Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Censorship In Parenthood

The other day my 19 year old son asked me why when he was in 7th grade I made him explain to me what each lyric of a song he was listening to meant, and really watched what music he was listening to, and now that his younger sisters are in 7th grade, I let them listen to Katy Perry? (My first thought was because I like Katy Perry, and the music you were listening to; um, not so much! Though I didn't say that.) :) What I told him was, it's because girls don't think in the same ways that boys do, and like it or not, there is a double standard!

I do censor (for lack of a better word) not only the music my kids listen to, but also the books I allow them to read & the T.V. shows & movies they see. As you know I've just recently let my girls start reading the Twilight books, though they have been wanting to read them since they came out. I just thought they needed to wait until they were a little bit older. We also started watching The Secret Life Of The American Teenager when it first came out. And we really liked it. It opened up a lot of really great & needed conversations. But, it started getting too raunchy. So I explained to my daughters that we wouldn't be watching it any more & why. They understood & didn't even protest.

I remember once when my girls were little & we had just moved to a new state, a lady from our new Church came over to help us move in & she had two little girls herself, and told my girls we'd have to set up a play date. Then she asked my angelic looking little preschool aged Twins what were some of their favorite movies. One of my girls blurted out "Jurassic Park 3!" That Mom, looked at me & back at my girls & said "I see we'll have to have a discussion about what movies can & can't be viewed." I just simply reminded her that, unlike her girls, they have 2 older brothers! :)

I don't consider myself to be overly strict in this area, but there are times my kids may disagree with me on that. There is a great website we use when deciding on movies for our kids. It's called Kids In Mind Movie Ratings and it literally tells you every thing that you may even consider remotely "iffy." Like which swear words, if any, are in the movie & how many times each are said. It goes scene by scene & lets you know any real, or perceived, violence, sexual content or insinuations, etc. Even when my boys got older, they would tell me about a movie they wanted to see & would just let me know what Kids In Mind said about it after looking it up themselves. I highly recommend it.

I would love for you to share with us, what do you censor for your kids, and why?


Unknown said...

Loved the blog post. Kids In Mind has an awesome iphone app, I just downloaded it last night after reading your post.

Pam said...

When my kids were little I censored EVERYTHING - TV, movies, books. And I was strict. Much stricter than other parents. But now that they are 18 and 16, I let them watch/read whatever they want. I feel they are old enough now to handle anything they might see/read. I also vividly remember being in junior high and high school and using books as a way to make sense of the world, my experiences and my ever changing emotions. And so far, they have always made good choices.