?

The FPB ratings are quite strict- they are designed to protect the child from exposure to anything inappropriate, but not everyone knows what they mean. If you’re a parent, you’ll be asked to provide your guidance about what your kid can watch, so here’s what the age restrictions mean:

  • A: All ages.
  • PG: Parental guidance is advised for younger or sensitive viewers.
  • 10M: Kids under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • 13M/13PG: Kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult or parental guidance must be given for DVD viewing.
  • 10/13/16: No kids allowed under these ages.
  • 18: Adults only.

"N" is not for "Nice"

Another friend of mine once had this shock: Not knowing what the letters next to ratings mean, he watched a movie rated LS. He thought it meant “Love” and “Scary”. There are quite a few of these, so here’s a refresher:
  • B: Blasphemy (religious sensitivity).
  • D: Drug and alcohol abuse.
  • L: Strong language.
  • N: Nudity.
  • P: Prejudice with regards to ethnicity, race, gender etc.
  • S: Sexual conduct.
  • V: Violence.
You may not be too strict about the ratings in your house- they are harder to enforce inside people’s homes, after all, but some parents do follow the guidelines carefully. I have made the mistake of promising a movie to my kids, only to find out about the inappropriate ratings later on. Something to consider if you prefer to stick to the guidelines is speaking to your kid’s friend’s parents, or making sure he does- just in case they put on something you’d prefer him not to see at a party.

Peer pressure- “but they’ve seen it”- is one reason kids may see something you’d prefer them not to, but it’s mostly that parents just don’t worry too much about those little triangles with numbers and letters on the corner of DVD cases. Your kid is hardly likely to become a serial killer after watching one “bad” movie, but it’s still a good idea to exercise your PG when it comes to their viewing, and remember that even if you allow your kids to watch everything, their friend’s parents may not have the same relaxed attitudes.

Do you pay attention to age restrictions on DVDs and games?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1540 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
54% - 8540 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
33% - 5198 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 499 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.