08 Jun

We’ve all been there: after years of growing up on watching tv, we got accustomed to watching movies that were edited for tv, or maybe we just haven’t seen a movie in ages and we think we recall it being a great movie, so without hesitation we pull it up on the streaming service of choice. It doesn’t take long into the movie that we suddenly feel rather embarrassed by what we are watching with our parents or children in the room, and think out loud, “Goodness, I don’t remember THIS being in the movie! I apologize everyone.”

In the digital age, where media is easily accessible and content is vast and diverse, it becomes increasingly crucial for parents to take an active role in researching and evaluating the suitability of media for their children. Relying solely on ratings or promotional materials may not provide a comprehensive understanding of the content. This article emphasizes the importance of thorough research and offers guidance on reliable sources for parents to make informed decisions about the media their children consume.

1. Don't Rely Solely on Ratings:

Movie ratings, though helpful, can sometimes be limited in providing a complete picture of a film's content. They are based on general guidelines and may not align perfectly with individual family values or sensitivities. Therefore, parents should not rely solely on ratings but seek additional information.

2. Review the Material Yourself:

If you can't find suitable resources to inform you about the content of a particular movie, TV show, or other media, consider reviewing the material yourself. Watch a preview or read a plot synopsis to get a sense of the overall themes, tone, and potentially objectionable content. This will allow you to make a more informed decision based on your personal values and your child's maturity level.

3. Look Beyond Reviews:

While reviews can offer valuable insights, it's essential not to make decisions solely based on them. Reviews can be subjective and may not align with your own values or preferences. Instead, use reviews as one of several sources of information to consider.

4. Explore Reliable Resources:

To gather comprehensive information about media content, turn to reliable resources that specialize in providing detailed analysis and content advisories. Here are some trustworthy sources to consider:

- Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org): Offers comprehensive reviews and ratings, highlighting potential concerns and recommended age ranges for movies, TV shows, books, and more.

- Plugged In (www.pluggedin.com): Provides in-depth reviews and analyses of movies, music, TV shows, and video games, with a focus on helping families make informed media choices.

- Parents Television Council (www.parentstv.org): Offers research-based resources and ratings to help parents understand and evaluate the content of television shows.

- IMDB (www.imdb.com) and Rotten Tomatoes (www.rottentomatoes.com): Provide user-generated reviews and community ratings, which can offer different perspectives and insights.

5. Seek Recommendations and Engage with Other Parents:

Don't hesitate to reach out to other parents, family members, or trusted friends who have already seen or researched the content you're interested in. They may offer valuable firsthand experiences and insights.

6. Utilize Content Advisories and Parental Controls:

Many streaming platforms, video-on-demand services, and even cable providers offer content advisories and parental control features. Familiarize yourself with these tools to filter or restrict content based on specific criteria, such as age-appropriate ratings or content categories.


As parents, it's our responsibility to make informed decisions about the media our children consume. Relying solely on ratings or promotional materials may not provide an accurate depiction of the content. By conducting thorough research, reviewing materials ourselves if necessary, and utilizing reliable resources and tools, we can ensure that our children's media experiences align with our family values, and we can foster a safe and enriching media environment for them to grow and learn.

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