Just yesterday, I was talking to a mom and her middle school daughter. They had been away for the weekend to go through the Passport to Purity content together. On Saturday evening, they went to see the movie Insurgent.
“Here we were talking about purity, and Tris and Four have sex. And all I could say to my daughter was, “Well, that wasn’t in the book. Close your eyes, honey. We’ll have to talk about this later, too.”
“Close your eyes, honey”. That feels like a sentence for our—really for their generation. (As a side note, it’s hard to tell definitively if these characters had sex in the movie, either. But all signs seemed to not-so-subtly hint toward it.)
We’re teaching our Modern Parents, Vintage Values parenting seminar twice this week. It is becoming increasingly hard to be just that…a modern parent raising a child with vintage values. Even the books and movies that we believe are less threatening seem to have threatening innuendos these days.
So, as we say so often in our book, What’s a modern parent to do? Sometimes, we would definitely say “Close your eyes, honey.” But, the answer this wise mom landed on, and we would say—over and over again—on each of these issues is one word. Talk. Talk to them when they’re younger. Talk with them when they’re older. Ask questions. Read and watch right alongside them. And do your homework, as we say in every Technology Tuesday.
Counseling girls in this modern world means much of my week this week is talking about the Divergent series—in particular, the Insurgent movie. So, anticipating that, I went to see it last weekend. Trying to do my own counselor homework. I honestly enjoyed it—felt like it was a compelling, interesting story.
After the first movie in the series, Divergent, I talked with all of my high school girls’ groups about the “fear landscapes” in the movie. They named what their fear landscapes were and what statement they could say to themselves—or belief they could hold—that would help them get out of them, much like Tris did in the glass box scene.
This movie had great content for discussion, as well. We hope, if your child is old enough and talking about the movie, you’ll see it with them. Or, see it a few rows back, if they’re in the “embarrassed to be seen with their parents” years. Better yet, see it with them before or after they see it with their buddies.
When you do, we’ve got a few conversation starters you can talk about before and after. And don’t just listen to their answers. Talk with them. Share your own answers, too. Melissa often quotes Eugene Peterson saying, “The most important part of being a parent is being a person.” Talking with someone involves you both.
What was Tris afraid of in this movie?
What was Four afraid of?
What character do you identify with the most? Why?
What was Tris’ motivation to face her fear early in the movie?
What was it later in the movie?
What motivates you to help face your fears? What could? What would be in your fear landscape today?
Also, there is much that points toward Tris being a Christ-figure in the movie. A great deal has been said about the author, Veronica Roth’s faith. It sure felt evident to me as I watched the last 30 minutes. Even the landscape of her walk toward her meeting with Jeannine was reminiscent to me of Palm Sunday. Go with the challenge of looking for those moments in the movie. Talk about them. And let your teen talk first. Use this as another opportunity to connect—in a back door way with your son or daughter. Listen. Enjoy them—and maybe some popcorn on us! And then report back and let us know how it goes. We always love to hear your thoughts!
Here is also a great review on the book (not movie yet) from Common Sense Media that can give you a little more information: