Second, educate yourself. Really study the content.
"You actually have to go to places like commonsense.org or other places that really rate content and find out what's in it. You need to get down and do your homework and find out what your kids are surfing or what movies and video games their interested in. So there's a homework requirement for parents today that's really important," Steyer said.
Third, communicate. Start a dialogue with your children about all of this very early. Talk to them about what they are watching, or what they want to watch and why. Getting them in the habit of talking to you will help you understand what your child may be ready for.
Parents who worry about their children's overexposure to certain messages in the media will often air their concerns on Common Sense Media's website.
"As this 24/7 media and technology world evolves, it just adds a new layer of parenting responsibility, but the silver lining is it also adds a new layer of open dialogue and helping your kids process the kind of important lessons that they're going to need to grow up to be healthy adults," Steyer said.
Toni McGrath said that years of open dialogue with her daughter, Kathleen, led her to understand she is emotionally equipped to see certain R-rated movies.
"I think what I see as my job as a parent is to relinquish control at the right time in the right amounts, so you have to know your kid enough to know, OK, she can handle this," McGrath said.
Erna said it could be a welcome discussion.
"I think that that helps a lot that my parents are really open. Like I can talk to them about anything," Erna said. "The fact that I can and when I am watching these rated R movies it's not like I am hiding anything. It's like this is just what I can talk to my parents about. It makes it a lot easier I think, okay about doing it. "
Web Extra Tips:
The following organizations rate movies and television programming for content:
Click HERE to visit Common Sense Media's movie ratings page. Common Sense Media, a national nonprofit, provides media advocacy and outreach, and rates movies for its appropriateness for children.
Click HERE to visit the Parents Television Council. The PTC advocates responsible television programming.