I recently found myself giving in and watching the movie “The Help” as despite having a copy of the book by my bedside table I just couldn’t quite get to it (I am struggling as it is to read my one book group book per month). I am so glad I watched it though. It was a wonderful portrayal of the complexities of the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi as seen by three young women who set out to transcend the lines that define them. But for me there was some very poignant moments and much to take on board with regards to raising our own children. The words by Aibileen to the toddler Mae, who she was essentially raising, have stuck with me well beyond the closing credits and have the ability to also transcend all lines and times. These words she would have her young charges repeat on a daily basis.
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important”
I started thinking what it would mean if every child today had someone to say those words to them on a daily basis. I love the idea that these 3 traits are pretty much all we need to know, or more importantly all we need to truly believe in order to achieve all that we can achieve, and do it with humility, compassion and respect for others. And whilst it is somewhat easier to tell our cute little baby how beautiful they are as we blow raspberries on their tummy, or snuggle up with a 2 year old and hand out praises as they correctly point to the right animal in the storybook, as our kids get older we may not always have the opportunities to remind them just how smart, kind and important they are. If you hear something often enough there is hope you will start to believe it. And if you start to believe it there is a good chance you will start living it. As I read through some of the comments on Facebook by teenagers and hear some of their daily bemoans of their lives, looks, brains and bodies, I started thinking that we could all do with an Aibileen sitting us down eye to eye and have us repeat those words over and again.
The other aspect of the movie that I loved was the power of the written word. Obviously I love to write and whilst I may not be moving mountains akin to those women of the deep south, I do hope that I can somehow help parents (and myself) to sit back and take stock, and remember to ensure our children know just how kind, smart and important they are.
If you haven’t seen the movie, it is now being released on DVD and Blu-ray. And if you have, then you would probably love to see it again and see all the ‘extra’ scenes and stuff that you get on the DVD/Blu ray packs.
I have a copy of “The Help” on blu-ray to give away, so to be in the running just leave a comment below on what you see as some of the most important beliefs that need to be instilled in our kids. What words do you say to them often or will you try to say more of in the future. Oh and be sure to like the Facebook page which is the only other condition of entry! Open to Australian residents only and entries close 5pm AEDST 3/3/2012
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This Post Has 18 Comments
After reading your review I’m really looking forward to seeing it! I think we should tell our children things that will help them develop emotional resilience. So many issues arise when a child isn’t emotionally strong – they suffer from bullying, their self esteem can be knocked, they lose self confidence. If they are resilient they can resist the effects of most taunts, situations and even uncontrollable events. I think I will tell my children something my Grandfather always said: Kia Kaha, Kia Toa, Kia Manawanui – Be strong, be brave and above all be patient.
I try to tell my children that even though there are going to be people in life that they won’t necessarily like, it is ok as long as they remain likable. Also, to be respectful to others. I also find myself repeating my mums favourite saying when things are looking tough: “You’re breathing aren’t you?” This works a treat at making them realise just how fortunate we are.
Hi Marty, I haven’t seen the film yet but I definitely want to now. Anything that encourages us to inspire, praise and teach our children is well worth watching. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the day to day routines, and nagging them to eat their breakfast, clean their teeth, stop fighting etc! To remember to step back and realise what beautiful children we have, and that we must make them see their worth, is a valuable lesson.
For me, the thing I seem to be saying to my prep now is this…
You dont have to be friends with everyone, but you need to be friendly to everyone.
I think most adults could give this a try.
The parents support is very important. I agree that as much as possible we should encourage and inspire our kids. This could greatly prepare them to the many damaging words or comments they would hear from others as they grow up.
My husband and I are trying to teach our boys respect and to love unconditionally. If they get that bit, all the other important values will follow!
A Simple PLEASE and THANK YOU goes along way.
We try and teach our children good manners.
I hear myself telling my children this repeatedly, “Treat her others like you want them to treat you”. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp but one worth repeating over and over again. It will eventually become part of their behaviour and will make all the difference to how they share their lives with others.
I think the two most important things would be good manners and to treat other people how they themselves want to be treated.
This morning I was telling my eight year old that who she is exactly who she was made to be, and she can use her gifts and talents to help others be who they need to be. I think so many of us don’t like who we are, but who we are is wonderful. I want my kids to love themselves, because they are incredible human beings.
I just want my kids to be comfortable in their own skin – whatever that means for them. If they know they have a strong family who will be there for them no matter what, then so many obstacles can be overcome. Sometimes it can be as simple as repeatedly reminding them that they are loved unconditionally.
I teach my daughter the joy of love, affection, unconditional acceptance and respect – and she demonstrates that she understands by showering us all with those things! I believe that if she has confidence in who she is and the family she comes from, she will grow to treat others the same way and spread some kindness in the world in her own way 🙂
I haven’t seen the movie just yet. But I’m planning to watch this because I believe it’s going to contribute to my being a parent as well. How much is the DVD copy of it and where can I buy it?
Thanks for the wonderful movie review.
you can’t beat good manners. trying to teach our son Sir and Maam when speaking to elders and please and thankyou are very important
Basic manners and empathy for those around us.
I believe it is important to help children grasp the concept of RESPECT. For themselves, others & the environment. With respect comes understanding & the acceptance of everyone’s rights.
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Kismet! I’ve just clicked over to your blog after finding out that you’re my DPCON12 buddy while i’ve been watching The Help (finally got around to renting it)! Loved it and particularly taken with Aibileens word to the little girl. We’ve always told our kids they are smart and wonderful and they can be anything they want if they work hard enough.
P.s looking forward to meeting you in 4 weeks!
It’s okay to be different! I feel that if a child knows it’s okay to be different they can not only help others that are being ostrasised but also have confidence in themselves.