Saturday, January 31, 2015

Discussions Only We Know: Family Friendly

Discussions Only We Know

Family Friendly

Say what????

So my question for today: Do you guys try to keep your blog "family friendly"? If so, what does that mean to you? What constitutes "family friendly?"

I am not a mother yet, but I do have two nieces. Both of my nieces read. One is fourteen, and the other is eleven. I don't think either read my blog, but they both know about it. Just the idea that either might be reading it (or might one day read it) keeps me on my toes, and I am constantly asking myself if I'd want my teenage or pre-teen daughter exposed to what I post on my blog. Tough question.

I have definitely chosen to keep my blog "family friendly." What this means to me is that there won't be book covers with mostly naked people on them--especially if they're posed in any compromising positions--and there won't be any book titles with cursing. I have enjoyed branching out into the New Adult genre, but often these books push the boundaries of what I'm comfortable with posting on the blog or even reading myself.

I debated for a while when I first started my blog about doing some sort of content rating on my reviews to show what someone might expect within the book like cursing, sexual situations, drug/alcohol use, etc. But I just found myself having a really hard time classifying all of that, so I ended up deciding against it. I know some bloggers have found a way of doing this that works for them, and I say kudos. Instead, I do try to mention in my reviews if the cursing was a bit much for me, or if any scenes were too graphic, and I have decided to include the genre designation on my reviews for quite some time. I put off including the genre designation for a while because there can be controversy over what is classified as which genre, but I specifically want Young Adult, New Adult, or Adult listed so that anyone reading my blog can know what to expect.

Of course, not all books classified in each category will have the same level of content, but that's life, right? Most things don't fit neatly into boxes. There are shades of grey everywhere (and I'm not talking 50 Shades of Grey).

This is just happens to be what I feel comfortable with. I realize that everyone has different comfort levels, and that's fine. But I want my daughter (assuming I ever have one of those) to read my blog one day and for me not to be embarrassed by the content found within it. Granted there are books that don't have steamy covers or titles with cursing that still have content within that is not going to be appropriate for a teenage girl.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any boundaries or limits you set on yourself for your blog content? Or do you just post whatever you want and whatever you read? Do you care about keeping things "family friendly"? I'm really curious. What do you guys think? Let me know!


  1. My blog is 'family friendly' in the fact that you don't get assaulted with half naked people or constant f-bombs...but I wouldn't call myself a family friendly person in an overall sense. I read pretty much everything, even stuff that my younger readers should stay away from. I do however always mark when a book is too graphic for anyone under 18, before the review ever gets started. I do try to keep my cursing to a minimum as well. However, I've never marketed my blog for younger readers so I've never bothered specifically censoring my blog for them. I do have children's book reviews and middle grade, but majority of my reviews are YA or older. That being said I always try to be respectful, avoid vulgarities, and give warnings for content.

  2. My blog isn't family friendly, I post whatever I want and review every book I read. I don't read a lot of erotica or feature books with steamy covers, but I don't want to limit myself by saying I won't feature them. I also feel like it's difficult to categorize different sexual situatiuons or swearing. And to be honest I myself don't even notice if a book has swearing or not and I don't want to keep focussing on that while reading.

    I also think that things like content warnigns and such are difficult to do because you can never warn for everything that might be triggering. I always think family friendliness or not is a bit of a difficult topic, because like you mentioned when you think of whether you want a teenager to see your blog you might say no, although if a teenager really wants to see certain things or books they probably can even if certain blogs don't feature it.

    I also wonder sometimes what is considered family friendly? Is there an exact definition for it and what about books that fall on the border?

  3. I try to keep my blog family friendly since my kids can read and might visit my blog. I don't really read erotica or books with steamy covers. I don't really want my 3 bookworm boys who read anything lying around to get a sex ed lesson just yet. Excessive cursing is a turn off for me inabook too. I think talented authors can get their character's POV across without excessive cursing. Great discussion. Hope you link up to 3 posts with our Small Victories Sunday linkup!

  4. This is a tough question for me. I review everything from MG to adult, and I do make sure that the age and genre are marked. But when it comes to adult books, I don't usually mention steamy scenes or cursing, simply because they are so common in books published for an adult audience.

    My blog's target audience is adults and near-adults - those old enough to be making their own reading choices. But since I do review MG and YA books as well, it's quite possible that younger readers would wander onto my site. I don't think that anything they see on the blog would be a problem. I don't curse or get explicit or even particularly suggestive in my reviews, so there shouldn't be anything problematic in the reviews themselves. I don't tend to read books with really explicit covers - usually the cover models are wearing more than you might see on the average beach. So unless children actually go read the adult books I review (in which case, where are their parents in all this?) I don't think they will see anything really objectionable on my site.

    Good post, Sandy, and a very thought-provoking question!

  5. I have four children ranging ages 5-16, girls and boys. I have been doing this parenting thing for a quite a while.

    I don't filter my language or my content. I am just who I am, the way I write, the things I like. Being a parent changed me, but I refuse to filter my thought for little eyes. I have no delusions that my children will be exposed to something, so i don't shield them from things. My teenagers have the internet, without parental filters. I monitor what they look at, but I don't censor things for them. If not here in my house, they will be "exposed" to things anyways. They are informed enough to make their own choices. I arm my kids with information. My kids (despite their freedom) watch comics and play video games. They have no interest in my adult read, but if they did I would allow them that too.

    My parental style is a bit different then most parents I have met. It is working for my kids so far though.

    I say do what you want on your site.

  6. I like what you said about not marketing your blog to younger readers. I think like you said being respectful, avoiding unnecessary vulgarities and providing warnings is great! That's pretty much what I strive for as well. Thanks for stopping by and for your honest comment Michelle!

  7. I don't read erotica either. Some of the books I've read that are just labeled as young adult and new adult romance are graphic enough. I definitely agree with you about not wanting your boys to get a sex ed lesson from any books you might have laying around. I also 100% agree about talented authors being able to create great characters without excessive cursing! Thanks for stopping by and giving your honest opinion Tanya!

  8. I think you're right Karen. Kids are going to be exposed to things one way or the other, and if they want to go hunt down whatever they're interested in they will find it eventually. I 100% agree that your blog is your space to do your blog your way. Thanks for your comment!

  9. I don't read erotica either, and I don't expect to read it in the future. I have read a few new adult books that push my graphic tolerance. I usually skim cursing unless it's excessive and frequent.

    I think you're right. That's what I had trouble with when I thought about doing content warnings. You don't know what might be offensive to different people because everyone has different standards.

    I don't think there is an exact definition of family friendly because parenting styles, morals, etc is so radically different from family to family. So yeah...all of that is subjective anyway.

    Thanks for your comments Lola!

  10. I think you're right Lark. If you make sure your reviews are labels for age ranges and genre then people should have an idea of what to expect to be included within. But even still, some books within each age range and genre are more graphic than others. I tend to make a note if a book pushed my limits graphically, but that's just so readers who might have a similar tolerance level as me will know what to expect.

    I agree...adults and near adults are old enough to make their own choices. And I 100% agree that parents need to be involved with the reading choices of their children if they want to have any control over there.

    Thanks for your thoughts and your honest opinion Lark!