Twilight... and what exactly is appropriate?

silverswordJune 26, 2009

Short Story:

SD9 is reading Twilight (the second book) and is "in love" with the main character, wants to "marry him". ETC. Watches the movie at least once daily. Has the t-shirt. Wears mini-heeled shoes, lip gloss, wants a $300 backpack.

My DH and I encourage her when she's here to be a kid, enjoy being a kid. I'm pretty goofy, so I can usually crack her little shell a bit and get the kiddo to come out and play, but it's hard.

Am I just overprotective? My dd7 doesn't even know what HSMusical is because I want her to be a kid. She watches Little Bear, Noggin shows. When I was 9 I read Nancy Drew, Babysitter's Club, Narnia, etc. Do you mama's think Twilight series is too old for pre-teens? I have not read them (think they are beyond insipid) but from what I understand from flipping through them they get pretty sexual in the later books.

How can I influence a young woman (not a little girl anymore!) into healthy, good relationships instead of "do you like BMW?" and "how much does your XYZ cost" and "mom is broke but she just bought a new ________" and "all the kids in my school spend $200 on their jeans". It's all status. It's all commercialization. And it's all sexy.

Not that sex is bad. But I think it's in everything these days. Everything is sexualized and it makes me cringe to see her flopping around in her little (as my mother would say...) "come get me" shoes.

I admit, part of it is personal. I don't want people to think I'm the one dressing her. And she wants to be kid-like, I can tell. She gets out of it with us, becomes more friendly and less posh, etc.

Well, not really a short story... sorry. But any advice is welcome!

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I read them to see what all the fuss was about --
Well, that's why I read the first one. And even though I was guffawing right and left at the overwhelming cheesiness, the story line is riveting and I bought the rest and polished them off in short order. (Then I quickly resold them because I was a little bit embarassed to have them around amid the Jane Austen!)

Yes, it's definitely boy-obsessed. But one boy only, and the two of them show admirable restraint and pretty decent moral values. (Remember, the author's Mormon and they take that stuff pretty seriously.) She also has major qualms about marrying young.

How explicitly sexual is it?


The two do manage to keep their hands off each other until they get married, which they do. The wedding night is 'moonlight on skin' and the morning after is 'magical' but if I recall, there's nothing in there about specific boy-parts or girl-parts. The fourth book waxes on a bit about the intensity of 'passionate nights' when one doesn't need any sleep and has unusual athletic skills. There were some short references to one couple's destroying the house in the throws of newlywed passion. But no heaving bossoms, quivering loins or worse, and the only 'rock hard' is his skin everywhere, with no place in particular.

As for materialism, in the book at least, Bella seemed pretty content to be of modest means, and Edward's fabulous wealth was just another facet of his overall perfection. Perhaps the movie was more materialistic?

Is it too mature for young girls?
I dunno... I've only got boys.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 5:55PM
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Haha, I did pretty much the same Sweeby, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

IMO, it is too mature for a 9 year old. Also, I was pretty taken aback at the theme of a young girl pining/staying for a dangerous older man through all kinds of dangerous situations. Although the one vampire became a vampire at 17, so he looks 17 but he's got about 100 years on the human 17 year old girl. IMO, it gives the impression that true love will conquer anything. The vampire and were wolf were not abusive directly, but by being with him/them, placed the girl in dangerous situations. It is not a book/love story I want my DD idolizing as I do not think it promotes a strong female.

Good story, but not for my DD for a good 10 years lol.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 6:13PM
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I haven't read any of the Twilight series, nor do I plan to.

So I cannot help you there.

As far as what's appropriate in general, YIKES. DD is 7 and I have a tough time finding clothes for her that I think are appropriate. I have pretty much nixed Childrens Place and most dept. stores. I still think Gap Kids has pretty cute & wholesome stuff. Target has cute stuff, too, and I love the sales at Gymboree.

As far as books---she is really into the whole Junie B Jones series, and this other series called Rainbow Fairies. When I was her age, I was into Babysitters Club, Chronicles of Narnia, etc.

I think a lot of what our children are exposed to we cannot control. They will hear and see things at school, from and with friends, etc. I think the best defense is to raise them to question things. And to raise them to be self-confident enough to not feel that they always have to "follow the crowd."

Of course, this is easy for me to say, as DD is only 7. I hope that this attitude is enough to sustain us through her teenage years.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 6:19PM
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I'm a new age type mom. DD is still reading the 1st book. We read some of it together, but she reads a lot on her own when I fall behind due to work. DD already knows about sex so there is no reason for me to limit books with sexual innuendo. But I don't try to really shelter her from anything. If she is old enough to ask, she is old enough to get an honest answer. I try to use everything happening in the world as a teaching opportunity. And I am quite happy with the results so far. Just my parenting philosophy. Different strokes for different folks.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 11:02PM
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I suppose I fall in between. I am fairly strict on what they watch on tv and in movies because there is just so much out there that is just entirely inappropriate (my biggest peeve ... family guy coming on at 5 o clock in the afternoon... a cartoon that comes on after school that is entirely inappropriate for kids) However if the the kids come to me I answer them honestly always. I dont believe in sugar coating the whole sexualization thing... I just dont need to be the one that exposes them to it.

I tend to concentrate on logical. When the kids especially my girls ask for ridiculous things I show them how to get the same for nonridiculous prices. Okay you love those jeans look at how we can go to the thrift store and get the same thing for 5 bucks. Oh your pants are ripped look at how we can cut them off and maybe even add some die and they are totally in. IMO it is okay to be in style but do it pratically. My girls love wearing lip gloss and make up ... they see me putting it on every morning. But, I emphasize make up is not supposed to cover up who you are just empahsize your features a little. I guess it is a delicate balance no matter what you do ... They do wear heels at times but I ever so slightly guide them towards comfortable trendy shoes. I just dont think being a girl you will ever get away from what is trendy and in... you can only curb it towards "do you really want to wear those shoes that make your feet hurt or do you want to wear these really cute shoes that dont" (and btw arent heels and much more appropriate) Twilight is tricky because it is such a huge phenomenom right now... but I try to remember when I just had to have bongo jeans because they were just oh so cool and my mom wouldnt get them for me... it doesnt make sense now because really... red jeans for outrageous prices... but back then it was so important... Not everything has to be a lesson so much as a "I want to fit in right now"... as long as we are backing it up with values and caring.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 2:23AM
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I've had this dilema :)

My DD is a twighlight fan, has read the books over and over, has the movie, and yes, I bought her a T shirt. While I had no interest in reading them, she did get my mom to read them. She is 13. I have a 9yr old SS, when he wanted me to buy him the book I said no. I said I didn't feel like it was the right book for his age or reading level. So he got his Mom to buy it. As he struggled through reading it, he was asking DD for help with words and understanding some content. She finally got frustrated and told him if he didn't get it maybe he shouldn't be reading it.

I know SS doesn't have any interest in teenage vampire romance. SS just wants to be liked. He has a half brother and a step brother at his moms both the same age as my DD, he also has a step sister his age, and a baby sister at his moms. He really is a middle child in a blended family with an identity crisis. He is always trying to get or have what he knows the other kids want (if it interests him or not) just to be liked, he has no sense of self, or feeling that it's okay to be himself and like whatever he likes. He also places alot of value on money, and how much XYZ cost, right down to asking how much our house cost so he could compare to how much his moms cost and decide which was better (we bought within a few months of each other). I swear I could give that boy a pink porcelain ballerina for his birthday, and if I told him it cost $100 he would love it and parade it around despite being a pink doll!

I really hope he'll grow out of it. Unfortunately his BM and DH continue to feed his materialism. I've been trying to do things with him so he can value something without a pricetag. Last weekend him and I washed his Dad's truck together it was fun.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 9:49AM
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I haven't read the series, but I did read a blog post about the book in the series called Breaking Down. It described a scene in which the two characters have sex that is so violent, the female character ends up covered in bruises. It said that the female character liked it, and tried to cover up the bruises so that the male character wouldn't feel bad. I wouldn't start a nine-year-old on a series that I knew had a scene like that in it.

It sounds like Silversword's question isn't about whether or not Twilight is appropriate for her SD, though. Rather, she's asking how she can counter that sort of thing when the SD is in her house. I think that your husband has to be on board, and he has to really understand how important it is for him to be involved with her as she continues to grow up. I don't think you're going to be able to undo the negative influence as much as you want, but they always say that teenaged girls need to feel like they have their father's love and support because otherwise they're more likely to head down troubled paths.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 10:53AM
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"It described a scene in which the two characters have sex that is so violent, the female character ends up covered in bruises. It said that the female character liked it, and tried to cover up the bruises so that the male character wouldn't feel bad. "

Sovra - That reviewer wasn't being honest if it said the book "described" the scene. Fact is, the book didn't "describe" it at all! That was the 'wedding night' I referenced in my earlier post, and the new bride was bruised all over because her vampire husband is stoney hard (all over) and inhumanly strong. It was not the violence of the sex act, but rather any physical encounter at all that would necessarily bruise her. The book certainly didn't sexualize the violence or romantacize violent sex.

Read the book and judge for yourself --

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Sovra, that's it. I'm not so much disturbed about Twilight as I am that she is growing up sooooo fast. IMO, it's a book for pre-teens, not tweens. I read VC Andrews books (shudder) at age 13, and I'm sure they were a lot worse than Twilight. But at nine? And my DH is completely on board. We just don't know what to do.

I don't want to be the un-hip SM but at the same time I think it's important to counter this sort of stuff with healthy choices. Without coming down on her, or judging her mother (haha) for her child-rearing skills.

The movie is PG-13 (four years older than 9, in other words). Is a romance really the ideal for a 9 year old? Shouldn't we be filling her head with fairies and magic and friendship and animals? This little girl has never read so many books, the Beverly Cleary books, the Narnia books, and now they are hopelessly childish because who wants to go back to talking lions if you have rock hard boy bodies? I can re-read Narnia books 100 times and still get something from them. I think if a person read Twilight once they'd get all the content they were gonna get.

I thought this said it all...Twilight in a nut-shell

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 2:20PM
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Silversword, DS6 is still too young (plus male) so he is not interested in such things at Twilight yet. However, we have our hands full trying to keep him from bad stuff on the Internet. He told us last night that he has been watching movies on YouTube!!! Albeit kid movies but we know now that we need a blocker immediately!! We didn't even know he could navigate the Internet that well at 6.

However, last night he spent the evening with a relative who had a couple of other cousin kids over. The oldest, 9 years old, recognized the theme music from that violent drug./gang movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin." He thought it was funny that we were trying to protect him from a movie he had already seen a FEW TIMES Totally inappropriate! All I can do is my best to keep my kid from seeing that kind of stuff but when they are out of your house it's almost impossibe.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 8:57PM
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My sd is 14...she read the book last year and we're all fine iwth it. She's at the age now where she finally kissed her first dh is not fine with that..but lol....she's starting to be very interested in can't stop it.
I've read all the books and really love them. Yeah they can be explicit and violent i wouldn't advise a 9 years old.....i think that is too young. I think at 13/14 and above is a good age for this type of books/ movies.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 12:34PM
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Thank you Maria. I would be ok with a 13 year old, or even a 12 year old reading these books. But I feel 9 is much too young. It's not even double-digits!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 12:44PM
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