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?