How to help your kid be happy and secure in a media-heavy, appearance-obsessed culture.

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By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media

How’s this for a scary statistic: Studies show that kids as young as 5 say they don’t like their bodies.

Common Sense Media’s survey of body-image research shows that parents play a huge role in shaping how kids think and feel about their bodies. Starting to bolster kids’ body image early, even in preschool, can make a big difference in how kids feel about themselves as they grow up.

Here are five ways to immunize your kids against poor body image, with conversation starters, media picks, and resources to support your discussions.

Avoid stereotypes…


These famous folks go the extra mile to make a stand, help others, and speak their minds.

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By Polly Conway, Common Sense Media

Celebrities usually become popular for how they look on-screen, at awards shows, or on Instagram. But some might say stars have an extra responsibility to show their fans how to change the world.

These picks are great role models for kids and teens who want their celebs to stand for something. This diverse group clearly takes that concept to heart — they’ve all found their own ways to make a difference, from upholding important values and doing meaningful work to drawing attention to causes that matter. …


Are there ways to make sure kids don’t lose knowledge and skills over the summer?

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By Common Sense Media

Summer slide — when kids forget what they learned from the school year — is pretty common. Here are a few ways to keep kids skills up over the summer.


Discover the secret to picking movies that strengthen character traits and life skills, from curiosity to courage to compassion.

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By Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media

Has your kid ever misbehaved like Alvin from the Chipmunks movies? Or mean-girled her friends like the Bratz dolls? Don’t feel bad. Kids pick up all kinds of things from movies. But they can just as easily absorb positive messages. The trick is finding movies that teach the stuff you want your kids to learn. And, if you know a little bit about how kids learn from movies, you can make sure they’ll get the right lessons.

Fortunately, you don’t have to look far for character-building movies. Plenty of popular picks have lessons such…


Connect as a family and help kids with media literacy, too!

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By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media

We say this a lot, but we think it’s worth repeating: It’s important to get involved in your kids media lives -– and your kids will love it too (within reason!). But helping them become critical media consumers can be easier said than done. What’s a sure-fire way to stay involved with your kids’ media picks and create an opportunity to discuss them? Host a family movie night!

Some tips for making it work:

Schedule it. Make it a regular date and time and don’t break it. …


Families can talk about everything from women’s roles in comics and superhero films to the importance of compassion and empathy.

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By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media

The highest-profile comic book adaptation to date featuring a female superhero, Wonder Woman is an engaging, entertaining, empowering, and surprisingly diverse superhero story with strong messages about teamwork, courage, and compassion. It also has lots of action violence and romance — all of which means this Common Sense Seal-honored adventure offers plenty for families to talk about. Try these discussion questions to get started:

  • Talk about women’s roles in comics and superhero films. What makes Diana a role model in Wonder Woman? How does her intelligence shine throughout the movie? What about the rest…


New ideas for watching, bonding, and learning from TV.

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By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media

I admit I’ve thrown on a TV show and plopped my kid in front of the screen when I needed to get dinner on the table.

But on the occasions when I’ve sat down and watched my kids’ shows with them, I’ve been amazed by how rewarding the experience was.

Take Phineas and Ferb, for example. I never realized how clever it was until I took the time to watch a whole episode with my kid. And I found so many things to talk about with him afterward. How did the boys solve the…


Learn how what you post can hurt — and help — the admissions process.

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By Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media

Hey, all you college-bound kids: What’s the easiest thing you can do to impress prospective schools? It’s not your GPA. It’s not the debate team. It’s your Facebook — and your Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and any other social media feeds that colleges can see. And yes, they’re looking. Get answers to the most important questions about what colleges want to see.

Should I delete my social media or make it all private?

Making it private is a good idea anyway


These brainy characters from movies, books, and TV prove that it’s cool to be a smart girl.

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By Frannie Ucciferri, Common Sense Media

Move over, Sherlock Holmes — the girl geniuses have arrived. These days, some of the smartest characters from kids’ movies, TV shows, and books are female. And with research — published in 2017! — indicating that girls start underestimating their own intelligence by the age of 6, it’s clear that brainy media role models matter. A lot.

Despite high-IQ heroines such as Princess Leia and Lisa Simpson, female characters are overwhelmingly focused on looks and appearance and often more concerned with love and romance than academic or career goals. Studies have demonstrated the significant…


Neglecting to protect your kid’s privacy can have serious consequences.

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By Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media

If you don’t want to have the bejesus scared out of you, don’t talk to an expert on kids’ online privacy. If you knew what was really out there — online predators, identity thieves, data miners — you’d lock up the internet and throw away the key.

The truth is, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The internet is so woven into our lives, we need to be aware of the worst-case scenarios that can strike when we’re unprepared. Below are a few of those scary things that can and…

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