Monday, September 10, 2012

A Resource for Finding Kid Friendly Media

We've talked before about how TV isn't the greatest use of your children's time (see here), but how do you escape the media when it is constantly surrounding your kids? Well, you don't have to! It's just a matter of monitoring and choosing carefully the media that they are exposed to.


So how do you know what media is best for your kids? In addition to your parental intuition, a great resource to help is Common Sense Media. This site gives parents access to information about TV shows, movies, books, games, apps and music. You can read reviews, see information about content, and even recommended ages for users. You can access this information simply by searching for the media you want information on (like a movie or TV show) and reading the reviews! Common Sense Media also provides some research on the effects of media on children, ideas for good uses of media, and advice on how to teach about big issues that are displayed throughout the media.

 Here's their mission as stated on their website:

"Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.

We exist because our nation's children spend more time with media and digital activities than they do with their families or in school, which profoundly impacts their social, emotional, and physical development . As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, we provide trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume."

This is a great way to be a little more aware about the media that your kids are surrounded by! You can check out reviews for TV shows, movies, books, apps, and music. They provide some of the research about media and you can even learn how to educate your children to be responsible media consumers.

HERE is a great article from Parenting Magazine where a member of the Common Sense Media board shares her insight on how to appropriately use the media with your children.

So don't feel like you have to completely avoid the media at all times! Just be aware that there are ways to be smart and help your kids utilize media in a healthy way! Start exploring commonsensemedia.org and see what information will be helpful to you!

Here are some other places for kid friendly media information:
Eleven Kids: http://www.kbyutv.org/kidsandfamily/elevenkids/
Family Education: http://life.familyeducation.com/parenting/values/36106.html?detoured=1
PBS Parents: http://www.pbs.org/parents/childrenandmedia/

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