Why parents should think more actively about censoring their child’s access to the media around them.
Kids nowadays seem to know much more than ever before. They are very aware of innuendos, sarcasm, and mature conversation. But, what happens when we begin to recognize that we are taking away the innocence of a child at such young ages. Children are like sponges, they soak up all the information they can and then spill it back to us at the most unexpected moments.
Once Upon a Time…
Back in the 1950’s when TV and movies were just beginning to become a normal household item, it was completely taboo to reveal anything “indecent”. For example, in the TV show I Love Lucy, TV-Land would not show a married couple sharing a bed. In these times, it would have been considered indecent and obscene. According to an article listed on Exploring US History, “Indecent programming was defined as ‘patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium and describes sexual or excretory activities and organs.'” Children were not exposed to racy material that was way beyond their years because for the most part, there wasn’t any content of that nature to be viewed.
As the Times Change, Parents Do To
All kids are curious. I remember the times when I wanted to see movies and watch shows far beyond my years, however, my parents and those of my friends were very particular in the content we were being exposed to. If something was rated PG-13, and I was 10, most likely, I was not seeing the movie. Unfortunately, times have changed. It seems as though parents tend to lack control of the material their child is watching, playing, or reading all too often. Kids in our times are living and thinking way beyond their years. Take for example, the video games kids are playing. Grand Theft Auto, SIMS, and various others all have a rating of M for Mature. However, when we think of video games, we don’t usually correlate sexual material to the rating. Unfortunately, many parents tend to overlook the label and allow their child to play it anyway. These games are exposing children to situations that they are too immature to handle.
Kids are Impressionable
Children in most cases, are gullible and vulnerable. Even when they don’t understand the meaning behind what they may be hearing or seeing, they repeat what they heard like a parrot. It has become more and more common in recent years for children’s shows to contain subdued adult content. Take Spongebob for example, in many episodes, adult humor is added in a very subtle way. While we may think these small innuendos fly right over a child’s head, when they repeat things that they heard, we wonder where it came from.
How to Get a Grip
In many homes, parents are uncomfortable letting their child watch something that is even deemed appropriate for television. Nowadays, we have ratings for shows we can easily access through Cabelvision. As one parent expressed in the article, Families Becoming Own Censors, “I am not comfortable with letting professional sensors who spend half their lives watching violent and semi-pornographic movies to decide what is acceptable for my children. I reached the point where I had been burned one too many times by the ratings system to place my confidence in it, so I decided that I’d never allow my kids to watch any movie I hadn’t at least viewed myself.” While our rating system in movies seems to become less sensitive to small details, parents need to take matters into their own hands. View the content your child is preparing to watch and read the specific details on why something is rated the way it is. If for any reason, your child is exposed to raw material, be sure to explain what they heard and why it is not appropriate to repeat. Parents need to be more aware of containing their children’s innocence while it lasts.