Dear David Coleman: 'My daughter (7) was shown what I consider to be inappropriate music videos in school. What should I do?

Question: My seven-year-old daughter has not been exposed to any indecent videos on YouTube or TV at home. But she was shown YouTube videos of singers such as Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Imagine Dragons, in school. I spoke with the teacher, but I was told I am too sensitive. I just think kids shouldn’t be exposed to content aimed at teenagers, at such a young age. Am I “too sensitive”?

David replies: I don’t think that you are being “too sensitive”. I think you are entitled to have your views about what is and is not appropriate viewing for your child. There is no age rating system for music videos, although some songs themselves carry “parental advisory – explicit lyrics” warnings. However, many music videos have extremely sexualised portrayals of women and men, which are going to be difficult for younger children to process.

It is good that you know what your daughter has seen. That allows you to contextualise it and to frame it within your own family value system about what is okay and not okay, what is right and wrong.

I think it is appropriate to raise your concerns with the teacher and if you feel that you have been brushed off or dismissed, then you are entitled to raise them with the principal.

It will help to know what specific images your daughter has seen, that have distressed her and/or you, as it moves any further discussion away from the theoretical and into the practical so that you can address your “here and now” concerns about the actual content and the impact it has had.

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