~ Know the Code
This program is designed to be appropriate for all children. Whether animated or live-action, the themes and elements in this program are specifically designed for a very young audience, including children from ages 2 – 6. This program is not expected to frighten younger children.
Directed to Older Children
This program is designed for children age 7 and above.It may be more appropriate for children who have acquired the developmental skills needed to distinguish between make-believe and reality. Themes and elements in this program may include mild fantasy violence or comedic violence, or may frighten children under the age of 7. Therefore, parents may wish to consider the suitability of this program for their very young children.
Directed to Older Children – Fantasy Violence
For those programs where fantasy violence may be more intense or more combative than other programs in this category, such programs will be designated TV-Y7-FV.
Most parents would find this program suitable for all ages. Although this rating does not signify a program designed specifically for children, most parents may let younger children watch this program unattended. It contains little or no violence, no strong language and little or no sexual dialogue or situations.
Parental Guidance Suggested
This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. Many parents may want to watch it with their younger children. The theme itself may call for parental guidance and/or the program contains one or more of the following: moderate violence (V), some sexual situations (S), infrequent coarse language (L), or some suggestive dialogue (D).
Parents Strongly Cautioned
This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age. Parents are strongly urged to exercise greater care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended. This program contains one or more of the following: intense violence (V), intense sexual situations (S), strong coarse language (L), or intensely suggestive dialogue (D).
Mature Audience Only
This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17. This program contains one or more of the following: graphic violence (V), explicit sexual activity (S), or crude indecent language (L).
This is a film which contains nothing in theme, language, nudity and sex, violence, etc. that would, in the view of the Rating Board, be offensive to parents whose younger children view the film. The G rating is not a certificate of approval nor does it signify a children’s film.
Some snippets of language may go beyond polite conversation but they are common everyday expressions. No stronger words are present in G-rated films. The violence is at a minimum. Nudity and sex scenes are not present, nor is there any drug use content.
This is a film which clearly needs to be examined by parents before they let their children attend. The label PG plainly states parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children, but leaves the parent to make the decision. Parents are warned against sending their children, unseen and without inquiry, to PG-rated movies. The theme of a PG-rated film may itself call for parental guidance. There may be some profanity in these films. There may be some violence or brief nudity. However, these elements are not considered so intense as to require that parents be strongly cautioned beyond the suggestion of parental guidance. There is no drug use content in a PG-rated film. The PG rating, suggesting parental guidance, is thus an alert for examination of a film by parents before deciding on its viewing by their children. Obviously such a line is difficult to draw. In our pluralistic society it is not easy to make judgments without incurring some disagreement. As long as parents know they must exercise parental responsibility, the rating serves as a meaningful guide and as a warning.
PG-13 is thus a sterner warning to parents, particularly when deciding which movies are not suitable for younger children. Parents, by the rating, are alerted to be very careful about the attendance of their under-teenage children. A PG-13 film is one which, in the view of the Rating Board, leaps beyond the boundaries of the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, or other contents, but does not quite fit within the restricted R category. Any drug use content will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. In effect, the PG-13 cautions parents with more stringency than usual to give special attention to this film before they allow their 12-year-olds and younger to attend. If nudity is sexually oriented, the film will generally not be found in the PG-13 category. If violence is too rough or persistent, the film goes into the R (restricted) rating. A film’s single use of one of the harsher sexually derived words, though only as an expletive, shall initially require the Rating Board to issue that film at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive must lead the Rating Board to issue a film an R rating, as must even one of these words used in a sexual context. These films can be rated less severely, however, if by a special vote, the Rating Board feels that a lesser rating would more responsibly reflect the opinion of American parents.
PG-13 places larger responsibilities on parents for their children and moviegoing. The voluntary rating system is not a surrogate parent, nor should it be. It cannot, and should not, insert itself in family decisions that only parents can make. Its purpose is to give pre-screened informational warnings, so that parents can form their own judgments. PG-13 is designed to make parental decisions easier for films between PG and R.
In the opinion of the Rating Board, this film definitely contains some adult material. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about this film before they allow their children to accompany them. An R-rated film may include strong language, violence, nudity, drug abuse, other elements, or a combination of the above, so parents are counseled in advance to take this advisory rating very seriously.
This rating declares that the Rating Board believes this is a film that most parents will consider patently too adult for their youngsters under 17. No children will be admitted. NC-17 does not necessarily mean obscene or pornographic; in the oft-accepted or legal meaning of those words. The Board does not and cannot mark films with those words. These are legal terms for courts to decide. The reasons for the application of an NC-17 rating can be excessive violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other elements which, when present, most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children.
Find more information at the Motion Picture Association of America website: http://www.mpaa.org/FilmRatings.asp
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are designed to provide information about video and computer game content, so you can make informed purchase decisions. ESRB ratings have two parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game, and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.
To take full advantage of the ESRB rating system, it’s important to check both the rating symbol (on the front of the game box) and the content descriptors (on the back of the game box).
ESRB Rating Symbols
|Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 3 and older. Titles in this category contain no material that parents would find inappropriate.||Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 6
and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
|Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language, and/or minimal suggestive themes.||Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.|
|Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons 17 years and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.||Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.|
|Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game’s release.)|
ESRB Content Descriptors
- Alcohol Reference – Reference to and/or images of alcoholic beverages
- Animated Blood – Discolored and/or unrealistic depictions of blood
- Blood – Depictions of blood
- Blood and Gore – Depictions of blood or the mutilation of body parts
- Cartoon Violence – Violent actions involving cartoon-like situations and characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted
- Comic Mischief – Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humor
- Crude Humor - Depictions or dialogue involving vulgar antics, including “bathroom” humor
- Drug Reference – Reference to and/or images of illegal drugs
- Fantasy Violence – Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life
- Intense Violence - Graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons, and depictions of human injury and deathÂ
- Language - Mild to moderate use of profanity
- Lyrics - Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol, or drug use in music
- Mature Humor – Depictions or dialogue involving “adult” humor, including sexual references
- Nudity – Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudity
- Partial Nudity – Brief and/or mild depictions of nudity
- Real Gambling - Player can gamble, including betting or wagering real cash or currency
- Sexual Content – Non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including partial nudity.
- Sexual Themes - References to sex or sexuality
- Sexual Violence - Depictions of rape or other violent sexual acts
- Simulated Gambling – Player can gamble without betting or wagering real cash or currency
- Strong Language – Explicit and/or frequent use of profanity
- Strong Lyrics – Explicit and/or frequent references to profanity, sex, violence, alcohol, or drug use in music
- Strong Sexual Content – Explicit and/or frequent depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity.
- Suggestive Themes – Mild provocative references or materials
- Tobacco Reference – Reference to and/or images of tobacco products
- Use of Drugs – The consumption or use of illegal drugs
- Use of Alcohol – The consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Use of Tobacco – The consumption of tobacco products
- Violence – Scenes involving aggressive conflict. May contain bloodless dismemberment
- Violent References – References to violent acts
When a content descriptor is preceded by the term ‘Mild’, it conveys low frequency, intensity or severity of the content it modifies.
Online Rating Notice
Online-enabled games carry the notice “Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB.” This notice warns those who intend to play the game online about possible exposure to chat (text, audio, video) or other types of content created by other players (e.g., maps, skins) that have not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment.
For the most up to date list of content descriptors and definitions, go to http://www.esrb.org/
Tips for Teaching Kids to Enjoy Reading
1. The key to reading is words: hearing them, saying them, seeing them, and connecting them to everyday life. Simply talking—in the grocery store, on the way to school, before bed—guarantees a richer vocabulary for your child.
2. Set aside a special time each day to read together. Find a quiet place where you can focus on the book. Pretty soon, your child will make the connection between the pleasure of undivided attention and the pleasure of reading.
3. Expect disasters. Sometimes reading just isn’t in the cards. Don’t push it. The last thing you want is to turn it into a battle. But be prepared to grab unexpected opportunities. Always have a book with you—in your bag, in the car, at the pool: waiting is a lot easier on everyone if there’s a story to share.
4. Read books you like. Your enjoyment will be infectious. Read books your children pick themselves … and praise their choices.
5. Stop occasionally to ask your child questions about the pictures or about what they just heard. Try to ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer. “What do you think is going to happen next?” “Who do you like best in this story?”
6. Connect stories to things that happen in your daily life. If you just read a story about a dog, point out all the dogs you see and talk about them: How big? What color? Who do you think they belong to? Make up a new story together about the dog … then find someone else to tell it to.
7. Stop occasionally and point out an interesting word with your finger. Say it and have your child repeat it. Pre-readers don’t need to learn it … yet … but this reinforces the idea that those funny black lines on the page actually contain the magic of meaning.
8. Capitalize on your child’s interests. If he or she likes bugs, find all the bug books you can. Read fiction and fact books. If they ask you a question, go together to a book to look for the answer—even if you know the answer already.
9. Watch television together and talk about it. Compare what you see on the tube to real life and to real books. Ask questions. Make connections. Find books about things you’ve seen and read them as a follow-up.
10. Visit the library. You don’t have to be rich to have a house full of books. Attend storytimes. Ask the librarian for books suggestions. And check out a book for yourself. You’re the best advertisement for reading there is!
The attached book list, suitably titled What-Kids-Who-Don’t-Like-To-Read, Like-To-Read™ might help entice your reluctant reader. Just remember that this sort of list needs to be taken with a large grain of salt, because no one – absolutely no one – knows exactly which book will appeal to any given child. We’re all in this together – authors, parents, teachers, editors, librarians – and we all need to be alert to the responses of children to books. If your child comes to you with shining eyes and says, “This is the best book I’ve ever read!” – that is a magic moment. Sound the trumpets!