My family went to see a movie together on Christmas Day and watched several three minute trailers for upcoming movies, as you do. When we see a movie, we usually react to the future films, making faces or nodding in agreement that we’re going to see that one. The advertisement for Fifty Shades of Grey loomed large and enticing, my guy and I stiffened up and tried to give little to no reaction, mostly just looking straight ahead and I’m pretty sure our teens did the same. I had known the movie was coming out soon but was caught off guard, I just wasn’t ready to be assaulted that day.
Earlier this week we were getting ready for school with the news on and there was a quip about the movie on Good Morning America. Our youngest came through the room and asked,”What is the big deal about this movie? Is it just sex?” I knew she was walking out the door in less than ten minutes and I had not ingested enough coffee yet to talk about this important topic, so I gave a quick cursory answer and asked if we could discuss it after school, she agreed.
I spent a portion of the day gathering my thoughts and deciding what I would say to my girl, and praying for wisdom in both. Part of the process included my deciding how I felt about it myself, and then how I would communicate it to my girl while giving her the freedom to make her own decision in the future. When this was just a book, I was confident that she wouldn’t seek it out but now that it is a major motion picture, she will have access to it soon enough. Honestly I wanted to pretend the subject hadn’t come up and hope not to have to talk about it.
Instead, I brought it up, first thing after school. I don’t have this parenting thing down, but I do know that I want my kids to trust that when I say we will do something, it will happen. First I asked her what she knew about it, to help me understand where she was coming from and what she was truly asking. Then I told her what I knew, and how I was planning to handle it. No sermon. No slapping the wrist and telling her ‘no’. Just information and my point of view. And permission to keep talking about it.
I am thankful that this movie is coming out because so far, it has given me two opportunities to talk about sex/marriage/love/domination that I wouldn’t have normally had. I blew the first one and took advantage of the second. The commercials will continue and so will my willingness to talk about what really is important. Thank you, Fifty Shades of Grey.