Last night we did something that we’ve never done before as parents, we went to the movies and saw a kid’s movie without the kids! Sounds crazy right? We’ve sat through so many movies for the simple reason of getting the kids out of the heat, that it might seem a little crazy that we would voluntarily spend a rare night without the kids watching an animated film. But this film was an exception. Inside Out is this summer’s big movie from Pixar. It is hard not to miss seeing a commercial or reading a glowing review by one of the major media outlets. I read the story line about a year ago - a movie from the perspective of an 11 year old’s emotions, I couldn’t wait. And the movie did not disappoint. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear are the five emotions present in Riley’s brain that influence her moods, actions and reactions throughout the movie. Each emotion has a role in specific scenarios, i.e. Disgust takes the lead when it comes to broccoli. When a scenario arises that they’ve never experienced before, they all have to figure out how to get Riley through it. The movie puts a face to emotions and many other concepts of what goes on inside your brain. It will give children a vocabulary and reference point for how to talk about their emotions, which is so powerful. I’ll write a more interactive post about the movie concepts and incorporating them with your kids, but I’ll give everyone a few weeks to see it first.
One concept I will share is that of teamwork. The five emotional characters each have their own point of view and responsibilities. They may disagree on who should take the lead but they are all present in every scenario. Whether they realize it or not, they are all working together with the common goal of doing what’s best for Riley. As parents we do the same thing. We work to build a team of people to surround our children to give them all the support and love that they will need to grow. This weekend we celebrate fathers and the role they play on the team. A role that at one time was traditionally defined using words like head of the household, breadwinner and disciplinarian. Today the definition has morphed into so much more. Studies show that fathers are more involved in their children’s lives today than at any other time in history. They help with homework, practice, have tea parties and may even be persuaded to get their nails painted. The old stereotypes are shattering and in their place, the idea that these are the things that need to get done, it doesn’t matter who does them. That’s the great thing about being on a team, there is always someone there to step up and help out.
Every aspect of life is about being on a team, from your individual emotions to your extended family and beyond. Today take time to appreciate the team you have surrounding you. It’s easy to recognize individual roles or “positions”, but when you put them all together, their strength as a team grows exponentially.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.