Lessons From Kids Movies- Brave

Kids movies can have great life lessons. This week each of us will be reviewing kids movies that we have found to teach some helpful things to remember about life. Some of these might be great to watch as a family and talk about the lessons afterwards! Brave (Disney Pixar)

I am always up for a good princess movie, but this one had me leaving the theater deep in thought about how I parent my daughter. Merida is a free-spirited princess who's mom is trying everything to reign her in to be the kind of princess that she wants her to be. Mom's perfectionistic standards are met with rebellion.

Throughout the movie you watch the mother-daughter battle play out and see Merida constantly feel not good enough in her mother's eyes. Their bond breaks as the queen dictates the path she lays out for her daughter, but is later rekindled as you see her mother lighten up and start to rely on Merida for help in a tough situation. By the end they are a team and their love for each other is shown when Merida stands up for her mom.

As a parent it is always hard to keep balanced expectations of your kids. You want them to follow a certain path, but it is not healthy to force and control their every move. Brave reminds us of the dangers of being a controlling parent. Children will rebel and will run away from rules when they are strictly rigid and set by perfectionistic standards.

Boundaries are needed and a huge part of parenting. It is also important to let your child develop their sense of self and identity within those boundaries. This gives them ownership and buy in with their life's direction. When it is all mapped out for them, they often rebel, or the opposite, lack ambition for anything because they don't know how to when all has been done for them.

Next time you find your self setting limits with your kids, think about who they are and what they want to become. Consider them having some say so in their life's goals. It can totally change your parent-child relationship!

Check in for more lessons tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.