How “Inside Out” can help your kids talk about their emotions
Friday 15 January 2016
Talking about emotions with your kids isn’t always easy, but this year’s blockbuster Pixar film Inside Out can be a real help. It’s not specifically Buddhist, but it explores important truths about the nature of the self and emotions that parallel Buddhist teachings. And kids—and adults—will love it.
Inside Out is based on the work of two leading experts on emotions who consulted on the film: Dacher Keltner, codirector of the Greater Good Science Center, and Paul Ekman, coauthor with the Dalai Lama of Emotional Awareness.
Writer-director Pete Docter takes five basic emotions—sadness, joy, anger, disgust, and fear/surprise—and transforms them into colorful characters who run a control panel that represents the heroine Riley’s mind. The film portrays the self as a combination of emotions, memories, and thoughts, all working together to create the illusion of a separate personality. It treats all emotions as equal in value and essential to healthy human functioning.
Your children will naturally want to talk about this film with you. First, though, you may want to take some time to let its message into your own heart. You can ask yourself (and your partner, if you wish) the following questions:
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