Sunday, August 22, 2010

What We As Dads Need to Protect Our Kids From

For quite some time now, there has been a fascination with vampires in the media. What was once a symbol of evil has become the object of obsession by teens and even some adults. The stuff of nightmares has now become the stuff of dreams and infatuation. In my opinion, it is a sad commentary on society when a vampire, once regarded as the consummate villain, is now heralded as a hero and a role model. It appears as if the once black and white concepts of good and evil are now blended together into one shade of gray.

As a parent, I find it extremely disturbing that this is being marketed so heavily to children as well. The Twilight saga has become the hottest selling brand in books, movies, and even toys. You can't walk very far without seeing some piece of merchandise with Edward or Bella's face on it. My wife and I had made up our mind long ago that we didn't want our kids getting wrapped up in this unhealthy craze. My oldest daughter, who is, 9 had already come home and told us that some of her friends and even a cousin had seen the first movie and read the book. Now I realize that it is the responsibility of parents to decide what their children read or view, and that these books and movies are intended for a more mature audience. But our jobs as parents becomes increasingly more difficult when the marketing executives behind this series intentionally market a PG-13 movies to young children well below the age of 13 in the form of toys and even fast food children's meals.

Recently, I was disgusted when I visited a local Burger King with my wife and three children, all under the age of 10. As usual we ordered the BK Kid's Meal for my daughters and my son. That's when we noticed that Twilight was being promoted on the Kid's Meal. My wife and I were repulsed that a PG-13 movie about vampires and the occult is being purposely pushed to children. (Take a look at the photo to the left. It is from a Burger King promotion advertising the Kid's Meal toys from Twilight. ) My wife asked if there was any other toys available besides Twilight, and the teen clerk at the counter said no. She was then in disbelief when my wife told her to throw out the Twilight toys because we thought they were inappropriate for our kids.

I know some people think we may be overreacting when it comes to this movie. But my point is why in the world would anyone think it is a good idea to market to small children a PG-13 movie about vampires and werewolves? What was running through the mind of Burger King executives when they thought this was a good idea? Lets look at the facts here. First, as I have said repeatedly, this is a PG-13 movie. How many 13 year olds actually go into Burger King and order Kids Meals? I am willing to bet very few. The overwhelming majority of consumers of Kid's Meals are well below the age of 13. In other words, this was no oversight by anyone at BK or the movie studio. This was a blatant attempt to sacrifice the innocence of our young children at the altar of the almighty dollar. Good job BK, that's why I have been urging other parents to avoid you at all costs.

My objections above to Twilight have mainly focused on how it is totally inappropriate to younger children. I also firmly believe that it is totally unhealthy to teenagers as well. Not only does it further expose our children to the occult, the movie's message is contrary to Christian beliefs. I strongly urge you to take the time to at least read the first article in the links below - "The Problem With Vampires". It is a well written critique of the movie that clearly points out the problems with this saga. One glaring example from this article is how Bella, a main character in the saga, is willing to lose her soul and become a monster in order to be with the vampire Edward that she has supposedly fallen in love with. The books are written in such a way that readers will find themselves cheering her on in her quest to become a vampire.

As a father, I am deeply disturbed by anything that would encourage my daughters to give up everything including their identity and their soul for the affections of a boy. I would feel the same way toward anything that would encourage my son to do the same. Isn't it this same type of unhealthy obsession that has led so many teens to problems such as teen pregnancy, eating disorders, drug use, and even suicides? If we are trying to protect our children from these problems I just listed, why on Earth would we let our children watch a movie or read a book that feeds into the root causes of these very same problems?

I know some people may think I am over reacting. I rather err on the side of caution. As fathers, we can't be too careful when it comes to protecting our kids. Until more of us finally stand up and make our voice heard for the sake of our kids, unethical marketers like Burger King will continue to try to sell our kids souls just to make a quick buck.

No comments:

Post a Comment