On November 12th, Disney debuted its much-anticipated streaming service Disney+.
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it seems as though there is never enough time to accomplish all the things that need to be done. Trying to balance my time and energy with my wife, kids, friends, family, and work seems almost impossible most of the time. I’m one of those whose excitement to share a piece of my childhood with my children has now turned into a way for my family to draw closer to one another. The thought of having an opportunity created to spend quality time with my wife and kids was intriguing to me.
As a Marital & Family Therapist, I’ve helped couples with practical ways to solve problems of disconnect within their family. One of the most common complaints I hear is “We never spend time together”. Often the families and I will search for something they all enjoy doing together (often some past memory holds the key). So, it comes as no surprise that I would turn what we as a family thought would be family time into an opportunity to dig deeper and strengthen our family.
I remember as a child the excitement I felt for Sunday evenings when “The Wonderful World of Disney” would bring our family in front of the television to spend time together. Looking back, as a parent now, I can only imagine the relief my parents must have felt that there was an opportunity for the family to watch something and not have to worry too much about the content of the programming.
This week at home I was able to recreate some of the nostalgia that my childhood had with my wife and kids. We decided to allow one of the children to select any cartoon they wanted from the available movies on Disney+. We then took this as an opportunity to learn more about each other by asking each other questions regarding the movie chosen.
What an amazing opportunity this afforded our family to start a conversation with our kids about who they are and who they want to become as they grow up. Imagine learning that your kid selected a movie because it reminds them of you. Or how about finding out that one of your children selected a movie because they have a desire to be a problem solver like so-and-so in the movie. How cool would it be for your children to ask you the same questions and learn more about who you are?
Often as a parent, I struggle with balancing compassion and connection, with discipline and correction. So many times, as I try to go to sleep, I find myself wishing, hoping, praying that my children see me more like the compassionate connecting parent than the one only concerned with correction and discipline. I also find it more difficult at times to show my wife and kids that they are more important than all the other distractions in our lives. By using our movie time, I can discuss a movie we have watched as a family and use the movie to show ways in which the movie relates to our family.
I have listed some ideas; of the types of questions, you can ask to enjoy quality time with your family.
Questions to ask:
Is there any significance for you in the movie you selected?
With all the different types of movies available, how did you choose this movie?
Do you feel the movie has a lesson to be learned? If so, what would that lesson be?
If you could be one character from the movie who would you be and why?
If you were the one telling the story is there anything you would want to change and why?
What questions can you come up with that might help you connect with your family? Go ahead comment below and let’s see how many ideas we can come up with to help one another out and begin a new routine of family connection.
If you’re struggling to connect as a family, visit our website at www.newvisioncounseling.live and let us help you discover what better looks like for you and equip you with the tools to create it.
-Daniel Edwards is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at New Vision Counseling and Consulting.