Speaking of love in the Internet era

Catholic family associations promote "Lucas et Léa, le cours de la vie", a sit comedy for a parents-children dialogue on affective relations and sex

How do you know when you’re in love? How are children made? With puberty, can I become a mother? Daddy, why don’t girls have the “zizi”? A sit-Comedy from France, “Lucas et Léa, le cours de la vie”, goes online: 7 episodes of 7 five-minute clips each help parents of children aged 7-11 to speak to them about love and sexuality. The project is produced by Catholic Family Associations in France (AFC) that uploaded the clips for free, starting October 15, on the website: afc-france.org/lucas-lea. In everyday life. The camera focuses on the two parents. The child asks the questions in voice-over. Dialogue occurs in a normal everyday situation of family life. At breakfast, before going to sleep, at dinner, under a tree during a picnic, in the garage fixing a bicycle, in the bathroom. There are pressing questions. On the one side we see the children who are not satisfied with a first generic explanation. On the other the parents accept the challenge. The actors are professionals and their acting is convincing, guided by a light direction and a production based on humour. But the seven videos broach equally delicate issues: “Encounter” (the love story of the two protagonists until the moment they opt for a more serious commitment); “You were born a girl”, when the mother explains to her daughter the characteristics of her body and the inevitable transformations it will experience; You were born a boy” (the father explains the same issues to his son); “Sexual identity” (how to develop a male and a female personality); “Sexual relations” (how a child is conceived); “Pregnancy” and “My body belongs to me”, the last video of the series aimed at the prevention of paedophilia and pornography through feelings of modesty and intimacy. Although everything is filmed with a light approach, the words are carefully chosen to give accurate answers, appropriate to the young age of the youths, thereby giving parents useful advice to accompany their children for constructive and realistic discussion. The completion of the project enjoys the contribution of educators, marriage and family consultants, social workers, and physicians. Internet language. Pascale Morinière, vice-president of Catholic family associations, coordinates the project. “It is often believed – she said – that parents renounce their educational commitment, but from our observation point we see that they are lacking the means to meet the challenges, notably as regards affective and sexual education. So we said to ourselves: why not create small videos that parents and youths can watch together at home and that may provide parents with the right words to explain things and give children the right answers, appropriate to their age? Thus the videos became a tool to facilitate dialogue inside the family. We know there are many books on this subject. We decided to use the web language and go online, since that is where adults and youths spend most of their free time today”. The videos will eventually be made available by associations for download and to organize meetings on this theme, starting with the clip. Dialogue without fears. “Lucas et Léa, le cours de la vie” is an alternative option to the material distributed in France on this subject which many parents are perplexed about. These range from the webiste “La ligne Azur” recommended by the ministry of education, to the document “Tomber la culotte” (“taking off the panties”) for adolescents, still available online, as well as another set of videos meant for online views “Puceaux”, focused on the sexual and affective life of a group of adolescents that overlooks their parents. “What we intend to promote with these videos – Morinière said – is the opportunity for mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons, to have a free conversation eye-to-eye. These videos were not conceived to transmit a restrictive morale but to activate open dialogue, without defences or prohibitions but rather with the joy of transmitting to our children the good news of life, to tell them that a beautiful future awaits them, because the life that was bestowed upon us is beautiful, and it can be enriched with the love that is created and built day after day, step after step”.

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