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Sex, Violence, and Foul Language: How Much Do You Shelter Your Kids?

Raising children and what to let them see and hear is a highly personal issue.  Some don’t filter what their kids see at all, while others won’t let them watch certain movies and TV shows, listen to certain music, or play particular video games.  I’m one for a happy medium.

It is easy to teach our kids that songs are just ideas and not necessarily something to be acted upon.  It is easy to teach our kids that the violence in video games and movies is all just good makeup and acting. but not real and in reality. Emulating what they see would be bad.  More difficult to understand is that sex scenes are just acting.  So, we shield them from those using the “turn your head” routine.

Language is another story altogether.  I once took my son golfing and said I was going to teach him some new words.  After a horrific round of golf, he asked me, “When are you going to teach me new words?  I know all the ones you’ve been using.”  But I can see where foul language would be uncomfortable for some people when their kids are around, even if it is on the movie or TV screen.

How much do you know about what their reading?  According to a new study at Brigham Young University, the “cool” characters in books for teenagers are more likely to use bad language.  Characters who swore were portrayed as more popular and better looking than characters who didn’t.  As a matter of fact, if books used the same ratings system as movies, a lot of the ones popular with teenagers would be rated R.

The average young-adult novel had 38 instances of profanity , and 88% of them used at least one swear word.  And yes, the “F-word” is one example that will show up in your teens reading.  I’m not one for censorship, nor do I have a problem with teenagers reading or hearing that language from someone else’s mouth.  The fact is that they probably use it when I’m not around.  But I was pretty shocked by this study.  Probably because I don’t read teen novels.

I did watch ‘Machete‘ with my 11 year old son over the weekend.  Maybe I’m a little looser on what content they view.


Ho much do you shelter your kids?  Comment below and click share!

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