A Website That Every Parent Should Know About!

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Manic:  Quickly sorting through the sea of kids movies, music, books and more to make sound decisions about what they watch….and sometimes making the wrong decision.  At times, I’ve screwed up because I decided too quicky or I gave in to the common argument from my kids that goes like this….”well my friend’s mom let them see it”…..has this happened to you?

Managed:  Finding a terrific website that tells parents exactly what to expect in a movie, book, song or other types of media that are all competing for your kids’ attention…and your mighty dollar. 

Commonsensemedia.org (www.commonsensemedia.org) is a wonderful resource for parents.  The website advises parents on the content that is included in movies, books, websites, video games, apps, television and music. 

In the media overload world that we live in, this site is a great partner to have when making decisions about appropriate viewing for children.  I especially like just how many mediums are included.  Even apps that can be purchased for cellphones are discussed.  Smart thinking!

The site is non-profit and is run by parents and professionals who work in the areas of entertainment, education, media, public policy and child advocacy.  Plus parents can leave their own reviews on the site, too. 

I especially appreciate the movie rating system that this site offers.  My kids love to go to movies.  And our busy family likes to unwind to a movie at home after a long week of school work and all of the extracurricular activities that fill our calendar.

In addition to covering content in films that include violence, sex, language, consumerism and drinking, drugs and smoking, the site also gives age specific recommendations.  Instead of the typical PG-13 rating, movies are broken down by exact age.

For example, I took my 9-year-old daughter to see “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2” and I agree with the site’s recommendation of 9 years old and up. 

If you are interested in my own review of the Wimpy Kid movie, I give it a thumbs up.  Fun and clean humor with the right messages about bullying, working through sibling conflict and even the tough choices that parents have to make daily. 

Told in a funny and zany story that had both my daughter and I laughing out loud, this was one kids’ movie that Mom enjoyed, too!  I absolutely loved Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn’s mom and dad characters.  I found some of the parenting issues to be quite humorous…and even a little relatable…I must admit!

However,there is one interesting note about the movie that I haven’t read in any of the reviews I’ve checked.  I have to wonder if an only child will feel a little sad about not having siblings if they see the film. 

The first half of the story will probably have kids feeling lucky that they don’t have the mean siblings that are portrayed!  However by the end of the production, as the brothers work it out and realize the value and special love that can exist between siblings, I did ponder if an only child would leave feeling a bit depressed about that.  You just never know with kids.

But before you take my word about the film, check out commonsensemedia.org (www.commonsensemedia.org) first.  You will be glad you did.  I’ll take all the help I can get, when it comes to raising kids in today’s manic media world!