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16 Inspiring Movies To Watch With Children

16 Inspiring Movies To Watch With Children

These hit movies all have powerful messages that teach children how to make good choices, how to find their moral compass, and how to do and be the very best they can. It’s nice to know that companies like Disney and Pixar are sending the same messages we want our children to hear. And we all know that kids hear it better when it doesn’t come from mom or from dad. Enjoy watching these movies together.

Mulan:  Never give up.

Mulan is a young maiden who learns that her  father is to be called up into the army. Knowing that he would never survive the rigors of war in his state, she decides to disguise herself and join in his place.

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    “The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

    The Lion King: Learn from your mistakes.

    A young heir to the throne learns to balance responsibility with fun through the trial and error and makes some wonderful friends along the way.

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      “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.”

       Cinderella: Patience is a virtue

      After her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother Despite her circumstances, she refuses to despair. An invitation to a palace ball gives Ella hope that she might reunite with the dashing stranger  she met in the woods, but her stepmother prevents her from going. Help arrives in the form of a kindly beggar woman who has a magic touch for ordinary things.

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        “Even miracles take a little time.”

        Aladdin: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

        Aladdin is a street-urchin who lives in a large and busy town long ago with his faithful monkey friend Abu. When Princess Jasmine gets tired of being forced to remain in the palace, she sneaks out and accidentally meets Aladdin.  Aladdin is thrown in jail and becomes caught up in Jafar’s plot to rule the land with the aid of a mysterious lamp. Legend has it that only a person who is a “diamond in the rough” can retrieve the lamp from the Cave of Wonders. Aladdin might fit that description.

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          “Do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. Like so many things, it is not what outside, but what is inside that counts.”

          Lilo and Stitch: We take care of one another.

          Experiment 626 is banned from his own planet and accidentally ends up on earth where he is adopted by 2 sisters who have lost their parents. Learning that family is in your heart not your genes is only part of this touching but humorous film.

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            “Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind.”

            Finding Nemo: Don’t get stuck in the past- keep moving forward.

            A single Dad clown fish loses his son, Nemo when he ventures into the open sea. Nemo is caught by a diver and sent to a dentist’s office in Sydney. While Nemo’s father ventures off to try to retrieve his son hen meets a fish named Dory, suffering from short-term memory loss. The companions travel a great distance, encountering various dangerous sea creatures in order to rescue Nemo from the dentist’s office,

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              “When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming!”

              Ratatouille: It’s not where you came from that matters, it’s where you are going.

              A rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family’s wishes. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unlikely – and certainly unwanted – visitor in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant, Remy’s passion for cooking soon sets into motion a hilarious and exciting rat race that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down.

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                “You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.”

                Pinocchio: Trust your own judgement.

                Gepetto creates a wooden marionette called Pinocchio. A fairy grants his wish for Pinocchio to be a real boy. The fairy assigns Jiminy Cricket to act as Pinocchio’s “conscience” and keep him out of trouble. Jiminy is not too successful in this.

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                  “Always let your conscience be your guide.”

                  The Incredibles: Be present.

                  Mr. Incredible and his wife were the world’s greatest  crime-fighting superheroes fifteen years ago.  Today they have been forced to adopt civilian identities and retreat to the suburbs where live a “normal life” with their three children Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack (who were secretly born with superpowers). Itching to get back into action, Bob gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top secret assignment.

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                    “I never look back darling, it distracts from the now.”

                    Wreck-It-Ralph: Love yourself

                    Wreck-It Ralph longs to be as beloved as his game’s perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix. Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy.Ralph sees a chance to be a hero. He sneaks into a game with a simple plan — win a medal — but soon wrecks everything, and accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade.But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it’s “Game Over” for the entire arcade?

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                      “There’s no one I’d rather be than me.”

                      Phineas & Ferb– The only limits are the limits of your imagination

                      Perry’s dual life as a secret agent is discovered but when the brother’s and their friends team up to help Perry, no problem is too big to solve.

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                        “The only thing that is impossible is impossibility.”

                        Kung Fu Panda– Stress and fear make tasks more difficult to accomplish

                        LA lazy panda, named Po, who is the biggest fan of Kung Fu around is unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po’s dreams become reality when he joins the world of Kung Fu and studies alongside his idols. Po puts his heart – and his girth – into the task, and the unlikely hero ultimately finds that his greatest weaknesses turn out to be his greatest strengths.

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                          “Anything is possible when you have inner peace.”

                          Turbo– If you believe it, you can achieve it.

                          Turbo is a snail who dares to dream big – and fast. An accident infuses him with the power of super-speed, Turbo kicks things up a gear and heads on an extraordinary journey. With the help of his streetwise snail crew, this ultimate underdog puts his heart and shell on the line to prove that no dream is too big, and no dreamer too small.

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                            “No dream is too big and no dreamer is too small.”

                             The Land Before Time– Take time each day to listen to your inner voice.

                            When Littlefoot is separated from his mother during an earthshake he finds four unlikely friends who overcome many obstacles together to find his grandparents and the green valley.

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                              “Let your heart guide you. It whispers so listen closely.”

                              Wall-E– Do what you need to to feel truly happy.

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                                “I don’t want to survive, I want to live.”

                                Shrek– There’s more to a person than what you see on the surface.

                                When a green ogre named Shrek discovers his swamp has been taken over by fairytale creatures of the scheming Lord Farquaad, Shrek sets out, with an unlikely friend, Donkey, to convince Farquaad to give his swamp back.  Farquaad  sends Shrek to rescue Princess Fiona, who is waiting for her one true love. Fiona is keeping something secret and maybe the Prince and the ogre have good and bad all confused.

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                                  “Ogres are like onions. Onions have layers.”

                                  If you have other powerful messages and quotes, from your favorite inspiring movies, I’d love to hear them. Please share and add your personal suggestions.

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                                  Last Updated on August 22, 2019

                                  14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

                                  14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

                                  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27% of children under the age of 18 are living with a single parent.[1] That’s over 1/4th of the U.S. population.There is a common misconception that children who grow up in single parent homes are not as successful as children living in two-parent homes.

                                  One crucial detail that was often left out of studies when comparing single and two-parent homes was the stability of the household. There is a correlation between family structure and family stability, but this study shows that children who grow up in stable single-parent homes do as well as those in married households in terms of academic abilities and behavior.

                                  But providing stability is easier said than done. With only one adult to act as a parent, some tasks are inherently more challenging. However, there are a few helpful things you can do to make the parenting journey a little easier for yourself and stay sane while doing it.

                                  1. Don’t Neglect Self-Care

                                  Before anything else can be done, you must be caring for your own needs adequately. Only when you are feeling well-rested and healthy can you be at your best for your children.

                                  Many parents tend to put their kids’ needs first and their owns last, but that will result in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy. Make time to eat regularly and healthfully, get plenty of rest, and squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help your body get much-needed movement and fresh air.

                                  Your children depend on you, and it’s up to you to make sure that you are well-equipped and ready to take on that responsibility.

                                  2. Join Forces with Other Single Parents

                                  At times, it may seem like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, the statistics say that there are many others who know exactly what you’re going through.

                                  Find single parents locally, through your kid’s school, extracurricular activities, or even an app. There are also numerous online communities that can offer support and advice, through Facebook or sites like Single Mom Nation.

                                  Although single moms make up the majority of single parents, there are more than 2.6 million single dads in the U.S. A great way to connect is through Meetup. Other single parents will more than happy to arrange babysitting swaps, playdates, and carpools.

                                  Join forces in order to form mutually beneficial relationships.

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                                  3. Build a Community

                                  In addition to finding support with other single parents, also build a community comprised of families of all different types. Rather than focus solely on the single parent aspect of your identity, look for parents and kids who share other things in common.

                                  Join a playgroup, get plugged in at a church, or get to know the parents of the kids involved in the same extracurricular activities. Having a community of a variety of people and families will bring diversity and excitement into your and your kids’ lives.

                                  4. Accept Help

                                  Don’t try to be a superhero and do it all yourself. There are probably people in your life who care about you and your kids and want to help you. Let them know what types of things would be most appreciated, whether it’s bringing meals once a week, helping with rides to school, or giving you time to yourself.

                                  There is no shame in asking for help and accepting assistance from loved ones. You will not be perceived as weak or incompetent. You are being a good parent by being resourceful and allowing others to give you a much-needed break.

                                  5. Get Creative with Childcare

                                  Raising a child on a single income is a challenge, with the high cost of daycares, nannies, and other conventional childcare services. More affordable options are possible if you go a less traditional route.

                                  If you have space and live in a college town, offer a college student housing in exchange for regular childcare. Or swap kids with other single parents so that your kids have friends to play with while the parents get time to themselves.

                                  When I was younger, my parents had a group of five family friends, and all of the children would rotate to a different house each day of the week, during the summer months. The kids would have a great time playing with each other, and the parents’ job becomes a lot easier. That’s what you would call a win-win situation.

                                  6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

                                  As a single parent, a backup plan or two is a must in emergency situations. Make a list of people you know you can call in a moment’s notice. There will be times in which you need help, and it’s important to know ahead of time who you can rely on.

                                  Look into whether or not your area offers emergency babysitting services or a drop-in daycare. Knowing who will be able to care for your child in the event of an emergency can relieve one potential source of anxiety in stressful situations.

                                  7. Create a Routine

                                  Routines are crucial for young children because knowing what to expect gives them a semblance of control. This is even more important when in a single parent home.

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                                  If the child travels between homes or has multiple caretakers, life can seem extremely chaotic and unpredictable. Establish a routine and schedule for your child as much as possible. This can include bedtime, before/after school, chores, meal times, and even a weekend routine.

                                  Having a routine does not mean things cannot change. It is merely a default schedule to fall back on when no additional events or activities are going on. When your children know what to expect, they will be less resistant because they know what to expect, and days will run much more smoothly.

                                  8. Be Consistent with Rules and Discipline

                                  If your child has multiple caretakers, such as another parent, grandparent, or babysitter, communicate clearly on how discipline will be handled. Talk to your ex, if you are sharing custody, as well as any other caretakers about the rules and the agreed-upon approach to discipline.

                                  When a child realizes that certain rules can be bent with certain people, he/she will use it to their advantage, causing additional issues with limits, behavior, and discipline down the road.

                                  This article may help you to discipline your child better:

                                  How to Discipline a Child (The Complete Guide for Different Ages)

                                  9. Stay Positive

                                  Everyone has heard the saying, “Mind over matter.” But there really is so much power behind your mentality. It can change your perspective and make a difficult situation so much better.

                                  Your kids will be able to detect even the smallest shift in your attitude. When the responsibilities of motherhood are overwhelming, stay focused on the positive things in your life, such as your friends and family. This will produce a much more stable home environment.

                                  Maintain your sense of humor and don’t be afraid to be silly. Look towards the future and the great things that are still to come for you and your family. Rediscover and redefine your family values.

                                  10. Move Past the Guilt

                                  In a single parent home, it is impossible to act as both parents, regardless of how hard you try. Let go of the things that you cannot do as a single parent, and instead, think of the great things you ARE able to provide for your children.

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                                  Leave behind the notion that life would be easier or better with two parents. This is simply not true. There is a multitude of pros and cons to all family dynamics, and the one you are providing for your kids now is the one that they need.

                                  Don’t get bogged down by guilt or regret. Take control of your life and be the best parent you can by being present and engaged with them on a daily basis.

                                  11. Answer Questions Honestly

                                  Your kids may have questions about why their home situation is different from many of their friends. When asked, don’t sugarcoat the situation or give them an answer that is not accurate.

                                  Depending on their age, take this opportunity to explain the truth of what happened and how the current circumstances came about. Not all families have two parents, whether that is due to divorce, death, or whatever else life brings.

                                  Don’t give more detail than necessary or talk badly about the other parent. But strive to be truthful and honest. Your children will benefit more from your candor than a made-up story.

                                  12. Treat Kids Like Kids

                                  In the absence of a partner, it can be tempting to rely on your children for comfort, companionship, or sympathy. But your kids are not equipped to play this role for you.

                                  There are many details within an adult relationship that children are not able to understand or process, and it will only cause confusion and resentment.

                                  Do not take out your anger on your kids. Separate your emotional needs from your role as a mother. If you find yourself depending on your kids too much, look for adult friends or family members that you can talk to about your issues.

                                  13. Find Role Models

                                  Find positive role models of the opposite sex for your child. It’s crucial that your child does not form negative associations with an entire gender of people.

                                  Find close friends or family members that would be willing to spend one-on-one time with your kids. Encourage them to form meaningful relationships with people that you trust and that they can look up to.

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                                  Role models can make a huge difference in the path that a child decides to take, so be intentional about the ones that you put in your kids’ lives.

                                  14. Be Affectionate and Give Praise

                                  Your children need your affection and praise on a daily basis. Engage with your kids as often as possible by playing with them, going on outings, and encouraging open dialogue.

                                  Affirm them in the things that they are doing well, no matter how small. Praise their efforts, rather than their achievements. This will inspire them to continue to put forth hard work and not give up when success is not achieved.

                                  Rather than spending money on gifts, spend time and effort in making lasting memories.

                                  Final Thoughts

                                  Being a single parent is a challenging responsibility to take on. Without the help of a partner to fall back on, single parents have a lot more to take on.

                                  However, studies show that growing up in a single parent home does not have a negative effect on achievement in school. As long as the family is a stable and safe environment, kids are able to excel and do well in life.

                                  Use these tips in order to be a reliable and capable parent for your kids, while maintaining your own well-being and sanity.

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                                  Featured photo credit: Eye for Ebony via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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