My 2 children are at an age when they are starting to question the world. No longer armed with an easy response, I find myself searching for creative ways to answer everyday questions sprinkled with just enough confusion to raise a 5-year-old eyebrow in innocent wonderment. Every hour of the day is filled with the whys and hows of life and as I lose ammunition in my comeback arsenal, I have found Star Wars to come in quite handy at answering (or diverting) tough questions.
- You should not kiss your brother that way! Yes, I know Princess Leia kisses her brother Luke, but we are not supposed to do that. Why? Because you are supposed to find your own Han Solo, that is why. Would you like a popsicle?
- Not everyone gets a medal. When asked why Chewbacca did not receive a medal at the end of "A New Hope" (which incidentally is quite a jip for Chewbacca) I struggled to find a delicate answer as to why not everyone was awarded a prize. Shaking off the unrealistic life lesson of "everyone is a winner", I explained that sometimes you are not the winner. You will not get a medal for everything you do in life and if you want to win, you need to work really, really hard at your job, relationships, pursuing your passions...After thoroughly confusing them with the words passions and relationships, I asked them if they wanted to play a game.
- Always tell the truth because just like Darth Vader, Mama knows when you are lying. Enough said.
- If you don't brush your teeth, they will look like the Emperor's. This response immediately produces results in my house, as the sight of brown and yellow teeth on our big screen television repulses my 5-year-old.
- You see how Qui-Gon Jinn is doing his breathing, counting to 10 and not losing his patience? That is what you should do when you are frustrated or cross. My kids, like many out there, have a difficult time staying calm when they are upset. I have been encouraging this concept of counting to 10 and taking a deep breath before you lash out, hit or yell. Obsessed with the Force, my 5-year-old, Raymond, longs to be a good little Padawan. And with the realization that Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn did everything his mama told him to do, I have been seeing a lot more breathing and less yelling during a confrontation with Raymond's 3-year-old sister.
I will admit, I use distraction quite a bit to avoid explaining complicated subjects like incest and death. I will save the answers to those questions for another time - or until I can find another movie to help me come up with a reasonable explanation.
Have you found a book or movie which has helped explain life lessons to your kids?