Written by: Nanny Secours
We hear about it all the time: television is bad for our children’s brain development. However, if you take a look at many families’ daily routine, you’ll quickly notice how much screens are now part of our little ones’ lives… We know how things should be, but our reality is quite different. Even so, you should still determine how much time should be spent in front of the television as well as what can be watched.
Still, television and other electronics are not always bad. In fact, tv shows and movies sometimes have a thing or two to teach us. They are supports we can use to help our children better understand their emotions or the characters’ feelings, as well as to help them develop empathy by going back on the show or movie they just watched.
Here are 6 movies your children’s emotional development will surely benefit from:
To me, this is the number one movie when it comes to emotional learning. The different emotions are clearly identified and the basic functions of our brains are well presented. This story helps kids understand how our perceptions affect the emotions we feel towards particular events in our lives.
All parents probably already know this movie by heart. Frozen is proof that true love is not only found in relationships; it’s much more than that. In fact, it can be found within our own family. What we want kids to remember here is that they can count on the people closest to them to overcome difficulties.
Loved by kids of all ages, the first movie of this series teaches us that teamwork is the key to success, and that each member of a team has a role to play and is essential to the project’s completion. It’s important to acknowledge this, since without the people who work behind the scenes, success would not be completely achievable. Your child will then be able to better understand how cooperating can be positive.
Who doesn’t remember this sweet little clownfish with a foreshortened fin and his father, searching for him with the help of his friend with memory loss? This animated movie sends its viewers a simple, obvious message: people with physical differences do not need constant protection. They have their own abilities, as important and useful as others’. Once we are able get over our fears and difficulties, we come to realize that we can achieve many things.
In this one, a big, green ogre shares the screen with his friend, a talking donkey. We learn through this movie that we should not judge people based on first impressions and put them aside because of what they seem to be. Opinions based on prejudice are often wrong. Therefore, we need to learn to use our heart if we want to really know someone.
Let’s end this list with a true Disney classic: Dumbo, the story of a young elephant with big ears. By watching this, children will find out that what makes them different from everyone else can sometimes be one of their biggest assets. Mean jokes and comments should therefore be put aside, because in our difference lies a great gift.
Finally, you can help your children reflect on emotions (theirs or the characters’) by asking them questions such as “How do you think Elsa felt?”, “What would you do if you were in Shrek’s situation?” or “Have you ever been in such a situation with your friends? How did it make you feel?” Those “movie moments” are also a great bonding opportunity for you and your child, so I suggest you make the most of it. Grab the popcorn and your most comfortable blanket, and let yourself enjoy this relaxing family moment!
Nathalie Miron, Family Coach
Founder of Alliance Éducation
Member of the Nanny Secours network