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5 Hidden Parenting Lessons From Movies

Team StoryWeavers|September 4, 2020|

“Every person you meet in this world has something to teach you. Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”

And that’s true for someone you met on the screen as well!

Be it, Mrs Weasley, Ron’s mother from Harry Potter, or Po’s dad, Mr Ping, from our beloved Kung Fu Panda!

Movies are meant for entertainment, we agree. They have an enticing storyline, lovely characters, scenic background, and more often than not they leave us wanting for more. Often, the movies that make the biggest impact on us are those that have a message in them. Even though we know it’s a world of make-believe, the message we take home from the movies can be very real. Take parenting for instance. You might not expect to find parenting lessons in a 90-minute comedy but sometimes we can find helpful nuggets of information where we least expect to find them! 

Let’s take a look at some of these movies and characters that we can learn from:

Arthur and Molly Weasley 

Harry Potter Series (2002 – 2011)

It is a story of an orphan child, Harry Potter, with magical powers being brought up in the harsh unkind non-magical world. Mrs Weasley has raised seven children of her own who have very little in common with each other.

Parenting Lessons 

Mrs Weasley understands that every child is different and loves all her seven children the same. She also takes Harry under her wing. Mrs Weasley built a home that is warm and supportive despite the apparent lack of resources. 

How To Implement This Parenting Lesson

  • Acknowledge your child’s emotions. Their world is smaller than yours. Things that seem trivial to you might be the biggest of their issues
  • Help them express their thoughts and feelings by naming them. Ask open-ended questions – Why do you think so? What made you feel that way?

Bob and Helen Parr

The Incredibles (2004)

Married superheroes have left the adventure behind and are now living a normal suburban life. The family is later required to spring into action to save the world.

Parenting Lessons

The Parr family is far from perfect. They fight, they argue, and they yell at each other. However, they are a team. Bob and Helen are there for their children. They celebrate each other’s victories and jump to each other’s rescue whenever necessary. 

How To Implement This Parenting Lesson

  • Appreciate them for simply being a part of your family
  • Recognize and compliment the hard work put in by your child, not the results
  • Share a fond memory of your child with the child

Sarabi and Mufasa

The Lion King (1994)

It is a story of a young lion, Simba, who is expected to become the king of Pride Rock. Simba relies on lessons taught by his father, Mufasa, while navigating the challenges of life and finally fulfilling his destiny. 

Parenting Lessons

Sarabi and Mufasa ensured that Simba understood the meaning of responsibility. They helped Simba understand that he needs to learn to use power effectively and for good. That he must respect everything and everyone around him. They demonstrated empathy and respect for life and Simba learnt it from them. 

How To Implement This Parenting Lesson

  • Know that the children are rarely disrespectful intentionally
  • Model respectful behaviour for your children. Let them know that you respect them too. For example, “Take two minutes to complete your drawing and come to mommy. I have something to share with you.” instead of “Come here, right now.” We are teaching respect, not obedience
  • Explain the effort put in by others to achieve results. Ask them to put themselves in others’ shoes

Mr Ping

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

It is a story of a lazy panda, Po, and his journey against all odds towards becoming a kung fu legend. 

Parenting Lessons

Mr Ping did want Po to inherit the noodle shop from him and continue with his business just like he did. However, he believed in his child and allowed him to explore different interests and aspirations. He is proud of Po and the Dragon Warrior that he is destined to become. 

How To Implement This Parenting Lesson

  • Value their areas of interests and encourage them to explore them
  • Give responsibility to your child, however small such as filling water bottles every night
  • It’s okay if things are imperfect or messy. Don’t jump to help too early, let them learn to pick themselves up.

Eudora and James 

The Princess and The Frog (2009)

It is a revised version of ‘The Frog Prince.’ Tiana is trying to free the frog prince but ends up being a frog as well. It is their journey towards their dream. 

Parenting Lessons

James spoke to Tiana about the importance of hard work when it was needed. He did encourage her to dream but also reminded her that dreams need the support of hard work to come true. 

How To Implement This Parenting Lesson

  • Lead by example. Tell them about the efforts you put into your work. 
  • Challenge their notion of ‘talent.’ Help them understand how hard work is often needed to make something of the innate talent that they have. 
  • Do not shield them from the consequences of not working towards their goal – be it studies or sports. 

Parenting is hard and children do not come with manuals. Hopefully, these parenting lessons will help you revisit lessons you have already taught your children and things that you could bring up the next time you speak to your child.

Like this story? Read similar stories at The Learning Tree.

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