Skip to main content

Do we let family competition tear us apart?

My daughters love the Disney television show Wizards of Waverly Place. The show follows three Russo siblings (Justin, Alex, and Max), children of a former wizard who gave up his magic to marry a mortal. All three learn magic in typical Disney comedic fashion; however, only one child from each family can keep their powers. Eventually they must compete between themselves to win the family powers. Knowing that two of his children will lose their magic forever, the dad tries to teach them not to rely on magic.

Tonight’s series finale will answer the burning question, “Who will be the family wizard?”

This “First Look” preview has been running all week on various Disney channel shows.

What really caught my attention is father’s caution to them, where he says, “I need to tell you guys something before this starts. Winning the wizard competition is great, but it comes with a price… I’m talking about family. How often does Uncle Kelbo come around? A couple of times a year? And Aunt Megan? Never. You know why? Because we let the competition come between us. Promise you’ll stick together no matter who becomes the family wizard.” (The kids promise him) “Not to me... to yourselves.”

His words ring true and are very real to me. How often do we compete with our siblings for attention or affection within our own families. Even as we try not to foster competition, it grows, whether it's about grades in school or who performs better in a particular sport. Even in close families as siblings grow older they tend to grow apart, and do we allow that feeling of competition to carry on into adulthood? College acceptance. Scholarships. Business or family success. How do we prevent this "competition" from interfering with our family relationships? How do we accept each other for who we are, particularly when we grow up as one family, but evolve into separate individuals?

I see Disney using this “family wizard” storyline to help tweens identify this coming-of-age struggle. In this tv family, as with real families, there is that element of who among the siblings will have the family power and control. In this story, these three siblings must compete with each other, yet only one can win and keep their powers. Will the competition and resulting consequences break them apart or will they be able to accept the results and change their relationships with each other? Either way, their family life will change as one of them gets to continue being a wizard – having beaten the others in competition – while the others lose a special part of themselves.

I asked my younger daughter who she thought would win the Family Wizard competition? The over-achieving older brother? The reckless daughter who often gets herself in trouble, or the goofy, naïve, younger brother? Her answer was that their love for each other would be so strong, the magic would split three ways, so no one has to give it up.

I’m not sure how Disney will resolve this question tonight, but I hope it’s done in a way that is both realistic and hopeful for their viewers struggling with their own version of becoming the “family wizard.”

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

My Favorite Catholic Children's Bibles

How do you select a Catholic Children's Bible?  Which children's bible is best for my kids?  Those are questions I get asked all the time.  Searching in my house I discovered almost a dozen different Catholic Bibles for kids or youth on our shelves. When looking for a children's bible or book of bible stories for children, there are several things to take into consideration.  How old is the child?  Do you want something easy to read in story form or a bible with scripture text?  How big or heavy is the book? Is the children's bible a keepsake to commemorate a special event like a baptism, first communion or confirmation? And the answers to these questions might change as the child grows and develops or you have multiple children. With those questions in mind, I'll delve into the Catholic Children's Bibles and Bible Stories we like best of those in our home. My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories Compiled by Hei

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that