Resources – Common Sense Media

I talk often about how we should sensor what our kids watch. I’m adamant that we should monitor what they see on the Internet. Today I wanted to tell you about one of my favorite resources. I use it to help determine if something is appropriate for my kids.

It’s a website called Common Sense Media. We use it to research almost every movie, book, TV show, app or game before we allow our kids to digest it. It is a wonderful website “dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology.”

Research Done Right

The reason I love it so much is that they do much of the research that I normally would do before turning on a movie for our family movie night. For example, they will review a movie before it comes out in theaters. They do a complete write up of the plot, the good and bad of the film, the areas of concern parents should watch out for, and a rating/breakdown of the following categories:

 

 

Hovering over each of the green topics brings up a popup that lists, in detail, each incident of that topic in the movie. It really is a ton of great information about whatever it is you’re researching.

Lists For Every Age

Another great feature of the site is the lists they have of movies appropriate for different age groups. If I want to watch something with just Rene and me, I can search a list of movies for people 13 and over. If we have a bunch of 8-year-old kids over, I look at the Best Movies for Kids list and select the 8-9 year range.

 

Common Sense Media - Best Movie List

 

Independent and User Reviews

It’s great to have a company provide independent, unbiased reviews of media. But perhaps one of the best things about the site is the rating and comment system they have in place. I can look at what other parents are saying about the movie. I can even get reviews from a kid’s perspective. There have been times that the site approved a movie, but several kids chimed in and said they didn’t feel it was good for someone their age. That’s the best advice – when someone your kid’s age tells you why you should not to let them watch it.

Hopefully you have a good sense as to why I love Common Sense Media so much. It really has been a great resource for our family. The world constantly bombards us with less-than-wholesome media. We use Common Sense Media to help sort through the junk and find good, quality entertainment for our family.

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