In this 1st installment of a 427 part award-winning series, “Inspirational Parenting Quotes”, Bryan Ferguson dissects popular movie scripts for inspirational parenting quotes not originally intended to be about parenting.

Since Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace has been re-released in Real 3D, I anxiously await the re-re-arrival of Episode II in 3D.

As a long-time Star Wars geek and new-car-smell father, re-watching Episode I has been a different experience. I’ve caught myself, on many occasions, shifting my attention away from the current scene to bank inspiring words that I could borrow as a father.

This got me thinking.

What movie quotes, not originally intended to be about parenting, can be used for inspiration by parents?

Most screen writers are tasked to make each word count. Actors get paid by the line, usually, so words can’t be arbitrarily pointless when you have high paid actors administering the dialog. Movies can be everything from inspirational to horrifyingly bad to everything in between, but which lines have the potential to be taken out of context and used as inspirational parental fodder?

Prepare to be entertained and schooled by Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan (Episode I @ 03:14) / © 1999 Lucasfilm Ltd.

01) “Don’t center on your anxiety. Keep your concentration here and now where it belongs.”

Hot sh*t. Not even 4 minutes in and we’re already getting slapped with Jedi advice.

This quote is so true amidst the chaos that can be children. Kids can easily take you out of your element and create anxiety for parents, especially in public situations. Put your phone away for 30 minutes. Don’t worry about taking pictures every time you play with your kids. Take in each moment and try to enjoy every second, it goes by way too fast. Being in the moment can relieve most anxiety and stress.

Basically, don’t be this lady. Disconnect and enjoy your currently situation more often.

Qui-Gon to Jar Jar (Episode I @ 11:25) / © 1999 Lucasfilm Ltd.

02) “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.”

This can be said about anyone, even yourself! We say stupid sh*t to our kids sometimes, so it’s good to remember that words are just words if they don’t find meaning. This can also be said about other parents. Have you ever encountered a random person or friend lecturing you on how to be a better father or a mother, claiming their approach is best?

You know your kid better than they do so f*ck ’em. Their advice might not be that intelligent to begin with so take it with a grain of salt and trust your instincts.

Qui-Gon to Jar Jar & Obi-Wan (Episode I @ 18:30) / © 1999 Lucasfilm Ltd.

03) “There’s always a bigger fish.”

You’re going to find that there are other parents out there seemingly richer, smarter and more put together than you. Don’t get discouraged, this is an important life lesson to bestow upon your children. After all, it will keep your family unit humble and grounded. Treating your kid like the biggest fish is setting them up for devastating failure.

Losing is just as important as winning.

Qui-Gon to Shmi (Episode I @ 42:58) / © 1999 Lucasfilm Ltd.

04) “Greed can be a powerful ally.”

Money makes people do stupid things. It also creates opportunity, but never happiness. It’s important for kids to learn that whoever ends up with the most toys doesn’t always win. I know there are some dbags out there with license plate frames on their Boxster that reads “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

No.

The only thing they will win is a daily reminder of how empty their life is where they feel the need to compulsively fill the void with soulless materials.

Qui-Gon to Watto (Episode I @ 70:50) / © 1999 Lucasfilm Ltd.

05) “Whenever you gamble, my friend, eventually you’ll lose.”

Understanding risk is important for parents. Whether it’s gambling with the safety of your child or financially.

It’s never a good idea to put your loved ones in this position, so avoid obvi risks.

Shmi to Anakin (Episode I @ 73:40) / © 1999 Lucasfilm Ltd.

06) “You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting. Listen to your feelings; you know what’s right.”

We go back to intuition and trusting your instincts. Unfortunately for Anakin, things didn’t turn out so well. As parents, it’s important to note that change is inevitable. How you understand and adapt to change is important for mental wellness in addition to successful relationships.

The notion that everything happens for a reason can be painful to rationalize during bad times. You might not be lucky enough to see the ultimate payoff during your lifetime so try to believe that you didn’t endure the pain for nothing.