If they have a computer in their bedroom, they just might be! Technology has made it easy for kids to see movies, even the kind you don’t want them to, without you knowing. We found this story on ABCNews.com. Remember when you were a kid and you had to sneak into theaters to see R-rated movies? That’s old-school! Today’s under-17 crowd knows how to download movies on their cell phone or the Internet, or order them through their video game system. They can get movies delivered from Netflix through their computer or iPad, watch movies On Demand at home through the cable service, or – without even paying a dime – watch them totally FREE on YouTube or Hulu.com. Is there really a danger if kids occasionally see a movie that’s rated R? Experts say yes, because exposing kids with developing minds to violence and other graphic material can lead to some bad habits. For example:
- Showing adult movies to kids can increase violent behavior.
- When kids watched an R-rated movie once a week, their chances of smoking DOUBLED!
- Kids who watch R-rated movies whenever they want are THREE times as likely to smoke! Parents, just because YOU don't smoke, that doesn't mean you can be more lenient with your kids. Surprisingly, the researchers found these correlations to be the strongest in teens whose family members DIDN'T smoke.
- Beyond smoking - kids who see an R-rated movie a few times a month are over five times as likely to drink alcohol or try marijuana!
So, what can you do to protect your kids?
- Do your homework! Find out about the movies and video games your kids have been watching or playing. A website called CommonSenseMedia.org rates the content of movies, games and TV shows so you can decide if they’re appropriate.
- You can also protect your kids by blocking their access. Parents can lock most Internet sites, and most on-demand cable TV services allow parents to set pass codes so their kids can’t watch certain channels. So take the time to block these sites if you want your kids to grow up healthier.