A feature piece published on the Telegraph.co.uk recently, discusses the themes and usefulness of Star Wars as a parenting teaching tool. On the outset it may seem strange to use a movie with a cult-like following as a strategy for teaching some of life’s lessons, but as the article reports, there are in America alone, 400 teachers currently using Star Wars as a teaching tool within their classroom.
Benji Wilson, Author of the article, purports to have spotted seven ‘great’ life lessons within Star Wars movies and says that they can be used to create open discussions with your children, in a low-key, no-pressure way.
Parenting Tools & Teachable Lessons Within Star Wars
- The Force of self-belief: This is obviously open to interpretation, but in the Author’s household, they use The Force to mean Self belief and determination. Benji uses The Force to encourage piano practice in their household.
- Political Science: a primer: Star Wars offers very basic lessons in democracy and dictatorship political systems. This can be very useful both for assisting in explaining homework history questions, t.v. news updates and family structures.
- Death isn’t necessarily the end: After Obi-Wan is killed he returns in spirit to talk to Luke. This example can be a useful way of demonstrating to children how those that have died and their deeds can live on in our memories.
- Good things come to those wait: Depending on the age of your children, waiting for the story of Star Wars to develop and engaging with the character development of the story will assist them with their own patience levels. Also demonstrating the patience that characters show in Star Wars when events occur is another way of showing your children how good things do indeed come to those who wait.
- Everyone has a Dark Side: Like Luke, everyone has powers that they may choose to use for good or bad ends. Star Wars can be used as a parental teaching moment centered on choices and the consequences that can occur if one is chosen over the other.
- War does happen: Star Wars shows that wars sometimes need to be fought – bullying can never be tolerated – but that they are never without terrible consequences. Another way of opening up discussions about world events and situations of war around the world.
- Never give up: Luke and the rebels face unimaginable odds, get repeatedly struck down (literally and metaphorically) but they never give up. This is a fantastic lesson that all children need to learn to encourage resilience throughout the hard times in life.
There are many ways in which you can use Star Wars to assist your child’s learning about the world and guide them through the tough times.