Being June will admit that, because of its comparison to the Twilight stories, she thought The Hunger Games might involve kitten-loving werewolves or some other romanticized monstrosity. Only recently did she learn its real premise (since one can’t walk five feet without being slapped in the forehead with an image of Katniss Everdeen).
Ms. June loves fiction, and while the idea of “a dystopian future world where the government pits children in a competition to kill one another for sport and entertainment” sounds lovely, the only reason she would pick up the tome would be to find out what all the fuss is about.
The Hunger Games is no longer a tome, it’s a full-length feature film. As a result, Ms. June has heard rumblings from hesitant parents about whether to allow their tweens to see the movie. Evidently, the peer pressure to see the film is tremendous, and parents are worried their child will be ostracized if they miss out.
Being June can’t help but wonder if there is another way to look at the situation. As it stands, either the child feels left out, or the child is potentially traumatized by imagery she is not ready for. Ms. June must point out that in this scenario the parent is so concerned with the child’s feeling accepted, that the parent does the very thing we’re all hoping our children will not do: cave.
While Ms. June understands that peer pressure is all too real, in her opinion, the issue is not peer pressure. The child must deal with the peer pressure. The parent must be familiar with the material and make a decision based on content versus the families’ values and beliefs.
Will there be fallout either way? Probably. Peer pressure is so very strong, but a strong family can counter its effects. And should the parent decide that the film’s content is in-line with family values, the child may still be traumatized – and said parent must be willing to comfort and console the child for as long as it takes to convince her that she will never have to smite her classmates so that her family may eat.
Being June bottom line: a parent must rise above peer pressure, and if necessary help guide their children to do the same.