Friday, May 3, 2013

10 Things I've Learned About Parenting By Watching Star Wars




Like most kids growing up in the '70s and '80s, my childhood revolved around Star Wars. That magical little trilogy was just the greatest thing ever invented next to snow days. Now that I'm grown and have kids of my own, I've had the sheer pleasure of reliving it all through their eyes. (As well as reliving the nightmare that is the Prequels.)

Now if you're a parent and you haven't seen Star Wars, well, what's wrong with you? Stop reading right this second, go rent Episodes IV - VI and watch them. Then we'll talk. For all you other folks, whether your kids are old enough to watch it or not, I've realized something pretty magical about that Galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars is a great teacher.

Not about war preparation or special effects or crazy alien languages. Uh uh. Star Wars is a wonderful resource for parents. There are a slew of powerful life lessons you can grasp from the movies to help shape your younglings' lives. I've compiled a list of the 10 most important parenting lessons you can absorb from watching Star Wars. Some of these are great advice for parents to follow, some are great to pass on to your kids, and many apply to both.

Read on and, of course, May the Force be With You.



1. Choose your destiny. Even if you have incredibly lofty goals, like say ruling the entire galaxy with your son by your side, it's their life, not yours. You need to let your kids follow their own path. Don't "Force" them into what you want them to become.

2. Do or do not. There is no try. Okay, so maybe Yoda's advice doesn't really apply to things like potty training or trying to ride a bicycle, but the essence of his fortune cookie ramblings is that you shouldn't be wishy washy with things. Make a decision and stand by it. Either do it or don't. Don't try it, meaning you don't give it your full attention.

3. Han shot first. True Star Wars fans will completely agree with me on this one. For those wondering what the heck I'm talking about, in the original Star Wars, Han Solo shoots Greedo in the cantina and then escapes. In George Lucas' updated Special Edition of the film, he changed it so that Greedo shot first and then Han fired in self-defense. The lesson here is twofold. First, it's okay that sometimes "good guys" do bad things. Or "not so nice" things. And second, you do NOT mess with a classic movie.

4. Love your sister. (But not like that!) Family is everything. Even if you grew up on completely different planets and didn't know about each other's existence, family is important. You should be there for each other. Just be sure you know who your biological sister is before you accidentally start playing tonsil hockey with her, okay? Ewwww...

5. Everyone's family is dysfunctional. Whether your father is the Dark Lord of the Sith, your single mother was a slave on a desert planet, or you literally have thousands of identical clone brothers, it doesn't matter. Every family is dysfunctional, so don't for a minute think yours is any weirder than someone else's.

6. Bullies never win. They can hurt you mentally and physically. They can create a fully operational planet-sized weapon of mass destruction. Twice. But no matter what, in the end, bullies will always get what they deserve.

7. Ignore the Smells. Hopefully you'll never find yourself stuck in a frozen tundra somewhere with the only means to your survival resting on the warm guts inside of a large, furry beast. But even still, parenting has its fair share of "ickiness" that you just need to suck up and look past. From projectile poop to puke, there's plenty of grossness that'd make any sane human run for the hills. But just like in life, sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves, find some guts (preferably your own), and push on.

8. Teddy Bears have teeth. Always watch your back. Those cute adorable walking teddy bears may seem furry and harmless at first but they carry big sticks (and spears) and can do some serious damage if you're not careful. So never jump to quick conclusions about a person or situation without uncovering more details first.

9. Trust your instincts. All the data in the world and computerized targeting systems cannot replace human instinct. If you think you can hit the bullseye with your eyes closed, and you truly believe it and feel it, go with your gut. Same goes for any situation you just feel is wrong.

10. Let the Wookiee win. Pretty sound advice for anyone no matter their age.


 
Andrew Kardon is a daddy blogger over at Mommy's Busy, Go Ask Daddy, as well as a freelance writer. He regular contributes to Singlemommie.com where he dives into the super scary world of... parenting!


50 comments:

  1. love a good Star Wars analogy.

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  2. Ha! I laughed out loud at "Ignore the Smells"!

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  3. I remember that scene, and he shot in cold blood, murdering someone for no reason. That was NOT cool, which is probably why they had to change it. He went in there knowing he would take someone's life, kind of made me sick.

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  4. My husband just texted me #2 because I said I would try. :) Random.

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  5. haha! Love this! I am sure I could use these lessons to teach my boys who LOVE Star Wars ;)

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  6. Great words of wisdom Andrew, of course I learned, when everything seems hopeless Obi-Wan's my only hope.

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  7. LOL -- after my husband and I were married, his first task was to sit me down and make me watch all of the movies. And I was surprised to discover that they (IV-VI) are REALLY good!

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  8. I used to watch Star Wars when I was young.

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  9. Very interesting way of looking at it. Those Jedi have serious wisdom to share!

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  10. Great post! May the Fourth be with you!

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  11. This is awesome! I'm totally sending it to my sister who is a Star Wars nut.

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  12. This is awesome! My kids are watching Star Wars right now to Celebrate May 4th!

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  13. hahaha I agree with your take on Star Wars!!

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  14. Star Wars does indeed have many positive lessons in it for kids.

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  15. This is a great list., funny!

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  16. I've learned to trust my mother instinct since day one :)

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  17. Great post, Andrew! I liked the old Star Wars movies and love some of those quotes!

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  18. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. I love Yoda! That quote was a motivation for me throughout my diving career!

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  20. This is such an amazing post. I'm a huge star wars fan! What an interesting take on parenting.

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  21. I love this!! So good.

    And for those who remember the tantan (if that's how you spell it?) scene where Luke crawls into the gutted creature - that's the reason I don't eat hash browns. The tantan guts look like hash browns, which I was unfortunately eating when I watched that movie for the first time so many years ago. To this day, I just can't eat them!

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  22. These are so cute! Star Wars really has some great life lessons :-).

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  23. I'm up to my neck in Wampa guts right now.. planning my almost 7 year olds Star Wars party. This is so perfect! ;-)

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  24. I was never really into Star Wars but glad you were able to take something from it. May the Force be with you lol.

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  25. Love #10! I have to go back and watch these movies with my kids, it has been too long since I've seen them.

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  26. love this! I'll have to show my husband.

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  27. I saw Star Wars and immediately thought this sounds like Andrew LOL!

    I personally like #5

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  28. I never thought about the lessons, but you're actually right. Not sure about the teddy bear and teeth one though, lol.

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  29. Love it and so true thanks for the laugh and insight

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  30. What a fun list you've created from a classic movie!

    Love your sister..I try to remind my daughters every minute!

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  31. Ha ha - great post Andrew! And you DEFINITELY let the Wookie win at all times, it's always in your best interest!

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  32. Great lessons to learn for sure.

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  33. My husband has been trying to get me to watch this but I haven't. I guess I need to give in.

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  34. Great tips. Thanks for sharing. Yoda would be proud of you.

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  35. Hokey smokes! I just jumped back on and there's like 47 comments?!??!? Yowzers. That's more than I've ever gotten on any of my posts I think! :)

    Thanks for all the kind words, everybody. Glad you liked it! And if anyone's looking for guest posts from me, just shoot me an email at akardon AT gmail.com and I'll be happy to bring the funny (or the Force)!

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  36. Also, Carrie, I almost spit yogurt out of my nose when I read your comment about hash browns! Hah!

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  37. Great story written about great classic movie.

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