I try to keep up on the new studies that come out from various universities with information that can be helpful for parents. Often, these studies simply validate what parents seem to know intuitively, and when that happens, it can be reassuring for parents that we are doing the right thing. But these academic studies can also motivate us to change our parenting approach in the face of compelling reason and research.
The study that was released last week from Dartmouth University (and which will shortly be published in Psychological Science) is one of those that is reassuring to some parents and a wake-up call to others. The bottom line of the study is that children who are exposed in their "tween years" to sexual content in popular films are much more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors - like multiple sex partners, early sexual activity and unprotected sex - than children who are not so exposed.
I know that many dads out there are not surprised, but it calls into question what we let our kids watch on television or in the theaters or in the homes of their friends. How tough are we compared to how tough we really should be? Are we checking out the content of movies before our kids see them? Are we monitoring their media habits, along with their smartphones and their social media activities? If we are not, then now is the time to start!
Check out the findings from this study along with some ways to better protect our kids from these influences which can cause so much havoc in their lives and teens and young adults.
More about protecting our children:
- Protecting your child from sexual abuse
- Teaching children about stranger safety
- What every dad needs to know and do about sexting
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