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Family films can occasionally offer kids a chance to understand the meaning of values. Some ideas:

Although there is nothing better than real life experience or a good book to help children understand and appreciate relationships, sometimes a good film, especially when viewed together,  can make a positive impression on a child.   Rather than lecture and scold children about loyalty, tolerance, etc..., try sharing a good film together - it will probably make a deeper impression.  Following are some suggestions that can help children begin to understand and appreciate the following principals:

  • Responsibility:  "It's a Wonderful Life."  It may be hard to explain to children why we sometimes may need to make choices that go against what we "want" to do.  George Bailey's experience illustrates this beautifully.
  • Courage: "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory."  Charlie decides to tell the truth despite his fears.
  • Courtesy: "Babe."  Kindness among friends rings through loud and clear with the animals in this film.
  • Tolerance: "Remember the Titans."  This film illustrates the dangers of bigotry and the essential need for tolerance.  (this film is best for ages 8 and up.)
  • Loyalty: "Toy Story."  Friends stick together through thick and thin.
  • Peace: "War Games."  This fun action-paced movie manages to convey the message that violence and war are always no win situations.
  • Helping Others: "A Little Princess."  Despite unfortunate circumstances, little Sarah shows compassion and empathy to others.
  • Fairness & Justice: "Holes." Best for kids ten and up, this captivating story keeps viewers rooting for what is fair.
  • The Real Meaning Of Family: "Second Hand Lions."  A  coming of age story about a young boy who discovers true "family" with his two eccentric uncles.

While no movie is a substitute for real-time spent together, these films, especially when viewed together, can lead to some constructive and valuable discussions later.

All these films can be found on www.amazon.com for purchase or www.netflix.com or www.blockbuster.com for rental.

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