Funny But True
And if I’m being honest, the more cringeworthy the better. Thankfully my wife and I have similar tastes in comedic styles.
I suppose that’s why we both found one of Amazon Prime’s latest commercials so funny. In the ad titled “Savings Talk” a mom tries to have a difficult and awkward conversation with her daughter about her online shopping habits poking fun at the dreaded “birds and bees” talk most parents dread.
Below is a transcript of the exchange:
Mom: So you’re at the age now where you may start feeling certain urges to buy things at full price.
Daughter: You read my diary?
Mom: But honey, you should really think about practicing safe spending with Amazon. You get low prices on everyday essentials plus free shipping on millions of items. Do you have any questions?
Daughter: What is “bang for your buck?”
Admit it. Pretty funny.
And the answer is… because sadly, it’s reflective of what many of us experienced growing up with our parents and how they avoided talking about things like sex, porn, masturbation, with us. Worse yet, it might ring true for some of you in how you’ve approached these matters with your children.
That being said, funny or not, this awkward exchange between mother and daughter highlights some of the problems we see every day between parents and children when it comes to discussing their sexual lives.
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If you watch the ad it’s pretty clear the daughter is in her teens. In fact, she must be an older teen since she’s online shopping. It’s either that or the daughter is a master online identity thief (which is a whole different problem).
Regardless, why did this mom wait so long?
Well, we don’t obviously know, but most likely anyone watching the commercial can identify with the awkwardness and fear associated with having these types of conversations. And because many parents wait until the last possible minute to start having these talks, when they do their kids often have already done their own “research.”
Understand that because of the mom’s hesitancy to engage her daughter in this area of life, she’s unintentionally communicated that she’s not a safe person to have these types of conversations with.
Notice the daughter’s reaction to her mom’s attempt to be vulnerable. She asks, “Did you read my diary?” Or better translated, “Did you invade my privacy because you’ve never wanted to have these talks before, and so I don’t really trust you as a reliable source of information now?”
Understand that when we avoid difficult conversations with our children (or anyone for that matter) we not only fail to head off potential problems down the road, we lose credibility and decrease trust.
After all, how can you trust someone with a highly sensitive part of your life if that person can hardly manage to look you in the eye when talking about difficult topics?
Transparency builds trust.
Vulnerability builds trust.
The willingness to get uncomfortable builds trust.
Let’s give the mother credit. At least she decided to start a conversation with her daughter. She buckled down, bit her lip, denied the awkwardness and made the first move.
However, when the daughter does finally open up and asks if her mom could explain the phrase “Bang for your buck” mom freezes like a deer caught in the headlights and responds with “Ahhhhh.”
In other words, she kinda blows it.
Recognize that when we do dive into tough conversations and sensitive topics and open up the floor to all questions, we are going to get hit from time to time with some real shockers. And that’s what acceptance and grace is all about. We need to be prepared for everything and not shift our tone or posture when something surprising lands in our lap.
Again, mom finally made the decision to be open with her daughter. And that decision led to a trust building moment with her mom. But when that trust and transparency got tested, it collapsed under the pressure of embarrassment and shame.
Whether you are a parent talking to your child, a wife talking to your husband, or a person who’s trying to be there for your friend in their moments of need, you can’t stop when conversations go south. You can’t put the brakes on when the ride gets a little too fast for your liking.
Instead, hold on and embrace the awkwardness because through that process you’ll both grow and get better.
And, if you are a man, woman, parent, teen, or church leader who struggles with talking about these topics or sharing your story and struggles, this September we invite you to join us for a candid and fresh conversation on matters many avoid out of discomfort.
Shameless is an interactive online experience that will challenge and inspire you, leaving you better prepared to handle these sensitive discussions with your friends, churches, spouses, and kids.
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