Obsession, 8-year-old style

Let’s talk about Sam and Aliens.

So, my eight-year-old son is obsessed with James Cameron’s 1986 action/horror/sci-fi movie Aliens. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Perhaps you are thinking, He is too young to see that movie! Yes, well. I agree. And he hasn’t seen it. YET.

But he wants to, desperately.

He brings it up frequently. The other day he turned to me out of the blue and said, “Mom, I really want to see Aliens now. It might be a spooky one, but it’s okay. I might be scared, but I just have to find out. I really want to see it.”

And why, you may be wondering, is he so obsessed with this movie? The board game. He plays the board game, and the flash version of the board game, frequently. He does voices for the marines. He refuses to leave an injured man behind. The other day when I was playing with him, he had one of the guys GO BACK for Vasquez. Which, actually…

Anyway. He loves the world so much. He knows all the characters and has a favorite (Hicks, thank goodness). He can tell you in great detail why we do not like Burke. He knows everything but what the movie is actually like.

I won’t lie, I might let him watch it. Nothing has scared him yet. Literally ever. And honestly, the most disturbingly violent thing shown on screen is an android–excuse me, synthetic human–being skewered. (Yes, of course we re-watched it this weekend to help us decide what to do. Holy shit the blu-ray looks amazing.)

12 thoughts on “Obsession, 8-year-old style

  1. Cindy

    July 28, 2014 at 10:39pm

    When my boys were four and six we got Jurassic Park on video. We hadn’t seen it at the movies because we had three kids and no money so we always had to wait. They knew all the characters and had the toys but hadn’t seen the movie. As we were all watching it for the first time, my older son Patrick sat in a corner between the wall and a bookshelf and kept hiding his face in his knees, and Zach was on the couch with me, hiding his face into my chest during the “scarier” parts. After they went to bed, I hid the movie and told my husband I thought it was to much for them. The very next day, Patrick asked me where the movie was and when I said I had put it away because they seemed kind of scared, his response was “That’s because we didn’t know what was coming next. We know now and want to watch it again”. Done!

    Also, when Megan was about 11, she wanted to stay up to watch a horror movie, not just a scary movie…a HORROR movie and when I said I thought she was still a little young for them, she told me that she had been watching them since she was 8 yrs old at my mom’s when she slept over. My mom would go to bed and my sister’s would let her watch the movies with them.

    So, bottom line, you know your kid better than anyone else, if you think he can handle it, let him watch.

    • Annika

      July 30, 2014 at 9:32am

      Oh, Cindy, I thought of you when Will and I were discussing this. I need a What Would Starshine Do bracelet.

  2. Cindy

    August 3, 2014 at 8:40am

    Awww! You have no idea how that makes me feel. I’m more used to people thinking I was to lax with my kids in a lot of things when they were growing up. I never had time limits on how much t.v. my kids watched like other parents IN MY SITUATION did. I understand that you put limits on your kids and I can understand why. We didn’t live in an apartment, we had a house with a yard they could go and play in and I never felt the need to curtail their t.v. time because if it was nice out they PREFERRED to go out and play than stay in and watch t.v. If they were like my sister’s kids who were glued to the set no matter what, I would have done differently but I always felt judged for not setting limits. I could go on with many other similar stories but I stick to “you know your kids best”. If you have would like my opinion or advice, feel free to message me and ask but I won’t be offended if you don’t take follow it because event then, you still know Sam and Grace a gazillion times better than I.

  3. Cindy

    August 3, 2014 at 8:42am

    Okay, that last sentence got a bit garbled. I’ve got to remember to proofread before posting but I think you know what I meant.

    • Annika

      August 3, 2014 at 9:29am

      I can totally relate to this. While I do put SOME limits on screentime, they are really based on what I know my kids can handle. I know most of my parent friends would be HORRIFIED by how much time the kids get! (And indeed, some FORMER friends let me know how horrified they were.)

      P.S. Sam watched about half of Aliens yesterday. I am super proud of him–when it got too intense for him, he asked to take a break and play the game instead.

  4. Cindy

    August 3, 2014 at 8:21pm

    Good for Sam! I think some of the problem is that many parents don’t take the time to TALK to their kids. If my kids watched a show deemed for an older audience, it was usually because I was watching and they wanted to watch it with me (*cough*Buffy*cough*). Zach was only 8, I think, at the time so he had a lot of questions and I would answer them in a way he understood. I rarely censored what they watched unless there was an issue with a specific show. I stopped them from watching Ren & Stimpy on Nickelodeon because it was obnoxious and it was making THEM obnoxious. It just being obnoxious wasn’t enough to put a stop to it but the resulting behaviour did.

  5. Ewokmama

    August 8, 2014 at 4:37pm

    Jack really wants to see Aliens, too. He’s never played the board game or anything – he has just stumbled upon the action figures in his constant amazon searches for toys. :P We’ve explained which things in the movies we are worried about and he is okay with waiting until he is older (not that we need him to be okay with it). Same with Jaws. And I keep wondering about Gremlins…I watched it when I was his age but, then again, I also watched Pink Floyd’s The Wall so my baseline is off. :P

    But if you think he can handle it, I say do it. Jack LOVES so much of the Dr. Who stuff that even some adults find disturbing (and then the stuff that freaks him out actually occurs in Disney movies…).
    Ewokmama´s last post ..A Wish Come True in Time and Space

  6. Meg

    September 5, 2014 at 2:44pm

    Xan didn’t blink during Jurassic Park. It scared the hell out of him, but he loved it and it brought up a lot of practical/scientific questions about how predators hunt. Then, about a month later, we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy. He was so traumatized by the opening scene with Quill’s mom, he couldn’t enjoy the rest of the movie. I guess there are certain things that hit home for an 8-year-old boy, and it may not be decapitations and eviscerations.

    Did Sam ever end up watching Aliens? If so, how did he like it?

    • Annika

      September 5, 2014 at 2:49pm

      He did! He watched about half with Will, and asked to stop when it got really intense. He wants to finish, but we have to find another day when I can take Grace out.

  7. Meg

    September 6, 2014 at 8:40am

    That’s awesome. I should mention… River LOVED Guardians of the Galaxy. Go figure.

    • Annika

      September 6, 2014 at 11:29am

      Ha! That’s great. How old is she? Six?

  8. Meg

    September 8, 2014 at 5:34am

    Yes – she just turned six at the end of June. (From what I’ve read on your blog, our kids – both The Boy and The Grrl – have so much in common.)

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