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Help me with this Twilight issue.....

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Ok so here is the scoop. My dd (14) has only been reading the classics with the exception of Harry Potter in elem.(modern day classic? ) and The Princess Diaries series for fun. She has spent the entire year reading Dickens, Austin, and other British Classics. Earlier last year, many girlfriends tried to persuade her to read Twilight and she wasn't a bit excited - thought it sounded stupid, and frankly couldn't realize what all of the fuss was about. I was excited she stuck with British Lit all year round. Then last weekend after hanging out with a group of PS friends (all good kids) she started the book. I have to say I was shocked! Now this is stupid I know- but I think what bugs me is the reason she started...help me with this.


The reason she wanted to read it: She feels like she can't communicate with normal good kids, because all they are talking about is Twilight and many of them haven't read anything on her reading list. She feels like she is out of it with the crowd and can't converse on the "Twilight level". Should I be bugged by this?


So what is a matter with me? Why did this bug me? She snuck the book in the house and read it practically overnight and then commented what a relief it was to be able to read something with such easy language. I said why did you not want me to know...and she said something to the point of...well I didn't think you would let me read it...since it is not a CLASSIC. I don't want her to start going the ways of teen girls and reading teen fluff when there are so many options out there. I know Twilight is a big buzz right now. She has done so well with her reading and her classic list. She is respectful, honest and has high morals. We have talked about morality in movies, lit and tv.

So what is wrong with me? I haven't really felt the need to monitor all of her book choices, since she has always made good ones- and we are talking a book here not drugs.....thank goodness!

Edited by Lux Et Veritas Academy
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Bravo to you both for plowing through the classics.


IMHO, kids often just want to share a common core of knowledge with other kids. In our house, not a bad thing, as long as the media material (print, tv, screen, music) isn't objectionable to us as parents and isn't something we'd object to exposing her to.




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I have relatives whose kids did not grow up with TV. Sometimes they really felt out of the loop--even at Sunday School, where one class was based on The Simpsons!

I'm not sure I'd have minded being left out of that loop, but that's another discussion.


I think that as long as she doesn't constantly indulge in that sort of reading, there's not much harm in it. I mean, I don't like the Twilight series at all, but in general, a little pop culture is ok with me. I let dd9 watch some Hannah Montana on the "regular" TV (we don't have cable, so these are all years-old reruns), and I feel alright with that, but I don't want her constantly exposed to the typical carp that's out there.

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It's natural to want to fit in. What would concern me more is the fact that she snuck it into the house and read it before you knew it because she was afraid you wouldn't let her read it. And also the fact that I don't think 14yo girls should read this book (I've read all 4).


Peer pressure is a slippery slope and the desire to fit in is what makes most teens do things they NEVER thought they would do. That is a bigger issue than reading twaddle vs. classics.

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Peer pressure is peer pressure. I feel like I have nothing to talk about with my own peers because I don't watch a lot of TV. And I should totally be beyond that at my age! After spending time with any playgroup that doesn't cater to hsers, I usually start wondering if I should watch more TV so I'll at least have to something to say! I recognize that it's SO silly and immature...but I'm sitting there everytime with nothing to say to these people and I feel "dumb" because I spent my time reading the classics instead of staying caught up on reality TV and Grey's Anatomy/Desperate Housewives/Heroes/Whatever. What's worse is that I don't even like TV, yet I consider watching more of it so I can fit in. :001_huh:


It doesn't sound like she even really enjoyed Twilight...although the sneaking it into your house seems a little out of place. Are you upset about the dishonesty in that? Perhaps that's where the contention's coming from for you? I have no clue really...I just see that you're upset and that's what I'd be upset about in the situation! :D


Impressed with her reading log...oh do I hope to replicate the same when my girls are that age!

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My dd has some unusual interests as far as typical kids go (especially those her age) and I do my best to find kids she can talk to about those. I am very thankful for pop culture. It helps build a bridge between dd and typical kids. Dd doesn't have to feel "weird" because she can focus on commonalities instead of differences.


In your situation, I would be upset over the hiding of the book. I would have a long talk with my dd about how she should know she can come to me with anything, even if she thinks I will disapprove, and we will talk about it rationally- without my passing judgment. I would express my thankfulness to dd if she gave an answer like yours did as to why she didn't tell me. I would work with dd on ways we can both change to foster more open communication in the future.


Then I would deal with the hiding of the book. In my house, we don't restrict media as long as the media can be handled appropriately. For example, if we let dd read a book or see a movie portraying less than desirable behavior, and we saw dd emulating that behavior, media would be restricted until dd got her sense of reality vs. entertainment in check. In a case of hiding media, I would take it as a sign that dd was not yet mature enough to handle a discussion of the content and therefore not yet mature enough for whatever it was.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. I think it's normal to see something your kid is reading, etc. and do the big eyeroll because you can think of 100 better choices. I don't think we as adults are supposed to fully understand kid world. Heck, now that I'm an adult I don't even understand the kid world I had. I had a Michael Jackson poster on my wall for goodness sakes.

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I persuade my son to read certain series of books so that he CAN talk to other kids about them. He gets really excited about the things he's into and kids his age just can't relate. I mean, what 8yo would want an hour long lecture about geology? Not many. But, if I encourage him to read some popular books, he's at least got that to connect with other kids.

I understand your POV, especially because she's great at reading the classics but everyone can have a bit of junk food every now and again, KWIM?

Relax. It's just a book and a good one at that. If it helps her connect with people, I'm all for it, particularly if the peer pressure is a good thing-like a book.

Just my 2 pennies.

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I encourage my dc to read the classics so that they will one day be able to participate in "The Great Conversation". I think it's pretty normal for them to also want to participate in contemporary culture. My 15 yo dd reads the classics, and she reads books like Twilight. As long as there's a balance, I'm fine with it. As others have mentioned, I'd be more concerned about her feeling the need to sneak it past me than the fact that she read the book. Sounds like a great open door for a heart to heart mother - daughter chat. :001_smile:



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I think this is a great chance for you and your dd to have some really important discussions...


The thing that would concern/upset me as a mother in this is the sneaking. In an ideal world, she wouldn't hide this from you. And that's certainly a conversation I would want to have with her.


But I also think it's important that she learns to recognize ways to connect with a group. She doesn't *have* to love what they love or do what they do, but she can choose to participate in *some* things (provided they meet the moral and safety standards she has grown up with and is learning to recognize as her own), as a way of connecting to individuals or groups outside her usual experience. That can be a really positive skill! It can help smooth the way for her socially, help her reach out to individuals who are afraid to step outside the group...


Of course, as a young girl, she's still learning discernment. And that's an important conversation to have too. What are the pros and cons of reading Twilight? Pro: It will help pave the way for conversations with her age-peers in a social setting -- give her a link to the group. It might be a fun read. Cons: It's not a "classic". It might not meet Mom's / the family's standard for literature. ... So how to deal with those? She could talk to you. Decide if there are moral objections, or if it's just matter of inserting a little bit of junk food in an otherwise very healthy diet. I think most of us moms don't object to the occasional m&ms (food or literature) when our kids are getting quality protein and lots of veggies day-to-day.


So let her know that you would like to know that she can evaluate choices that would help her fit into the group. Some of these things are *good* ways to learn to be flexible, not to be rigid and unyielding in ways that don't matter. And other things are worth standing up for -- issues of morality and safety -- and others are matters of personal choice. Now that she has read Twilight, does she think it measures up morally with your family's beliefs? (And that's actually a good question... The author deals with sin and temptation and there are good arguments for and against Twilight as a "moral" novel.) Did she enjoy it? Would she recommend it to you? Why or why not?


What will she do next time there's something her friends are doing/reading/watching/listening to/whatever that she wouldn't otherwise find appealing, but that would be a connection with them? How will she evaluate that choice? Will she come to you next time, even if she thinks you might not approve?


I was definitely a very rigid thinker, coming out of childhood and entering my teens. I had always been homeschooled (till high school), and there were some times when I was just plain snotty about what I considered "worth my time". lol. There are times when that served me well, and times when I should have been more flexible and more willing to give things outside my experience a shot. ... There were times when I was inflexible because I was intimidated.


So, in a lot of ways, I'm very impressed that your daughter made this choice. It could show that she's a more empathetic person than I was at that age, and able to be flexible (in positive ways) in social situations. ... But she's also reaching an age when she'll have to make decisions about when to be flexible and when to stand her ground -- and when to come and talk to you, even when it might be uncomfortable, or she fears your disapproval... This sounds like a great time to discuss all of that with her.

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