Sunday, January 16, 2011
Parenting Tip #64 The Incredibles
My son and his family dressed up as The Incredibles for Halloween last year. That got me thinking. How great would that be to have super powers? But maybe a different sort of super power than you usually see in the movies.
The Dad in the movie had super strength which he used to save lives and protect his family. Every dad could use super strength. Super strength to work long hours and still have time to play with his kids when he comes home. Strength to have integrity and honesty while at work. Strength to lead his family in spiritual matters. Strength to keep his marriage alive and make his wife number one in his thoughts.
Helen, the Mom in The Incredibles had stretching abilities. Now isn’t that just the perfect super power any mom needs? The ability to stretch herself in all the directions a mother has to go—teacher, cook, taxi driver, nurse, counselor, maid, laundress, wife, community helper. Of course there are other areas a mother gets stretched in, like patience, selfless love, and did I mention patience?
Violet, the teenage daughter can become invisible. So can our children if we’re not careful. If we, as moms, have “stretched” ourselves in too many directions we won’t have time for the most important things in life—our children and husbands. Violet could also generate force fields. Sometimes our children throw up a force field around themselves that is hard to penetrate. But with the super strength of love and patience, we can dissolve that barrier and become more visible to each other.
Dash had super energy and speed. What kid doesn’t? Trying to keep up with my grandson who just learned to crawl is daunting. That’s why a dad’s super strength and a mom’s stretching abilities are perfect for the “Dashes” in our family. We can channel their energy into cub scouting, sports, service, home repairs, family outings and good hard work.
Last in the family was Jack-Jack. At the beginning of the movie he didn’t have any powers—not that were known anyway. But he was full of potential. The Jack-Jacks in our families need time to explore. They need to be read to, played with, given experiences outside in nature, and time to bond with brothers and sisters. At the end of the movie Jack-Jack showed shape shifting abilities. Our children certainly change and shift from babyhood to adulthood. Our job is to help them change into their best self.
One other character in the movie is Buddy, a one time fan of Mr. Incredible. He turns into the villain and becomes Syndrome. That makes me think of all the syndromes we go through that throw us off track of where we should be going. The “stay up with the Jones Syndrome”, the “everyone has their kids in sports, dance and piano Syndrome”, the “scrapbook syndrome” (I’m not saying it’s bad, just keep it in perspective), the “health club syndrome”, the “it’s got to be the cutest syndrome”, etc, etc.
Super powers. That’s what our families need. And that’s what you can have as you take one day at a time and make it the best.