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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince Depicts How Drinking Alcohol...

Harry Potter Half Blood Prince Drinking Alcohol

The new Harry Potter has some people frenzied about excessive drinking throughout the movie. It has some people wondering if there is too much alcohol and if it is sending the right message. Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince depicts how drinking alcohol will calm ones nerves and give one the courage needed to take on challenges. Social norms come in question about what is acceptable in children's movies, and how to appropriately talk to children about how they are interpreting the messages.

In England, the legal drinking age is 18, but, one can order drinks with food at the age of 16; Harry Potter and his classmates are 16 in The Half-Blood Prince. The complaints on this subject are coming from Americans who have taken their kids to see this movie and then watched 16 year old teenagers constantly drinking mead with their friends and professors. Then, after the movie having to explain to their children that alcohol is not a healthy coping mechanism.

This segment of the Harry Potter story is about coming of age, teenagers drinking alcohol is a part of the real world. It is easy to side with the author's point of view that if we shelter our kids from alcohol we may be doing them a disservice; parents need to talk to their kids about drinking and this movie gives them the ability to open up the conversation. On top of that, Harry Potter is not just for children for the fact that it is a story that people of all ages can relate to.

Many people would like to hold the media and Hollywood responsible for underage drinking and drug use. They believe that if a child sees something they will try to imitate that behavior, especially if it is a person that has become a role model in the child's life. When it comes down to it, children will make poor decisions if they are not properly educated about drugs and alcohol; furthermore, differentiating between fiction and reality is also very important. If children are properly equipped, then it shouldn't matter if they see teenagers drinking in movies or not. There are statistics that show that exposure to drinking in movies may cause people to start drinking at a younger age and there may be some truth to that. However, it is what happens outside of the movie theater that will determine whether or not the child will act on what they see or not.

This argument is not new, people have always found a way to tear apart great movies based on what their kids are exposed to. I am not sure how seeing teenagers drink to cope with anxiety or stress is any worse than a teenager seeing their parents drink after work to unwind? Teenagers and children are constantly barraged with messages both inside and out of the theaters that it is alright to drink; but it is the outside that is more important because that is where the action takes place. More education is the only way to keep our youth informed about alcohol and the damage that it can do if you don't understand it.

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