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On the plus side, it's easier for kids this age to make ethical decisions, and they're developing their own ideas on social issues -- which they may be excited to discuss.Teens have the ability to handle more complex issues, but they're also trying on different social personas.The media normalizes all sorts of behavior -- from suggestive dress to sexual talk to sex itself; try to steer kids this age away from content that pairs sex and violence or that stereotypes either men or women's sexual roles.
Their sense of humor changes, and they can grasp abstract relationships and double entendres.
While they can be susceptible to naïve opinions and one-sided arguments, they can also reflect, analyze, and confront moral and ethical questions (even if they might not be ready for the answers).
The way our kids consume and create media profoundly affects their social, emotional, and physical development.
That's why, when we make assessments about age appropriateness, we rely on developmental criteria from some of the nation's leading authorities to determine what content and activities are best suited for each age and stage.
Their avatars and screen names can express their inner identity issues, but they also dampen consequences and mask responsibility -- and online anonymity can make teens both brave and mean.
(Online life can also become highly sexualized at this age.) Fourteen-year-olds know right from wrong, but they have to learn how to apply ethical behavior to Internet life -- for instance, when it comes to uploading video or photographic content (which becomes big at this age).
Our age-based reviews and ratings are a guide -- but ultimately, you're still the expert when it comes to your kids.
At this age, teens' intellectual powers allow for perception and insight.
At this age, "alpha dog" and "queen bee" behavior is the norm, but things can get dangerous when that tendency is paired with verbal or physical threats -- the way it's so often depicted in the media.
The violence that teens see in games, on TV shows, and at the movies needs discussion so that they don't "pose" violently in real life.
For teens, texting overtakes most other forms of communication, except perhaps instant messaging.