clip art TVAt no time in the history of media have adults needed to be more vigilant about the quantity and quality of the programming kids are allowed to consume.

Children are very impressionable, and are constantly discovering and creating their identities based on what they think is cool (or absorbing what their friends think is cool).miley-cyrus-robin-thicke-mtv

It bothers me (to put it nicely) that the state of feminine independence and sexual freedom is so hopelessly confused with scantily-clad, hyper-sexualized behavior. This is not what it means to be a woman. Shaking your butt all over some older guy’s crotch in a raunchy televised performance says… what? (I’m referring here to Miley Cyrus & her “twerking” act during MTV Video Music Awards, which I won’t dignify with a link but will show a picture to give you the idea).

Is this the embodiment of a mature, sexually confident woman? I think not. And to be honest, if those are the talents that “grown up” girls want to showcase, it’s not for me to judge. (Although it’s hard not to). My concern is about what younger audiences are exposed to.

To the extent that kids’ media exposure can be controlled, the only people with any leverage here are parents. To all you awesome parents out there, I ask only that you pay attention. Hang out with your children, interact, play games, read together, go places, engage in the real world – and be mindful about what your kids watch on TV or online. Be aware of the social networks they are a part of. Know who your child looks up to, and talk to them about some of the crap they might see.

A little conversation can go a long way. If your tween saw Miley’s VMA performance, for example, you don’t have to get on a soap box and rant (like I’m doing now!), you can simply ask questions to get them thinking. What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be a man? How is this different from being a “grown up” (legally speaking)?

It’s all about self-respect, and thankfully, you are the most important role model your child has.

Here’s one mother’s funny (& dead serious) response to “twerking”:

How do you manage your child’s media consumption?

Share below!

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