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Letters: Parenting In The Age Of 'Gossip Girl'

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Listeners respond to an interview about Gossip Girl. Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from your e-mails.


Time now for your comments. My discussion yesterday about parenting in the age of Gossip Girl generated a number of letters. The television show is about the love lives of rich kids in New York, and its provocative.


This week, a much-hyped episode featured a menage-a-trois as one of the things to do in college.

And Michele, you spoke with Liz Perle, co-founder of the group Common Sense Media. Perle said the show sometimes offers teachable moments for her 16-year-old son, but this episodes subject matter was going a bit far.

Ms. LIZ PERLE (Co-Founder, Common Sense Media): Theyre positioning this as a absolutely normal, must-do kind of thing, and theyre positioning it to my kids whos actually starting to think about college. So if those two things get twinned in his mind, then Im going to have to pull the strands apart.

NORRIS: Several listeners, including Jennifer Mara(ph) of Westport, Connecticut, felt Perles discomfort. Teachable moment, all right(ph), thats tough. Mara writes about the younger teens and twins who are watching "Gossip Girl," and she laments how pervasive sexual content is in the TV, magazines and music geared toward them. She writes: My 12-year-old and his friends get the messages - of course, they dont truly comprehend the ramifications and implications when they chant sexually-laced lyrics.

BLOCK: Gary Dock(ph) of Austin, Texas, enjoyed our discussion but he says: Dont blame the media for kids knowledge of such things as a menage-a-trois. He writes: I am 60 years old now and I knew what it meant when I was 16, and it sure wasnt due to television shows pushing the envelop back then. Kids probably knew more than we let on. Kids are just more open about it today, I think.

NORRIS: And now, from menage-a-trois to menage-a-turkey. And no, were not talking anything risky, we just want to hear about your nontraditional Thanksgiving traditions.

BLOCK: Maybe you served the usual foods but with a strange twist.

NORRIS: Yeah. We heard of someone whose family always served blue mashed potatoes, but wed love to know why.

BLOCK: Or maybe youre nontraditional tradition is an annual activity, like annual leaf burning day or a collective closet purge.

NORRIS: Maybe its competitive turkey trot or old movie day.

BLOCK: We want to hear your stories, and I will share some of them on the program on Thanksgiving Day.

NORRIS: So please write to us. Go to Click on Contact Us and make sure Thanksgiving is in the subject line.

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