Sometimes it’s hard to know how to respond to that question. What if the movie is PG or PG-13? Or what if your child wants to play a video game which has an E rating but includes violence?
When you are deciding what kind of content is appropriate for your child to watch, there are general guidelines that every family can use. Here are four questions you can ask to decide whether or not it is wise for your child to view a particular movie, program or video game:
What factual data is my child learning from this program? If there is factual data, is it correct? You want your child’s mind to be filled with truth. If the program communicates a distorted vision of reality instead of how life works in the real world, you don’t want your child watching. You want your child to be exposed to things that are real and not a distortion of reality.
What kind of character traits is this program seeking to build in my child? Is the main character someone I want my child to copy? If the humor comes from cutting others down, being rude, or showing disrespect to authority, that’s a red light. Positive programs will teach your child to care for others, work hard, resolve conflict, or overcome obstacles.
How does this program treat family members? Television sitcoms often degrade men and fathers by making them lazy, fat, or stupid. What messages are your child hearing about men, women, marriage and parents? How is the family represented?
Is this program consistent with our family values? A child is running into all sorts of values during his or her early years. You can’t control what your child sees outside of the home at school or other places, but you can control what they are exposed to during screen time at home. What is viewed on screens should be in keeping with your family values, or it should be off limits.
By asking these four questions, you can filter out poor media choices. Seek to find positive movies and video games that will add – not detract – from a great summer with your kids.