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Is 'Glee' Too Racy for Tweens?

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Kate Meyers: Is "Glee" too racy for tweens? Not mine.


If my daughter Emmy, 12, hasn't already seen it in a PG-13 movie, watched it in a trailer at the theater or heard it in the hallway at school, I'd be more surprised than Tiger Woods' sponsors. I'm way more worried about what kids her age read in the newspapers every day -- global warming, oil spills, child slavery, suicide bombing -- than about them watching a clever drama about high school. Teenage pregnancy, backstabbing, bad boys, sexting, homosexuality -- "Glee" is like a sneak preview of life.

I look at good TV ("Gilmore Girls" and "Friday Night Lights," to name two favorites) as a fabulous way to educate my children. I'm not telling them how the story ends -- they watch it, they see the consequences, they discuss it. They follow the play, acted out beforehand, so they understand their choices and the roads that follow when it becomes real. How cool to have a shared point of reference to discuss things with my girls. Plus, I don't need anyone to tell me what's too racy for my kids -- they let me know. We call it the "Tell me if it's inappropriate" check. My daughters are 12 and 15, and I'll warn them if something may have questionable content. Then, if what they see doesn't work for them, they'll cover their eyes and ask me to tell them when it's over. I kid you not.

Emmy and I rented a three-episode disc of "Glee" one Saturday night when nothing at Blockbuster was speaking to us. We LOVED it. The best moments -- and they happened frequently -- were when everyone was bursting into song. What could be more old-school than that?

next: Moms Sound Off About 'Leave Your Kids at the Park Day'
23 comments so far | Post a comment now
JD in Van May 20, 2010, 4:30 PM

My daughter (10) and I watch Glee together every Tues night. It’s become our girl time ritual. Mine, like yours, has been allowed to develope her own meter of what’s appropriate as I personally believe in absolutely minimal censorship (the only things I say no to are ultra-violence and graphic sex) and much to my pleasent suprise, my daughter tends to censor herself far more strictly then I ever would for the most part. When we do come across material that is questionable I use that as an opportunity to discuss it and talk about what it is about that material that’s questionable. Glee actually has lead to several conversations about teen pregnancy and sexual orientation and boys and dating.

CH May 21, 2010, 11:26 AM

This is great, and honestly I’m really glad to hear you’re using Glee as a vehicle to talk with your daughter about real issues while also getting great bonding time out of it. I adore the show, and I think it’s a great candid look at real issues kids face (even if they sometimes have to face them way too young). I babysit for a family that won’t their 15 year old daughter watch the series, and I think it’s unfortunate because she’s missing out on a candid snapshot of reality that’s couched in good music and fun storytelling. Kudos to you for turning the show and all of its points into a teaching tool. You also get great music to enjoy in the car, too! :)

CP July 19, 2010, 9:18 AM

I watched Glee with my 21 year old last night and found it offensive. H.S. Girl: I’m not bulimic. My gag reflex didn’t kick in. Counselor: That will actually serve you well later in life. Are you kidding me??? This is appropriate for kids? I find it far too racy for my 13 year old but most of all, it doesn’t meet MY standdard of what’s appropriate. It’s sad too, because the singing is awesome. Oh well, another show that gives into the sexually charged culture. No thank you.

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