Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and watch the Disney film, Moana, with a group of children. If you have not watched the movie, I’m about to either spoil it or prepare you. The film tells the story of the strong-willed daughter of a chief who defies her father and teams up with a demigod to save her village. While the music is great, and I like Dwayne Johnson, if you are going to let your children watch it, there are messages throughout that you may have to address. Part way through the movie, one of the little girls in the room announced that when she dies, she’s coming back to life as a fox! Engaging her in a conversation about reincarnation was not appropriate at that time. Later, over dessert, we discussed the movie and got this little seven-year-old’s take-away. According to her:
- Children don’t have to listen to their parents if a voice inside them tells them to do something different.
- When we die, we get to pick the animal we want to be and then we come back to life as it.
- Grown-ups are scaredy-cats and aren’t as smart as kids.
When my children were little, every movie we watched was viewed with mom or dad’s finger on the pause button. Until they were old enough to distinguish between reality and fantasy, fact and fiction, or right from wrong, we would pause the movie, when it was necessary, to comment or correct misinformation. As they grew in wisdom and understanding, the remote was used less and less. Whether it’s a book, movie, video, game, or song, as parents, censorship is our responsibility. We still watch Moana with our grandchildren, and we still use that remote. You’re welcome!
Vicki and her husband Terry are the parents of eight children and were named Colorado Parents of the Year and Family of the Year, 2001. Vicki is the author of two books, many articles, former talk show host, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. To get your parenting questions answered, write to Vicki at email@example.com.