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TV Programs and Kids --- What Guidelines Do You Follow?

For one hour, just before bed, the kids and I collapse and "veg out" watching TV. It is our time to cuddle and relax. It occurs to me that I need to brush up on content ratings and parental controls.

I don't necessarily make my TV viewing choices based on ratings...but maybe I should! Because I watch most programs with my kids, I am with them to discuss confusing content, the occasional discretionary word and hide eyes when necessary. (And this is just for the personal use commercials in between!)

I probably tell my kids too much information about foul words and explicit behavior because my theory is that if I give them all of the information they will not be scared to come to me with more difficult issues. I also expect my kids to make good choices with their wealth of knowledge.

With that being said, the bulk of our TV watching consist of "GLEE", "Modern Family" and "What Not to Wear" so it is not as if I am exposing them to graphic content as much as mature matter. Often the best conversation pieces come from the topics addressed in each episode. I do not regret talking to my kids about relationships, family dynamics or diversity.

Parental ratings and guidelines are in place for adults to choose their own comfort level per program. With more than one child in a household, often the older child chooses a program that is not appropriate for the younger sibling to watch. With the click of the remote, that information is available to peruse through easily. My goal is to raise informed young adults who go into the world with their eyes open and confident in the choices that they deem best for themselves.

As premiere week approaches, TV Watch --an organization to promote parental controls and individual choices as an alternative to increased government regulation of TV content-- is another source parents can go to for information on this topic.

What TV use guidelines and rules do you follow in your home? Share with us!       

Andrea Williams September 15, 2011 at 05:51 PM
A few folks asked me how "What Not to Wear" covers diversity. The make over subjects are everyone from white housewives to black boxing coaches. Some women are insecure because of their age and others their weight. What is universal is that regardless of their shape, color or sexual orientation ALL of the women are insecure and have to find their own beauty...fascinating!

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