'Frozen' fatigue: Coping with kids songs on repeat

Wrestling with 'Frozen fatigue?' Many parents know what it is like to play their child's favorite song again and again. But when is the line crossed from cherishing a child's enjoyment to throwing their music out the window?

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/FILE
'Frozen,' the soundtrack to Disney's $1 billion-grossing animated film, earned its 13th non-consecutive week atop the Billboard 200 album chart on May 7. In this photo, Idina Menzel performs 'Let it Go' by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Calif., on March 2.

Are you ready to dangle your kid's “Frozen soundtrack out the car window and just “Let it Go” for good? You’re not alone. 

Though “Frozen” is the all-time highest-grossing original animated film ever, many parents are ready to give the soundtrack the cold shoulder.

Alyssa Smith, mom to 8-year-old Mallory, 5-year-old Tyler, and almost 2-year-old Harrison, is living Frozen-mania every day, especially since she lives close to Disney World in Florida.

“We have the CD soundtrack that we listen to in the car quite a bit. Tyler yells at me when I try to sing the boy parts of the songs, Mallory yells at me if I try to sing ‘Let It Go,’ “ writes Ms. Smith in an email. 

She adds, “Harrison can do the tick tock of the clock with his tongue during ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman’ at just the right time.”

Smith shares that her family will be visiting Disney World this weekend, and Mallory especially can’t wait to meet Anna and Elsa in person at the Magic Kingdom.

Art Morath has two daughters, Sophie, 9, and Charlotte, 4. According to Mr. Morath, Sophie knows all the words and belts them out in the backseat of the family car.

“That’s the biggest problem – that they know all the words. The songs themselves aren’t that bad,” writes Morath in an email.

He describes how the girls act out the different parts – Sophie playing older sister Elsa, and Charlotte acting out Anna’s parts. “It's the first movie where I remember them identifying with the characters,” he adds.

Frozen-mania is like a parental litmus test – how many repeats of "Let It Go" can you deal with before you fly off the handle? 

Many parents are looking for a way to graciously tolerate this phase – known as "Frozen Fatigue" – without becoming a Disney villain in the process. If you search for the term on Google, it yields nearly 7 million results, undoubtedly pulled up by many parents searching for answers.

Teacher Christina Pocklington, who works at Meadowlawn Elementary, a small school of about 300 students in Kentwood, Mich., says she has six separate entries of "Let it Go" in the program for the upcoming talent show. 

Frustrated parents and educators alike can't wait until the next catchy song takes hold of their kids' singing repertoire.  

For my 1-year-old daughter, she's a little too young to be obsessed with ‘Frozen’ just yet. Her song de-jour is Pharrell Williams’ mega-hit “Happy” from the film “Despicable Me 2.” 

That catchy tune has gotten us through many traffic jams free of toddler meltdowns, though I’m about ready to shed a tear if I have to endure another marathon of “Happy” replays.

Now, when we get stuck in traffic, I weigh my options – what’s more unbearable – whining, which eventually leads to her losing it in the backseat, or hearing that song? All. The. Way. Home. I grumble and turn up “Happy” as my daughter immediately starts grooving in her car seat.

We’ve got to pick our battles as parents, and enduring our kids’ favorite tunes is a small price to pay for a little peace. I’m sure we’ll look back on these days with pure nostalgia once they’re teenagers and “too cool” to listen to their favorite kid music.

When I asked my dad what kid songs drove him crazy when my siblings and I were little, he just fondly remembered doing the silly dance moves to Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s “Skinnamarink,” and happily belting out “Elmo’s Song” during traffic jams. I guess time heals all annoyance.

With Mother’s Day approaching and Father’s day on its heels, if I could communicate to my daughter what I'd really love to receive, it would be this: a day for mommy-selected songs to play on repeat. 

Sure, the flowers and dinner out are nice, but it would be a real treat to listen to my favorite tunes on repeat. I'm thinking Ace of Base's "The Sign," India.Arie's "Heart of the Matter," and "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line, for starters.

Elsa and Pharrell, you can take the day off.

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