I first learned about Common Sense Media when my creative and cool mom friend, Jeanine, invited our group of mom friends to take our then three-year olds to a questionable matinee. My first instinct was that if Jeanine and Pepper were going, it must be good. But then another mom friend, Jennifer, said she heard that it was too scary and bailed out. Then again, another Jennifer I knew already took her daughter (barely 4). So, which Jennifer is a mom like me supposed to believe?!
That’s when my husband clued me into Common Sense Media for trying to make these kind of decisions. Its perfect when trying to figure out whether Nemo is too scary (yes, it is for us), Desperaux too tragic (yes, it is for us), or Dora too sophisticated (no, but it drives me bonkers so we opt out) for our three-year old.
Here’s a terrific example from my real-world: this Cars vs Cars 2 smackdown gives it to you straight. Yes, I think that Cars 2 was no movie for children, but maybe you want to hear from other parents, educators, and children before deciding for your family. At the very least, you can be armed with which scenes to fast-forward and what topics might come up in conversation. Common sense media does all that for you with these comparison charts and detailed reviews.
Do a quick search on any TV show or movie that you’re thinking of plopping your kid in front of and find out the quick and dirty details without having to preview everything first. I mean, are you really going to go to all these movies yourself first?!! Go on, test it out and let me know what you think.
What shows does your kid love right now? Anything that you thought was fine but totally just failed the commonsensemedia.org challenge?
Related post: Find out what my little ones were watching at 5:30 on weekdays with my confessional TV round-up of shows for my two boys.