On this week’s “You’ve Got This,” I talk with Melissa Henson about how to use the TV ratings system to monitor our kids’ viewing. Melissa is program director for the Parents Television Council, a nonpartisan education organization advocating for responsible entertainment. She is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. Melissa previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She resides in Falls Church, Virginia, with her husband and son.
“Whenever possible, I would strongly encourage families to watch together,” Melissa says. “I think too that it’s easy for us to err on the side of thinking our kids are more mature emotionally than they are or better able to handle or cope with what they see. And remember that no system is 100% foolproof, and nothing takes the place of just being there and being able to help your child work through what they are seeing onscreen.”
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