Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 10, 2017

20 Inspiring Kids Movies That Your Kids Will Love to Watch This Weekend

20 Inspiring Kids Movies That Your Kids Will Love to Watch This Weekend

Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, found that all stories consist of a common structural element found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies. They are collectively known as The Hero’s Journey. [1] It demonstrates that every story has a different lesson; and in every journey there’s a hero — you are the hero in your own life and in your own journey.

As a parent, we should find those movies and explain the lessons to our children. These life lessons will inspire children to change the world. Let’s see how movies deal with childlike universal questions and bring us powerful life lessons.

Let us now take a look at 20 movies you should watch with your children and the life lessons they provide us.

1. How to Train Your Dragon: Embrace differences, be who you are.

    Hiccup is a misfit in a Norse village where fighting dragons is a way of life. He is tossed into dragon-fighting school by his father (the village chief), yet because of his progressive mindset, he befriends an injured dragon named Toothless.

    This movie demonstrates that we should encourage our children to be who they are, not who the world (or we) want them to be. This is a difficult one for all parents, to include myself.

    2. The Lego Movie: Everyone is ordinary before they become extraordinary.

      An ordinary Lego figurine (Emmet) finds himself mistakenly identified as the Special, an extraordinary Lego destined to save the world. Hilariously unprepared, Emmet turns into an unlikely hero.

      In all seriousness, this movie demonstrates the importance of being different. Stop trying to be like everyone else just to fit in. Strive to be different and embrace who you really are.

      3. The Lion King: Your painful experiences will help you grow and shine.

        Simba is heir to the throne, yet forced to leave his family after his evil uncle Scar kills Simba’s father Mufasa. Simba returns to his homeland as an adult and faces his uncle (with the help of his friends).

        The Lion King demonstrates the importance of learning from the past and the fact that growth can be scary. In the words of Mark Twain,

        “I’ve had many worries in my life. Most of which have never happened.”

        4. Toy Story: Teamwork is important, don’t fight alone.

        Advertising

          When a Buzz Lightyear (a new toy) arrives on the scene, Woody finds his position as Andy’s favorite toy in jeopardy. When Andy’s family moves, Woody and friends must escape the evil neighbors and reunite with Andy.

          Friendship and teamwork are the keys to success in life. Embrace making new friends as it is always fun to get to know people.

          5. Cars: Winning is temporary, virtue stays.

            Lightning McQueen finds himself lost in an old run-down town of Radiator Springs. He slowly befriends cars in the town who help him in his race at the Piston Cup Championship.

            Without humility, we will fail to use our great power in a responsible way. Cars does a great job demonstrating this important trait. Remember the quote from the movie Spiderman,

            “With great power comes great responsibility.”

            6. Mulan: Fight against the norm if you believe that you’re right.

              Impersonating a man in order to take her ailing fathers spot as he is drafted into the Chinese military; Mulan (accompanied by her dragon) falls in love with a soldier and outsmarts an invasion.

              Mulan shows us the importance of taking control of our own destiny. Write your own story and take control of your own life.

              7. Inside Out: Real happiness comes when you can embrace sadness.

                When an 11-year old girl’s life is turned upside-down due to a move, her emotions come to the rescue. However, this stressful and life-changing event is too much for her emotion Sadness. Sadness and Joy are swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind – leaving only Anger, Fear, and Disgust in the headquarters of her mind.

                Inside Out demonstrates the importance of allowing ourselves to express sadness and accepting the assistance from others.Sadness is a necessity in life. Understanding this feeling allows us to be more open to others who are experiencing sadness.

                8. Frozen: True love can be found in family.

                Advertising

                  Anna races to save her kingdom after her sister Elsa causes a harsh winter with an icy spell. Anna must not only save her kingdom, but her sister as well.

                  As a father to a beautiful daughter, this movie was important to me. Frozen shows young girls that they do not need a man to save the day… in fact, the girl can save the day. And you can find true love from your family, from your sisters.

                  9. Moana: Go get your dreams, no matter how hard they seem.

                    In a daring adventure, Moana meets demigod Maui. They sail across the ocean encountering monsters and unbeatable odds; yet, Moana fulfills her destiny and discovers her identify.

                    Yet another movie that holds a special place in my heart. Moana teaches us the importance of following your heart. Time and time again, Moana battles between family expectations and where her heart truly wants to be.

                    10. The Pursuit of Happyness: Try until you succeed, nothing great comes easy.

                      A struggling single father (Chris) is evicted from his apartment with his young son and has nowhere to live. Chris lands an unpaid internship at a prestigious brokerage firm. Chris and his young son endure extreme hardship, yet they do not let life beat them.

                      There are so many important life lessons to take from this film; however, one trait stands out – determination. If you need proof, simply watch the movie… you will not be disappointed.

                      11. Beauty and the Beast: It’s what’s inside that matters, not what’s outside.

                        Belle is drawn to a cold-hearted beast who was placed (along with his servants) under a spell by an enchantress. In a race against time, the spell can only be broken when the beast learns to love and is loved by the beauty (Belle) in return.

                        In Beauty and the Beast, we are presented with an unlikely love story, where a beautiful woman falls in love with an intimidating beast. This movie demonstrates the importance of recognizing the inner beauty in all of us. Look beyond appearance.

                        12. The Wizard of Oz: You’ve always had the potential, you just need to keep trying.

                          After a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy (and her dog Toto) are taken away to the magical land of Oz. She (along with her new friends) sets off on a journey to find the wizard in order to find a way home.

                          Advertising

                          In this classic film, Dorothy was seeking a way to return home, yet she had the power to return home the whole time. She just needed to discover it for herself. Look deep within for your power.

                          13. Harry Potter Film Series: Your deepest fear will unleash your greatest potential.

                            On his eleventh birthday, Harry Potter learns who he really is. He discovers he is a wizard and possesses unbelievable magical powers. Summoned to a life of wizardry, he meets new friends and must avenge his parents death by the hands of an evil wizard.

                            Every film in the Harry Potter series demonstrates the importance of facing our fears. No matter how scared it may seem, we must learn to confront our fear.

                            14. Star Wars Film Series: Learn your strengths and weaknesses and utilize them.

                              Luke Skywalker receives a message from Princess Leia, who has been captured by the evil Darth Vader. He sets off on a journey to rescue her, help the Rebel Alliance against Darth Vader, restore freedom to the galaxy, and discover who he really is.

                              Use the Force! Think of the force as a symbol for the inner power and strength in all of us. Once we learn to tap into the force, we can accomplish anything.

                              15. Remember the Titans: Only by getting through a painful change will you succeed.

                                Set in 1971, a town and high school football team is forced to integrate an all-black school with an all-white school. The all-black school football coach is placed as the towns head football coach. An emotional and powerful movie, one coach is able to bring the team together.

                                This powerful movie demonstrates that we must change in order to succeed. We must change in order to move the world forward.

                                16. Alice in Wonderland: If you can dream it, you will make it. Don’t be afraid to dream big.

                                  Alice spots a white rabbit with a pocket watch. Fascinated by the sight of this unique rabbit, she follows him and falls down a deep hole. She finds herself in a wonderful and spontaneous place called Wonderland (an illogical and fantastical world).

                                  This film teaches us that everything is impossible until it isn’t. Dream it and do it. The queen said,

                                  Advertising

                                  “When I was your age, I always did it for an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

                                  17. The Land Before Time: Love always exists even if those who love you are no longer with you.

                                    A young dinosaur (Littlefoot) finds himself alone after his mother dies fighting a viscous dinosaur. In her dying words, she tells him to find the Great Valley. Along with his new friends, Littlefoot sets off on a journey while being hunted by the same viscous dinosaur who killed his mother.

                                    The Land Before Time demonstrates that, even when someone in your family dies, they are still with you in your heart, and you’ll be brave enough to move forward.

                                    18. The Jungle Book: Be thankful for what you have and you’ll be happy.

                                      Mowgli is an abandoned child raised in the jungle by wolves, where he is threatened by the man-eating tiger Shere Khan. After being forced from his family (the wolves) he sets off on a quest to find the man village. With the assistance of his friends, he is able to brave the perils of the jungle and confront Shere Khan.

                                      In the film, Mowgli doesn’t obsess over the things or life that he does not have. Instead, he appreciates everything around him and uses the environment to his advantage. Cherish what you have and utilize them wisely.

                                      19. Kubo and the Two Strings: You are the editor of your own life, write your own story and edit it often.

                                        Kubo’s journey starts when he accidentally summons evil spirits of his mother’s past. On the run and aided by his friends Monkey and Beetle, Kubo must battle gods and monsters. Aided by a magical instrument, Kubo fights his evil grandfather and discovers the mystery of his deceased father.

                                        We have the power to write our own story. This is evident when Kubo’s mother tells him of how she was supposed to kill his father. However, she fell in love with him and rewrote her story. She chose to be the sole author of her own story.

                                        20. Trolls: Stop looking for happiness because it’s within everyone of us.

                                          After her friends are taken by an invading Bergen, Princess Poppy sets off on a journey to rescue her friends from the Bergen’s. Poppy is accompanied by the overly-cautious troll Branch, where the unlikely duo not only rescue their friends, but fall in love.

                                          Happiness is inside of us all. We can’t purchase it or even eat it… even if trolls taste good! When the following song (lyrics below) is played, my two-year old daughter immediately recognizes the importance of bringing out happiness in those we love. Opening lyrics for the song True Colors:

                                          You with the sad eyes; don’t be discouraged; oh, I realize; it’s hard to take courage; in a world full of people; you can lose sight of it all; and the darkness inside you; can make you feel so small; but I see your true colors; shining through; I see your true colors; and that’s why I love you; so don’t be afraid to let them show…

                                          I hope you’ll enjoy watching this list of inspiring movies with your children. Pick a few to kickstart your movie marathon for this weekend with your kids!

                                          Reference

                                          [1]Michael Wiese Productions: The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

                                          More by this author

                                          Dr. Jamie Schwandt

                                          Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

                                          Being Self Aware Is the Key to Success: How to Boost Self Awareness How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills for a Sharper Mind 10 Brain Training Hacks to Increase Your IQ, Focus and Creativity How to Be a Maverick and Develop a Maverick Mindset Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

                                          Trending in Psychology

                                          1Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts 2Being in Narcissism Relationships Is Like Playing With Fire. It Is Risky. 313 Crippling Social Anxiety Symptoms Explained & How to Deal with Them 48 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies 5Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Published on July 13, 2018

                                          Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts

                                          Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts

                                          What if you could discover some tools and methods that could improve your relationships? What if by gaining a little knowledge you could understand your relationship dynamics better and give them a boost up?

                                          By learning what secure attachment is and how to restructure your thoughts, you can become more self-aware of your relationship dynamics. After becoming more aware, you can then take a few steps to make them better than ever. That’s something that many of us could benefit from.

                                          When we hear the term secure attachment, our mind typically goes to a relationship. And that’s exactly what it’s about.

                                          In this article I’ll discuss the concept of secure attachments in more detail and how restructuring your thoughts can help you strive towards achieving better relationships.

                                          Relationships are a hugely important part of our lives and whatever we can do to improve them is a good thing for everyone involved.

                                          What is attachment theory?

                                          Let’s do a quick overview of what attachment theory is. This will provide a good foundation for the rest of this article.

                                          The esteemed psychologist John Bowlby first coined the term attachment theory in the late 60’s. Bowlby studied early childhood conditioning extensively and what he found was very interesting.

                                          His research showed that when a very young child has a strong attachment to a caregiver, it provides the child with a sense of security and foundation. On the other hand when there isn’t a secure attachment, the child will expend a lot more developmental energy looking for security and stability.

                                          The child without the secure attachment tends to become more fearful, timid and slow to explore new situations or their environment.

                                          Advertising

                                          When a strong attachment is developed in a child, he or she will be inclined to be more adventurous and seek out new experiences because they feel more secure. They know that whoever is watching out for them will be there if needed.

                                          Bowlby’s colleague, Mary Ainsworth, took the theory further. She did extensive studies around infant-parent separations and provided a more formal framework for the differing attachment styles.

                                          How attachment develops

                                          Simply put, attachment is an emotional bond with another person. Attachment doesn’t have to go both ways, it can be one person feeling attached to another without it being reciprocated. Most of the time, it works between two people to one degree or another.

                                          Attachment begins at a very young age. Over the history of time, when children were able to maintain a closer proximity to a caregiver that provided for them, a strong attachment was formed.

                                          The initial thought was that the ability to provide food or nourishment to a child was the primary driver of a strong attachment.

                                          It was then discovered that the primary drivers of attachment proved to be the parent/caregivers responsiveness to the child as well as the ability to nurture that child in a variety of ways. Things such as support, care, sustenance, and protection are all components of nurturing a child.

                                          In essence a child forms a strong attachment when they feel that their caregiver is accessible and attentive and there if they need them; that the parent/caregiver will be there for them. If the child does not feel that the caregiver is there to help them when needed, they experience anxiety.

                                          Different types of attachments

                                          In children, 4 types of attachment styles have been identified. They are as follows:

                                          • Secure attachment – This is primarily marked by discomfort or distress when separated from caregivers and joy and security when the caregiver is back around the child. Even though the child initially feels agitated when the caregiver is no longer around, they feel confident they will return. The return of the parent or caregiver is met with positive emotions, the child prefers parents to strangers.
                                          • Ambivalent attachment – These children become very distressed when the parent or caregiver leaves. They feel they can’t rely on their caregiver for support when the need arises. Even though a child with ambivalent attachment may be agitated or confused when reunited with a parent or caregiver, they will cling to them.
                                          • Avoidant attachment – These kids typically avoid parents or caregivers. When they have a choice of being with the parent or not, they don’t seem to care one way or the other. Research has shown that this may be the result of neglectful caregivers.
                                          • Disorganized attachment – These children display a mix of disoriented behavior towards their caregiver. They may want them sometimes and other times they don’t. This is sometimes thought to be linked to inconsistent behavior from the parent or caregiver.

                                          What attachments mean to adults

                                          So the big question is how does this affect us in adulthood? Intuitively it makes sense that as a child, if we have someone who will be there when we need them, we feel secure. And on the other end of the spectrum, if we aren’t sure someone’s going to provide what we need when we need it, we may become more anxious and fearful.

                                          Advertising

                                          As an adult, we tend to wind up in one of three primary attachment types based on our childhood experiences. These are secure, avoidant, and anxious. Technically, there is a fourth one, anxious-avoidant, but it is quite a bit less common. They are described as follows:

                                          • Secure – When you have a secure attachment, you are comfortable displaying interest and affection towards another person but you’re also fine being alone and independent. Secure types are less apt to obsess over a relationship gone sour and handle being rejected easier. Secure types also tend to be better than other types with not starting relationships with people that might not be the best partners. They cut off the relationship quicker when they see things in a potential partner they don’t like. Secure attachment people make up the majority of the attachment types.
                                          • Anxious – Folks who have an anxious attachment style typically need a lot of reassurance from their partners. They have a much harder time being on their own and single than the other styles and fall into bad relationships more often. The anxious style represent about 20% of the population. It’s been shown that if anxious attachment styles learn how to communicate their needs better and learn to date secure partners, they can move towards the secure attachment style.
                                          • Avoidant – Avoidant attachment style represents approximately 25% of the population as adults. Avoidants many times have the hardest time in a relationship because they have a difficult time finding satisfaction. In general, they are uncomfortable with close relationships and intimacy and are quite independent. They are the lone wolf type person.
                                          • Anxious-avoidant – The anxious-avoidant style is relatively rare. It is composed of conflicting styles – they want to be close but at the same time push people away. They do things that push the people they are closest to away. Many times there can be a higher risk of depression or other mental health issues.

                                          Here’s where it gets really interesting:

                                          Move towards secure attachment

                                          The good news is that it is possible to move from one style to another. Specifically, it is possible to move towards a more secure attachment style.

                                          Now as you might imagine, this is not an easy or a quick process. Like any type of big change where you are attempting to alter such a deeply ingrained mindset, it takes a strong will to accomplish.

                                          The first step is developing an awareness of your attachment style. The next step is to have the desire and drive to move your attachment style towards the more secure style.

                                          If someone with an anxious or avoidant style has a long term relationship with a secure type, the anxious or avoidant person can slowly get brought up more towards a secure style.

                                          The opposite is also true, they could bring the secure person more towards their attachment style. Therefore, you have to be conscious of your type and if you want to move more towards secure, it takes persistence.

                                          Therapy is an option as well. Anxious types many times need to work on their self-esteem, avoidants on their connection specifically and compassion.

                                          How to restructure your thoughts

                                          Ready for the way to do it? Here we go:

                                          Advertising

                                          For the Avoidant Style

                                          As with any type of change on such a deep level, the first step is awareness. Realize you have an avoidant style and be aware of it as you have interactions with your partner(s).

                                          Try to work towards a place of mutual support and giving/taking. Try to lessen your need for complete self-reliance. Allow your partner to do some things that make you a little uncomfortable that you would normally do yourself.

                                          Don’t always focus on the imperfections of your partner. We all have them, remind yourself of that.

                                          Make yourself a list of the qualities that your partner has that you are thankful for.

                                          Look for a secure style partner if at all possible, they would be good for you to be with.

                                          If you have a tendency to end relationships before they go too far, be aware of that and let it develop further.

                                          Get into the habit of accepting and even instigating physical touch. Tell yourself that it’s good for you to have some intimacy. Intimacy can help you feel safe and secure.

                                          And over time you can realize that it’s okay to rely on other people.

                                          For the Anxious Style

                                          For the anxious style, the #1 thing to work on is learning to communicate needs better. This is a huge issue for the anxious style.

                                          Advertising

                                          First and foremost if you communicate your needs more clearly, you will have less anxiety, that’s already a big win. This will also allow you to better assess if a potential partner is good for you.

                                          Try to bring your feelings more to the surface and most importantly, share them with your partner. Remember that secure attachments typically communicate pretty well, this is what you are working towards.

                                          For the Anxious-Avoidant Style

                                          The anxious-avoidant is a very small percentage of the attachment styles. Since this type tends to be anxious in the relationship AND more or less a loner, the key here is working hard to be very self-aware of your actions.

                                          Use the parts of striving towards secure attachment from the anxious tips and the avoidant restructuring of your thoughts to consciously work towards being more secure.

                                          When you find yourself pushing someone away, ask why. If you feel worried that your partner is going to leave you, again, ask yourself where this is coming from. Have they shown you any reason to believe this? Many times there is no real evidence. In that case, allow yourself to calm down and try not to obsess over it.

                                          For the Secure Style

                                          Since the goal is to move towards a more secure attachment style, there isn’t much needed here as you might imagine.

                                          Something to be aware of is being in a relationship just because it’s “okay”. Don’t stay if it’s not a good place for you and your partner. If your partner is of an anxious or avoidant attachment style, stay mindful to not start developing characteristics of those styles.

                                          Strive towards Secure Attachment

                                          As we wrap things up, you’ve probably developed a good idea of the benefits of secure attachment. If you don’t currently have a secure attachment style, here are some benefits of restructuring your thoughts more towards this style:

                                          • Positive self esteem and self image
                                          • Close and well adjusted relationships
                                          • Sense of security in self and the world
                                          • Ability to be independent as well as in relationships
                                          • Optimistic outlook on life and yourself
                                          • Strong coping skills and strategies for relationships and life
                                          • Trust in self and others
                                          • Close, intimate relationships
                                          • Strong determination and problem solving skills

                                          If you are an anxious or avoidant style or the combination of anxious-avoidant, it is possible to move towards a secure attachment style.

                                          It takes self-awareness, patience and a strong desire to get close to being secure but it can be done. You will find that putting the effort into it will provide you with more open, honest and satisfying relationships.

                                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                          Read Next