THEMES & OTHER THINGS
This month’s feature brings Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2 to the Kidtoons family. In this story, Merliah must learn to balance her family responsibilities as a mermaid princess with her passion for competitive surfing as a human with legs. As Merliah progresses as a surfer in the human world, she must find time for her mom, the mermaid queen under the sea. This entertaining story provides several lessons for the Kidtoon audience.
This engaging story will appeal primarily to the four to ten-year-old age group and to many of their older siblings. Younger children will identify with the simple messages of friendship and sportsmanship. Older children will appreciate مزید complex story elements such as perseverance, sacrifice, passion and adventure. Many youngsters will remember the major characters from the Barbie in a Mermaid Tale movie. The primary appeal will be to girls.
Parents should be cautioned that there are some scenes that may be frightening to younger children. Additionally, some of the dialogue is aggressive and combative. It is important to know your child’s tolerance level, and have discussions with your children about these elements before viewing.
Let’s take a look at some of the messages in this story and then consider follow-up activities for the Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2 experience.
حالیہ child development research has identified seven essential skills – life skills - that children need to prepare them for the complexities of life. [See reference (1) below] Several of these skills are modeled سے طرف کی the characters in Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2 and serve as the themes for our discussion. We will take a look at scenes from the story that illustrate these skills in action. We encourage آپ to discuss the scenes and the skills with your children. In so doing, آپ will help to raise their awareness and help them learn these important life skills.
PERSPECTIVE TAKING: “Perspective taking goes far beyond empathy; it involves figuring out what others think and feel and forms the basis for children’s understanding of their parents’, teachers’, and friends’ intentions. Children who can take others’ perspectives are also much less likely to get involved in conflict.”
Merliah and her mother Calissa get into a conflict because Calissa wants Merliah to attend the “Changing of the Tide Ceremony,” which happens to fall on the same دن as the Australian Surf competition. While Merliah’s mom cautions “Life isn’t a competition” Merliah still chooses to attend the surf competition. Both Merlia and her mom neglected to take the perspective of the other person. Each might have handled the situation better if they had stopped to figure out what the other was thinking and feeling. Use this opportunity to discuss perspective taking with your children. What could Merliah have done differently? What could Calissa have done differently? Point out that سے طرف کی the end of the story, Calissa acknowledges that she should have realized that the human side of her daughter was just as important as her mermaid side.
FOCUS AND SELF CONTROL: “Involves executive functions of the brain including paying attention, remembering the rules and inhibiting one’s initial response to achieve a larger goal.”
Merliah uses focus and self control during her surfing competitions. During these competitions, she doesn’t let Kylie (her biggest competitor) drag her down. She is able to compete successfully and ignore distractions.
Talk with your children about a time when they tried something new and difficult. What skills helped them stay focused so they could carry on and improve?
Encourage your child to think of a time when they encountered competition. How did they handle it? What are ways that they can promote teamwork and sportsmanship in their communities?
TAKING ON CHALLENGES: “Life is full of stresses and challenges. Children who are willing to take on challenges (instead of avoiding them یا simply coping with them) do better in school and in life.”
When Merliah’s evil aunt, Eris, has put Calissa and the other mermaid ambassadors in a very dangerous situation, she has to call upon her rival Kylie to help her overcome Eris and save the ocean. Together, Merliah and Kylie use problem solving skills to find ways to handle several bad situations. As a team, they figure out that they can use kelp to کنٹرول, جوتنا the giant stargazer fish. Talk with children about both Merliah and Kylie’s behavior and the decisions they make together. Why are such decisions hard?
Ask your children to remember a time when they had to take on a challenge. Why was it hard? How did he/she handle the stress and the difficult decisions?
Merliah has a special ہار that enables her to transform between a human in the real world and a mermaid in Oceana. With your child, create a symbolic item that has a special power. Help them decide their power and what they need to do یا say to enact the transformation.
Merliah is asked to become the spokesperson for Wavecrest, a surfing clothing company. Talk with children about the positives and negatives of endorsing products. Help them to focus on the woman from Wavecrest who handles the تصویر shoot. Does she seem like a nice person? How can آپ tell?
Write a friendship letter and create a card for a family member. Merliah was not very respectful to her mom early in this story. Help your child find a way to دکھائیں a family member how much آپ care about them.
Ask your child to make a فہرست of all their پسندیدہ sports. Ask them to identify sports that they have tried and new ones that they might like to try in the future. Help them to find examples of athletes who have excelled in their پسندیدہ sports. Support your child in their desire to find a new sport to play.
These کتابیں are recommended to encourage آپ to read to, and with, your children about the themes from Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2.
The Jolly Postman by: Janet Ahlberg
Olivia Learns to Surf by: Diana Michaels
Dolphins by: Silvia M. James
Pig Kahuna سے طرف کی Jennifer Gordon Sattler