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Unnecessary Scare
Photo: V. Ponomarenko
“I’m scared, Momma.” And so we crawled past the bag of popcorn, the special-occasion candy, the friends we had arranged weeks ago to meet... and left the theater.

I had done the research. I’d gone to www.pluggedinonline.com and read the review of the latest kid’s movie. The website, sponsored by Focus on the Family does a great job of explaining the positives and negatives of movies, music and games.

What I had failed to do was THINK. As we sat through the first three minutes I suddenly realized the reviewer hadn’t been writing with three-year-olds in mind. His review was probably for 10-year-olds. He left the thinking part to me. And I blew it.

Incredibly Useful

On the other hand, Plugged In was incredibly useful when trying to approve music for download with my 13-year-old. I don’t have any clue who the Jonas Brothers or Rihanna or Miley Cyrus are. So if I don’t want to sound like a music-Nazi or a stuck-in-the-80’s mom, I better figure out how to evaluate the music. The website helped me to do just that.

Reviews can also be found for the video and computer games your kids might be begging for on a daily basis.

It can be pretty overwhelming to think we must know about everything that is out there vying for our children’s attention. But there are two choices: we can be involved as our children make entertainment decisions, or we can let them go it alone.

So I say, let’s jump in. Using tools such as this website can help us a lot. But we can’t leave our thinking caps at the door. We can’t leave those decisions up to someone in an office somewhere. We have to read and watch and listen in order to protect our kids and teach them how to make good decisions for themselves.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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