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Protect Our Children by Limiting Media Exposure

Updated on May 18, 2010

Protecting your children is a parent's primary responsibility.  Unfortunately many parents do not realize that they need to protect their children from the media.  The television is a wonderful invention, but the things that are shown on it are not appropriate for many children.  Even if the TV show itself is fine, the commercials bring up topics and show things that are not age appropriate for many children watching. 

Think back to your childhood.  The chances are good that you did not see people sleeping together or getting killed in commercials during your favorite football team's Saturday afternoon game.  I don't need my seven year old asking what erectile dysfunction is when we are trying to watch a baseball game on TV.  I don't want to have to explain to my five year old what birth control pills are and I don't want my eleven year old watching a murder play out in a commercial right before he goes to bed.  Half the battle is in the advertising I have found.   

I remember sitting with my oldest son a few years ago in the lunchroom during first grade.  The boy next to him turned to his friend and said he wanted to have sex with a girl in his class.  These kids were six year old!  It turns out his parents watched "Sex in the City" each week with him in the room.  He was exposed to a lot of things he shouldn't have been at age six. Parents please be careful what you watch on TV when your kids are around.  When I watch TV I hold the remote and when commercials come on I change the station so they don't see the bad ones.  I find frequently that even though the show is appropriate, the commercials are not.

Ratings are there for a reason.  As parents it is our responsibility to adhere to them.  I have seen toddlers in R-rated movies.  Kids are very impressionable and seeing rated R things and hearing bad words does affect them and the way they behave.  They are too young to understand it all, but they do know how to copy things they see and hear. 

Many of my oldest son's friends are youngest children.  This area gets sticky, even for me.  While my oldest can handle something, his younger siblings certainly can't.  But so many families let their youngest children do whatever it is their oldest children are doing, regardless of their age or what the video game is rated.  Call of Duty Modern Warfare is rated mature for a reason.  Do not let your young children play this.  It plants the seeds of violence and killing at an age where they are too young to understand that this is not how real life is. 

I realize that each child is different and some 12 year olds might be able to handle Call of Duty.  That is up to the parent to make the decision of course, but please don't just automatically assume everything is fine.  Find some good review sites and consider all the facts about the movie, television show or video game.  Then consider your child and his mental development.  Then make the best decision for your child.  Keep in mind though the other children in the house.  As my oldest has gotten older we have had to reserve certain things for when the other children are in bed at night.  It is a juggling act at times, but protecting my children is my job.

It seems every year our kids grow up faster and faster in regards to what they are exposed to.  Let's change this and start really paying attention to the media that our kids are watching and listening to.  I bet you would be shocked at some of the stuff that kids these days are watching too.


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    • smcopywrite profile image


      5 years ago from all over the web

      i believe it is our job to filter a lot of this info for the kids. it is part of being responsible as a parent. we raise our children and we cannot expect the media to do it for us.

      making the right choices in life happens not only with the media, but with other things as well.

      be careful of the fine line between big brother and being a parent. give children the tools to make good choices and resist the urge to put them in a police state of living. there is a fine line parents must walk when doing the right thing by our kids.

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 

      8 years ago from U.S.


      Thanks for writing this hub. I have been concerned about this for quite some time. For limiting certain TV channels, cable service have parental controls where parents can set a password for certain types of channels or topics, like language or violence. For Internet I have been using all kinds of parental controls for the kids' computers for years, like NetNanny and Vista parental controls. It helps to a point, but there is so much out there, so we have to keep a close watch on how much how kids are exposed to.

      Thanks for your hub. I'm happy to be one of your followers.



    • vox vocis profile image


      8 years ago

      I absolutely agree with you Jennifer! Parents definitely ought to protect their children from the media and they should help them in choosing proper cartoon films to watch (as nowadays they are full of violence). Long live Walt Disney and Pixar!!!

    • susanlang profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello Jennifer. I'm so glad you did this hub and defined "what Type" of media exposures are hurtful. Before the age of 7, my Ex showed the movie, Nightmare On Elm Street, (rated R) to our "then" very young son! On weekends...our son had screaming nightmares' as a result of that. I tried to calm him when he said, "Freddy was comming out of the wall to get him." This hub will help many, even millions around the world will be helped by this hub. Thank you so much!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Jennifer this is a very insightful hub. I too agree with you about parents monitoring what their children watch and play on TV. When my children were small we use to limit their television watching to only what we felt comfortable watching with them. That was about 15 to 20 years ago and most of what is now shown on television I would not even consider watching with my children, ergo I would not let them watch by themselves. Very good hub Jennifer.

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      It is a huge reponsability for parents who are the true role models for their children. Unfortunately so many people dump their kids in front of TV and allow them to watch the dumbed down TV of today.

    • Jennifer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Nemingha - I totally agree with you. The advertisers and television people need to stop showing garbage to kids. They need to be more aware of what they are producing and its bad affects on children. The rating system has changed drastically over the years. What would have been considered R rated 20 years ago is now PG-13, and so on. It is very sad that I can't even trust my kids watching TV by themselves.

    • gr8archer45 profile image


      8 years ago from Pakistan

      A very thought provoking hub indeed. You are right that it is the responsibility of parents to manage and shield their child's innocence from such adversities nevertheless the duty also lies in the hands of the media persons who are careless in assigning ratings to most programs. If you take a look at cartoons being shown on tv today, you will notice that most of them range around violence that induces destructive behavior in kids. Pokemon and other similar shows have taken the place of Jetsons, Flinstones and Micky mouse today.

    • Nemingha profile image


      8 years ago

      I agree with everything you have written but I don't agree that the responsibility should rest entirely with the parents. The rating system is a farce and, as you have pointed out, the advertising that accompanies many otherwise suitable television shows, is unsavory to say the least. With so many single-parent and two-working-parent families these days, I think television station programmers and advertisers need to accept some proportion of responsibility as well. After all, it takes a village to raise a child and the sooner we can get back to that concept, the better off all our children will be!

    • Cedar Cove Farm profile image

      Cedar Cove Farm 

      8 years ago from Southern Missouri

      Excellent article. Unfortunately, many (most) parents have abdicated their responsability to the state.

    • USMCwifey09 profile image


      8 years ago

      It's a sad state that we're in when it's easier to sit your kid down in front of a tv instead of finding alternate ways to keep them PLAYING or interacting with your child. Thank you for the hub.

    • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image


      8 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

      Good info you've got here. I think it's easiest to just password protect computer & not allow kids on them--that's how it is at our house. And, we have no tv so that's not an issue either. Although we do occasionally watch dvd's on the computer.

      All music is CD's or tapes so we know what everyone is hearing!

    • JenDobson27 profile image


      8 years ago

      How true all of that is! It's really too bad there is so much garbage on TV and in advertisements nowadays.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I totally agree with this. Although I am still fairly young myself, I can see with my younger cousins how media and technology obsessed the youngest generations are. It must be a hard task shielding your children from everything which could influence them detrimentally. Whilst the internet in particular, is a fantastic learning aid, it is shocking and sad that most kids don't have an actual childhood as I did.

      There is enough danger and stupidity in the world which kids will undoubtedly come across throughout their lives without the media introducing them to it from birth. Everyone in the media is only out to make money, if nobody could profit from the rubbish they produce on the internet etc, then it wouldn't be there. It's important kids don't get so exposed to mature material so that they form the wrong impressions from childhood.

      Thanks for making the points in your article.

    • MadCowWritings profile image


      8 years ago from South of Eureka

      I used to watched MMA fights with my little boy 'till, one day, he did some martial arts move on me which he learned from watching those MMA fights. With a bleeding nose it taught me an obvious lesson as well.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      When my daughter was in high school, she let it slip one day that when she went to a certain girlfriend's house they watched the pornography the girls parents thought they had well hidden. Sorry to tell you this, but thought I'd clue you in. All we can do is our best, but we're not always successful.

    • HealthyHanna profile image


      8 years ago from Utah

      Moderation in all thing! It is not only the quality, but the quanity of anything that matters. Media is so easy to become absorbed in. In every age parents have had to be attentive. We are no different.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a well written hub. The job is really getting hard.

    • katrinasui profile image


      8 years ago

      You are absolutely right as it is our responsibility to protect our children from watching programs which are not appropriate for them specially when they are young.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      8 years ago from Ohio, USA

      It's a full-time job to shield kids from TV, radio, and Internet garbage. We do have to pay attention. Thanks for writing this.


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