Saturday, January 10, 2009

TV/Movies - Watch Out!!

Many of the middle school children with whom I have had experience over the past 20 years have seen movies, with their parents’ permission, that would have brought me great trouble from my parents if I had seen them as a youth. And, yes, my own children would receive a consequence if they were to ever watch such inappropriate movies.

However, with the slick ads and peer pressure, the “cool” kids always have to see the “cool” movies. In other words, there is abundant pressure on your kids that, to be “cool” with their peers, they must watch the “cool” movies that are laced with sex and nudity.

As I have previously stated, early interest in sexual images and nudity on the screen can lead to a sexual addiction, whether in minor or major form, wherein kids will begin to crave more and more of the inappropriate movies and perhaps will even attempt to venture toward “R” or “X” movies.

As difficult as it might seem to believe, a significantly high percentage (too high for my taste) of my good students over the years have shared that they have regularly viewed “R” and “X” movies, sometimes with their parents’ knowledge, but mostly without. As I’ve often told my own children and several adolescent children over the years, if you would not watch a particular movie in front of your parents, then don’t watch it alone, because it most likely contains inappropriate elements.

As I further explored this issue with the students, without fail they were able to list several PG-13 movies that they had previously viewed before venturing toward harder material.

Also, without fail, it appears as though the less parental involvement and monitoring of the adolescent child’s behavior, the more often the kids watch movies that are laced with sex and nudity.

Therefore, the challenge and answer to this dilemma are both obvious:

1) DO NOT let your children go to the movies unless you fully understand the content, either by first seeing the movie yourself, checking with trustworthy friends who share your same values and concerns, by reading articles that contain pertinent content information, by watching movie ads that provide clues (the kind of clues that are used to entice our kids!), or by checking websites that specialize in providing you with movie content (such as,, or

2) Be careful of the videos that you bring in to your home. As a longtime educator of middle school children, I can tell you this: No matter how clever your hiding places might be, your kids WILL find the videos, watch them, and discuss them with their friends! And, if you have a 5-day rental, they might even share them with their friends! Lesson: If you don’t want your children to watch inappropriate movies, don’t bring them in to your home.

3) Be careful of the movies that you watch in your home. If you are watching a movie that you do not want your child to see, be sure that you view it in closed quarters at a time when they won’t see it. I wish that I had a dollar for each time that a middle school child told me that they saw their parents watching a movie that was filled with sex and nudity. This event usually occurred in the living room or family room after the kids had gone to bed ….. and then sneaked down to watch without their parents’ knowledge! Be careful!

Keep any eye on the movies that your kids view. The sex and nudity can be as addictive as alcohol and drugs for your kids!

Paul W. Reeves

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