Disney's 'Moana' Shows Parents How Helicopter Parenting Doesn't Help Their Children

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald November 30, 04:00 am
Songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, actors Auli'i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson attend The World Premiere of Disney’'s "Moana."
(Photo : Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney )

Disney's "Moana" provides a huge lesson for moms and dads who can't help but become helicopter parents. The film, which was released in theaters on Nov. 23, centers on a teenager's adventure that eventually defines her destiny.

Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) grows up in a happy family. She has a great relationship with her father, Chief Tui (Temuera Morrison), as well as a loving relationship with her mother Sina (Nicole Scherzinger). 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 to that it's not safe beyond the reef. Everyone was forbidden to do so, especially his daughter, according to Entertainment Weekly. 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, Gramma Tala (Rachel House), 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.

According to the New York Post, Moana couldn't stir 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, according to Daily Beast. These in-born qualities would eventually help her learn to stir her own course and discover her knack and talent just like her ancestors.

Have you seen "Moana" in theaters? Did you get the show's parenting lessons? What did you think about the movie's message? Tell us in the comments.

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