Parenting Connection: Monitoring the media your kids watch

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Monitoring the media your kids watch.

My 4-year old recently screamed from the other room — “what the flip?” I thought he cussed at first, quickly realized he didn’t — but he kind of did, right? Now, I don’t say that, my wife has never said that… and it took just a moment to see where he got it from. You see, my kids love YouTube — and because there are literally hundreds of thousands of watchable options to choose from, it’s difficult for me to see every single thing they watch.

Now, when you combine this influence with the cliche storylines from other shows geared towards young kids — like you can’t tell your parents, certain things, or having anxiety over simple circumstances — then it becomes challenging to make sure your kids are talking and acting the way you want them to. Child experts say it’s important you monitor what your child watches, in fact, being involved with what they watch can actually bolster your relationship.

“One of the best things you can do is watch what your kids are watching and talk about it,” says child development expert Kylie Rymanowicz. “You can talk about literally anything by engaging with your child. If you want to talk about consent, and your child is into that hot teen drama and you watch a scene and it’s not showing good consent, you can talk about that, and say, ‘Did you notice? What would you do in that situation?’ You can have a conversation about it. So as a parent, the best thing you can do is watch what your kids are watching and talk about it with them.”

Also remember, there are tools that can help you see what your kids are watching or clicking on via the internet. For example, parental control apps to monitor online activity for tablets, phones, and computers — and filters on your television to block certain content and shows.

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