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Watching What They Watch

Even 'Veggietales' can be too much for young viewers.
Watching What They Watch
Watching What They Watch

In the trailer for Judd Apatow's This is 40, we see the family sitting around a picnic table when the mother turns to her daughter and says, "We've decided to cut back on all the electronics we use." The daughter protests.

Dad: You need to get outside more.

Mom: Build a fort.

Daughter: Do what in the fort?

Mom: You need to develop your imagination.

Like many of us, they're grasping to control one of the most unwieldy aspects of contemporary parenting: American media.

It's both a tool and a tyrant. When my three-year-old sings along to The Sound of Music, I take pleasure knowing she's enjoying a classic film, but when she throws a fit when it's time to turn off a Kipper the Dog cartoon, I'm overwhelmed by her near-addictive behavior.

I worked in the film and TV production industry for a decade, I even studied and taught media literacy, but now as a parent I struggle to manage the media in my home. What's appropriate for my kid to watch? Starting at what ...

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