Gossip Girl : What is your child learning from shows on television?

I was watching Gossip Girl today on Tivo as I was working out, and as much as I enjoy the show, all I kept thinking to myself was, “these people are supposed to be high school students?” I cannot help but worry as a parent what this show is teaching our children.

Children today are exposed to so many outside influences from My Space, Blogging, television shows, the internet, and everything else, I just worry about a show like this sending the wrong message to my child. Granted, my child is 4 years old so she is not watching Gossip Girl at the moment, but eventually I am sure she will be watching a show like this, and then what?

My niece watches the show because she is 12 and she says, ” Gossip Girl is PG 12 so technically she is allowed to watch it.” Kids today are already so mature. So, when I am watching Gossip Girl, I am wondering, is this what is actually going on at school or are they learning from the shows they watch? Another example would be the movie, “Thirteen.” Are they learning from these television shows and movies? I suppose it is a little bit of both.

As an adult looking into this world of teens today, I just don’t remember being a teen at age 14 or age 17 and acting so manipulative, going out on school nights in high school, manipulating friendships, and fighting for social ranking within my school. At the same time, I suppose there were those in my school that were part of these high school cliques and did act a certain way that reminds me of the characters on the Gossip Girl show, but there were not many.

At any rate, shows like Gossip Girl, 90210, and all the rest in between are definitely shows that have pushed the limits more than ever. Social ranking, money, and status seem to be the most important themes to the main characters of most of these shows, and that concerns me as a parent. Because, in a fashionable setting full of wealthy teens, it is just more fun to watch, and may send a message to a young viewer that these values are the only things that are important.

What I do know is, taking note from the teens around me now, I will have to make sure I communicate with my B as she grows up because in our society today, a parent needs to know what is going on in their child’s life to keep them grounded.

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