Yesterday, I took my teenagers to see The Hangover Part II. Yep, I did.Common Sense Media probably thinks I’m out of my mind and wildly inappropriate but whatever.
Originally they had invited a friend along. I learned that her parents absolutely did not want her to see the movie so, sorry girls… I’m not going to be THAT parent that helps other people’s kids defy their parent’s wishes. No, not even if we can “get away with it” and “they’ll never have to know!”.
The first Hangover came out when my now-teens were in 6th grade. They begged to see it. I hadn’t seen it yet but the adult-kid had and he said no way in hell was it appropriate for a 6th grader. I heard lots of ,”But other kids in our grade have seen it!” Awesome. I’m not those kids’ parent.As a parent, I’ve never followed the MPAA recommendations to a tee. I like to watch it myself first, then decide on a case by case basis whether or not said minor is mature enough to watch it. When my oldest kid who was 18 or so at the time said it wasn’t something the twins should see, I trusted his opinion.
When it came out on DVD, their weekend-father rented it for them. (Yes, I know he’s their father other times than just the weekend but they really only spend time with him on the weekends).At first,I was pissed off at their disregard for my wishes but getting mad never solved anything. It wasn’t really just that they watched it that was I upset about. It was that they watched it alone, without an adult sitting there seeing what it was they were seeing. Watching for their reactions, gauging their need for interaction. I ended up Netflix queuing it and watching it for myself. Then we chatted, just like we chat about any other movie we’ve seen.Teachable moments. That’s what it’s all about.What teachable moments did The Hangover bring forth? Try not to get drugged. They weren’t traumatized by seeing penises or debauchery. They got most of the humor. They didn’t feel the need to go to Vegas to consume massive quantities of alcohol and drugs. They didn’t swear like sailors afterward. The biggest thing that they needed to be filled in on was who the hell Mike Tyson is.
Two years later, they’re becoming very mature and intelligent young women.They already were more mature than a lot of their peers but now more so. I have an open dialogue with my children. There’s a lot of things we discuss that I am sure some parents might not feel comfortable talking about with their kids. Probably the less comfortable you are talking about it, the more it needs to be talked about though. What is deemed inappropriate by many parents may be something their teen has encountered or is curious about, “appropriate” or not – and should be talked about.When it comes to media sources, kids are not likely to be easily influenced and follow negative or inappropriate behaviors if they have knowledge of what the consequences could be or if they just plain have a solid foundation to begin with. If they aren’t sure what the deal is with something, it’s important that they do have someone they can find out from at any given moment, without being judged or having their parent freak out.
So,anyway…we went and saw the Hangover Part 2 together. Girls’ Day Out. We laughed hysterically.It was a good day.
While we were gone, the little ones stayed with the Daddy Man. He took them to the park for a picnic….and to mud wrestle.Win-win day for everyone.