Concerned about protecting your child’s innocence? How can parents protect their children from violent images, sexual content and inappropriate content before they are ready for it? More than ever before, parents must be proactive and be aware of what their children view and listen to. When it comes to selecting age-appropriate movies, I recommend Kids-in-mind.com.
Changes in culture that impact what children learn
The advent of media and technology has proven to be one of the most visible, influential, and important changes over the 100 years. The average eight- to 18-year old American spends six hours a day using or viewing some type of media; 11- and 12-year-olds spend an average of eight hours a day. The average preschool child spends more than three hours a day using or viewing media.
In 2011, the average American home had three television sets, two to four phones, and at least one computer in the home with Internet access. In addition, most people carry cell phones, digital music players, and even have televisions in their vehicles.
The media acts as a potent persuader of opinions about everything from authority to morality. It can support or tear down what parents teach children. Media does not influence behavior directly, but it can influence values. In turn, values influence decisions concerning right and wrong, which influence behavior. Parenting requires tough viewing decisions.
Parents might argue that what they watch as parents is irrelevant because children do not know what parents watch after hours or alone. However, something occurs when children realize what parents really view: they learn that their parents’ actions don’t align with their words and the values they claim to hold. This dichotomy erodes your parental authority and undermines what you are trying to teach your children.
For example, parents should set acceptable limits of violence in what they’ll allow themselves—and their children—to view as entertainment. Additionally, it is important for parents to talk with children about the content of what they see and watch on television, on the Internet, and in theaters. Discuss values and limits expected of children when alone or away from family. With diligence and consistency, parents can empower children to set personal boundaries for media viewing.
(Excerpt from the book, “iParent,” by Dr. Lon W. Flippo)
Kids-in-Mind.com can help you choose the right movies
Can’t decide if the latest animated film, such as “Home,” is appropriate for your four-year old? Or if the latest action movie is appropriate for your teenager? Bookmark kids-in-mind.com and check this site for an analysis of swear words, nudity, substance abuse, alcohol use, violence and adult themes. Do it before you tell your child that he or she can see the movie. We highly recommend reading the reviews with your upper elementary and teenage children. Talk about the themes that are troublesome for you and why. The site offers movie ratings that keep kids in mind. My wife and I even use it to determine if we want to view a movie. The site includes the following information in the review:
A brief description of the story, the stars and most importantly, for parents:
- A score between 0 and 10 for sexual content and nudity, with a higher number indicated a high amount of sexual content or nudity;
- A score between 0 and 10 for violence and gore with a score of 10 meaning there is a large amount of violent content;
- A score between 0 and 10 for profanity, including name-calling and religious swear words;
- The number of times and the circumstances surrounding alcohol and drug use in the film;
- Possible topics of discussion and the types of questions a film may raise in the minds of children.
These Kids in Mind movie ratings help parents make intelligent decisions about what movies they take their children to. The Kids in Mind movies site immediately updates its information as soon as a new movie is released. If you’re unsure if you should take your kids to a move, check it out before you go.
A movie “review” or analysis of movie content for the movie, “Home” looks like this image:
Finally, the movies are organized alphabetically and there is a powerful search function.