Choosing Media for Your Child

Choosing Media for Your Child

How can we as parents use books, shows, movies to help our children learn more about respect, diversity and equity from an early age?

All bodies deserve love and respect

It’s important for our children to know that all bodies deserve respect. It’s never OK to make fun of someone because of their appearance, where they live or their family. It may seem like a big task, but children are shaped by what they experience, see and hear around them. Taking care in selecting books, shows and movies are ways you can make a start.

Choose books and other media with care

When choosing books, shows and movies for kids choose ones which:

  • show diversity in the lead roles e.g. body shapes/sizes, ages, backgrounds, levels of ability,
  • don’t judge or mock characters around body size and ability?
  • don’t make negative shaming judgements about some types of foods?
  • don’t shame characters for their food choices?
  • show characters your child can relate to in a positive or stimulating way?

When our children grow up learning that diversity in all its forms makes the world a better place, they learn to be accepting and embracing of themselves as well as others. Messages about food and nutrition for children should be positive and non-judgemental. All foods can have a place and food choices don’t reflect anything about the person eating them (positively or negatively).

Your role as a parent and carer

  • When reading with your child, try to take the time to ask your child what they are seeing in the book (e.g. the images).
  • Use open-ended questions to ask about what they see, or what they think about the messages in the book or movie, the characters, etc.
  • If you read or watch something that doesn’t reflect your values in terms of diversity, encourage (age appropriate) discussion with your child
  • As they get older, teach your child how to think critically about the messages in what they read and watch. This is a powerful skill for them to learn.

We have put together a list of books on the health on the shelf page of this website which you may find useful.