If you are a parent, you have no doubt heard about the newest Disney/Pixar movie Inside Out, and have probably seen it. As is usually the case with Disney/Pixar films, we can walk away with a helpful take-away point or two.
In the movie, 11-year old Riley makes a move from Minnesota to California. We get to see how that move plays out inside Riley through her emotions. We get to see how the emotions interact with one another and how they are manifested externally through Riley.
Author Ken Roach, offers some great insight into the movie for parents and how we need to be aware of the emotional boundaries we may be setting for our children:
"So what can Christian parents learn from Riley’s inside out adventure? I think the crucial lesson is this: kids need us to set boundaries on behaviors, but we should beware of setting boundaries on emotions. Telling your child how to act is necessary; telling your child how to feel is a disaster waiting to happen."
"Like Riley's mother, we often do this inadvertently and with good intentions. I’ll admit to telling my children, "Don't be sad!" when they have experienced a disappointment, thinking I could help them be happy again by sheer willpower. I've also fallen into the trap of telling one child to act happy for the sake of a sibling, or for my wife's sake. Other times, I have confused teaching a behavior, like not whining and complaining, with controlling an emotion."
Read Ken's full blog post on his Seen and Heard blog. He provides an in-depth look at how we as parents can unintentionally hurt our children by setting emotional boundaries. Be sure to read his full post.