Child Psychology - Children’s films leave a pronounced footprint today on the personalities and development of a child’s emotional, cognitive, and social development.
Disney Princesses are emotionally bonding with young girls. Characters in movies are more bonding than on television, because the film allows more time for the character to be developed, and because children watch such films over and over. Emotions and thought patterns involving heroic romantic fantasies such as in Cinderella with rescue from a Prince Charming, learned as a child through movies and children's stories, can influence a woman's psyche, including her decisions involving relationships, even as adult.
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On the one hand, providing movie time for children gives parents (and teachers) a little breathing space, it can result in a child’s developing language skills, or even bilingual skills, and it can be something that is also used as a social tool, where parents or other children, can gather and find a common interest or activity.
On the other hand, there is evidence that films for young children have become significantly more violent in recent years and that children are increasing amounts of time watching movies. Films in generations past might have been viewed weekly at the
movie theatre, requiring you to get out of the house, and usually with a certain amount of socializing involved.
Additionally, the passive lifestyle of absorbing movies on a weekly or even daily basis, shapes and molds a child's thinking and even personality, teaches them life-lessons that might, more than likely, be the opposite of what responsible parents or educators want to teach a child, and trains them in the type of passivity which lends itself well to depression and other mental health issues.
Today, with the VCR, DVD’s and films available on the Internet, film viewing can be, and often is, a daily activity, with the same films, e.g. a child’s favorite films, viewed by children over and over again. (In the case of television, a 1996 survey revealed that eight out of 10 children’s cartoons were violent in nature.
Children don't stick too long with the tamer movies on the market, but quickly progress to violent films. Children as young as kindergarten talk about movies like Chainsaw Massacre, Scream, Friday the 13th and Chucky.
Most children have seen this horror movie, about a evil doll come to life. One second grade girl was having a hard time concentrating on her school work in class. She stated about this movie, "I can't stop think about that movie. Can I write about it?" The movies children watch at home on cable and satellite television, such as this movie, frequently aired on cable TV, leave lasting impressions on the mind of a child and contribute to molding a child's way of thinking.
Children's Movies - How Disney Movies Affect Children
and the Psychology Behind Walt Disney's Movies
Films are more powerful than
in that there is more time for characters to be developed and therefore, characters can be more emotionally bonding. Also, even children’s films from years ago, such as Walt Disney movies, had significant amounts of as well as subjects of deep emotional significance.
Disney had been subject to child abuse when young, and some of the scenes in his movies reflect that fact. (One scene in Pinocchio as an example, so strikingly resembles his own experience in being beaten by
his father, that it is close to being a reenactment of his own life’s experiences.
The deep wounds of child abuse are something that often stays with a person
long into his adult life and that can surface in various ways.
Bambi is an example of a child’s film, that was based on a novel written by a writer by the name of Salten, who was an Austrian Jew, living in Austria, before the Fascist occupation. The novel itself was an intense emotional work, Orwellian in nature (George Orwell-1984), and that was written at a level more for adults, than children.
It somewhat paralleled the experiences of some Jews in being hunted down by the Nazis, 12 or so years later. There are underlying messages in the original Bambi novel of a subtle sexual nature, along the lines of incest of pedophilia also.
In Disney’s version, the sexual references are not so pronounced although the intensity of some of the scenes still is a tremendously emotional experience for a child. (Steven Speilberg, 2007, related the emotional effect of watching Bambi when a child, crying through the movie).
is another movie that was based on a play from 1904, the story of which was a tragic rendering of a mother’s attempt to sustain herself emotionally after the death or her son, Peter, being a real child, and Pan being the Greek god of music.
When Disney produced the film, after WWII, Bambi was the only film produced during WWII by Disney studios, as they were involved heavily in producing war propaganda films during that time, he deliberately toned down the “darkness” of Peter Pan, lightening it up a bit, but also, deliberately added sufficient amounts of fighting and violence to attract audiences, as the studio was suffering financially and still deep in debt.
Other more modern fantasy movies today, such as Monsters Inc., have deep psychological impact on young girls, the audience to whom such a movie is directed.
Children and Movies of Extreme Violence and Sadism
A large percentage of
(kindergarten to teens) are watching extremely violent movies, such as R-rated slasher type, and violent horror movies. This is reflected in some of the art that they produce in the schools and it can leave deep psychological wounds on a child. So needless to say,
are exerting an influence on the psychology of children in the 21st century.
Children Benefit from Finding Enjoyment in Creating Works of Art
Children benefit from learning to enjoy creating works of art from an early age. Parents and teachers should encourage children with their art work, and provide opportunity at home, at school, and in private lessons, which can often be very inexpensive. See site page, How to Interest
Children in Art
When children are engaged in drawing and painting, the affect on their personality is usually positive. It absorbs them, helps them to concentrate, provides wholesome recreation free from any violent or sexual overtones, and contributes to their peace and self-esteem.
It helps to calm them down, to develop self respect and strengthens a child's mind. It can help parents to get control over the
, video games and in cutting back in the amount of time at
in their household.
It can also help children and teens to develop life skills that they can take with them when they get older. They can also develop their ability to create and reason through art. Art can be used as a for
form of professional therapy therapy,
, as well, as a form of self help for mental health disorders
It is very effective with children
, especially, who benefit in many ways from developing a balanced interest in art.
Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters
(Bright Ideas for Learning) Mary Ann F. Kohl, Kim Solga
Featuring more than 150 activities, this guide teaches the styles, works, and techniques of the great masters—Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and more.
Overcoming ADHD Without Medication: A Parent's and Educator's Guidebook
helps parents and educators learn what positive lifestyle changes and educational remediation can do to help children overcome symptoms of ADHD and depression without the need to resort to drugs.
Mommy, I'm Scared: How TV and Movies Frighten Children and What We Can Do to Protect Them
A wonderful book for parents, teachers and principals, to help them to realize the tremendous impact "scary" TV and movies can have on a child's emotions and psychological profile. R-rated movies and G-rated movies, as well as everything in between, can leave a deep emotional footprint on a child. What do parents need to be aware of? Since television and movies are a reality today, what can parents do?
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