Life Lessons Taught by Rudolph

Posted on December 8th, 2012 by Denise | No Comments

Life Lessons Taught by Rudolph 


Denise Koonce OTR

I am sure all of you are familiar with the Rudolph I am referring to, you know, the one with the shiny red nose.  He lives in the North Pole and works for Santa.  He is the most famous reindeer of all …. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

I have watched, or have attempted to watch, Rudolph every year during the onslaught of Christmas shows for as long as I can remember.  As a child we only had a hand full of channels and there was little in the way of children’s shows that would appear on nightly television.  Therefore I couldn’t wait for the Christmas shows to begin each year.  As habit would have it, I watched it again this year with my daughter curled up on my lap.  However, this time, I saw Rudolph from a different perspective.  I paid attention to aspects of the show that I hadn’t before.  I did this predominately because my daughter was very in tuned to the difficulties Rudolph was having because he was different from the rest; he had a shiny red nose.  Unfortunately Rudolph’s father, due to fear and ignorance, made a poor decision on Rudolph’s behalf and tried to hide his son’s nose instead of embracing his son’s difference.  This decision led Rudolph to be made fun of and cast out.  The movie provided a life lesson that being different should not cause you to hide your difference nor should anyone shun someone because they are different.  Rudolph provided me with a very kid friendly example of what can happen, both good and unfortunate, when you focus on someone’s difference instead of the person as a whole.  The movie goes on to show how differences can be celebrated and with courage can be used for the betterment of others.  I had never thought of using “Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer” to teach a life lesson, but I did. 

My daughter and I talked about why Rudolph’s parents tried to hide what was different about him instead of embracing it.  We talked about how the other reindeer reacted to Rudolph’s shiny nose and whether they would have reacted differently if his father had not tried to hide it.  We discussed how to handle situations when people might laugh or call her names as they did Rudolph.  We discussed how running away is never a good answer whether it is running away physically or emotionally.  Instead, it is always best to stand up for yourself by presenting a confident positive attitude.  We talked about bravery and acts of selflessness when you care and love others.  The movie provided me with the opportunity to discuss overcoming adversity with my daughter.  After watching Rudolph this year with my daughter, my perspective of this story will be forever changed.

In our busy lives today it is hard to find time to sit and talk with your children about life and the skills necessary to maneuver through “life’s rich pageantry”.  That is why it is important, when an opportunity arises that a lesson can be taught, seize it and utilize it.  Eventually those small moments of discussion and learning will become the building blocks for the foundation of their lives.  Even if those moments are while watching an old Christmas special.   Please share with us your unique life lesson moments.

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