GUEST POST by Jonathan McKee. Jonathan has become a regular guest blogger on this site! He is the author of numerous books including the brand new Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent, as well as youth ministry books like Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation. You can find his excellent blog here.

If you’re a parent of teens or tweens, then there is a good chance you’ll hear (or have heard) the question, “Dad, can I go to the school dance?”

I’m always surprised to hear the variety of perspectives Christian parents have about this issue, anything from, “No way! I wouldn’t dare let my children partake in Satan’s playground like that!” to, “How can you possibly keep your teenagers from this rite of passage?”

Regardless of your point of view, one thing that all parents agree on is… having the conversation!

But how do you start a conversation like this?

Do you wait until you get the question? (the pressure is on at this point)

Have you ever thought of using media to kick off this conversation?

A few months ago, in another guest post on Doug’s blog here, I wrote about three buttons that every parent should use on their TV remote. In this article I talked about how the ‘pause button’ provided great teaching moments with our kids. Sometimes parents are looking for entertainment choices that provide these kind of discussion jumpstarters.

A movie was just released on DVD that might provide some of those “pause moments” for your teenagers. The movie I’m referring to is the new version of Footloose.

Let me warn you right now: as a parent, I found this film a little frightening at first. It’s PG-13 (which we all know ain’t clean), it’s racy at parts, and it favors the teen perspective. But I think that this film provides a glimpse of a true teenaged perspective about boundaries, parenting, dancing, choices, and consequences. The film shows over-reactions on both sides. Plenty to talk about.

I wrote an entire article, Discussing Dancing Dirty, including discussion questions, encouraging parents to consider if this tool would be beneficial for talking with your teenagers about these issues. Take a peek and see what you think.

Question: What about you? Have you used this movie or others to get your teenagers talking? What are the issues that you find difficult to get your teenagers talking about? Share your thought here.

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