By Yali Perez
The world of parenthood is a magical, beautiful and often challenging place. It has its highs and its lows, similar to the world of anime. Of course, that’s without the magical outfit changes. Wouldn’t that make getting ready in the morning so much easier?
As a single parent to a 10-year-old son, I sometimes use anime as a way to connect with him. Anime is something we mutually enjoy and is a great medium to discuss subjects without the pressure of feeling too serious. The aim of A Mom’s Guide to Anime is to use anime to help you navigate the world of parenthood.
This month’s focus: New Year’s resolutions! With a new year comes the chance to start something new and set some goals. As adults, we might make resolutions out of obligation, forgetting what it really means.
For kids, it can be an opportunity to teach them about goal-setting and time management. Think about it: As a kid, didn’t a year feel like a lifetime? As a grown-up, a year feels like nothing at all. Giving a child a year to work on some simple goals can make them attainable.
Let’s take a look at five anime that could help you work on some New Year’s resolutions with your child!
Be more active like the Dragon Ball series and various sports anime
In the Dragon Ball series, youngsters Goten and Trunks are often playing outside between tournament bouts or world-threatening matches with villains. Yes, they are half-Saiyans who can fly and have super strength, but they’re also still kids who might want to play instead of study. And it’s important for kids to go outside and play. Even Goku and Krillin were kids who played in the forest and went on adventures!
Alternatively, sports anime like Free!, Big Windup! and HANEBADO! offer a fun way for kids to get involved and stay active. Your child doesn’t have to be on a team or be a professional to go for a swim, play catch with someone or try out badminton.
Whether it’s playing at the park with some friends or checking out a new sport, anime can help inspire kids to stay motivated.
Find your hobby like in Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
While it’s certainly a great show for kids on its own merit, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card can help your child figure out a hobby for themselves! Each character in the series has their own personal hobby.
Hobbies allow kids to focus and hone a skill on their own, one they feel total ownership of. Sure, there are hobbies you can do with others, but it’s also important for them to learn a skill individually to foster self-esteem and confidence.
In Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, Tomoyo Daidouji enjoys making clothes and practicing photography and videography. Rika Sasaki likes to cook and do crafts. Takashi Yamazaki studies history, though some of it is questionable. Sakura herself even enjoys baking and reading.
Make it a point to talk to your kids about some of their interests and how they can be leveled up to a hobby!
Join or start a club like in After School Dice Club
Joining a club has a lot in common with having a hobby, but it also helps in fostering relationships and communication with others. Plus, having a hobby can lead directly into finding or starting a club! And for school-aged children, clubs are often the only place for them to find friends with similar interests.
The kids in After School Dice Club all share a love of tabletop gaming. They play different games after school, which helps them form strong bond with each other, in turn making each game that much more fun.
As kids get older, developing support systems through friends is important, and it also helps them to develop their identity. If there isn’t a club at their school that interests them, they can see about starting one. You can also check out your local recreation center, library or comic book store to see what community programs they have available.
Be better siblings like Tanjiro and Nezuko in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
When you have a sibling, it can be very easy to fall into the sibling rivalry thing. This can bring out a healthy competitiveness, but it can also create misunderstandings that lead to in-fighting. But the bond between siblings is a special one.
While the content of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba might not be suitable for all children, there’s a case to be made for the positive sibling relationship between main character Tanjiro and his sister, Nezuko.
Tanjiro is a great example of a good older brother. His experiences are definitely extreme, since not everyone has a demon sister, but despite the treacherous world he lives in, Tanjiro goes above and beyond for Nezuko.
As siblings, it can be difficult to have to share with one another, and you’ll often get on each other’s nerves. It’s always a good idea to remind your children that it’s important to have a kind relationship with their siblings. They’re often our first friends, and we could all strive to have an unshakeable bond like Tanjiro and Nezuko.
Be more independent like the characters in Puzzle & Dragons X
Growing up is hard. It forces us to make changes and become self-sufficient, known by some as adulting. As parents, we know it’s imperative that our kids become more independent.
In Puzzle & Dragons X, Ace and his friends grow more independent throughout the show and their adventures. Being a Dragon Caller gives Ace a sense of responsibility, and encouraging children to do more on their own can be vital to their development.
Obviously, your kid isn’t going to be responsible for a dragon, but maybe have them help with a pet or chores around the house. Allow them to make lunch on their own, pick out their clothes, wash their dish after eating or help with sorting recycling. This, of course, can change as they get older.
The more they can do, the more they grow. They may not get it right on the first try or the second, but that’s what having a New Year’s resolution is all about. Allow them to make mistakes and help them do better next time!
That’s a wrap on this month’s A Mom’s Guide to Anime. Have your own New Year’s resolutions? Let us know!
Not a Funimation subscriber yet? Sign up now so you won’t miss out on all things anime.
Love creating content about anime? Pitch us a feature for Funimation Editorial!
Looking to chat about A Mom’s Guide to Anime? Head on over to the Funimation Forums.