Disney has done it again. I'm not sure if it's the music (yeah, I admit, I want the soundtrack; you know, for my daughters!), the setting in Norway (I want to go to there), or the story of two sisters (I'm the dad of two daughters), but Disney's newest epic adventure Frozen tugs on my heart-strings. While watching the film, I sat "cold" in my seat, partially because Disney pulls you into another world with it's 3D version of Arendelle, but mostly because I saw my daughters in Elsa and Anna. Here's what I mean...
At NFI, we often point out that a father's role is unique and irreplacable in a child's life. As a dad of two young daughters, I was reminded of one thing while screening Frozen. That is, what I teach my daughter's matters. My actions, my words...they matter. More to the point, what I teach my daughter's now, right or wrong, echos into the future.
Before watching Frozen, I don't recall asking myself: what will my daughters remember about me if something happen to me? Whether it's from an accident or life-stage (college or the like) this is a stirring thought worth considering as a father.
As I pulled my sugar-crazed youngest daughter out of the theater, I was thinking: the things I say to her matters. What I say, and do, these are the things my girls will remember about me when I'm not in their presence.
My point is, I don't always parent with the end in mind. This changes the intentionality of how I do things. It changes my actions now.
If I understand that what I do today matters, I will do things differently, better, more kindly, more lovingly. Parenting with this new and bigger picture in mind will cause me, will cause us as dads, to see what is really important.
All of a sudden, for me, it's not a big deal to jump down to the floor and do piggy-back rides.
Perhaps your child is older, guess what? Then, homework becomes "time together" instead of a chore to pass off to mom.
For the dad of a college student, weekends are no longer "too busy." No, weekends are now left open and available to make a last-minute roadtrip for connecting with your son or daughter. You probably get my "drift" by now, pun intended.
As you take your son or daughter to watch this movie, and you should...once you get seated with your popcorn, watch carefully as a dad, and be reminded, like I was, that the "Frozen" girl (Elsa) spends years with her father's protective voice telling her what not to do such that she keeps her gift hidden from the world.
In her father's mind, he was "protecting" her and her younger sister (Anna) from harm. However, what he was really doing, while noble in his intentions, wasn't noble. May we not live to "protect" our sons and daughters so much that we make them miss using the unique gifts they possess.
How are you "helping" your child find his or her gifts? Share in the comment section.
Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” presents “Frozen,” a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.
Genre: Animated Comedy/Adventure
U.S. Release Date: Today, November 27, 2013
Voice Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds
Directors: Chris Buck (Tarzan, Surf’s Up), Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, Wreck-It Ralph)
Producer: Peter Del Vecho (Winnie the Pooh, The Princess and the Frog)