What We Are All About

Welcome to "Mothers Who Know!" This blog was inspired by the words of Julie Beck delivered at an LDS General Conference in 2007. There are days when I am running on empty and feeling inadequate at my job as mother, wife, and homemaker. I have been wishing for sometime that there was a place that I could go to pose a question about parenting, mothering, running a household...all the things that make up my little corner of the universe. In searching the web, I haven't found a place like this where I can ask other women about my personal dilemma and have them give me an honest answer based on their life experiences.

What I'm hoping for from this blog is for mothers to help mothers, regardless of age, religious affiliation, political views, and life experiences. I hope to build an online community of women who offer their help to each other for no other reason than to help another mother on her path.

To submit a question, please press the "Contact Us" button at the side of this page. Your question will be posted and the readers of this blog will have the opportunity to comment with their motherly wisdom.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Girls Going to the Movies

Dear Mothers,

My 12year old daughter is dying to go to the movies with her friends without any adults. I so nervous about letting her. Is she too young? At what age would this be appropriate?

Silver Screen Skittish


  1. I think 12 is too young to go to the movies without an adult present. I would go with the girls and maybe sit apart from them in the same theatre.
    I cannot tell you at what age she would be old enough as that depends on her level of maturity which varies from child to child.
    I would start with small outings and see how things go and take it from there.
    There is no shame in wanting to protect our children from the bad things of the world. It is our job and we will have to account for what we did.
    Hope this helps.

  2. I agree with JoAnne. Adult supervision is critical when the judgement hasn't been developed, and doesn't really formally have a place in the brain until after age 17.... my opinion is, if they aren't (at least)old enough to earn a driver's license, they need parental supervision on outings.

    An alternative would be to rotate hosting movie nights around her friends' parents' homes, understanding that all parents commit to the supervision rules.

    We have come up with an alternative to the "sleep over" issue, for example. We do "late overs" where the kids play late and then go home to sleep in their own beds. All parents benefit because the kids are supervised during waking hours and no one has to worry what happens when the hosting parents go unconscious for the evening (and no one is liable...). Even the kids are happier because they aren't completely burned out the next day and don't withdraw from family expectations and activities like they do after sleep overs when no one has slept.

    So my feeling is to strike a compromise, with the understanding that parents are responsible for the safety of their children until the children are mature enough to assume it for themselves (which, in my opinion, is when they go to college). And, out of respect and love for the parent, the children will usually compromise if the situation is handled lovingly, but firmly, with the child's well being as the main focal point.

    Best wishes on a great outcome for all!

  3. Dear Silver Screen Skittish,
    I would not let her go yet! Movie theatres aren't like they used to be. One has too far to walk to their seat and too many are lingering in the area when going to your seat. One can get separated from their group, or approached by a stranger. Why not be one of the gang and join them for fun. You will be surprised how soon those 12 year olds will accept you as one of the girls!!!!!!!!!! But be fun and a friend to all the girls and get to know each on!!!

    Good Luck! From "Been there done that"

  4. I don't agree with the being "one of the girls" and joining the group. Kids do need their space. It gives them a much needed sense of confidence and self-worth to know they "did it on their own." But I do agree that it all depends on the maturity level of the girl. It also depends upon the theater, the town, the people etc. I personally would feel fine letting dropping my 12 year old off at our local small theater with cell phone and then staying close by at a store or restuarant, such until the movie is over. I also think all children should take self defense courses of some kind before they reach the age where they are out on their own from time to time. But overall, I just think it depends on the child, the place, and your personal comfort level. Good luck!

  5. I agree with going to the theater but sitting separately. I had a lot of friends whose parents did this and we never felt smothered. I also agree with the person who said they can't be trusted to reason like an adult until about 17 which is true, but I think there are a lot of girls who are mature enough to head to a movie sans parents a little younger than that. I think it depends on the child and the child's friends.

  6. I think it also depends on what show she wants to see and what time of day she wants to go. If she and her friends choose a matinee of an family-friendly movie, for example, I would feel more comfortable dropping her off than if they wanted to see a movie after dark or one geared more toward older audiences.

  7. I think you SHOULD let them go by themselves. If you establish ahead of time the movie they are seeing... and what time you should pick them up, (give them your cell phone), then I think there is no harm in letting them have a little freedom.

    You teach your children correct principles, and let them govern themselves. You can not always be there to hold their hand, and at some point you have to start trusting that they will indeed make good choices.

    Wouldn't it be better, if they were going to mess up, for them to mess up over something "smallish" like the movies-- rather than when they are grown, and Mommy isn't around to hold their hand anymore... then they screw up really big??

    I say trust your daughter, do your homework about the movie they are going to see, give her your cell phone to take and then shorten the leash a little.