Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Common Sense Media

This is an awesome site for parents.  As my kids are getting a little bit older and more influenced by friends, the things that they hear about and want to watch, play or read are not always the things that they should be watching, playing, or reading.  I like to know what my kids are watching, reading or listening to, and I don’t have time or desire to pre-screen everything.  This is where Common Sense Media comes in.

 The site information about all different types of media – movies, tv, games, apps, websites, books, and music.   They have lots of articles and recommendations on the site, but the part I use most is the reviews. Their reviews are based on child development stages, and are detailed – They provide an overall age suggestion and then break things down into the categories of educational value, positive role model, violence, sex, language, consumerism, and drinking/drugs/smoking. 

They rate each of those categories AND give you the specific information that the rating was based on.  I love being able to have the detailed info that the rating is based on so I can easily make the decision on what is appropriate for my kids.  A few times I have kept the kids from watching something inappropriate based on the info, but many times, the site gives me enough information to let me okay watching something that I might not have otherwise, and the best part is that I’m prepared to discuss the issues that might come up instead of being surprised by them.  In my experience, the reviews have been very accurate and I’ve been happy with the decisions I’ve made with information from this site.

Their ratings have a “What parents need to know” section that is very useful.  And they have a “Families Can Talk About” section that brings up great questions about the movie, show, book, etc… to talk about with your kids.

Common Sense Media is definitely worth checking out!

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Claire Cooper said...

IMDB also have a parents guide.. It tells you why a film has been given a specific age rating.

I can also recommend netnanny. it allows you to approve specific sites and times for your kids to access the internet. it they try to get on anything else, it warns you - and has age guidance as well.