things not to let your children watch

Top Ten Things Not to Let Your Children Watch

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Children are very easily influenced by the world around them. Television offers hours of entertainment, but it also offers a large amount of negative content to young audiences. It is important to be mindful of what your children are watching. One option to you as a parent is parental control restrictions found on most cable and satellite providers.

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When thinking about what is and is not appropriate for your children to watch, keep in mind the following top ten things not to let your children watch:

1. Programming with Bad Language and Violence

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Children repeat things that they hear. Shelter their ears. They also mimic behavior they see. Studies have shown that after watching violent programming, children behave more aggressively directly following. [Tweet This] TV-14 is there for a reason, be careful.

2. Nudity and Sexual Content

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Protect their innocent little eyes from nudity and sexual content. They are too young for it and do not have the maturity to handle it. Also, you do not want to awaken sexual desires prematurely, it will open a whole load of issues to deal with as a parent.

3. Graphic Scenes on Crime Dramas

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Crime dramas are very popular right now and many children enjoy them. Some of the content is even educational. However, shield their eyes from scenes that show the victim or other gruesome scenes with the victim if you still think they should watch the program.

4. Television Versions of Higher Rated Films

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Just because a PG-13 or R-rated film was edited for a television audience, it does not mean that is appropriate for a younger audience. If the film was originally rated PG-13 or R, the content is likely not appropriate for younger audiences. Watch the opening of the movie to see what areas the higher rating was for such as violence or language. And nowadays, you even have to be careful with PG ratings.

5. Higher Rated Films Which You Yourself Have Not Seen

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Do not watch a film that you have never seen with questionable material with your child that is rated above their age. Allowing the kids to watch just because it is more convenient for you is of poor taste. To get an idea of questionable material that may be in a recent movie, look at iMOM’s Movie Monitor.

6. Adult Cartoons

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Animated does not mean child friendly. There are adult cartoons that are extremely inappropriate for child audiences. These cartoons often contain bad language and sexual imagery.

7. Glorifying Alcohol/Drug Use

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Alcohol and drugs can be presented to look very cool and fun without any attention given to their dangers. Avoid positive representations of alcohol and drugs since children are easily influenced. Also, explain to your children the risks and health dangers associated with the two.

8. Too Many Commercials

Television is saturated with commercials trying to sell you something. During children’s programming, most of the commercials are targeted for children and feature toys. Their purpose is to get the kids to beg their parents to buy the toy for them. In turn, these commercials spur greediness and the desire for instant gratification.

9. Inappropriate Music Videos

The most popular songs of today offer at least a lyric or two that is inappropriate for younger audiences. The music videos display even more, or perhaps you should say less, because of the small amount of clothing usually any them. Some music videos are fine, but again, just be aware of what your kids are watching.

10. Too Much News

It is important that your children be aware of what is going on in the world. Let them watch the news with you and discuss it with them. However, monitor the news and its images; your children do not need to know everything and all of the details. The news often contains violence and graphic images that can really upset them.

Sound Off

What do you do to protect what your kids see?


  • Jerry Kennedy

    Shouldn’t this article just be titled “Top 10 Things NOBODY Should Watch?”

  • Doug Lade

    We try to limit what our 6 year son watches and hears as much as we can. We do not like a lot of the new cartoons on the kids channels, like Uncle Grandpa and differently don’t let him watch the cartoons on Fox on Sunday evening. He loves Youtube and that is heard to filter and monitor. Our son is always say that’s a bad world on some things and will be the word bass or something that sounds like a bad word. Things are a lot different then When I grow up in the late 60’s and early 70’s and it is sometimes hard to shelter them from everything in live. We just have to try and do our best. These are good guide lines, but you can’t shield your child from everything and kids do talk at school and hear things from their friends that we don’t want them to hear. This is a never ending battle, so do the best you can is what I say.

    • Matthew Warren

      There is a YouTube for Kids app out now that has been super helpful to us. It keeps our boys away from the strange things that have tags which group it with non harmful content. There are filters to setup for which user is using YouTube as well as a child’s account on Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. It takes a little setup for these safety measures, but well worth the level of control they offer.

      • Mark R

        Be aware that a lot of inappropriate content still gets through the YouTube for Kids app’s filters. You also have to pay attention to the channel that posted the video. Sadly, there are quite a few people that think it’s funny to post a children’s cartoon and then a minute or two or three minutes in splice in some type of graphic content – either violent or sexual content or inappropriate language.

      • Doug Lade

        I just looked at it and that and my son is way past that and I don’t know if it is worth it. I have set filters on the current Youtube he uses now and it is better. He wants to see the more adult games like Mortal Kombat movies like Jurassic World, but we have said now and no and I made so a lot of that won’t come on his tablet. He is doing better and is a good kid, he just wants to be more grown up.

  • sb66

    Amen, Jerry Kennedy! You can say “you can handle it” when it comes to strong sexual content and nudity, but your definition of handle it must exclude God’s design for taking every thought captive to Christ, renewing the mind, and redeeming the time for the days are evil, and so on, and so on…

    • sb66

      Sorry to post again so quickly, but the more I think about this the worse I feel about the advice being given. IMHO, this article should either be rewritten or taken down. The advice it implies is terrible.

      • Paul_Sp

        Wait, terrible?!

        How, exactly?

        • sb66

          Perhaps my initial response was throwing the baby out with the bath water. The other items do offer some good suggestions.

          Read my first comment. The article suggests in No. 2, No. 6 and No. 9 that viewing such things is only bad for kids. The Bible is pretty clear that purity. They are not good for any of us.

          • Paul_Sp

            Good clarifications, after re-reading, I concur.


  • John Hodges

    I have been recording the show “Intervention” . Is this appropriate for teenagers to show them what can happen to them and everyone around them
    if they get into drugs!! Ive been wanting to sit down and watch these with them but have just been on the fence about it??? Any advice on this would be great!!!

  • Jacob Johnson

    May seem radical but we eliminated cable/satellite service about a year ago. Able to divert time and money to more meaningful pursuits and reduces risk of any of my children being exposed to anything mentioned in the things to avoid. There is definitely an adjustment period but I don’t miss it now. Regret all the time I wasted watching the screen in the past.

    • Jason Frost

      Cut the TV cord 3 yrs ago. I do have one regret though. Waiting so long!! Don’t miss it at all.

  • talliana

    I never let my kid watch the sexy videos and i have parental block on their laptops. They are not allowed to watch any teenager + shows on TV. But they came home from school and told me about a few new videos that their friends had shown them at school. Their friends have iphones and were playing videos with barely covered women, simulated sex acts, drug use, and other stuff. all i could do is tell them not to watch but then other students are talking about the videos. my kids know they are not allowed to watch these things but since other parents don’t believe in limiting their kids mine will be getting a fast track education in adult subjects while they are in elementary school. I don’t like adult cartoons especially any anime stuff and I block those whenever I can. i prefer my kids to be on Netflix where i can have more control on their viewing by setting their allowed age ratings, than on regular tv because even the regular kids channels have behavior i would not want my kids to follow and have too much emphasis on being rich, singing, dancing, or having a special super power. Why can’t we get shows about normal people. Also if i have never watched or read the reviews of a particular show or movie that my kids want to watch, I will sit there and watch it with my kids so I can fast forward through any parts that I don’t want them to hear or watch.

  • K. Jackson

    Glad to see this. I feel like I’m fighting a battle on my own most days against inappropriate media. I would say this list should extend to video games equally. What is up with PS4 – is Rated M really all they can offer?

  • William Hughes

    I “cut the cord” 8 1/2 years ago because I got fed up with all paying higher and higher subscription fees for cheaply produced programming INFESTED with age-inappropriate commercials. I was paying $65.00 a month when I cancelled my subscription. using that same money to purchase programming on home video I’ve amassed a library so huge it will take me decades to watch them all. I’m set for life! If I were to get married tomorrow and a month later we found out we are expecting a child our first grandchild would have reached adolescence before I finished watching everything I’ve acquired. I’m set for life!

  • gb1234

    Two more categories:
    1) Don’t let your kids watch stupidity. I’m talking about vapid, inane time-wasters like Sponge Bob and Jimmy Neutron. They’re not sinful per se but lets try to stretch our kids a little higher not encourage them to slouch lower. Watching a screen at all encourages the mind to shut down. That’s bad enough, but watching idiots on screen makes it seem good to stop thinking. I want better than that for my kids.
    2) Rebellion. As Americans, we want liberty and in 1776 that required a revolution. We are independent. That’s good as far as it goes. However, it is pretty common for movies to disparage obedience to just authority. That’s wrong. That encourages narcissism and leads to relativism. It emboldens teenagers to burn bridges to those who love them. It subtly promotes the false idol of self. Instead, seek movies that glorify self-sacrifice.

  • Melanie Kicks

    I think that’s better if young children watch only educational cartoons
    or nursery rhymes. We`re learning ABCs and numbers with Dave and Ava –

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