Tonight, I wanted to watch "The Forgotten" (2004) a psychological thriller starring Julianne Moore, one of my favorite actresses.
No way. I got 15 seconds into the movie and it caused my widescreen HD Sony to reboot. I tried four more times and the exact same thing happened. Pretty frustrating, not to mention disappointing.
This movie worked just fine. It played from beginning to end with no interruption. It was about an unfortunate fourteen-year-old girl who was abused and abandoned and who got caught up with an evil man who guided her to drugs, strip clubs and prostitution. And her story goes downhill from there. Yes, pretty sordid stuff. But it was based on a true story, and if you've been following my blog, you know my passionate interest right now is the teen experience.
But it was a heart-wrenching story. The fact that the part of her brain that thinks rationally was "under construction" was clearly evident. She reacted emotionally to everything that was happening to her - not unlike a typical teenager would, and she made all the wrong decisions. The result was tragic.
In fact, the Juliette Lewis character was one of the "at-risk" kids we talk so much about, the ones so many agencies try so hard to help. Lately I've been busy writing a book for kids that simulates a series of "wise uncle" or "wise aunt" conversations. These adult-to-teen talks almost never happen in real life, but when they do, they have the potential to have a profound impact.
As I watched the movie, the young girl had no one in her life who could coach her that way, in fact no one to give her a "wise aunt" book. Here's one of the questions I'm pondering these days. I know what I'm doing may help kids who have good parents and other positive influences, and all they need are some key insights. But can it help at-risk kids, who are psychologically traumatized and have broken lives?
All the experts I've talked to say yes. I believe every teen girl, regardless of whether she is "at-risk," should read this book...
Conversations with the Wise Aunt
For boys - Conversations with the Wise Uncle
Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .