Pleading Ignorant

“I don’t know why they watch this stuff! It’s terrible!”

That’s what the sweet little ol’ lady next to me on the plane just told me, referring to her grandkids’ movie choices. Funny, she answered her own question in the next minute. Why do they “watch this stuff?” They watched it because she let them.

Today’s media is growing increasingly raunchy, and many parents (and grandparents) are simply giving up and pleading ignorant.

“Ignorant” is an interesting word if you think about it. It conveys “uninformed,” but the word more accurately suggests the fact that we are actually “ignoring” the painful truth.

The conversation with this lady started with her complaining about the movies her grandkids had just seen. I asked her, “Oh. Did you go and see a movie with your grandkids?”

“Yes. I took my grandkids to our local theatre. My grandson wanted to see that Transformers film. I didn’t want to see that movie, it looked terrible! So I went into another theater to see something else with my grand daughter… she’s 13. It was terrible too. I can’t remember what is was called. It was about some teachers that weren’t good?”

I tried to not spit out my drink all over the seat in front of me. “Y.. you took your grand daughter to see Bad Teachers?” I managed to ask without sounding insulting.

“Yes.” She wagged her head disapprovingly. “I didn’t know it would be so bad.

I couldn’t help myself from prodding a little deeper. “Did you look at the rating? It was Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.” (yeah… I really said that)

“Well, yes,” she said, dismissing my question. “But I don’t know what all those ratings mean. And by the time I realized it, my granddaughter had already seen most of it.”


It’s amazing how a woman who has lived on this planet for 60+ years doesn’t know what “sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use” means. And was the poster really that misleading, with the “EAT ME” sign and that slogan, She doesn’t give an ‘F’?

We talked a while longer and I showed her how to look up movies on and click on the “parents guide.”

So why do young people keep watching “this stuff?” Because adults keep making it, marketing it to kids, and then allowing them to watch it. The raunchy stuff is among their favorites (Check out the Teen Choice Awards winners this year—movies like No Strings Attached, Hangover II, Bad Teacher, etc.)

Adults are the gatekeepers here… and these gates are open wide.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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