Child Media Influence


Don't They Know Our KIDS Are Watching?
by Valerie Zilinsky

Last night, my kids and I gathered around the television to watch the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, as we do every year for some much-needed laughter and entertainment. We all enjoy watching these celebrities make fools out of themselves for the enjoyment of children everywhere.

For the most part, we did enjoy the show as usual. However, one nagging thought keeps bouncing around my parental brain. Why do the producers of this show put up with hosts, presenters, and performers who insist on dressing so provocatively, or even swearing during their performances? This is a show for children, isn't it?

I still haven't figured out where I feel the fine line should be drawn when it comes to censorship vs. freedom of speech. However, when a television show's targeted audience is so obviously our children, shouldn't a little more tact and discretion be used by those involved?

Specifically, I can recall two songs performed on the show that contained profanities - at least on one of them, the performer purposely omitted the word. On the other one, the word had to be bleeped out. That singer knew very well that thousands of children would be directly in front of his eyes, and he should have been prepared with either a different song or a substitute word.

How about the award presenter who was wearing a paper-thin almost-see-through blouse? What was she thinking? Was this another case of "wardrobe malfunction"? I think it was more like a "memory malfunction", personally. As in, she forgot that the fans for the night were much shorter, and much younger, than her usual admirers. What morals are we teaching our children when we put up with stars walking onto a stage in front of thousands of children who idolize them, wearing something so blatantly provocative?

What about the teenage star wearing a skirt so short that it barely covered her? She had to continuously pull it down as she was walking on the stage. Most women could teach her that you do not need to be so revealing to be attractive. And her role models, as well as her staff (stylists, wardrobe, management), should be advicing her to act her age, and to not disregard the age of her fan base.

Most of the show was fun and games, with the usual pranks and and gross humor that kids adore. But I don't think these other points should be ignored. We as parents can let our opinions be known to the TV stations, the stars themselves, even the sponsors of the program, that we do not appreciate some things being pushed in front of the faces of our children. Channels that want our children to be their captive audiences should know that we expect higher standards from them. Speak out and tell them.

Here are some ways your voice can be heard...

American Family Association -
America's largest pro-family action site 
Write to Nickelodeon -
or Nickelodeon, 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 
Share your thoughts with the FCC -
This would probably not apply to the specific broadcast mentioned in this article, as there were no blatant violations, just some bad choices by the stars, the producers, and the network. Still, this is a good link to bookmark if you are worried about the content of today's broadcast television.

I want my children to have fun, and I do not believe in sheltering them from everything. However, when I turn on a kids' program, on a kid-themed TV station, I certainly hope that it will be appropriate viewing, and not provocative or profane.

Valerie Zilinsky of Michigan is a mother of four...... two children, the family dog, and her biggest kid of all - her husband. She is also the proud co-owner of both and

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Child Media Influence


Child Media Influence