Responsibility. This is a word that parents are all too familiar with. As soon as that little miracle enters our lives, we, as parents, are bombarded with a whole level of responsibility that we had never experienced prior. Feeding, changing diapers, bathing, and burping are parts of a very small portion of the responsibility endured by parents. Parenting is so much more involved than the physical aspect. Mental and emotional aspects are some of the bigger responsibilities parents are faced with.
It is every parent’s job to do everything they can to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being of their children. Generally, especially for new parents, research is a big part of this. Music, for example, is something that most children love. However, it is something that parents should monitor. While you may not mind your children listening to country music or classic rock, I bet you can think of some rap music that you don’t want your kids listening to. The same thinking must be applied to all forms of media.
As with music, the internet can be harmful to children. While it may be prudent to teach your kids proper use of a computer, in today’s modern age, there are a ton of sites online that just shouldn’t be accessible to children. Parental internet security and controls do a great job in allowing parents to do their jobs in monitoring what their children can and cannot see online. These tactics should be used on smart phones and tablets as well, since both are mini computers anyways.
Just like the above examples, movies and TV shows are another thing parents need to monitor for their children. Modern TVs typically come with parental controls. Also, TV service companies often offer parental controls with their products as well. Each channel on your list should be carefully evaluated. There are some channels that are great for kids all day, until 8 at night. TV parental controls have options such as time controls, channel controls, and rating controls. The rating controls are probably the least reliable.
Movies are a bit trickier; especially if you want to take your kids to the movie theater. Nobody has the money to spend $30 on tickets, $20 on snacks, and $20 on drinks, just to have to leave in the middle of a movie because it got too inappropriate. Just like now, there are many exciting movies for kids coming out soon. Do your research before you risk wasting all that money.
For example, if you are thinking of bringing your kids to the new remake of Cinderella; it doesn’t matter if you use internet rating and review sites or watch the trailer. Either option will give you insight on the new rendition of this popular princess classic without costing too much time or money.
Regardless of what other parents say, you should still find your own info on all of these various sources of media. Other parents many have differing views of child-raising from you. Doing your own research is the only way for you to have the peace of mind, knowing that you have done everything you can to ensure the mental health and emotional well-being of your children. Not being healthy in these two areas is something that will psychologically follow your kids into their adulthood. The psychological scholarly community has been researching the effects of media on kids for decades now. They are constantly finding things that are damaging to a child’s psyche.
While many of us were raised a certain way, modern medicine has advanced in such a way that responsible parents need to learn about it, before shrugging it off. A recent research study was done on 707 children. Scholars and researchers found that looser restrictions on media usage were strongly linked to various forms of aggressive and sexual behavior as the child grew older. These are the scary facts of being a parent. Do your part to ensure your child, or children, retains all the immense potential that they were brought into the world with.