Frozen: Why Too Much of a Good Thing is Not So Bad

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Frozen

If your kids are anything like millions of others across the country, they’ve been bitten by the Frozen bug. I don’t know about you, but a movie about an endless winter wouldn’t be my cup of tea right now. These last precious sunny weeks should be savoured before life becomes refocused on boots, mittens, snow shovels, and scraping icy windshields. But kids don’t care. They want more Frozen.

An article in Fortune magazine recently predicted that sales of the Frozen DVD, plus related toys and merchandise, will soon top $1 billion. And the Frozen craze is expected to be a big hit this holiday season. So, it looks like the enthusiasm for all things Frozen isn’t likely to thaw out anytime soon, even if we parents might want to just “let it go!”

“Please Mommy… can we watch it one more time?” If you’ve caved in to this plea more often than you’d care to admit, I’m here to appease your guilt. While outdoor play and creative activities are great, indulging in a film now and then isn’t such a bad thing—especially when the film contains as many excellent life lessons as this one does.

I think it was on my third time around that I began to notice how the plot of Frozen illustrated so many of the same values that we promote in our Montessori classrooms. The next time your kids watch this latest Disney classic, try and follow up with a chat about one or more of these themes:

Take Responsibility

When Elsa runs away, it becomes clear that someone will have to find her to save the kingdom from an endless freeze. There are a number of volunteers, including Hanz. But Anna announces that since she was the one who provoked her sister, she should be the one to go after her. And that’s what she does. As a princess, she could have easily passed responsibility to an underling. As a female, she could have deferred to a male. But neither of these things happen. Our heroine goes off to clean up her own mess. Brava.

Be Yourself

“Let it go,” sings Elsa as she finally frees herself from the burden of hiding her true identity. How wonderful she looks, feels, and sounds swirling around in that sparkling blue gown. Kids get it: they sense how different the new Elsa is from the terrified, sad girl locked away in a dark room. What a great lesson for our children! Don’t hide who you are—even if you think others might not approve. Just like Elsa, you will be happiest if you let your authentic self shine.

Be Resilient

Anna encounters more than a few obstacles on her brave quest to find Elsa. From freezing conditions, to losing her horse, to confronting a pack of wolves, the perky princess has her work cut out for her. Yet she never gives up. Each obstacle is met with perseverance and a can-do attitude. When plan A fails, plan B kicks in. Even after her sister chases her out of the ice palace, she doesn’t give up.

Count on Others

At one point on Anna’s journey to find Elsa, her horse takes off and she realizes she won’t be able to go on alone. She decides to recruit the help of Kristoff and Sven and her instincts are right on the money. Their help turns out to be invaluable. Elsa, too, learns this lesson as it gradually dawns on her that trusting her sister, rather than shutting her out, is the secret to her own happiness and success. Even Olaf, the adorable snowman, proves his worth as a friend in need. In a community—whether a magical kingdom, a classroom, or a family—we are all interconnected. In one way or other, we all need to be able to count on each other.

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About Author

Isabelle Kunicki-Carter co-founded Forest Hill Montessori, a C.C.M.A. accredited Montessori school, with three locations in both Forest Hill and North Toronto, offering programs at the Toddler (18 months to 3yrs), Primary 3 to 6yrs) and Elementary (6 to 12yrs) levels. Combining her love for children and a desire to teach in a holistic non-traditional setting, after completing a degree at the University of Western Ontario, Isabelle pursued her A.M.I. Montessori Teacher’s Certification in 1995. In 1996, along with Sandra Dale, in 1996, she founded Forest Hill Montessori School in Toronto. As a mother of two girls, she understands the concerns of today’s time-strapped parents who seek a compassionate, yet challenging learning environment for their children. Visit her on the web at www.foresthillmontessorischool.com.

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