50 Shades of parenting questions!

February 11, 2015 Published by

Shortly following its’ theatrical release, 50 Shades of Grey seemed to be everywhere we looked on our TVs, laptops, tablets and even on the radio – . Now following the film’s sequel release, the promotion of the film is once again widespread, so it’s no surprise that children are hearing this phrase over and over and will want to know what it is and why it’s making so many grown ups giggle, squirm and raise their eyebrows.

 

What will you say when your child asks you what 50 Shades is and why people are talking about it?

What will you say when they ask you what the storyline is in the book you are engrossed in?

How do you answer the ‘Why can’t I come?’ question when you’re off to the cinema to see a film with your friends?

 

Instead of worrying about these things, you can take them as being opportunities to facilitate open conversations on topics that might otherwise not come up, as Dr Amanda Gummer explains..

“It’s important to talk openly with your children. We all know that the moment they think something is ‘naughty’ or makes you squirm, they’ll latch on to it like a dog with a bone and won’t give up until they are satisfied that they have an answer – so fobbing them off is not an option!

With the internet being so easily accessible to everyone, it’s a fact of life that children are accessing more adult content, including porn at younger ages and more frequently than in previous generations. It’s a lot easier for children and teens to get access to a website via a computer without parental controls than it is to buy videos or magazines where they have to persuade the shopkeeper that they are 18.

Rather than lamenting the good old days, isn’t it better to use this more open society to talk to our children about love, sex, porn, respect, safe sex, etc. and help them understand their own bodies, urges and the implications of their actions on others so that they have a better chance of forming mutually rewarding, fulfilling relationships as they mature?
So when your 10 year old asks you about 50 Shades, rather than feel awkward and try to change the subject, why not try the following reply:
“What do you think it’s about? What do your friends say about it?”

 

This will give you an insight into their level of understanding and curiosity. Then try asking them what they want to know and answering the questions simply and honestly, using phrases and sentences that reflect the level of understanding they have at that point.
If it comes up, you can also talk to them about power imbalance and issues around bullying. You can explain that sometimes there can be a bully in a relationship, which can lead to abuse and, in words that your child will understand, explain why this is not OK and what to do if they ever feel intimidated or threatened. You can also talk to them about different tastes in things – food, clothes, hobbies and explain that people have different tastes when it comes to sex.
Don’t feel pressured into going into more detail than you feel comfortable with or that you think your child can handle, but by talking openly to him/her you’ll keep them communicating with you as they get older.
By starting out as you mean to go on, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to be someone who is actually a trusted resource and sounding board during tricky teenage years.”
How do you feel about discussing the ’50 Shades’ series with your children?
Do you have conversations about kissing, love and sex with them?
Does their level of knowledge ever surprise you?

 

Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

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This post was written by Amanda Gummer

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