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QUESTION: Am I Sheltering My Daughters Too Much?
“At what age did you start allowing your child to watch sexual scenes in movies? Not full-blown sex but things like some nudity, descriptive language, or implied sexual behavior.
I have sheltered my kids a lot, and I have friends who allow their kids to watch whatever. Even as a kid, I was allowed to watch whatever. I’m not sure if I’m too closed-minded or sheltering them too much. My daughters are 11 and 9.”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“No 11 or 9 year old need to see nudity or sexual scenes at all.”
“I wouldn’t allow mine to watch things like that at that age. That’s not sheltering. It’s parenting. They’re kids at that age. Knowing and watching are not the same.”
“I am of the opinion that the more you draw attention to things like this, the more of a big deal they think it is. I’m more of the European frame of mind. Children grow up seeing things like naked breasts on the beach, by the pool, on the TV, etc. they understand it is natural, and have no incentive to look. If no longer has its appeal. If naked breasts came on the television, I wouldn’t turn the channel. I would ignore it like it’s no big deal.”
“You are not sheltering them. Thank God parents still try to protect their kids from this stuff!”
“My 2 cents: my parents made me cover my eyes at everything until at least 15, and as a 25-year-old grown woman I still cover up because for some reason I still get uncomfortable…”
“Nudity is nudity. My daughter doesn’t even begin to question it. Like I wander through the house in various stages of undress. She’s more likely to question if I put on a bra and pants. That’s when she asks what’s up.”
“In my opinion 11 and 9 is too young. I say about 13 or 14 is when I would be ok with them seeing ‘light’ sex scenes. As far as swear words, that may be harder to keep away from them. Basically every movie has swear words so that’s inevitable, just make sure they know they are adult only words and they are not allowed to say them!”
“Try it and talk to them and see how they feel about it. My daughter is 9 she gets that when the heavy kissing is happening she’ll cover her eyes or leave the room but she also understands that they are probably going to have sex and is uncomfortable with it. But it gives us opportunity to talk about consent and non-consent. It’s an excellent teaching opportunity; kids are starting younger and younger with the questions and talking about it in school with friends.”
“I think it’s less about the age and more about the maturity.”
“My step sisters were like that, and I was the kid who could watch pretty much whatever. They were always so excited to watch something more the PG rating whereas I didn’t see what the big deal was. If you make it a thing it’s going to be a thing. But you’re their parent, so whatever style you see fitting to raise your kids is your choice…”
“I will say that when my dad fast forwarded through the sex scene in terminator when we were little that was the focus part of the movie for my little brother. Don’t draw attention of it. With breastfeeding in public and nudity everywhere you may be making it worse.”
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