Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bonding with Tweens

I have two 'tweens in the home, a soon to be 4th and 6th grader (as well as a teen in 8th). This is such a difficult time for me to figure out what I think is appropriate for them. They know far more than I wish they did about life and whatnot. The question is, since they have already been exposed to certain topics and words does that make it o.k. to knowingly allow such words and topics continue to be exposed to them through song/t.v./movies?

There are so many things that a very protective parent would have to monitor to shelter their children from to keep foul language and adult themes in t.v. and movies from them... Radio, Cd's, iPods, the computer, video game systems, television, and other people!  I am often surprised when the kids are singing songs from the radio with themes of drinking, sex, violence, partying, and drug use, yet I know they don't even realize what they are singing about half the time.

I learned long ago in my early childhood training that many times children can see a scene or hear a phrase or words and be able to repeat it but they don't comprehend what it really meant. Adults do have a way of overreacting in certain circumstances. There are just some things that at a young age a child has no concept of and can't understand it for its full meaning. Some day it will dawn on them what it really meant but hopefully that day is far down the road.

At this age, it can be a challenge to find something not too childish for an adult but not too adult-oriented for a child. Because of my well-known love for reading, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone!

I was young enough to enjoy the Harry Potter books by J.K Rowling  before the first movie came out. Unfortunately I was at a "breaking point" age that as the movies continued to come out years later I was past the craze and haven't bothered to even see the latest movies. My step-kids aren't all that into it from a reading perspective or watching the movies. So I had to come up with another plan to give us something I could get excited about sharing with them.

I have never seen any of the Twilight movies or read the books...until this week! I know, I'm a little behind the times. It works out really great though. The library has many copies of the books so the wait list is much shorter and the first movies have been out a while so they are easily found to rent for $1.

 I read the first Twilight book by Stephenie Meyer, making it VERY known to my step-daughters. Once I finished the book I asked them if they would like to have a girls night in without the boys and watch the first twilight movie with me. They were enthusiastic, so I rented it. I was slightly concerned since the book had a sticker indicating it was a teen book... Since I read the book first, I knew what to expect.

 I make it a point to let my step-kids know my joy in reading a book then treating myself to seeing it as a movie. I am hoping this will encourage them to read books for pure pleasure. After I finish all of the Twilight books and movies I am going to move on to the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Luckily, my step-son already read all the books so he has some appreciation of the story and he will also be interested about his along with his younger sisters-that's a rarity!

So the cycle of yet another series of books with movies begins!

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