Talking to Your Kids about Tough Topics: How Movies can Help
As parents, it is often challenging to have productive conversations with our kids about difficult life topics like discrimination, bullying, physical disabilities, war, and death. Feeln feature films and original shorts are good family movies that can help inspire productive conversations about these tough topics. I’ve compiled some tips for talking to your kids after watching these movies with life lessons.
1. Initiate conversations with your child. Watching a Feeln movie together can be a lot of fun while also opening the door to conversations about sensitive subjects.
2. Find out what your child knows already. If your child asks you a difficult question, you might simply ask, “What have you heard?” This allows your child to tell you what she understands — or misunderstands — and perhaps what concerns are prompting her question.
3. Keep your answers simple. Give answers that are appropriate for your child’s age. One simple sentence may be enough. Underneath a child’s question, she may be worried about her safety, so offer reassurance.
4. Listen to your child and ask more questions. For example, if your child asks you about people being injured on the news, you might say, “I feel sad those people got hurt. How do you feel?”
5. Communicate your own values and try to be honest. Create an open environment by expressing your feelings honestly, but also giving your child space and encouragement to feel differently.
6. Talk about it again and again. Be prepared for children to ask the same question many times. This means they are continuing to think about the issue and may need more information. You might save some information for later discussions.
Below, you can also find five Feeln moral movies categorized by the message or issue they address:
Imprisoned at Auschwitz, Father Maximilian Kolbe protects his fellow prisoners against the Nazis. This film addresses religion, violence, war, and prejudice.
A bunch of bullies meet their match on a playground. Do you have the courage to stand by those in need despite dangerous odds? This film addresses bullying.
3. 200 Years
A story that honors the risks and sacrifices made by generations of Americans in pursuit of freedom, equality, and opportunity. This film addresses slavery, violence, and discrimination.
4. Ben Comen
Based on the true story of a young athlete who never gives up. This film addresses physical disability.
A sailor aboard the USS Missouri during World War II struggles with his order to give a kamikaze pilot a proper burial. This film addresses war, prejudice, and death.