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Inside Out 2: Why Indian parents need to watch it

Entering teenage years, Inside Out 2 shows audiences what goes on inside our mind as our body rapidly experiences changes and new feelings.

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Disney & Pixar’s latest animated project Inside Out 2 has not only conquered the global box office charts but has also ignited a powerful conversation about emotional intelligence, mental health and family dynamics. As it surpasses all expectations to become the highest grossing film of the year, earning $724 million in just eight days, here’s why we think Indian parents should watch the movie.

Following on from the last instalment in the movie, Inside Out 2 follows Riley (protagonist) as she navigates her teenage years. Introducing new emotions such as Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser), all emotions that begin to grow within us as we grow up.

We’ve all been there as we try to navigate the change not only in our body, but also the way our mind works, justifying why the movie has resonated so deeply within young audiences.

For Indian parents, renowned for their dedication to academic success and traditional values that tend to sideline mental health, the movie serves as a gentle yet powerful reminder of the importance of emotional understanding. Parents play a pivotal part in nurturing their children’s emotional well-being and should embrace open communication and empathy, fostering an environment where children feel safe to express their feelings.

As the movie goes on, we see the character of Anxiety taking over from Joy saying, “Riley’s life is more complex now and it requires more sophisticated emotions than all of you.” This particular scene is followed by a depiction of what a panic attack looks like, which is a part of mental health that seems to have been lost within the Indian community. Yes, we talk about depression, anxiety and trauma but where’s the talk around coping with panic attacks?

 

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Director Kelsey Mann does a fantastic job of showing audiences the reality of such panic attacks, where you can’t do anything until it passes, your mind and body shut down, only thinking about one thing. While Indian parents are becoming more comfortable with having important discussions around mental health, often, they can misinterpret what to do when their child has a panic attack.

Saying comments like: “Why do you let things affect you so much”, “Grow up”, “Itni si baat pe itna bara drama”, “Learn to control these episodes” WILL NOT HELP AT ALL.

Inside Out 2
New emotions: Embarrassment (Pink), Anxiety (Orange), Envy (Turquoise) and Ennui (Purple) | Source: IMDb

Anyone that has experienced panic attacks will know that you cannot control when you get them and people telling you to just “suck it up” makes the situation worse. They feel exposed, vulnerable and confused so if you don’t know what to do, it’s better to just let things take its course.

However, if you’d like to help, follow these steps:

  1. Ask them how you can help
  2. Get them comfortable
  3. Validate their distress
  4. Get further help if needed

Inside Out 2

By portraying diverse characters with sensitivity and depth, the film prompts Indian parents to broaden their perspectives and embrace their children’s unique identities and emotions. It encourages families to move beyond societal expectations, fostering a supportive environment where every child can flourish authentically.

Beyond its cinematic conversations, Inside Out 2 provides practical insights for parents navigating the complexities of raising children in a rapidly changing world. It advocates for validating emotions, teaching children resilience, and nurturing their emotional intelligence from an early age. By incorporating these lessons, parents can empower their children to navigate life’s challenges with confidence and compassion.

Inside Out 2
A supportive and understanding family dynamic can improve your child’s mental health | Source: IMDb

This movie celebrates the beauty of diversity, encourages empathy, and emphasises the everlasting importance of being patient and understanding with your children as they navigate the many challenges during adolescence and beyond.

If you, or someone you know, is in a life-threatening situation please seek help immediately by calling 000. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please call Lifeline 13 11 14. The NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 is a 24/7 service that can advise you on appropriate local mental health services for you or a loved one.

READ MORE: Multicultural mental health line launched in NSW

Khushee Gupta
Khushee Gupta
A passionate journalist dedicated to highlighting stories of diversity, empowerment and resilience in various industries and a Bollywood fanatic!

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