How To Discuss A Movie With Your Kids
Think about the last time you watched a movie with your kids. What was your conversation like after the credits rolled? Did experiencing cinema together change you in any way? Did it change your kids?
Cinema (yes even kids’ movies) can be a powerful art form. If we’re taking the time and spending the money to watch a movie with our kids, we should be making the most of what that movie offers. We can go far beyond “Did you like it?” and “What was your favourite part?” Here are a few questions to ask your kids the next time you hit the multiplex or cuddle up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn.
“Which character do you think is most like you?” This is a pretty easy one. Most kids’ movies have an obvious character the kids are supposed to identify with—usually the protagonist. But your kids don’t know that and they might give you an answer you don’t expect. That gives you a great opportunity for both of you to learn more about how your kids feel about themselves.
“How did it make you feel when…?” There are bound to be a few emotionally charged moments in your movie. Highlight a couple of them and ask your kids to unpack their feelings a little. Always ask follow up questions that help them go a little deeper into the reasons they feel the way they do about what they see on the screen.
“What was the main conflict?” You might have to define that term or choose a different phrasing your kids will understand. This question will get kids thinking more analytically about what they’ve just watched. You can follow this one up by asking them to recount how the characters in the movie resolved the conflict. If you want to push for some real-life application, you can ask your kids to identify some of the conflicts they face in life. Should they resolve their conflicts the same way the characters in the movie did? What would happen if they did?
“What do you think made the villain want to do the bad things he/she did?” The best movies I can think of give the audience some insight into the villain’s motivation. A good villain isn’t evil for evil’s sake. Asking this question might help your kids think a little bit about the other side of the story. It will get them used to considering others’ thoughts and feelings in the midst of a conflict. If the movie doesn’t have a complex villain, this is a good opportunity for your kids to explore why ordinary people do bad things. It’s an exercise in creativity and empathy.
Are there other questions you like to ask your kids after taking in a flick? Share them in the comments!