Lurid images in media have influence on children

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Updated: 8/26/2013 10:04 pm
Shock value seems to be the most important part of entertainment value these days. Our children are exposed to some mighty risque sounds and sights as a result. No better example than the MTV Video Music Awards that aired Sunday night.

There was no shortage of provocative content on the VMAs. One of the most talked about performances: Miley Cyrus. She was a Disney Channel star and still has many young fans. After Sunday night's show, there is no doubt she is all grown up.

Dr. Tracy Wilson is a father of three girls and is about to publish a book called "Raising Daughters."

"As our kids are seeing these things, it's helping actually shape their moral decisions. So that's why we should be concerned about it, but it doesn't mean it has to define it." He said. "They're going to hear it. You know, it's not like you can just put them in a bubble and they're going to come out perfect."

But not all hope is lost. Kids are not swayed in the wrong direction that easily. Dr. Wilson said the time you spend with your kids should outweigh the few minutes a day your kids are exposed to lurid content. He said to communicate, especially during the teenage years when moral identities are formed.

"It's a critical time in who they believe they're going to be and parents need to be involved." Dr. Wilson said.

Shawn Best is a father to three young children who is more sad than worried about what kids are exposed to.

"I think if the parents have them grounded in the right direction and have their values instilled in their kids the right way then I don't think that's going to skew a child one way or another." he said. "I think it's gotten much worse but you know, our parents probably thought it was much worse when we were kids."

Dr. Wilson suggests discussing with your kids who they want to be s they can recognize what is good and bad about outside influences.

"If they hear a song like that they have to be able to reference it and go 'she's referencing that but I don't want to reference that in my life.'"

There's no doubt about the amount of lurid content kids are exposed to and Dr. Wilson describes kids' brains like cement. Imprints made will stay there. But parents can have an influence on how they deal with that imprint.

If you have questions about Dr. Wilson's book or it's topics, you can email
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