Character formation is essential in the development of a child. Character is being taught to kids through repetitive actions from their parents or guardians. When you teach them kindness, make sure you’re kind not only to your friends or relatives but also to waitresses or janitors. When you teach them manners, make sure to practice what you preach even when your kids are out of sight. Kids learn by imitating the grown-ups and they are pretty smart for their age so as guardians, you need to be consistent.
There are other ways to reinforce character building in kids. One of them is watching movies not only will they enjoy but teach them a valuable lesson in life.
Here are five of the best character-building movies for your kids:
1. Cinderella (PG Rating)
The story of Cinderella while whimsical, is full of lessons. She has left an orphan and was bullied and antagonized by her stepsisters and step-mother. She remained resilient while being given a hard time and did not harbor any ill-feelings towards them. Her character is full of strength and teaches compassion and courage. She also teaches kids that it’s okay to dream big.
2. How To Train Your Dragon (PG Rating)
Hiccup grew up in a family of Vikings but he is more of a thinker than a guy who uses his physical strength or ability. His story teaches us courage and grit as he proves that he doesn’t have to conform with the tradition he is born into and there is nothing wrong with being different. His story also touches on acceptance.
3. Brave (PG Rating)
Merida was the eldest daughter of a chieftain. When she turned 18, her father decided she needed to marry one of the other chieftain’s sons to strengthen their clan. She opposed this union because she thinks she is more capable than any of the men she was supposed to choose from. Out of sheer anger towards her parents, she formed an agreement with a witch without thinking of the consequences. Her story teaches us that we have to think about the consequences of our actions before making a rash decision. Not all easy choices are the right choices and that we need to be brave in facing all of life’s curveballs.
4. The Karate Kid 1984 (PG Rating)
This story talks about a kid wanting to learn martial arts so he can defend himself from bullies. His teacher taught him that martial-arts is more than just fighting or defending yourself, it is more than that. Mr. Miyagi taught him that what is important is how we react to the tough situations in our life. He instilled discipline, patience, and resiliency.
5. Monsters University (PG Rating)
This story is about a group of monsters and their time in school. They had a contest for the best group in school and they underwent a lot of activities that tested their skills. The movie teaches hard work, honesty, and kindness. It also teaches that there are consequences for every wrong or dishonest acts.
6. Cars (PG Rating)
This story focuses on Lightning Mcqueen’s life as a race car who wandered in the small town of Radiator Springs and his dream of winning the Piston Cup. His character is very determined and teaches us that we should go after our dreams by persevering and being disciplined. His character also teaches us to be kind and friendly to people despite our success in life.
7. Dead Poets Society (PG Rating)
This critically acclaimed movie tells about the story of how one teacher, John Keating, changed the lives and perspectives of his students. He taught his students literature in an unorthodox way such as having students stand on his desk and ripping out the introduction page of books. He encouraged them to make their lives extraordinary and to carpe diem (seize the day). This movie teaches supporting the passion of your kids and that learning is fun and it is always imperative to keep open communication especially between parents and children.
It should be noted though that this movie should be watched with mature kids who have a deeper understanding of life and have already been introduced to more complex or mature topics, books, and movies.
8. The Pursuit of Happyness (PG 13 Rating)
The movie is based on a true story and focuses on the life of Chris Gardner and his son, Chris Jr and their almost one year struggle of being homeless. This movie opens our eyes and gives us a deeper appreciation for what we have and to always be thankful despite our circumstances because others are suffering more than us. The movie teaches perseverance- never giving up and not backing down despite the hardships and people turning their backs on you. This also shows how the love of a father will go to the limits just to provide and bring normalcy back to his son’s life.
9. The Mighty Ducks (PG Rated)
This classic movie is timeless and teaches a lot of lessons. The story is centered on Gordon Bombay, a lawyer and eventual Coach of a hockey team. The movie teaches that obedience will produce good results. It also reminds us not to break people’s trust in us and that giving our support to others, especially our friends and loved ones goes a long way.
10. The Blind Side (PG 13 Rating)
This movie is based on a true story. It tells about a kid who grew up on foster care but would end up running away every time and surrounded by bad company. One family took him in and helped him get an education while playing football. The story shows us that we should be compassionate and have empathy towards people, especially those who are in need.
There are still a lot more movies that can show or teach character building for kids. As parents, you just need to choose something they will be interested in and not get bored halfway. It is also good to get the participation of your kids in choosing a film to make them feel like they are contributing in a way to a family movie night or family bonding time. This will foster a more enjoyable movie night filled with hearty laughs or maybe tears, and a healthy discussion thus promoting openness within the family.