Profanity in the Media Can Lead to Profanity in Real Life

Did you the recent study finding that teens’ exposure to profanity on television can lead to increased profanity use in their own lives?  The study also found the same correlation with aggression, both physical (hitting, kicking) and relational (gossiping).  The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

The Chart, one of my favorite medical blogs also wrote a piece about the article, in which they interviewed one of the authors, Dr. Sarah Coyne.  She concluded that in light of this study, parents need to be “a little bit more aware” of what their kids are watching.

To this I just have to say: “duh.”  Sorry for the not-so-scientific and not-particularly-professional word, but come on!  Of course parents need to be super vigilant about what kinds of media their kids are consuming.  And while I am appreciative of the study and its findings, did any of us really doubt that what children (and adults for that matter) watch affects their behavior?

I have written before about the difficulty I have had in finding appropriate things for my children to watch.  There seem to be fewer and fewer programs that are free of the things I don’t want (profanity, violence, sarcasm, entitlement, rudeness, disrespect) and full of the things I do want (humor, positive relationships, strong characters) and are at the same time entertaining.

Since my last post on the topic I have heard from several folks with suggestions on fun, entertaining programming that can be shared with the entire family.  Some ideas (thanks readers!):

American Idol

Family Ties

Family Matters

Growing Pains

“Vintage” cartoons (Scooby-Doo, Jetsons, Flintstones, Smurfs, Looney Tunes)


Sporting events (football, baseball, etc)

Wild Kingdom (or other shows about animals and nature)

Want some more ideas? Head over to Common Sense Media for tips and ratings on all sorts of media outlets and how to incorporate them into your family’s life in healthy ways.