Mom’s screen bloopers
Things I shouldn’t have let my children watch.
I read an online review of District 9 recently, and some lady was very kindly just warning us that it’s not a movie to take young kids to.

Well. I would have thought that the 16 age restriction would have been a clue; perhaps that’s just me. But I shalt not mock. I’ve also gotten the suitability thing wrong more than once. 

Layla likes to stick to the prescribed age restrictions and does not deviate an inch. Generally, the restrictions match what she can handle nicely, so it’s mostly a no-brainer.  The one time she went with my judgement that something should be okay, it went horribly wrong and she’s not trusted me since.  She manages sad movies surprisingly well. Not overly sentimental, our girl. Wonder where she gets that from? 

The Teenager loves jeering his way through teen horror flicks that would have me hiding under the blanket, but still prefers the History Channel. Actual footage of First World War shell shock victims or the bomb-in-the-stomach scene in Dark Knight? Which is more disturbing, really?

He once caught me surreptitiously watching Girls of the Playboy Mansion and ordered me to turn it off before my brain melted. So he’s got his head screwed on right, I guess. It just makes good limits for him that much trickier to figure out.

My top 5 screen bloopers

5. Any show featuring animal rescue of any kind. The tears, oh the wailing.

4. The Village. I really thought he could deal with it; he’d seen worse.  No blood or guts, but loads of suspense.  He was absolutely terrified. Lose ten points; go back down to Crummy Mummy level.

3. Hot Fuzz. I thought we could all enjoy what seemed to be a fun action movie, with the swearing switched off. Five minutes in there were 2 unexpected severed heads lying in the road. Layla was almightily pissed off with me.  Eventually this did turn into one of our favourites, provided we warned her so she could cover her eyes. 

2. Ploom. A peculiar fluffy white worm puppet – so bizarre I sometimes wonder if I imagined it. It was a two minute filler show which aired when Conor was a young toddler. He was enthralled at first, but cried bitterly every time it finished. Utterly stricken, as only a one year old knows how.  It wasn’t a scheduled show so the damn fuzzy thing always appeared without warning. Leading to panicked cries of “Aaaargh turn it off! Where’s the remote?!” By the time we found it, it was usually too late to avert the snot en trane.

And the number one biggest TV mistake of all time? Okay, don’t laugh.

Rugrats in Paris, The Movie. I kid you not. The one where Chuckie sets off to find himself a new Mommy, because he doesn’t have one?  I have never seen fallout such as this. That scene in Neverending Story where the horse sinks into quicksand was positively jolly in comparison.

Memories of June holidays 1999 resound with “One more time, mommy! I promise I won’t cry this time!” I don’t know why he loved it so much, or insisted on watching it when it broke his little heart so.

It remains the only movie ever to be banned in our house.  

What do you wish you’d never let your kids see?

Read more by Tracy Engelbrecht

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