Toy Story Is a Gem for Mental Health

and why you should watch it WITH your children

Mental Health IS NOT being happy all the time. In fact, the pursuit of happiness 24/7 can be quite detrimental to our wellbeing. What is mental health then? It is the ability to identify and regulate your emotions to be able to live in a meaningful but lighthearted way.

There are a Lot of stigmas when it comes to mental health, particularly for children and boys. Who never heard “You’ll be ok, kid. It was nothing” or “Look, there’s no reason to be sad..” or the worse of all “Stop crying, you look like a little girl”.

It there anything parents can do to change that? Yes. Heaps. I am going to focus on a small yet powerful one, my favourite. Stories.

Here I will highlight watching Toy Story 1. Yes, 1. Buzz Lightyear actually says the words “I think I am depressed” to his not-so-best-friend-yet, Woody.
I can’t contain my excitment that this story is about MALEs showing vulnerability. First, Woody being supportive about the other toys anxieties when Andy’s new toys are being opened at his birthday party to then shifting to his own anxiety after seeing that Andy’s new toy could replace him. Woody, experiencing fear, insecurity and anxiety himself and transforming it into anger against Buzz.

The movie shows how their friendship grows by experiencing life together and helping each other. and it’s super peak is when Buzz says he is a bit depressed. Woody doesn’ t make fun of him or says to brush it off as most people still do these days. Woody shows compassion and care.

Seriously, watch Toy Story tomorrow! There’ s no need to lecture or pause the movie. You can pick up the conversation after the movie is finished. Or you can say during the movie things like: Did you see how Buzz was so sad? Did you see how Woody helped him?

I recommend watching the first one. I can’t say the other movies have the same emotional complexity and deepth although I am quite fond of number 4 when Andy needs to let go of his toys (and childhood) to go to college. Lots of emotional moments that also shows a vulnerable boy.

Let’s make it normal for kids to see other boys crying, feeling sad, showing vulnerability and why not start with Blockbuster stories?

Disclaimer: I do not accept any paid posts. All posts and opinions are my own that align with my personal and professional values with the intention to inspire and exchange knowledge.

Photo credit: Empire Online (Disney + Pixar)

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