1. Lilo and Stitch
“Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.”
The true concept of family is so very important to explain to your children. So often, especially when our children are younger, it is necessary for us parents to enforce rules and implement time-outs/behavior corrections when necessary. However, we need to make sure that our children understand and feel the power of unconditional love; the type of love that is felt between parent and child and throughout a whole family. Often times, I have to remind my children that just because Mommy is frustrated and upset with them, does not mean that I don’t love them. In fact, it means quite the opposite — it means that I love them so much that I want nothing more than to help shape them into the wonderful human beings that they are already becoming and are destined to be. But, I reinforce the fact that no matter their mistake, their blunder, their bad decision, they “will never be left behind or forgotten”. They will always be my child and my purpose in life. Today, make sure that yours know that as well.
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”
It is so crucial that our children know that the challenges that they face, big or small, daily or on occasion, will make them stronger people. It is even more important that they are taught how to stay true to oneself and remain brave amongst obstacles and hardships. We must provide them with the tools and opportunity to improve and test their strength of character. We can do this by showing and modeling how to handle adverse situations. Additionally, we can be encouraging and supportive of them through their own tough times. We must also remind them that no challenge can or will take away from their inner beauty, strength and kind heart — for that is the most powerful part of them.
“Being brave is easy. All you have to do is be scarier than whatever’s scaring you.”
Being brave typically involves knowing that something might be difficult or frightening and doing it anyway. To aid our children in developing courage, we must affirm for them that they are smarter and stronger than they think. We must be willing to help them find a way to push past their fear. We must also remind our children that having courage, sometimes only involves you being yourself and not letting anything or anyone change you. When you are told that you are strong, repeatedly, and you believe in your own strength, then being brave no longer seems so hard.
4. Alice in Wonderland
“If you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk.”
This one is pretty straightforward, right? But, still so very important. Teaching children from early on how powerful words can be is of epic priority. Teach them how to use their intelligence to decipher if what they have to say is necessary, helpful, and honest. If it is not, then maybe it shouldn’t be said.
5. The Land Before Time
“Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely.”
It is so very necessary that our children understand how to be introspective and to feel, process and acknowledge what their inner voice is telling them. Let them know that their heart speaks to them by way of this inner voice and that some of its messages are delivered subtly, requiring them to be cognizant of its presence and to listen carefully for its guidance. There are too many people in this world that listen to “noise” and listen to other people, when they should be listening to themselves. Don’t let your child be one of those people; teach and encourage them to learn from within, trust their gut feeling and never go against their own better judgment.
6. The Incredibles
“Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.”
Although some people assume that your identity is something you find, there are others that contend that identity is not something that can be found, nor can it be fabricated. Identity is something that is inside of you and truly emerges “when one has the courage to let go” (Doug Cooper). Most young people only allow their true identity to emerge when the are surrounded by unconditional love. Provide that for your child. Help them to identify their uniqueness and define the characteristics of their personality. Once you have done that, explain to them how it important it is to protect that and teach them how to do so. Throughout their life, our children’s identities will be slightly modified by each person and experience they encounter. However, if they are protecting their identity, their most valuable possession, then they will never ever lose who they truly are at the core of their being.
“The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability”.
Life is messy. Life never goes according to the exact plan you forecasted in your head, nor usually the way you hoped for it to go. But, if we teach our kids, at an early age, to be flexible and adaptable to different situations and people that they encounter, then maybe we can also get them to embrace uncertainty — to actually look forward to it and find it exciting. For some parents, including myself, modeling resilience in the presence of change or unpredictability is tough. However, it is imperative that we get better at accepting life’s fluidity so that our children can learn to do the same.
“The gods aren’t the ones who make you Maui, you are”.
So many people try to “change” other people. So many people try to tell you who and what you should be and how you should do things. Throughout our children’s lives, they are going to encounter people who wrongly want to influence them to be the way they believe they should be. Instilling in our children enough self-trust, self-worth and self-confidence to see past other people’s agenda, is crucial. We, the parents, also need to not raise our children to believe that we are the ones that make them into who they are. This is incorrect. We want them to be sure of the fact that who they are in the life is up to them and is a combination of their identity and their experiences. Reassure your children of how powerful they are.
“Adventure is out there”.
It is time that we start to raise children who seek adventure or at least accept adventure with open arms and a giant smile. In a “digital age” like today, it is easy to lose oneself in your phone and/or your computer, all without getting up from the couch. We need and want to encourage a variety of experiences for our children. We should push them to take risks, instead of holding them back. We should reinforce to them, that life is all about learning and that the learning never stops. Ultimately, we need to let our children know that if they seek to pursue their dreams, life will always be an adventure. It may take ups and downs and twists and turns that they were not expecting, but to encourage them to enjoy the journey, as they are more than strong enough to handle it.
10. Lady and the Tramp
“Look, there’s a great big hunk of world down there with no fence around it…And beyond those distant hills, who knows what wonderful experiences? And, it’s all ours for the taking Pige. It’s all ours.
Children need to know just how amazing they are and just how many opportunities are afforded to them in their life; both now and when they are adults. Encourage your children to see no limit to their dreams — there is no cap, there is no closure and there is no stop sign. We want out kids to keep working harder, keep dreaming bigger and to keep pushing past an obstacles that come in their way. All it takes is a little patience, practice and strength and they can change the world.