A teachable moment courtesy of Twilight: New Moon
I watched the movie by myself on a Friday night. I made the decision that it was okay for MY 9-year-old daughter. My advice is to preview any movie you're unsure of yourself. What is okay for MY 9-year-old might not be okay for yours, and vice-versa. To me, it's just part of being "Dad."
On the way home from the theatre the next night, I had an awesome opportunity to point out a positive message of the movie.
For the purposes of our discussion we agreed that in this movie there are certian facts:
1. Vampires kill and eat humans.
2. Werewolves kill vampires to protect humans.
3. The Cullens are a family of vampires.
4. The Cullens do NOT kill and eat humans.
The language that Jacob and the rest of the "pack" uses paints the Cullens with a wide brush. The general theme is along the lines of "It's only a matter of time until one of them loses control and kills Bella; there no such thing as a good vampire; they're all the same; know one vampire, and you know them all."
I used this opportunity to teach my daughter that stereotyping ANY group is wrong, and that good and bad indiviuals are present in any group.
The Cullens are vampires. They do not kill humans. Not all vampires are the same. After agreeing that the author knows there is no such thing as vampires, I asked my daughter what she thought the author was trying to say.
All vampires are not the same. Now substitue any group for "vampires" in that sentence.
Not all Irish people are the same.
Not all African Americans are the same.
Not all Italians are the same.
Not all Asians are the same.
Not all Jews are the same.
Not all Muslims are the same.
Not all hispanics are the same.
I could go on, but I think I made my point. We talked about the lesson to be learned is to not pre-judge, to avoid stereotyping, and to take everyone we meet as an individual person-- not part of a generalized whole.
What other families should know