I think we’re pretty good about it, but the general rule is, not all kids mature at the same rate. There can be an eight-year-old to whom this material is perfectly clear, and an eight-year-old to whom this material is way over their heads. What we’ve discovered over the years, truthfully, is most of the time when it’s over a kids head, it is literally over their heads. It just kind of goes “whoosh!” over the top and it doesn’t stop to make a dent there, so it’s kind of a self-regulating thing.On parents and co-viewing...
We don’t want to replace the parents. I mean, I truly believe the 1st amendment stops at your front door. I am a parent. I am a grandparent, and I believe that we have every right to control what our kids see on television as parents. So, we’re not trying to usurp it, but I do think that sometimes our shows make a wonderful opportunity to talk about issues.
A sad example of that…a tragic example, was back in the 90s we did a show about aids. Later, we found out this young woman who had aids, who was trying to find an adoptive family for her eight-year-old boy before she died or got sick and she hadn’t yet told him that she had aids, and the way she chose to tell him was to sit down and watch the show we did with him. When it was over he said, "Oh that’s so sad. Do we know anybody that has that disease?" And she said, "yes, son, I do."
"So the thing is ignorance is not bliss, and to talk about a subject does not mean that you are pro or against the subject. I fully believe that talking about things is better than keeping them secret and not talking. Because, when you’re not talking, you’re not learning, and then the parents aren’t teaching and the kids are not learning.
It's hard to bring up subjects, and that's why these shows are as important as they are, because it they do give a way for parents and children to start talking about the tough topics. I say start talking, but people say, "Oh Linda, you've talked to kids for 20 years." No, I haven't. I've listened to kids for 20 years...and there's a difference.