The Perils Of Growing Up

You remember Martha Quinn as an original MTV veejay. Every other week on CBS News' The Early Show she shares her observations in a segment called Yikes, IÂ'm a Grownup.

There are certain things we all expect in life, like death and taxes, she says. But then, thereÂ's something else just as inevitable that seems to take us all by surprise: growing up.

The MTV generation has gone from Motley Crue to mortgages. Sometimes it takes a major event to rock us into adulthood.
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I knew I was a grownup when I became a mom. Now I find myself worrying about what my kid is exposed to. Boy, have I changed!

I used to think that all those people worried about graphic lyrics in music, and about sex and violence on TV were so clueless!

Now that IÂ'm a mom, IÂ'm thinking I should censor what my daughter watches.

Censor? Who am I? Maybe, IÂ've been bitten by the mommy bug and IÂ'm just boo-hooing about how the big bad world is tarnishing my child. Hmm, maybe I need some professional help.

"You should monitor her because your love and your protection [are] not enough," suggests psychiatrist Dr. Tom Mintz.

When I think of a mom, I think of someone who can sew a dress or bake a cake or throw a dinner party, someone who can solve problems with a family talk.

As for me, I canÂ't sew, baking to me is toast, and solving problems is more complicated than ever. Like, in this fast-paced world, I canÂ't monitor my child all the time. Should I be worried?

"IÂ'm more concerned about children being exposed to family members that react to one another in a negative way than I am to what they see on television," says Ellen Gilbert, co-founder of I Am Your Child.

OK, so maybe IÂ'm overreacting. How bad can Saturday morning cartoons really be?

"Kids who see a lot of violent imagery have a distinct change in their play," notes preschool teacher, Carol Provost.

"Their play is more violent, more aggressive. They donÂ't pay attention to each otherÂ's feelings," she says.

Parents, we worry a lot about nutrition and what goes into our kids' bodies, but maybe we should be more aware of what kind of images are fed into their minds.

"You should be concerned that theyÂ're going to imitate what they see - that theyÂ're going to think about violence as being the solution to all kinds of problem solving," says Dr. Mintz. "So you should be worried as a protective mother."

There is no one clear answer, bu everyone agrees parental involvement is vital. You need to get in there and watch what they watch and listen to what they listen to.

And know your kid! One child might be able to handle something that wouldnÂ't be OK for another.

In my house, the TV is like the fire extinguisher in the glass box, for emergencies only.

My daughter is 2 and a half and at that age kids learn through interacting, playing things that require active participation. But every once in a while, like when my husband and I were packing to come to New York, we break out the TV and put on a Barney video!