The new Pixar movie “Inside Out” is now in theaters, and portrays both the value and harm emotions can play in our lives. So how do we talk to our kids about it? How do we let them know it’s OK to feel angry or hurt, as long as it is in balance and doesn’t lead to irrational, reactive actions?
I see a danger in this movie. By personifying emotions, I fear it could lead to younger kids thinking that their emotions are beyond their control. They see an independent, determining force controlling how they think and feel and this might be how they frame their reality. The entertaining portrayal could become a framework perception, thus leading to blaming outside forces rather than ownership of emotion and reaction.
Talk to your kids about emotions. Allow them to feel, but check and balance those feelings and always point them toward Jesus, thankfulness, and reconciliation.