Director Pete Docter takes on the world of the mind and emotions and creates a visually beautiful film. The movie engages you from the very start. I watched in awe as everything I know about a tween’s social and emotional development was presented with entertaining banter and wit. In the first ten minutes the film introduces each feeling, defines them and what they do for Riley, the 11 year old star of the film, at this point Inside Out had my heart. At that moment I understood that a parent can use this film in any age group but in particular for a tween to speak and explain the world of choices, loss and emotions. Here are my suggestions on how to use the movie to begin a conversation with your tween about the world inside their minds:
The waiting and lines at Disney cause all to have to go through this process time and again. However, at Disney, unlike the marshmallow test, after the wait you get much more than just two marshmallows. Everyone gets their imagination expanded and their hearts filled with joy. It was interesting for me to witness this constant restraint, sometimes in failure and sometimes in success, of the many children and adults at the parks. In the spirit of writing about the solution rather than the problem, here is how I think parents can handle this Disney test of patience and impulse control.
I waited until my children were six and nine to take a trip to Disney. The older one had been able to go to Magic Kingdom on a school trip, but the youngest had never been. If I'm perfectly honest, thinking of going to a Disney park was both terrifying and exciting. I found it terrifying because I imagined seeing all sorts of parenting practices that would upset my trip; exciting because for school age children the Disney parks are absolutely magical. Both of these reasons kept me away and pushed me toward the parks simultaneously.