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Last Updated on December 17, 2020

Want To Raise Good Kids? Here Are 5 movies That Will Help You Out

Want To Raise Good Kids? Here Are 5 movies That Will Help You Out

Deciding what movie to take your kids to can be overwhelming. The sheer amount of blockbuster films, cartoons and animations can make any parent wonder what the most appropriate movie is to watch with their children. The impressionable nature of kids can mean that exposing them to negative teachings could result in picking up bad habits from a young age.

Think that’s an exaggeration? It’s been scientifically proven that what children watch, especially with films and TV, has a strong ability to influence and shape their minds. The power of persuasion was discussed in an article by Dr. Jeremy Dean who commented that “stories work so well to persuade us because if they’re well told, we get swept up in them, and we are transported inside them.[1]

This can work in both a negative and positive way. If parents can be strategic in what movies they select for their kids and then utilise the impressionable window of time after the film has finished to discuss the story line and valuable character traits, children will be more open to learn, understand and make positive connections.

With this in mind, here are 5 movies that will give you the opportunity to help you teach children valuable life lessons.

1. Frozen (2013)

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    Frozen tell the story of fearless optimist Anna who teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey to find Anna’s sister. This child-like comedy sees the characters encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf.

    Lessons Learned: This is a wonderful story about sibling love rather than the traditional ‘man saves the day’ movie. It shows the importance of family bonds with strong character traits of kindness, love and self-worth.

    Get Frozen on iTunes.

    2. Brave (2012)

      Princess Merida is betrothed to a prince but wants to be anything but a “princess”. Instead she longs to be free, climb her favourite mountain, and use her archery skills. She attempts to run away and be “herself” and learns some lessons along the way.

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      This is a story of a girl determined to make her own path in life and break the stereotypical idea of a princess. Her defiance of tradition means relying on her bravery and archery skills to beat an evil curse. This movie is a great example for both boys and girls that shows the ideas of self-love, bravery and grit.

      Get Brave on iTunes.

      3. Charlotte’s Webb (2006)

        This film tells of a unique friendship between a pig called Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. The unlikely pair come together after Wilbur’s life becomes endangered and Charlotte helps create a plan to save him.

        This movie is a intricate example of friendship and self-love with the characters displaying a strong sense of kindness, self-worth and love that children can learn from.

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        Get Charlotte’s Web in iTunes.

        4. Moana (2016)

          Based on stories from Polynesian mythology, this animation tells the story of Moana Waialiki. Daughter of a chief and expert navigator of the seas, Moana island experiences failing crops and local fisherman are no longer able to catch fish. She learns that the demigod Maui caused the blight by stealing the heart of the goddess, Te Fiti and the only way to heal the island is to persuade Maui to return Te Fiti’s heart. Moana then sets off on an epic journey across the Pacific.

          This is a tale of a girl overcoming impossible odds and discovering herself in the process. It teaches children the rewards of perseverance and the importance of knowing their identity. This is especially wonderful for the empowerment of girls as well as courage, curiosity and sticking to your goals.

          Get Moana on iTunes.

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          5. Finding Nemo (2003)

            Nemo, a clown fish, gets lost one day despite his father Marlin’s warning of the dangers of the sea. Nemo subsequently gets abducted by a boat and netted up to be sent to an office fish tank in Sydney. Marlin starts his journey to try and find Nemo encountering many characters along the way including a forgetful blue tang fish called Dory. The two travel a great distance, encountering dangerous situations in pursuit of Nemo. Meanwhile, Nemo along with the other captured sea animals in the fish tank, plot a way to return to Sydney Harbour to live their lives free again.

            This is a tale of survival but ultimately one of love. The characters show a wonderful example of perseverance, compassion and courage teaching children the importance of love and to never give up.

            Get Finding Nemo on iTunes.

            So, next time you sit down with your kids to watch a film, choose one that explains an important life lesson. Use this time to have a conversation and allow children to understand what they have been watching and how they can connect this with their own life. It’s possible to make movie-watching fun and educational at the same time!

            Reference

            [1] http://www.spring.org.uk/2012/01/why-stories-sell-transportation-leads-to-persuasion.php

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            Anna Chui

            Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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            Published on February 11, 2021

            3 Positive Discipline Strategies That Are Best For Your Child

            3 Positive Discipline Strategies That Are Best For Your Child

            I’m old enough to remember how the cane at school was used for punishment. My dad is old enough to think that banning corporal punishment in schools resulted in today’s poorly disciplined youth. With all of this as my early experiences, there was a time when I would have been better assigned to write about how to negatively discipline your child.

            What changed? Thankfully, my wife showed me different approaches for discipline that were very positive. Plus, I was open to learning.

            What has not changed is that kids are full of problems with impulses and emotions that flip from sad to happy, then angry in a moment. Though we’re not that different as adults with stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and stimulants such as sugar and caffeine in our diets.

            Punishment as Discipline?

            What this means is that we usually take the easy path when a child misbehaves and punish them. Punishment may solve an isolated problem, but it’s not really teaching the kids anything useful in the long term.

            Probably it’s time for me to be clear about what I mean by punishment and discipline as these terms are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different.

            Discipline VS. Punishment

            Punishment is where we inflict pain or suffering on our child as a penalty. Discipline means to teach. They’re quite the opposite, but you’ll notice that teachers, parents, and coaches often confuse the two words.

            So, as parents, we have to have clear goals to teach our kids. It’s a long-term plan—using strategies that will have the longest-lasting impact on our kids are the best use of our time and energy.

            If you’re clear about what you want to achieve, then it becomes easier to find the best strategy. The better we are at responding when our kids misbehave or do not follow our guidance, the better the results are going to be.

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            3 Positive Discipline Strategies for Your Child

            Stay with me as I appreciate that a lot of people who read these blogs do not always have children with impulse control. We’ve had a lot of kids in our martial arts classes that were the complete opposite. They had concentration issues, hyperactive, and disruptive to the other children.

            The easy solution is to punish their parents by removing the kids from the class or punish the child with penalties such as time outs and burpees. Yes, it was tempting to do all of this, but one of our club values is that we pull you up rather than push you down.

            This means it’s a long-term gain to build trust and confidence, which is destroyed by constant punishments.

            Here are the discipline strategies we used to build trust and confidence with these hyperactive kids.

            1. Patience

            The first positive discipline strategy is to simply be patient. The more patient you are, the more likely you are to get results. Remember I said that we need to build trust and connection. You’ll get further with this goal using patience.

            As a coach, sometimes I was not the best person for this role, but we had other coaches in the club that could step in here. As a parent, you may not have this luxury, so it’s really important to recognize any improvements that you see and celebrate them.

            2. Redirection

            The second strategy we use is redirection. It’s important with a redirection to take “no” out of the equation. Choices are a great alternative.

            Imagine a scenario where you’re in a restaurant and your kid is wailing. The hard part here is getting your child to stop screaming long enough for you to build a connection. Most parents have calming strategies and if you practice them with your child, they are more likely to be effective.

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            In the first moment of calm, you can say “Your choice to scream and cry in public is not a good one. It would be best to say, Dad. What can I do to get ice-cream?” You can replace this with an appropriate option.

            The challenge with being calm and redirecting is that we need to be clear-minded, focused, and really engaged at the moment. If you’re on your phone, talking with friends or family, thinking about work or the bills, you’ll miss this opportunity to discipline in a way that has long-term benefits.

            3. Repair and Ground Rules

            The third positive discipline strategy is to repair and use ground rules. Once you’ve given the better option and it has been taken, you have a chance to repair this behavior to lessen its occurrence to better yet, prevent it from happening again. And by setting appropriate ground rules, you can make this a long-term win by helping your child improve their behavior.

            It’s these ground rules that help you correct the poor choices of your child and direct the behavior that you want to see.

            Consequences Versus Ultimatums

            When I was a child and being punished. My parents worked in a busy business for long hours, so their default was to go to ultimatums. “Do that again and you’re grounded for a week,” or “If I catch you doing X, you’ll go to bed without dinner”.

            Looking back, this worked to a point. But the flip side is that I remembered more of the ultimatums than the happier times. I’ve learned through trial and error with my own kids that consequences are more effective while not breaking down trust.

            What to Do When Ground Rules Get Broken?

            It’s on the consequences that you use when the ground rules are broken.

            In the martial arts class, when the hyperactive student breaks the ground rules. They would miss a turn in a game or go to the back of the line in a queue. We do not want to shame the child by isolating them. But on the flip side, there should be clear ground rules and proportionate consequences.

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            Yes, there are times when we would like to exclude the student from the class, the club, and even the universe. Again, it’s here that patience is so important and probably impulse control too. With an attainable consequence, you can maintain trust and you’re more likely to get the long-term behavior that you’re looking to achieve.

            Interestingly, we would occasionally hear a strategy from parents that little Kevin has been misbehaving at home with his sister or something similar. He likes martial arts training, so the parent would react by removing Kevin from the martial arts class as a punishment.

            We would suggest that this would remove Kevin from an environment where he is behaving positively. Removing him from this is likely to be detrimental to the change you would like to see. He may even feel shame when he returns to the class and loses all the progress he’s made.

            Alternatives to Punishment

            Another option is to tell Kevin to write a letter to his sister, apologizing for his behavior, and explaining how he is going to behave in the future.

            If your child is too young to write, give the apology face to face. For the apology to feel sincere, there is some value to pre-framing or practicing this between yourself and your child before they give it to the intended person.

            Don’t expect them to know the ground rules or what you’re thinking! It will be clearer to your child and better received with some practice. You can practice along the lines of: “X is the behavior I did, Y is what I should have done, and Z is my promise to you for how I’m going to act in the future.” You can replace XYZ with the appropriate actions.

            It does not need to be a letter or in person, it can even be a video. But there has to be an intention to repair the broken ground rule. If you try these strategies, that is become fully engaged with them and you’re still getting nowhere.

            But what to do if these strategies do not work? Then there is plenty to gain by seeking the help of an expert. Chances are that something is interfering or limiting their development.

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            This does not mean that your child has a neurological deficiency, although this may be the root cause. But it means that you can get an objective view and help on how to create the changes that you would like to see. Remember that using positive discipline strategies is better than mere punishment.

            There are groups that you can chat with for help. Family Lives UK has the aim of ensuring that all parents have somewhere to turn before they reached a crisis point. The NSPCC also provides a useful guide to positive parenting that you can download.[1]

            Bottom Line

            So, there your go, the three takeaways on strategies you can use for positively disciplining your child. The first one is about you! Be patient, be present, and think about what is best for the long term. AKA, avoid ultimatums and punishment. The second is to use a redirect, then repair and repeat (ground rules) as your 3-step method of discipline.

            Using these positive discipline strategies require you to be fully engaged with your child. Again, being impulsive breaks trust and you lose some of the gains you’ve both worked hard to achieve.

            Lastly, consequences are better than punishment. Plus, avoid shaming, especially in public at all costs.

            I hope this blog has been useful, and remember that you should be more focused on repairing bad behavior because being proactive and encouraging good behavior with rewards, fun, and positive emotions takes less effort than repairing the bad.

            More Tips on How To Discipline Your Child

            Featured photo credit: Leo Rivas via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] NSPCC Learning: Positive parenting

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