Soul Surfer Movie; Lessons For Kids

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Last night Hanalei and I watched the movie, “Soul Surfer” a true story of Bethany Hamilton the young surfer girl that lost her arm to a shark while surfing on the North Shore Of Kauai back in 2003.

SoulSurferHeader“I don’t need easy, I need possible” ~ Bethany Hamilton

The will and determination of this girl is one of the best examples to share with your kids. As tough as it is to watch, or to share a tragedy like a shark attack with your kids may be a bit traumatizing at first, the lessons in this movie are powerful beyond measures. ( make a good judgment on whether your child is mature to understand what the lessons are before you allow them to watch)

I saw something in Hanalei while watching that had me get up and write this post.

The story is sad, and she cried a lot while watching ( I did too) but the interesting part was while Hanalei was crying and watching she was thinking.  She observed things about the scenes that I wouldn’t even consider noticing.

During the scene of the shark attack she said “Look how calm she is, that is why she lived”.

Then during the scenes when she went back in the water 3 weeks after the attack; Hanalei was watching so intently at how Bethany had to do it on her own. She whispered quietly, “she doesn’t want anyone to help her because she knows she has to figure it out if she wants to keep surfing”.

 I just sat there enjoying more of her thought process than the movie scenes. It was just another confirmation to me of how important it is to have time with your kids, to learn from them and to share experiences with them.

That statement stuck with me and has become part of my foundation as a parent. Our kids have a purpose, and when they know they have a purpose they can overcome crazy obstacles because they are equipped to handle them.

I just love these moments, when you can see who your child is through the way they perceive the world.

Bethany’s Story


“I don’t need easy, I need possible” ~Bethany Hamilton

How To Talk About This Movie with your kids:

  • Families can talk about the movie’s messages about facing life’s challenges. Do you think you’d be able to respond to a life-changing tragedy the way that the main character does? How do you think she manages it?
  • What does Bethany learn from her experience, and what does she teach others?
  • The movie is based on a true story. Do you think that means that everything happened exactly the way it’s shown here? Why might filmmakers change some facts while making a movie?

If you enjoyed this post and have something to share, please write a comment below sharing your thoughts.


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  • Chris Whittaker

    Great post Rhonda.

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