Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Strategies for Taming the Media Beast

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Strategies for Taming the Media Beast

Article excerpt

'MOMMY, I'M SCARED'

How TV and Movies Frighten Children And What We Can Do to Protect Them

By Joanne Cantor Harcourt Brace 320 pp., $25 As a parent, how can I know if the latest G-rated movie is really appropriate for my six-year-old? Will she love it, or will she have fears afterward about evil queens or vicious wolf attacks? I often ask around the neighborhood first. The prevailing view - at least among moms at the school bus stop - is that most of what is marketed toward children is too violent and too frightening for them. At last, someone is taking this "fear factor" seriously. After 15 years of research, Joanne Cantor has concluded that TV programs and movies are the No. 1 preventable cause of fears and anxieties in children. Her book, "Mommy, I'm Scared," sends up warning flares about what types of visual images scare kids the most - from a two- year-old's fear of fantastical character transformations to a 12- year-old's fear of stories with child victims. …

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