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The school of life is a better deterrent than media restriction

The school of life is a better deterrent than media restriction
The school of life is a better deterrent than media restriction
Lyn Lomasi

I recently wrote a piece about kids objectifying people, which brought up an interesting topic in the comment section. Some kids are learning these things from media, such as movies and music. Because kids may eventually see things elsewhere that we would restrict at home, as parents, I feel that the “School of Life” is often a better teacher. What do I mean by this?

Oftentimes, parents feel the need to restrict their kids from every single thing that might be offensive instead of using offensive things to teach their kids about real life. Now, I am not suggesting parents should go and purposefully show their 5-year-olds a bunch of R-rated movies. Not at all. Please don't.

What I am saying is that if your child happens to hear and repeat offensive lyrics or scenes from a movie, don't simply restrict that media for the future and leave it at that. Instead, take it as the chance to give a lesson in the School of Life. Let your child know the differences between fantasy and reality with age-appropriate real-life examples. The sooner they learn the appropriateness of certain actions, the better.

Moreover, sometimes the things shown in media do depict what real-life is like when people grow up. So it isn't always a bad thing if kids are exposed to certain things. It helps them learn how to deal with real life if handled in the correct manner. Real-life lessons and examples are often a much better teacher than shoving more restrictions down a child's throat. They hear “no” enough times that often it simply isn't enough to state the case or make them want to listen or understand.

As for media restrictions, I personally base this on each individual child's personal maturity level, as well as age appropriateness. My kids are allowed to see things some other parents may not allow but they are always educated about what those things mean for real life vs fantasy and whether or not they are deemed appropriate in various situations. They do have some restrictions, of course, as they certainly should.

No matter how mature, kids still shouldn't be exposed to certain things. But sometimes they are (our fault or not) and that's when we, as parents should step in and do some explaining rather than placing restrictions and forgetting about it.

Have your kids learned objectifying or other things from media? What did you do about it? If not, what would you do if they did? Do you restrict certain types of media? Why or why not?

**I originally published this here: