We all know that adolescence is a difficult time for both young people and their parents. In this sense, communication within the family is very important. There are many feelings, emotions, and circumstances that arise during this time that are sometimes difficult to recognize, such as sexual orientation, alcohol and drug problems, bullying, etc.
Have you ever wondered why students stop doing their homework, start to buy research paper, and argue with their teachers? Sometimes movies show us some of these issues and can be a good place to start a conversation about them with our children. So we bring you this selection of movies to watch with teens, whose obscene topics can also be educational.
1. Boyhood (2014)
Recommended age: 15+
The film is a real-time journey through the life of a boy named Mason from age 6 to 18. During this journey, there are many different changes such as moving, different schools, first loves, disappointments, and fabulous moments.
A story that tells the transformation of the modern family over time. It shows openly and naturally how to confront divorce from the perspective of a mother overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising a child alone, a father who spends only a few hours with them, and the vision of the young people themselves.
What does this teach us? It touches on a wide range of issues, from the changes in adolescence and how each character experiences them, to the various phases any family can go through. Spousal divorce is one of the most important issues that can help young people see it as something natural and part of family life without being traumatic.
2. Love, Simon (2018)
Recommended age: 13+
Simon Spears is a teenager living with his parents, with whom he has a very good relationship, a younger sister with whom he gets along great, and a group of friends with whom he shares laughter and trust. But he’s hiding a secret he can’t admit: he’s gay. One day one of his letters goes to the wrong address, and then the truth comes out.
Things get complicated for the young man, and he has to face a difficult situation that will jeopardize the life he has led so far. One of the movies to watch with teenagers shows us the difficulty parents have explaining homosexuality to their children and the rejection it causes some people.
What does this teach us? Through this film we can learn how to support our children, regardless of their sexual orientation, listen to them and help them identify their feelings. On the other hand, we can talk about sexuality and teach them to respect different ways of loving.
3. A Monster Calls (2016)
Recommended Age: 12+
Connor is a 12-year-old boy whose parents have just divorced and live with his mother, who has cancer, so he has to run the house. He is also bullied at school, something he won’t talk about at home. All of this leads him to create a fantasy world inhabited by imaginary creatures to confront his fears and phobias. There he feels safe, but one day a monster appears, different from the ones that visited him in his nightmares, not as scary, but the most complex of all the monsters he encountered – he was the truth.
The film shows us a metaphor for the difficulty of facing such a hard reality as the illness of a loved one, as well as the acceptance of such a difficult situation. On the other hand, it shows us the problem of bullying and ways to deal with it.
What does this teach us? The illness of any family member is hard and difficult to bear, so this film can make the viewer understand that no matter how difficult the situation is, we must face it, even if it means going through different phases and emotions.
4. Girl (2018)
Recommended age: 17+
Lara dreams of becoming the best dancer in the world and, thanks to her father, sets out to achieve that dream. But there is something different about her because when she was born, she was a boy. Her classmates at the academy sometimes notice something strange and make fun of her. That’s when the main character begins to have an inner conflict about who she really is and what she wants most.
One of the movies to watch with teens shows us the difficulties transgender people have to face and personal acceptance and the importance of family support in such cases.
What does it teach us? For many parents, transgenderism is something difficult to digest, so this film shows the social difficulties that these people face, making us think about the importance of parenting in terms of respect. On the other hand, family support is very important to be able to talk to our children about this topic in a natural way and make them feel supported.
5. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Recommended age: 16+
The main character is a man named Pat who suffers from bipolar disorder and returns home after being hospitalized in a mental health center for assaulting his partner’s lover. Although he wants his ex-wife back at all costs, things change when he meets Tiffany, a girl with a bad reputation. What begins as a relationship of great distrust between them will give way to a good relationship through which they find the good side of things.
The film, which shows the difficulties of living with a mental illness, although it has a humorous tone, it reflects the more complex aspects of the illness and how the support of friends and family can be very helpful.
What does this teach us? We can learn from this story that it is possible to live with mental illness and that it should be accepted naturally.
6. Juno (2008)
Recommended age: 14+
Juno is a 16-year-old girl who is very smart for her age and a little sarcastic, which she uses to hide her fears and doubts. As a result of a relationship with a classmate, she becomes pregnant, something her partner completely ignores. Then, with the support of her family, she decides to have a baby and give it up for adoption. When the time comes, she looks for suitable adoptive parents, and they become Mark and Vanessa, but apparently, Juno and Mark share many hobbies and get along very well from the beginning, which can complicate things.
One of the movies to watch with teens talks about teen pregnancy and emphasizes the importance of supporting loved ones.
What does this teach us? It shows the importance of respecting the teen’s decision without criticizing their decision and supporting the family during this time. It also shows different options for what can be done in this situation.
7. Moonlight (2016)
Recommended age: 17+
Chiron is a young African-American man who had a difficult childhood living in one of Miami’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. As the years pass and he enters adolescence, he will have to deal with increasingly difficult problems, such as his mother’s drug addiction and the bullying he is subjected to at school. One movie to watch with teens takes a hard look at the problem of bullying and how it can affect a person’s social development in the future.
What does this teach us? We can learn from it that not everyone who is bullied in school is going to be a bully in the future. For this reason, fostering respect is something fundamental that we must teach our children.