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Resources for Parents

The resources listed here are intended as a convenience to educators, librarians, parents and students. These websites are operated independent of Media Literacy Now. If you have a resource to add to this page, please let us know!

  • Professionals & Organizations

Center on Media and Child Health nurtures children’s health and development in media-rich environments.

Common Sense Media offers an extensive library of independent age-based ratings and reviews for movies, books, games, apps, TV shows, websites and music as well as guidance for what parents need to know.

Cyberwise provides online safety information and resources for parents and teachers.

Dr. Rebecca Hains is the author of a Preschool Media Literacy guide for parents. Her research focuses on girls, women, children, and media from an intersectional, critical/cultural studies perspective.

MEDIAGIRLS created a podcast to help parents of girls, educators, and mentors navigate confusing/awkward conversations on media trends and stories. The strategies and advice they offer are based on conversations with thousands of pre-teens & teens, and are girl-tested in classrooms.

MediaSmarts is Canada’s not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy.

Dr. Megan Maas is a professor at Michigan State University. She researches teens’ online sexual experiences. Her brief curriculum, PopPorn: Popular Culture, Pornography, and YOU is used by teachers, parents, and teens.

Media Aware Parent was designed to empower parents to help their teens to make informed and healthy decisions. The program includes medically-accurate information and proven techniques to help parents have effective conversations with their teens about topics like sex, relationships, gender roles, internet safety, and more. Go beyond “the talk” and become a Media Aware Parent!

Media Power Youth provides curricula, professional development, and workshops to build media literacy knowledge and critical-thinking skills to navigate a media-rich world. Our mission is to teach youth to consume and create media safely and responsibly, reaping all of its benefits while recognizing the influence it can have on physical and mental health, decision-making, and relationships.

The Reboot Foundation guide strives to provide parents with an understanding of what critical thinking is and how to foster it in their children.

Social Assurity delivers innovative student-centric social media training and strategies for help with college admissions, scholarships, internships, and career goals.

Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker is an academic entrepreneur and creative, databased problem solver dedicated to creating transformative learning experiences and environments. Dr. Shewmaker is the author of the book, Sexualized Media Messages and Our Children: Teaching Kids to be Smart Critics and Consumers.

Technology in Early Childhood Center at Erikson Institute produced the Media Literacy in Early Childhood Report: Framework, Child Development Guidelines, and Tips for Implementation and have published resources and presentations developed for their 2017 symposium Media Literacy in Early Childhood: A Critical Conversation


  • Books for kids

Enough Said 
Jim Wasserman
This is a children’s play/story that helps kids (8-12) understand holiday messaging that tries to focus our attention on “what’s next” rather than “what’s enough.” It’s a great introduction for children into the art of deconstructing ads, letting them see that messaging might have alternative goals.

Made You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know 
Shari Graydon
Books on media literacy for children and teens are rare. This one is excellent for middle and high school students.

Master the Media: How Teaching Media Literacy Can Save Our Plugged-In World
Julie Smith
This book is marketed to teachers but provides an excellent base of knowledge on how media systems work, from print to internet to TV, film, news, video games and more.


  • Books for Parents

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture 
Peggy Orenstein

Good Pictures Bad pictures, Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids 
Kristen A. Jenson
(For parents to read to young children)

Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip, and So Much More 
Lori Day, Charlotte Kugler

Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World
Rosalind Wiseman

Packaging Boyhood: Saving our Sons from Superheroes, Slackers and other Media Stereotypes
Lyn Mikel Brown, Sharon Lamb, Mark Tappan

Packaging Girlhood Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes 
Lyn Mikel Brown, Sharon Lamb

Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World Paperback
Rosalind Wiseman

Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween
Melissa Atkins Wardy

Sexualized Media Messages and Our Children: Teaching Kids to Be Smart Critics and Consumers
Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Spongeheadz: U & Media
Lynn Ziegler

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano

The Achilles Effect: What Pop Culture is Teaching Young Boys about Masculinity
Crystal Smith

The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents: Helping Toddlers, Tweens, and Teens Thrive
Marci Warhaft-Nadler

The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls through the Princess-Obsessed Years
Rebecca Hains


  • Products

This video describes four-part digital protection package recommended by Cyberwise.