‘Moana’ shows parents helicopter parenting doesn’t help

March 30, 2017

The Clare County Communities That Cares Coalition sponsored Disney’s “Moana” movie Monday night. There were 138 parents and children that attended. The movie provides a huge lesson for moms and dads who can’t help but become helicopter parents. The film centers on a teenager’s adventure that eventually defines her destiny.

Goldie J. Wood, MSA, CAC, CPC, has been active in the substance abuse field for over thirty years, focusing on adolescent counseling, substance abuse prevention, and coalition building in Bay County and the state of Michigan. She currently serves as Prevention and Outreach Manager, for 1016 Recovery Network, for all six of their regional counties.

Goldie J. Wood, MSA, CAC, CPC, has been active in the substance abuse field for over thirty years, focusing on adolescent counseling, substance abuse prevention, and coalition building in Bay County and the state of Michigan.
She currently serves as Prevention and Outreach Manager, for 1016 Recovery Network, for all six of their regional counties.

Moana grows up in a happy family. She has a great relationship with her father, as well as a loving relationship with her mother. Moana had everything she needed and her parents made sure she was well-provided for.

Yet as Moana gets older, her curiosity and passion for independence also grows. Longing to explore, her father constantly warns her that it’s not safe beyond the reef. Everyone was forbidden to do so, especially his daughter. Moana’s father overprotects her even as a teenager and this hindered her from being primed for the chieftain post she would eventually assume.

It was her grandmother, who encouraged her to go beyond the reef when their island experienced a crisis. It was left to Moana to come up with the solution but because she always had her parents back, she struggled during the beginning of her journey.
Moana couldn’t steer a boat nor follow the stars’ direction when she was supposed to be skilled at this had she gotten the proper experience early on. Being the child of the ocean, she did get help from sea creatures yet the movie highlights the disadvantages of helicopter parenting in a big way.

Moana was not left to her own devices as child. As much as she had the love, care and support of her parents, their parenting style made her vulnerable, unprepared for a bigger life outside her safe home and reliant on the help of others. This could be the same thing for other children raised through helicopter parenting.

Parents might mean well when they keep their children in a safe and protected environment but as the movie shows, it is the child who will have to deal with her own challenges. What made Moana a success story, however, is that she’s fierce, willing to take risks, determined and unwilling to be limited. These in-born qualities would eventually help her learn to stir her own course and discover her knack and talent just like her ancestors. Parenting is difficult and it is up to you to make the right choices for your child until they are old enough to do so themselves. It helps to allow children to make decisions throughout their childhood with your encouragement and guidance.

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