Developmental Concept

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Development of Matilda in the Film

Every kid is special and has a unique way of handling the world and coping with the many changes that exist in her life. However, according to attachment theory, parents play a significant role in deciding in human adult behaviors, especially because of the strong attachment that the infant forms with the parent while still very young (Murphy). Matilda, a film directed by Danny Devito, delves further into these and other developmental ideas. Matilda develops from an innocent, timid, furious, and quiet young girl to a happy young girl with her whole life ahead of her in the film.

Matilda is aged five and a half when she starts school and we are introduced to her as a shy, quiet and sensible girl, who is almost unaware of her talents. We are also introduced to her father, and we know that the two do not get along at all as the two do not understand each other. The estranged relationship with the parents piles up so much that she developed some sort of superpower, which she uses to get back at people, including her parents. For instance, she replaces her father’s hair tonic with her mother’s platinum hair dye after the two wronged her. This shows the impacts of attachment on child behaviour. Matilda was not well attached to her parents as they though she was worthless and daft. Consequently, while she got older and acquired some sort of super-powers, Matilda grew mischievous and ill-treated her parents and other people that did her wrong.

Positive Relationship with Miss Honey

In school, Matilda was received and treated well by Miss honey who took immediate interest in her intelligence and kindness. This led to the development of a cordial relationship between Matilda and Miss Honey that grew so close that Miss Honey adopts Matilda and provides the latter with a more loving home (MOVIE). This is another child development concept; the best way improve the temperament of your child. According to (ZERO), among the best strategies to change your child’s temperament is responding to best on your best understanding of the behaviour, and most importantly, acknowledging the feelings of the child and letting the child know that she is loved.

Importance of Positive Attachment

Temperaments are different, some children will be cold and others warm to changes. However, positive attachment is critical to improving temperament and supporting children who are slow to warm-up. The positive attachment may also be crucial in changing the temperament of a child (Lerner and Parlakian ). At the beginning of the film, Matilda is shy and quiet, a factor that we can attribute to the negative attachment with her father. However, after the positive relationship with miss Honey, Matilda became more open social, as she is seen playing tricks on Miss Trunchbull to help her new-found friend.


In retrospection, there are different developmental concepts in children, which according to the attachment theory, largely depend with the attachment with parents when the child is young. According to the theory, positive attachments helps the child to adapt to new changes and situations easily. Further, positive attachment can also be used to improve child’s temperament, making the child more open and less shy. These development changes have been explored through the development of Matildas, in Danny Devito’s film titled Matilda.

Works Cited

Devito, Danny. Matilda. 1996. You tube.

Lerner Claire and Parlakian. Rebecca. Children with Shy or Slow to Warm Up Temperaments. ZeroToThree, Feb 18, 2016. Accessed on 12th Sept. 2017.

Murphy, K., (2017). Yes, It’s Your Parents’ Fault. The New York Times, JAN. 7, 2017. Accessed on 12th Sept. 2017.

November 03, 2022

Family Entertainment


Child Development Movies

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