I have a 7-year-old daughter who sometimes likes to go out without me or her mom. Last week we had an incident that she went out of the school premises and got herself in trouble. In my opinion, she is not old enough to be on her own yet. She doesn't know about the dangers of the world out there.

A few yeas ago, I saw the movie The Lovely Bones that greatly touched me. I was wondering if it is a right thing to have her watch this film? My concern is that the damage might be greater than the benefit. Do you have other suggestions to teach her to stay with us, e. g. at the mall, that do not scare her or impact her confidence?

  • I assume that you're not at all asking whether seven is an appropriate age to be outside alone, correct - only asking about watching the movie, and possibly about other options for how to teach her not to go out alone?
    – Joe
    May 19 '16 at 16:46
  • @Joe, that is correct. Just to make sure she stays with me in malls or outside without scaring her or impact her confidence.
    – Allan Xu
    May 19 '16 at 17:11
  • Letting her watch an age inappropriate movie will not make make up for inadequate parental control. Going out on her own at that age is absolutely unacceptable. May 24 '16 at 13:42

I haven't seen that movie myself, but Common Sense Media recommends it as not being appropriate for under 16, and the parents and kids reviewing it on the site recommend not for under 13, so I'd be a bit leery about showing it to a 7 year old.

There are generally better options for trying to keep your kids safe rather than scaring them, though there certainly are things out there to be healthily scared about. Here's an article with some suggestions: https://www.kidpower.org/library/article/safe-without-scared/

The main idea is to have a set of rules, and make sure the kid knows what is expected and what to do. If they are unable or unwilling to follow the rules, then they aren't ready to do that activity. My daughter will often perform a lot better in most situations if I point out that she needs to meet our expectations to keep or earn a particular privilege.

  • The link you mentioned includes excellent information for parents, thank you! I wish there was a kid show, movie or cartoon for kids as well.
    – Allan Xu
    May 19 '16 at 16:51

A fiercely independent seven year old girl who views The Lovely Bones might take the lesson that it's all right if she gets murdered because she can always expose her murderer or comfort her family via supernatural means from the next life. Far from scaring her into submission, the movie would be more likely to tempt her with a promise of greater power over the world around her than she ever had while alive.

  • 3
    I don't know that I agree with your conclusion, but definitely an interesting take on the matter worth considering.
    – Joe
    May 19 '16 at 21:48
  • 1
    I agree. We tell ours that if a person dies, that is it. There is nothing more. Death is the end of all fun and games and happiness. May 24 '16 at 13:45
  • I require that answers do not appear on SE Parenting with my name attached. Do not restore material that I have deleted.
    – user20278
    Jun 5 '17 at 22:14

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