Being an old fogey in my 40s, I can’t possibly stay current on all the music being marketed to kids. Oh, sure, I know every word to every song on the High School Musical 2 cd, and I listen to (WAY more than) my share of Radio Disney. But beyond that, I’m pretty clueless on what’s hot with the preteen set. Santa is bringing my children iPods this year, so I went looking for a resource to tell me if any of the songs they are interested in downloading contain the F-word, or talk about killing cops in the alley, or make it sound really fun to have boys touching their bodies (ooooo, give it to me, baby!)
That’s how I came across Commonsensemedia.org, an invaluable tool for parents, and the place to go if you want to know whether or not a book, movie, tv show, website, song, or video game are age-appropriate for your child.
I love their reviews. They use criteria that’s important to me. The standard rating system doesn’t tell me enough, but this site gives me exactly what I want to know before I take my 8 and 9 year old to the theater, or buy a new cd or game, and plunk down piles of cash.
Along with thorough reviews, Commonsensemedia.org gives analysis of the following categories for everything they rate. I’ll use the movie “Evan Almighty” as an example.
Sexual Content: (“Evan and Joan kiss and hug a couple of times”)
Violence: (“The flood scene is a bit intense as the water rises and the ark is propelled forward, but no one gets hurt. Some comic pratfalls/injuries while building the ark.”)
Language: (Very Little, even by PG standards: “pissed”, “Jackass”, “Oh my God!”)
Message- Social Behavior: (“Evan sacrifices his reputation in order to follow a greater calling and by doing so, saves lives, animals, and his family. Some poop/bodily function jokes-not surprising, given all the animals involved)
Commercialism: (Just a few: Hummer, The Daily Show, The 40-Year-old Virgin Mary),
All in all, an awesome website for parents. Especially those of us who have been accused of being somewhat overprotective. In my defense, I just want to preserve my children’s innocence as long as I can. The way I see it, it’s part of my job as their mom.