Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stephanie's Weekly Parent Book/Movie Review

I have a passion for knowing what my step-kids are watching and reading because there can be content that needs a discussion. Some topics are beyond their total grasp and can cause children to be under incorrect assumptions or they think they know something but it ends up being false altogether. My reviews aren't meant to tell you what the book and movie is about like traditional reviews, but rather point out the areas that you would want to be prepared for to talk about or to be able to choose skipping out on the book or movie.

One of the biggest hurdles for parents, step-parents, or other care givers is letting your child jump on the bandwagon because it is what "everyone" is doing. There are many times the newest "in thing" is harmless and given most parental approval, but every once in a while there can be one or two small things mixed in to a book or movie that adults turn a blind eye to because the rest of it was "so good" or so "moral" it made up for it. I want to be able to point out the one or two things because writers and Hollywood are pushing what is acceptable to greater and greater limits as time goes on.

For my first week of doing a book and movie review I am going to focus on the book Twilight (book 1) by Stephenie Meyer and the same titled movie.

First, as always the book is much more descriptive and engaging so if you haven't read this series or seen the movies read the book first! The book has far less scenes of physical contact between the main male and female characters, perhaps because seeing it played out versus imagining it has a totally different response.

The movie does have one scene when they kiss and for a moment I was worried that their embrace on her bed would become inappropriate. At the very last moment they stop and back away from each other. This scene might still be considered by some parents a little two far (if your child is still in young elementary perhaps). I have on occasion personally seen worse driving down the street around town.

One theme the book has is the female character showing almost exclusive independence from her parents. For an underage child, this theme can be considered to be setting a bad example that teens don't have to ask permission or share information of their whereabouts with their parents.

Considering all of the things the teens do and places they go, there is no consequence imposed by the parents. In my house, this type of behavior would be unacceptable!

To wrap up my book and movie review of Twilight, if you read and watch the movie with your child there are so many great conversations that can follow! Obviously the idea of vampires is completely fiction, but it is still important to point out the fantasy aspects and also the parts that are not fantasy that real people experience.

The key to age-appropriate material is first and foremost adults who are actively engaged in what their children do!

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