Thursday, June 05, 2008

Common Sense
Some people think I'm too strict as a parent. And maybe I am. I'm really careful about the things I allow my kids to read, listen to and watch. I try to let them make choices so that they can learn and grow, but I also know I don't want a bunch of crap in my home. I have friends that say, "Well the kids are going to hear all that craptastic stuff at school and from friends, so what's the big deal if they hear it at home too?" I disagree. I think it is a big deal. I feel like my kids should have a safe place they can escape to. They need to have somewhere to get away from all the crappiness this world throws them! And I want that place to be our home.
So, I'm strict. I'm constantly asking you people for book suggestions. I try to look up lyrics on popular songs so that I know what my kids are chanting along with. And I spend a lot of time checking out movie content on sites like Kids in Mind - which gives a rating for violence, language and sexual content.
Now, you guys have always been good for the book suggestions, but, I've always wished that there was a similar rating site for books. As I've mentioned before, Red is an avid reader. And he's read a few books that I now wish he wouldn't have. I probably would have eventually let him read them, but they weren't appropriate for his 9 year old brain.
Welp, today I stumbled across a site that reviews and rates books! Woohoo!! AND it reviews current movies, DVD's, TV shows, games, music and websites! I'm really excited to dig through and see what I can find. I don't know how accurate it is yet, but I thought I'd pass it along in case anyone else had been searching for something similar. It's called Common Sense Media and besides the ratings, there are also suggestions for things to talk about with your kids (after you've seen a movie, read a book, played a game, etc.) and articles on how to become a more media savvy parent. I'm hoping that it will give me some good ideas and suggestions on how to let my kids explore without exposing them to all the trash that's out there!
What about you? How do you decide what media is appropriate or not for your kids?


Nancy Face said...

I agree with you completely. Kids need to have a "safe harbor" at home, away from all the garbage they may see or hear elsewhere. When someone argues that "they hear that bad word twenty times a day at school, so what's the big deal?" my response is, "But you're not going to hear it in OUR house!"

Good for you! :)

Summer said...

Thanks for the link Melissa.

Jumbo Shrimp said...

Well we aren't quite there yet but that's a good link to have in the future. I also worry about what my kid will be watching and reading and listening to.

Kimberly said...

I'm right there with you, babe. I don't care if they'll find that stuff out there in the "real world", I want to teach them to seek out the good and uplifting forms of media available to us. Thanks for the link to that site!

Tausha said...

If we moms don't provide a safe environment for out children, where are they supposed to go, what are they supposed to do?
I am with you and not the others-It is my house, I get to control what comes in it and I am going to be strict with those things. There little minds already here way more things than i would like, and then i have to explain what things mean to my 6 and 8. So-thanks so much for the fabulous site-what a gold mine! You my dear are a fabulous mom. Props to you for standing up for what you believe in, you are teaching your children a lesson that the world has forgot to do.

Jessica said...

I agree with you 100%! Home need to be the place where children feel safe. Where they learn right from wrong. Yes our children are going to hear this someday but when they do they can question it and know that is not what is happening at home.

This site is great! I think it will be put it my favorites and used ALOT!!!

Holly said...

Wow. Great site. I've needed one for the book thing especially!!

Pezlady said...

I am so totally in agreement with you about home being a safe place from all the "craptastic" (love that word) stuff in the world. I am pretty strict too. My kids hate it, because some of their friends can watch or listen to whatever, but I tell them, "well, I am not their mom, but I AM yours and this is what I think is okay or not okay." That seems to satisfy them for a while.

painted maypole said...

er.. i think i have may have just commented on the wrong post... i meant to comment on this one

wynne said...

Thanks for sharing the link!

For me, media filtering is pretty easy (Jake is 4, for cryin' out loud!): if it plays on PBS, it's happy-shiny. And books? The only trouble I've run into so far is in the old Curious George books where the man in the yellow hat smokes a pipe. We have a short discussion about things that are bad for your body, and plenty of people do that kind of stuff even when they know it's bad for their bodies. We are not those people, etc.

So far, pretty easy-cheesy. But I hear ya. I have plans--all theoretical, mind you--to teach him to judge for himself (within reason for his age, of course). How does a thing make you feel when you read/watch/listen to it? Does it sensitize you to truth or does it desensitize you to important things? (Theoretical, I tell you.) In the end, though, I know he'll be a better judge for what is appropriate for him than I am--as long as I can teach him to read the signs!

Blahblahblah. I'm done.

diana said...

i don't think you're too stict. i think you are a good mom and care deeply for your children. i loved your comment on wanting to make your home a safe place from all the crappiness of the world. we should all feel that way.

sounds like a great site. thanks for sharing it.

Christy said...

Thanks for sharing the link for books and video games... we struggle with knowing what's appropriate too. Books are especially hard (even for adults!!!) to know if the content is appropriate! Can't wait to visit it very soon.

And I had "grandiose" plans for my family years ago... I'm still strict, but not as strict as I wish I was. And, once you have a teenager, it's really hard not to expose the younger ones to the stuff they are ready and begging for... it's a tough battle every day!

Yvonne said...

I totally agree with your thoughts about stuff in your home. Sure they may hear and see garbage but they don't have to hear and see it in my house.

That looks like a great site.

You are a great mom