You, Your Child and the Media: A Template For Screening

Welcome fellow custodians, I am here today as promised, permit to conclude the 6th principle to consider by sharing with you the rating, which must become the template for your screening as primary and secondary caregivers.

S/N Classification Description My Comment
1. G This classification rating indicates that the movie is suitable for viewing by persons of all ages. I advise parents to watch movies in this category with their children. In my experience of viewing, I have found that there are some films and videos, which are classified ‘G’ and they contain some questionable scenes that may confuse children.
2. PG This rating is applicable where the themes or content of the film may not, in the opinion of the Board, be suitable for all children therefore parental guidance is advised. I think for the parents to play their role under this classification, they must watch the films and video before they expose their children to same.

It may not be in the best interest of the child to watch this kind of films and video alone with first being screened by the primary and caregivers. As Ben Carson said about the human brain, it is easy to capture everything; the challenge is how to pull it out.

3. 12 & 12A Films rated “12” are not suitable for people under the age of 12. While films rated 12A advices consumers that the movie may contain scenes not suitable for persons under the age of 12 therefore, parental guidance must be applied. i.e, the child must be accompanied by an adult to view the film.

**Note that the requirements are not met if the adult buys a ticket, but does not accompany the child in the cinema for the duration of the film.


My advice will be as it is in the immediate classification, particularly as it relates to 12A
4. 15 The “15” films are not suitable for persons under the age of 15 as the content is strong in impact. There are legal restrictions governing who can be admitted to “15” films. Please ensure that you do not expose your children under age 15 to the films and videos rated 15. I also advise that for your children, who are between 15 and 18 view films and videos rated 15 you watch with them for you to know the information they are receiving.
5. 18 Films rated “18” are not suitable for people under the 18 as the content has a high impact. There are  legal restrictions governing who can be admitted to “18” films.


** People aged between 2 and under 15/18 cannot be admitted to a “15”/”18” film respectively.


Note: Classification Notices: Notices explaining what classifications “G” through to “RE” mean must be displayed in a prominent place where films are being exhibited and at entrances to all viewing halls.

Please note that as screening applies to taking your children out for movies, so it applies to the films and videos you watch at home. It is the role of the primary and secondary custodians to screen the films and videos their children watch and enforce the template shared above. It is also the role of the primary and secondary caregivers to ensure that operators and management of public viewing centers adhere strictly to the rating by allowing only children, within the age limits to view a particular film or video. The main issue here is how to determine the age of a child before admission into the public viewing centre.

The National Film and Video Censors Board provides a clue on the proof of age at public viewing centers thus: ‘cinemas may verify the age of an individual before they provide access to all legally restricted films (“12”, “12A”, “15”, “18”) A proof of age (in the form of photo identification- driver licenses, passport or some educational institution IDs which has a photograph and date of birth) may be requested before they provide access to legally restricted films.’ There are three major problems I have found about the issue of age verification: the first is that many public viewing centers do not do due diligence in the area of age verification. They allow parents in as long as they are with their parents. The second is that many primary and secondary caregivers are not conscious the whole idea of rating, therefore they do not adhere to it. The third is that there are primary and secondary caregivers, who try to compromise the officials of a public viewing center by appealing that their children should be allowed in to watch a film the children are restricted from watching. In some cases some primary and secondary caregivers may even promise the officials some pecuniary incentive to circumvent the process. I think the foregoing are very pathetic. These are not only acts of illegality but are also completely anti-children.

In conclusion, permit me to state that when you watch a title before you expose your children to them or you watch with them, you must be ready to answer every question concerning the titles. We must accept as a fact that the only foolish question a child will ever ask is the question he does not ask or permitted to ask. You must also ask the children questions to clarify the lessons they learn. As a matter of fact, you must create a time for you to discuss lessons with them collectively and even sometimes individually. The need to have individual discussion with a child may arise from your observation in the course the general discussion of the lessons of the title.

Kindly note that it will not make sense to screen what your children watch if you will not encourage them to ask questions and create time to discuss their titles with them. Please note that you may not have ready answers for their questions. Therefore it is not out of place to reschedule the discussion. I believe that every question must be answered according to the universal principle of how God created this world to function.

Thank you for visiting today. Do have an INSPIRED day. I charge you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

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