Eighth Grade
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Should 8th Graders See the R-Rated “Eighth Grade?”

My 14-year-old tells me almost everything. I say almost because she keeps the juicier tidbits private, unless the guilt sets in or the story’s too good not to share. I don’t kid myself into thinking I know everything that’s happening in her life, but one thing’s for sure:
She and her friends are talking about sex.
Yes, most 14-year-olds are thinking about sex and they have a TON of questions. If they can’t get answers to those questions from their parents, they usually crowdsource among themselves or head straight to the internet, where they learn far more than necessary.
The life of your average 14-year-old is more R-rated than the PG-13 their parents are hoping for, but that doesn’t mean they’re troubled or at risk. It’s just part of the growing-up process.
I mention all of this because the critically acclaimed film about young-adulthood, Eighth Grade opens nationwide July 27th and many of us (including me) were shocked to find out it’s rated R.
Why would anyone make a film about eighth graders that they can’t even see?
Well, probably because kids that age don’t live PG-13 lives. If Eighth Grade is going to speak to the real eighth grade experience, it needs to include the sex-talk and profanity that peppers your average thirteen-year-old’s day.
Profanity and sex-talk isn’t new to my own 14-year-old, so I decided to see Eighth Grade with her. Continue reading →