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Adekemi Oguntala, M.D.
Adekemi  Oguntala, M.D.

"The Fighter": A Movie To Watch With Your Teen

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Sometimes you need other people to convey to your teen a message that they might not listen to if it comes from a parent. Its not always that you can't say it, it's just that you don't have the credibility to say it. You need to find another way. You need to find another person sometimes. Sometimes, it's a movie that can get the message across.

"The Fighter" is such a movie, featuring a riveting performance by Mark Wahlberg, the rapper turned amazing actor.  Like the heroes Wahlberg most likely needed as role models to change his life, he brings to the screen the struggle of an ordinary person doing something extraordinary: getting up off the canvas when he's been knocked down.

Often times, a teen's biggest challenge is doing the same thing: overcoming adversity.  When your teen has been knocked down, he or she may have a difficult time believing that it is worth getting back up. You can be knocked down by so many things in life: grades, friends, family stress, sports injury, team failure, poor coaching, even severe acne or depression. The hope is that your teen will get up to fight another day and hopefully win.

Mark Wahlberg's character, Micky Ward, comes from a very humble background, but, right from the start, he is lucky enough to have the right mix of family and other resources that allow him to overcome such daunting challenges as the drug addiction of his brother/trainer Dicky Eckland, continued failure in the boxing ring, and a severely injured hand after it is smashed with a hammer. The obstacles seem insurmountable, and yet he goes on to become the light welterweight champion, a triumph that rivals that of any of Sylvester Stallone's fictional Rocky character, except for one thing: his story actually happened.

A movie like "The Fighter," chronicling the problems faced by real people and the trials, tribulation, discord and tensions in a real family discord, can help your teen understand that they can overcome almost any obstacle they face - whether it be on the playing field or in life - if they just have the strength to get back up and live to fight again. Knowing that, as his parent, you have his back, will make anything possible.