It All Comes Down to Common Sense

It All Comes Down to Common Sense

Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 4.42.30 PM[2]crop.jpg

Worry Proofing is all about sharing the wealth when it comes to good information. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you have probably heard about Common Sense Media. Most parents think of it as the trusty website that rates shows, films, video games, and websites for age-appropriate (and other-appropriateness) content. But ratings are just the tip of the Common Sense iceberg. This organization is all about child advocacy, and to that end Common Sense doesn’t just tell you what your kids should watch, but it studies how your kids use various tools and devices and how this use affects other pieces of their lives. Want to know more? Check out this brief Q+A with Sarah Bowman, Regional Director of Common Sense Los Angeles, or just go explore the site for yourself.

CN: Why is Common Sense indispensable for parents?

SB: Raising kids today requires parents to master the content kids are consuming, and also understand the 24/7 connected culture that those kids live in. Our culture is media-rich and is as alluring and addictive as candy. Teaching kids to be smart consumers of media is a key 21st Century skill, and goes beyond choosing good over bad to helping kids understand and arm themselves against the messages that come at them all day long.  Common Sense provides free, unbiased resources that are invaluable to parents who care about the media diet of their children.

CN: What would you consider the biggest challenge facing parents today?

SB: It's key for parents to be mindful of how they use technology and consume media themselves because each of us imprinting behavior on our children at every stage of development. Conscious parenting today requires teaching our kids strong interpersonal skills and modeling proactive model of media consumption so that kids can deconstruct messages that they receive from all media, including advertisements and news.

CN: How about the biggest challenge facing kids?

SB: The greatest challenge for kids today is to step away from a 24/7 connected culture and learn to listen to their own voice. Finding time to be quiet and alone teaches children to become comfortable with their feelings; growing into a strong sense of self provides an environment in which creativity will flourish. Of course, kids want to be with their friends, and social media connects them to relationships that they also need to become successful adults. Balancing the need for friendship and time to develop one's selfhood is exacerbated by the ever-present ping of notifications... but, critical to the development of maturity and confidence.