Movies That Promote Self-Control

Self-control isn't a character strength that comes easily to all kids. Whether they're toddlers, teens, or somewhere in between, many struggle to pay attention to (and manage) their thoughts, feelings, and impulses. But these movies can help by providing excellent role models and repeated "wins" over traits like recklessness and impulsiveness. From Elsa learning to control her powers in Frozen to Luke Skywalker learning to use the Force in Star Wars, these exciting, engaging movies can teach kids important lessons about self-reflection, focus, and the consequences of their actions. (See even more movies and TV shows that promote self-control.)

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Tiger Family Trip Poster Image
MOVIE

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Tiger Family Trip

age 3+

More kid-friendly entertainment from inquisitive tiger cub.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2017)
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Frozen Poster Image
MOVIE

Frozen

age 5+

Wintry Disney musical is fabulous celebration of sisterhood.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2013)
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Kung Fu Panda Poster Image
MOVIE

Kung Fu Panda

age 6+

Appealing kid-friendly comedy; some scary scenes.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2008)
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Anne of Green Gables Poster Image
MOVIE

Anne of Green Gables

age 7+

Faithful, sensitive take on classic novel is great for kids.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1986)
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Wreck-It Ralph Poster Image
MOVIE

Wreck-It Ralph

age 7+

Game-themed movie mixes potty humor with strong messages.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2012)
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A Christmas Story Poster Image
MOVIE

A Christmas Story

age 8+

Wonderful antidote to cutesy holiday tales; some swearing.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1983)
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Ralph Breaks the Internet Poster Image
MOVIE

Ralph Breaks the Internet

age 8+

Colorful, clever sequel tackles complexity of online world.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2018)
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Star Wars: Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi Poster Image
MOVIE

Star Wars: Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi

age 8+

Ewok-filled finale less Force-ful than previous.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1983)
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Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Poster Image
MOVIE

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

age 8+

The best of the original series, but the most intense, too.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1980)
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Coraline Poster Image
MOVIE

Coraline

age 9+

Cool but creepy animated fantasy too scary for young kids.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2009)
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Little Women Poster Image
TV

Little Women

age 9+

Strong female characters shine in classic book adaptation.

Network: PBS (2018)
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Back to the Future Poster Image
MOVIE

Back to the Future

age 10+

'80s time-travel favorite; some violence, bullying, cursing.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1985)
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Ne Zha Poster Image
MOVIE

Ne Zha

age 10+

Lots of fantasy violence in animation based on Chinese myth.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
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The Farewell Poster Image
MOVIE

The Farewell

age 11+

Awkwafina shines in excellent dramedy about family, culture.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
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The Karate Kid Poster Image
MOVIE

The Karate Kid

age 11+

'80s classic is still fun for families with older tweens.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1984)
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Drumline Poster Image
MOVIE

Drumline

age 12+

Outstanding cast, great message, strong language.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2002)
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Ad Astra Poster Image
MOVIE

Ad Astra

age 13+

Pitt flies high to reach emotional depths in sci-fi drama.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
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Crazy Rich Asians Poster Image
MOVIE

Crazy Rich Asians

age 13+

Messages, role models stand out in culture-clash romcom.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2018)
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Brittany Runs a Marathon Poster Image
MOVIE

Brittany Runs a Marathon

age 15+

Woman makes over her life in heartfelt but mature dramedy.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2019)
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First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers Poster Image
MOVIE

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers

age 16+

Poignant, violent story of child during Khmer Rouge's reign.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2017)
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