It’s now become common: instead of the puberty or sex talk, parents want the “social media” talk.
In many of my classes, social media has become an integral part of the curriculum, due to parents’ concerns about situations facing young people today. My updated approach is to challenge both the kids and parents with potential scenarios that can influence and impact their self-esteem and decision making. I strive to help them understand that much of what is posted is false and can ultimately impact not only their self-esteem, but how they treat others. My concern is the intrinsic draw that overrides positive decision making.
Recently, out of desperation to watch something light and funny on Netflix, I found “He’s All That,” based on the 1999 movie “She’s All That.” I remembered watching the original movie and thinking it was cute. I’m not sure I was left with any deep, life-changing insights or lessons, but I do remember enjoying it. So I thought, “Let’s see what the premise is in the updated version.”
Because I always recommend that parents find teachable moments after my classes for future conversations with their children, I thought it would be worthwhile to share my thoughts about this film for that same purpose.
In this movie they switched the original premise, so now it’s a girl who turns a boy into the perfect Prom King. In keeping with the times, today’s popular girl, Padgett, is a wanna-be social influencer (Kourtney Kardashian is her mentor). When the movie starts, Padgett is in front of her phone showing everyone how to be perfect, even though much of it is a lie. “Mean girl” Madison Pettis’s character (the cute little girl who played The Rock’s daughter in “Game Plan”) bets Padgett she can’t turn Cameron (class outcast) into the Prom King. Game on!
I loved Padgett’s mom (played by Rachel Leigh Cook, who played the “she” character in the original movie). She’s down to earth and really understands the true nature and character of her daughter. At one point after Padgett has been social media slammed, mom tells her she’ll feel better in one week, maybe a month or possibly in a year. Humor plays a key part in this movie.
“He’s All That” is silly, but I do think it has several teachable moments.
- How teens can be affected by glam and bling
- What teens will do to be accepted
- What motivates a “mean girl”
- The difference between true friendship and being part of a clique
- How anything that gets posted can have consequences
- Why staying true to oneself is important…
This likely won’t go down in the annals of great movies, but it’s got lots of content for some great conversations with your children. So put down your electronic devices, watch the movie and then go for yogurt and have an open, honest conversation about it.
- Ask questions, be curious
- Lay the groundwork that this conversation is not about a parent lecture, but curiosity on your part
- Don’t judge
- Don’t be surprised by some of their responses (they live on another planet than you).
Remember, we offer classes to help you navigate these and other challenging questions!