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By Jackie Burrell
Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 10:48 am in Gossip Girl, TV.

GOSSIP GIRLHaving tuned in to the “Gossip Girl” premiere Monday evening with my 16-year-old, and followed that up with a dash of “Hills” and as much *yawn* “90210” as I could stand, I’m finding it difficult to keep vapid, like, you know, language out of this, OMG, blog post. Totally, right? While most parenting watchdog types tell you to shun such racy fare, Liz Perle at Common Sense Media has a refreshing take this morning. Perle says she uses “teen soaps’ over-the-top plots as a great way to have non-loaded discussions with my teens about touchy subjects like sex, drugs, and alcohol” but this week’s viewing left her mulling negative role models – anorexic, alcoholic, bed-hopping, drama-obsessed TV characters.

She says,

“Parents, here’s the deal: We can let our kids make sense of this stuff on their own, or we can shoe-horn our way in so we can infuse their entertainment with our value systems… We can hold up our own mirrors to these dumbed-down, juiced-up versions of teen life and really help our kids think about what would happen if they spent that much, drank that much, or had that much (seemingly unprotected) sex with married women or random classmates.”

Perle offers up a list of excellent questions to prompt those discussions. It made us wonder how many parents do this kind of thing already? Punch a button on the poll or click “comments” and share…

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