Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Movies to Help Families Talk About Grief and Loss

posted by Nell Minow

I was honored to be quoted in a thoughtful post by Jeanne Davis about using movies to help kids talk about grief and loss.

Movies are as full of loss as they are of love, unspooling the human experience in all its dimensions. They can provide a wonderful springboard for conversation about all manner of emotions — including the complex, confusing, and often isolating feelings associated with the loss of a loved one.

Movies can create a safe space for conversation, especially for families. It may be easier — or more accessible — for children to talk about what little Nemo (Finding Nemo) or Simba (The Lion King) is going through than what they themselves are going through. In fact, they may well not understand what they are going through and what the future holds, and it can be very comforting — and revealing — to talk about the feelings and the journey of a fictional character.

“Movies are a wonderful way to begin a discussion,” says Nell Minow, who begins movie discussions almost every day on her popular Movie Mom blog on Beliefnet.com and has written a guide to family movies. “With children, especially little kids, it gives them an emotional vocabulary. How does this character feel — happy, sad, confused?”

While some might want to protect kids from movies that are “too sad” or “too difficult,” Debra and Nell say movies are a great way to expose kids to the challenges of life, love and loss. While Debra’s work puts her in close touch with children who are already grieving, Nell casts a wider net to all families — and she recommends opening the channels of communication early and often. “Movies are a good gateway to open up difficult topics,” says Nell. “Ideally, you want to get this topic on the table for kids before they’re confronted by a devastating loss.”

The post includes recommended films for young and older children and teens and some thoughtful questions to help families start discussions of sensitive and difficult topics.



  • http://Facebook.com/RebeccaWantEnt Rebecca Wang

    What Jeanne Davies and of course you, Nell, pointed out is very inspiring and true. We, adults, often find it hard to cope up with the lost of a loved one, what more mere children. It’s good to share to the world how families can help children understand the difficult emotions of loss and grief.

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks so much, Rebecca. I think adults sometimes want so badly to protect kids from loss we pretend it is possible. Much better to teach them not to be afraid of sadness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406032395 Camila

    Hi KL Love,Thank you for your comment. Removing CAPTCHAs or relancipg them with alternative CAPTCHAs that are accessible is the highest priority for our team at the moment. We have been working closely with our tech folks, and have found a solution. Currently it is on the testing platform, where a few technical issues are being worked out, and will hopefully be implemented very shortly. We too are very concerned that all people who want to not be denied the opportunity to comment on Disability.Blog. We promise to keep you updated on this effort!Best,The Disability.Blog Team

Previous Posts

Dr. Martin Luther King's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
This week's release, "Selma," begins with the ceremony honoring The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King with the Nobel Peace Prize. Here is the real footage of his famous speech. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5r98tT0j1a0?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 12:00:34pm Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

A Child's Christmas in Wales
The whole family will enjoy this beautiful version of Dylan Thomas' classic memory about his family Christmases in Wales. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GrLDaAG7j_o?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:23am Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Pride
The ingredients for this film were so irresistible that it is a unexpected bonus to find that it is so much better than it needed to be. It's based on a true story of extraordinary kindness, generosity, and friendship and it stars a bunch of adorable English actors (Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy) w

posted 6:00:25am Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Ava DuVernay of "Selma"
My favorite movie of the year is "Selma," the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery, to bring attention to the barriers the

posted 9:41:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: A Boy and a Penguin
This reminds me a little of the depiction of a child's world in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Barnaby. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860[/youtube] Many thanks to Slate for this and the others on its list of the year's best ads.

posted 12:06:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.