Messages For A Parent: What The Movie Inception Taught Me

As a parent, learning the nuances on the job and striving to be my best, I started seeing messages for myself from everyday things like movies, children's books and quotes.

As a parent for 2 years, learning the nuances on the job and striving to be my best, I started seeing messages for myself from everyday things like movies, children’s books and quotes.

They all seemed very simple and obvious but touched me in an immense way. This post is about some such messages and my interpretations of them from the movie Inception. The movie has a lot of strong philosophical messages very powerfully conveyed. For the parent in each one of us, here is what I think.

The concept of Time

In the movie:
The movie points out the difference between Dream Time and Sleep time and makes one realize the stark difference between the two. A sleep duration of 5 minutes – when spent dreaming , the dream scene would have spanned hours. The movie lover in me went wide-eyed and said, How true?

The parent in me:
A similar difference in perception exists between “physical-time” and “child-time”. With a child refusing milk or food on a busy morning, the pleading time of 2 minutes can seem like hours. Five minutes of bonding with the child can seem like hours but in a blissful way.

Just like the difference in dream time and sleep time , so is the difference between actual time and perceived time when with a child. For the first kind, when we are about to lose our calm because it seemed like hours, just remember that it only seemed that way and “Stay calm and tune back to real time and plead once more” and for the other kind, you just let them seem longer – as long as possible.

Dream within a dream

In the movie:
The main character dreams a dream and within that dream, he goes again into a dream state and to three levels like that. The concept of dream time is woven into this intelligently, thus extending the dream time in multitudes to seem longer and longer than the sleep time. I was awestruck at this.

The parent in me:
To see a mini-you or a mini-your-spouse in your child is to have a dream come true. To watch your child excel is to live your dream.  But, in that journey of bliss, in that state of transition between dream and real life, keep reminding yourself that there also exists another “DREAM within your DREAM”.

Acknowledge that your child has a dream of his/her own. If it means to let go of yours to give wings to the dream within the dream – your child’s dream, then let go. Nurture your child with the imagination to dream. Encourage your child to dream doozies of his/her own. Empower your child to chase that dream.

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Implant an idea

In the movie:
When people are advised, they tend to ignore. When people are talked into an idea, they tend to doubt . But, when an incident or an idea occurs in their dream, they tend to believe and capitalize on it. Thus, the name Inception. The power of inception is exploited in the movie, by scientifically entering into a person’s dream to implant an idea to influence the character to destroy his father’s empire. Though it is fiction, the movie shows it to perfection.

The parent in me:
Any number of talks you give the toddler/tween, it may not stay. But, every moment you show in action the advice you preach, it is implanted. The more statements like “She is very shy”, “He is too naughty for me to withstand” , “She just wouldn’t part with her toys” , the more the encouragement to harvest that shyness, to display more naughtiness and the pride of that non-sharing attitude is implanted in their minds.

Children learn their values from their environment. We, the parents, are their closest and most influential environment. Like in the movie, exploit that and aspire to put up your best and when unable to, don’t stress and remember that children have a short memory and can forget our flare ups and bad shows easily. We have a chance to wash that guilt away and nullify those moments to implant new ones in a breeze.

The movie makes use of a spinning top to check if the moment is a dream or reality. Spin your top too to take a check on your ups and downs as a parent. During moments of bliss, just ignore the outcome of the spinning top , make those moments last longer by visualizing it as spinning in your mind. During moments of frustration, anxiety and worry, forcefully stop the spinning top , collect yourself back soon to re-spin your top.

Most of all, just keep the top spinning physically or in your mind.

Pic credit: Image Bang (Used under a CC license)


About the Author


Bubble Ink, in her day-job works in the IT sector, in her night-job dreams and the time in between reads story books and with whatever that is left of the day, writes. She read more...

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