I absolutely love watching films with my kid. I find them an amazing way to connect with one another, with God and to explore emotions particularly by chatting about what’s happening. And also to keep reflecting even after watching the film.
A film that I am thrilled to have got him into recently is The Greatest Showman. Now, I hate when everyone is saying that I have to watch a film so obviously I resisted this one a bit but we listened to the soundtrack and it was so catchy that my husband and I gave in and watched the film. And, I LOVE it!
We’ve been listening to the soundtrack enough that the little guy now asks for it (win!) so I decided to show him the film.
Whenever my kid watches a film what I find fascinating is that its relationships that are his main fixation. Often he’ll comment on things like, “oh that’s his mum, he happy” or, “they is family”. So, it’s been an amazing way to talk about different relationships and families. In The Greatest Showman he loves ‘A Million Dreams’ and gets very excited when Michelle Williams starts singing and he shouts, “that’s his wife!”
Then, there’s a scene where P.T. Barnum (the main character) shuts a door on the cast of the circus excluding them from a high society party.
My toddler’s reaction:
“He did shut them. He is very rude.”
Wow, yes it was really rude. And, it’s actually quite disappointing there’s no scene where he apologises for it as that would really help with explaining to my kid how to fix it! However, it is actually a great example of how relationships work in that he did that and they forgave him, that someone can be rude and they can learn and fix it. And also to chat about how it made them feel to have the door shut on them.
This scene has impacted my kid so much that two night’s ago he was crying at bedtime and I (eventually) established that it was because “Daddy shut me” (shut his bedroom door) and he felt that this was rude. Isn’t that so often the way with our kids? We define one action and the consequences then we spend ages figuring out how this needs to be unpicked for different circumstances based on how our kid interpreted what we said?
The big message I have loved being able to chat with my kid about through this film is loving others. So much of the film is about how people are reacting to those who join the circus. What’s wonderful is that a two and a half-year-old still doesn’t actually see that difference yet but this film gives an opportunity to explain that people are being unkind because people are different from them, to chat about how that would make us feel and to think about what difference it makes that God loves everyone.
All of that AND he gets to roar like a lion during his favourite song and giggle at the girl dressed like a tree at the end. I really hope he doesn’t get bored of it for a while as I feel like there’s so much more we can explore (that and I cannot watch anymore Leo the Truck! Anyone seen that? It’s dire.)
What are your favourite films to watch and chat about with your kids?