7 Movies to Teach Children to Cope with Adversity

With the right movie, you can teach children to cope with adversity and empathize with the characters. Here are some suggestions.
7 Movies to Teach Children to Cope with Adversity

Last update: 11 October, 2022

Many times, parents don’t know how to transmit certain ideas or values to their children. In this sense, playing and watching movies are very valuable resources to clarify some doubts and raise certain issues or situations that, otherwise, would be a little more difficult to address. Using movies to teach children to cope with adversity is a very useful tool for connecting with characters, developing the story, and learning resources to manage their emotions.

The films that we bring you next can help you to talk with your little ones about a difficult or painful subject that touches them closely.

Use movies to teach your children to cope with adversity

Cinema is much more than entertainment, and in educational matters, it’s a valuable resource for transmitting good values. Take note of our chosen ones for today’s subject.

1- Finding Nemo

This animated film from Pixar Animation Studios ® offers multiple lessons, both for adults and children.

One of them has to do with the convenience of listening to parents and adults when they give us advice. The advice of adults is based on experience and the love they have for us, and their ultimate purpose is to help us.

Likewise, the film emphasizes the need to ask for help from the environment, as with support, it’s easier to get ahead. Many times, great achievements are obtained from teamwork.

Another issue that’s addressed in this film is the importance of avoiding overprotection, as this act hinders the growth and independent development of children.

Finally, this story makes us reflect on a key point for life: That it’s better to “just keep swimming”, rather than “giving up” in the face of any difficulty.

2- Big Hero 6

This film exposes us to a painful loss, but it also teaches us the importance of making an effort to achieve what we want. And as if this weren’t enough, the story highlights respect for the wishes of others.

3- Inside out

This film revalues the place of emotions and highlights how sadness and pain are present in order to teach us something. Also, that we can (and should) feel and identify them because they’re the other side of other beautiful moments, which have joy and happiness in common.

4- The Lion King

This is one of the favorite films of all generations and that’s due to the crossing of teachings and stories that are presented throughout it. One of the most relevant morals is the need to face the past in order to live calmly and better face the future.

It also highlights the value of friendship, especially when support and containment are needed in order to cope with adversity.

Optimism is one of the greatest values reflected in the film, which teaches us that it’s our greatest resource to get ahead in the most difficult situations.

5- Frozen

This film exemplifies how to cope with adversity through the struggle to achieve personal dreams. This mission requires great effort and sacrifice but in the end, perseverance manages to overcome difficulties and make everything worthwhile.

6- Up

If you want an uplifting movie, you can’t miss this story.

This film is about the adventures of a boy scout named Russell and an older adult named Carl. Both are in an exceptional situation: Carl is in the process of mourning the death of his wife and Russel doesn’t have much of a supportive adult environment.

Although a sensitive topic for childhood is addressed, such as death and the loss of loved ones, it does so from a resilient perspective.

The message it leaves us is that these bad times can be overcome when we have the company and support of other people. Also, that life is about looking for new adventures and projects, which allow us to keep the illusion alive to move on.

7- Billy Elliot

This film is well known for being one of the pioneers in breaking gender stereotypes. These parameters assign interests, colors, or activities to children in a different way depending on whether they’re boys or girls as if they were “natural” issues.

Through the convictions of the main character, the film attempts to demonstrate that anyone can carry out any activity or have any preference. Gender doesn’t matter.

However, to achieve this, Billy must face comments, criticism, ridicule, and opposition from others when he shows his interest in ballet, as in his environment, this discipline belongs to the feminine universe.

The film has many positive aspects to highlight, but without a doubt, it’s a way of teaching children to cope with adversity when they live and enjoy what they want.

What to keep in mind when teaching children to cope with adversity

Here are some recommendations to get the most out of the theme of these films:
  • Explain to the children what adversities are and how to recognize difficulties and obstacles.
  • Don’t try to make children live in a “crystal ball” because overprotecting them isn’t the solution. Accept that they’ll suffer at times and that everything won’t always turn out as they want. It’s important to socialize them in this idea and not with one of constant success.
  • Highlight the value of the process and the intent so that they don’t focus solely on the result. This way, they can also work on tolerance for frustration.
  • Finally, give your children a space to speak, to express themselves, and thus, explore everything that the film inspired in them.
A mother and her young daughter having a fun conversation on the couch.

You may be interested in: Lessons from the Movie “Inside Out”

A movie plan that has much more to give than you imagine

With this varied list of movie suggestions, you’ll not only get closer to the little ones at home, but you’ll also be able to teach them. Especially if there’s a particular issue that has you worried.

Opportunities to teach children to cope with adversity can appear in the way you’d least imagine. As well as opportunities to discover the emotions and feelings that, otherwise, would be difficult to talk about.

The most important thing is that the little ones can understand that they have a space of trust and support when they need it.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Pulido Polo, Marta (2016). El cine en el aula: una herramienta pedagógica eficaz. Opción, 32(8),519-538.[fecha de Consulta 26 de Noviembre de 2021]. ISSN: 1012-1587. Disponible en: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=31048481031
  • Barros Bastida, Carlos, & Barros Morales, Rusvel. (2015). Los medios audiovisuales y su influencia en la educación desde alternativas de análisis. Revista Universidad y Sociedad7(3), 26-31. Recuperado en 26 de noviembre de 2021, de http://scielo.sld.cu/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2218-36202015000300005&lng=es&tlng=es.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.