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Make informed choices when deciding on appropriateness of media for you child

Is the new Alice in Wonderland movie too scary for your child? Does the new cartoon called The Ricky Gervais Show have inappropriate language? How violent is the Wii game, Shiren the Wanderer?

Super Mario Galaxy for Wii
Picasa/VideoGames Photo By Sotti

Common Sense Media is a website that will help you answer all these questions, and any others you may have about media for your children. Their mission statement says they "exist because our nation's children spend more time with media and digital activities than they do with their families or in school, which profoundly impacts their social, emotional, and physical development."
Sounds scary, doesn't it? Well, that's why the site was created - to help parents navigate their way through all the media (books, TV, music, websites, movies and video games) that their children are exposed to daily. This site offers reviews and ratings for all new kid-directed media. They also have tips pertaining to (for example) online safety, avoiding violent TV programs and You Tube's new content filter, called Safety Mode (which, by the way, they give 4 out of 5 stars).

Depending on the content, each item recommends the minimum age of audience, based on a number of factors including violence, sexuality, educational value, language, and role models. Parents and educators are encouraged to log on, which allows them to review media and receive recommendations. The site offers unbiased information so that you may make the best decisions for your family. Include your children in your research, so that they understand why something may not be appropriate for them. Ask your them for their opinions about what they've seen, heard or played. Ask for their help in rating things and and listen to what your children have to say about the media they are exposed to every day.

In Lexington, Carmike Ten Cinemas is a great theater to take your children to for a matinee. Tickets are very affordable, at $1.50. But while they don't show the newest releases, you may take your children there in the afternoon, knowing that there are other parents doing the same thing, so crying and getting up during the film is okay. Click here for all the movie show times in Lexington this weekend.


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