This past week, while on our annual family beach vacation, I consumed the first 3 novels in the Twilight series. “consumed”? Yes… read non stop… on the beach, in the condo, before and after meals, and into the wee hours of the night! After all this was Vacation! I love to read! Books are a place to escape, to live a different life, even for a while, a venue to learn about people, a way to visit places I dream of going! And once I am captured by the story line, I can’t put the book down!
I love stories- they are the fabric of life, where relationships are lived out in real time! My oldest daughter is a literary gal and her insight on books is usually “spot on.” So when the Twilight craze began i knew that the best information would come from her.
Of course there was backlash and reaction to the “vampire craze” and so many people wrote off the books as “bad.” (use your interpretation of this word, given the media storm and the reactions). Just like the Harry Potter series, these were relegated to the banned book list by some conservative folks, while others looked beyond the context to the story line.
My kids were tweens/teens when the 1st Harry Potter book came to the US! I have been involved in numerous discussions about whether or not it is “ok” to let my/your kids read Harry Potter and see the movies. The Twilight saga has re-opened these discussions. My personal feeling is that fantasy books are just that… fantasy. If the book has a good story line, good values, life lessons then the context is secondary. Not unlike the Lord of the Rings, or Narnia series, Star Wars, X-men and others, these newer mystical and magical world books are a place for kids/teens/adults to explore their thoughts, feelings, reactions and responses to fictional situations that have real life implications. IMHO
So, that being said, my daughter commented that the Twilight series were really a love story, a story of friendship, coming of age, and that the vampire/werewolf setting was secondary. Given her wisdom in this arena, I decided to read them. She was right! I found good stories and life lessons in the midst of the intrigue. I am waiting to get book 4 from her.
I am a firm believer in being aware of and involved in what is culturally relevant as long as it is legal, ethical and moral :). This is one way that I have stayed connected to my kids as they grew up through middle school and high school. Knowing what they were being exposed to and grappling with enabled me to teach life lessons in the midst of their learning and exploring. Some may disagree, and that is ok… i would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.
Staying involved and relevant is important in relating to our tween/teenagers. Remember when our parents thought our music was loud and inappropriate and our movie/tv choices questionable? and we knew they just couldn’t relate?
As a relationship coach/guru, I believe that knowing what is out there and yes even experiencing some of it will help keep communication open with our kids as they enter “the silent years.” Being able to convers in their language & culture, the milieu of their lives, opens the door to teachable moments. They are often more open to hearing when we “speak their language” and at least try to understand “their world.”
So, Twilight Saga… are you in or out? How do you stay relevant and engaged with your growing children as they evolve and mature in a rapidly changing world that is often so foreign to us?
just some thoughts…