With a new school year successfully under way, families are finally adjusting to new friends, teachers, workloads and schedules. As a parent, keeping up with it all can be a chore by itself, so there is no reason that preparing for a new television lineup should be an added burden.
To help parents prepare, TV Watch is reminding them that now is the time to take a few minutes to review the content ratings and adjust the parental controls in their homes. The broad-based coalition that opposes government control of TV programming and promotes the use of tools like content ratings and parental controls is also providing educational resources about the existing tools to manage family TV viewing as dozens of new shows hit the airwaves.
“Every new school year introduces a unique set of changes for each family, and the TV season is no different,” said Jim Dyke, TV Watch Executive Director. “Children are a year older and television rules may have changed based on age and the family’s tastes and values. It is a perfect time to consider those rules and review the available tools to enforce standards.”
Recent data from the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board indicates 72 percent of parents report having rules about TV use. In order to help parents effectively manage and enforce their family’s rules, TV Watch is encouraging parents to learn about the new shows airing this fall, review the content ratings, utilize parental controls if needed and help spread the word to others.
- New Programming: While parents may already be familiar with what is permissible for their kids to watch, this fall includes a host of new shows. A listing of this season’s new shows can be found by following this link. Take note of what your kids are asking to watch, and review the content and ratings for these shows.
- Review the Ratings: The TV Parental Guideline Ratings System was modeled after movie ratings to give parents easy-to-follow warnings regarding the content and age-appropriateness of TV programs. The ratings can be found here. This summer, seven broadcast networks announced their commitment to making content ratings for their shows available on websites they control. According to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, 68 percent of parents say they use the TV ratings system and 88 percent of parents are aware that the TV ratings system provides guidance based on the age of the child. Ninety-five percent of parents who use the ratings most often find them helpful.
- Utilize Parental Controls: According to the TV Parental Guideline Ratings System more than one-third of parents use either a V-Chip or cable/satellite-provided parental controls and TV Watch studies indicate 83 percent of parents are satisfied with the effectiveness of the V-Chip and other blocking tools. TV Watch has created an easy guide to help parents understand the basic tools and information, and takes parents through the simple process of activating parental controls. “Television Tools for Parents 101” can be viewed online or downloaded and printed to keep handy next to the TV.
- Spread the Word: TV Watch makes it easier than ever to spread the word to other parents about how they, too, can utilize these tools to take control in their own homes. While 73 percent of parents monitor what their children watch on TV, many might have concerns when it comes time for an afternoon or overnight visit at a friend's house. Consider using this Parent-To-Parent Information card to easily inform other parents about your own tastes and values. Recommend "Television Tools for Parents 101" to other parents so they understand the ratings and, if they choose, how to set their parental controls, or print this Remote PATROL poster to distribute at church or school group gatherings. TV Watch also offers Spanish-language resources, which can be found here.
“Parents have more options than ever when it comes to using tools to enforce their rules. In just minutes, with only a few clicks of the remote, parents can take control this fall,” concluded Dyke.
About TV Watch
TV Watch was launched in May 2005 and is the leading national organization to promote parental controls and individual choices as an alternative to increased government regulation of TV content. TV Watch is a nonpartisan coalition of 21 individuals and organizations including legal and entertainment experts and political and consumer organizations representing more than four million Americans. For more information about TV Watch, visit www.TelevisionWatch.org.