The Raising Children website launches child-friendly movie reviews in time for the holidays.
The Raising Children Network unlocks the mystery behind movie ratings so parents can make better informed choices about their children’s movie-watching experiences.
Recent findings confirm that today’s movies contain significantly more violence, sexual references, and strong language than movies of the same rating a decade ago. raisingchildren.net.au, the Government-funded national parenting website with over 150,000 monthly visitors, has teamed up with Young Media Australia (YMA) to provide easy-to-understand age classifications and in-depth kids movie reviews. These ‘child-friendliness’ movie reviews shed light on what children’s movies really contain and enable parents to make informed choices about entertainment for their children.
“Children spend an average of 2.5 hours a day watching TV, videos or DVDs, and this number increases when you include time spent in front of all screens, including computers and video games. That is a considerable number especially when most experts recommend limiting screen time to less than 2 hours per day of quality programming, and no screen time at all for children under two” says Raising Children Network (RCN) spokesperson, Warren Cann of the Parenting Research Centre.
Parents today are bombarded with conflicting messages about children and media, leaving many feeling confused. At the same time, they face pressure from marketing of TV, games and movies that targets children directly.
“The challenge for parents today is to ensure that their children are protected from some of the risks while enjoying the positive aspects. The evidence shows that violence in the media influences aggression in children. The Raising Children Website movie reviews are a valuable resource for parents so that they can make their own decisions about what they think is appropriate for their child” Cann says. “DVDs are a popular gift for children and these reviews will provide valuable guidance to parents coming into the holiday season.”
Jane Roberts, President of YMA, was enthusiastic about the partnership. “We are delighted to be a content partner with this reputable and user-friendly website for parents. For five years YMA’s Know Before You Go Movie Review Service has been helping parents make better choices about their children’s movie–going experiences. The Raising Children website initiative is a fantastic way of equipping more parents to make informed choices.”
While classifications exist as guidelines, a G-rating doesn't always guarantee that a movie won't scare a child or leave a lasting negative impression. Awareness of the content can help parents, carers and teachers talk to their children about things that might affect them. Accordingly, the reviews provide a more in-depth description of movie content than the standard rating system.
Children under the age of 7 are not mature enough to always be able to distinguish fantasy from reality and every child responds in a different way. Some children can react by copying behaviour they see others act out, and others can develop unrealistic fears and phobias. It is interesting to note that M-rated movies such as Harry Potter 5: the Order of the Phoenix and Spider-man 3 were marketed heavily to very young children. Furthermore, of the 14 recently reviewed G-rated movies, 13 received cautions from YMA for violent content, disturbing scenes, sexual themes and /or images.
To view the movie reviews go to: http://raisingchildren.net.au/moviereviews
Notes to editors:
The Raising Children website is a comprehensive national parenting resource supported by the Australian Government and quality-assured by national experts. The website coves all the basics about raising children from 0-8 in one practical, user-friendly location. Features include:
- 800+ articles across 9 topics and 5 age groups
- ‘Parenting in Pictures’ visual guides including safe bathing, SIDS prevention and breastfeeding techniques.
- Film clips and practical demos from the Raising Children DVD.
- ‘Baby Karaoke’ music animation to help parents remember popular nursery rhymes.
- My Neighbourhood’ interactive maps that connect parents with local resources and each other.
With over 3 million visits since its launch in May 2006, raisingchildren.net.au is now widely considered the definitive resource for quality-assured parenting information by professionals and parents across Australia.
The website is delivered by the Raising Children Network, a non-profit consortium of the Parenting Research Centre, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Centre for Community Child Health, and Smart Population Foundation
YMA is a unique national community organisation with a strong interest and expertise in the role that media experiences play in the development of Australian children. Parents, caregivers and the general community can access information and advice about the impact of the media on children by contacting YMA: Helpline: 1800 700 357, national, freecall, 24/7. Website: www.youngmedia.org.au.
RCN: Sandy Watson on 0427 027 059 or Susanna Eckersley on 02 9007 5815.
YMA: Jane Roberts (WA) on 0410 509 685