I was bored (again) today, so I put Twilight on for background noise. As I was listening to the movie, I thought to myself, “If I was Charlie and saw what happened between Bella and Edward before she left for Phoenix, what would I have done? If I was Renee, would I allow Bella to go back to Forks and Edward? Or, would I have insisted on having her return with me to Jacksonville?” What is scary enough to me is that it will not be long now before I actually have to deal with these types of questions with my own son. Might as well face fear head on, I suppose.
A number of writers have expressed concern about Bella and Edward’s relationship, taking it from a parental perspective and seeing it as abusive or Edward as a control freak. (Let’s face it, ladies, he IS a control freak, even if he is my kind of control freak.) Go to Amazon.com and search for “philosophy and twilight” and you are sure to find at least three books in which one author or another opines about how Edward “ain’t all that and a bag of chips.” So, if you were a parent and could see Edward as these authors did, would you let your kid pursue a relationship with him? Even if that kid does seem more adult than you are and used to give you advice on a regular basis?
I do not have a definitive answer to that question. Based on my experience, my parents gave me free rein to do whatever I want in regard to relationships and I do believe that was helpful. If I had not experienced certain things as a child and adolescent, I might not appreciate what I have now in terms of family, friends, and my marriage. But we are normally inclined toward protecting our children and so I instinctively want to say that I would ban Edward from the house, equip Bella with an ankle bracelet (hey, I would be Chief of Police, right?), and impose a strict curfew. I know that would not work. I’m not naive. That is what I would want to do, however, and what I think that Charlie wanted to do also.
Another question to consider: as a parent, do you feel comfortable with your young child (say, an 11-year-old) reading the books and what message do you think these young women are receiving as they read them? Frankly, the only book I would not allow a young child to read is Breaking Dawn, as I feel the content is a bit too mature for anyone under the age of 16. But I do believe that it is all right to let the younger set read the books, perhaps starting at age 12 or 13, as long as there is a conversation about the books on a regular basis. This is one series that parent and child should read together.
So, as with much to do with parenting, I’m left with more questions than answers in this post. I’m wondering what everyone else thinks.
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