On February 9, the third film, Fifty Shades Freed, will open in theaters. Here are a few tips on how you can respond to children questioning the unhealthy messages and irresponsible view of relationships promoted by the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise:
1. Model an appropriate reaction to the film through your actions and behaviors. Your example is more powerful then you think. Respond to questions of why you are not going to see the movie with honesty. For example, “I’m not going to see this movie because I don’t want to promote entertainment that goes against my values.”
2. Be ready to talk about the message the media is trying to portray. Help cut through the hype and if your child is mature enough explain the mentality of the main character to your child. “The main character acts like a sexual predator. He looks for a young woman who is an easy target, and then he manipulates and grooms her to use and abuse for his own selfish purposes.” It’s so important for kids to become media savvy. Help them peel away the glitz and pyrotechnics to analyze the values and messages portrayed by the characters.
3. Unlike the previous films, Fifty Shades Freed, depicts the main characters as a married couple. Create a dialogue based on what they have already heard about the film. Explain to your child what a healthy marriage should look like.
As a parent you know your child’s level of latency and understanding. Be cautious not to give too much information, but also understand that truth must be communicated.