nantucket brave movie redhead baby

No, you can’t walk into incoming traffic. HOLD MY HAND!

Spoiler Alert:In the below article I talk about Disney/Pixar’s movie Brave. If you haven’t seen it go see it now because it is awesome. Then come back and read this blog post!

Over the weekend we took Princess A to see her first movie. I was afraid she would get bored and cry but she loved everything about Brave. She would turn to the Husband and I in disbelief and then point to the movie screen.

I also loved it because it was great to see a princess who didn’t need to be saved by prince charming because she could save herself. The mother and daughter relationship made me cry so hard Princess A and The Husband had to give me tons of love. I may be a little biased because I am Scottish with crazy curly red hair but whatever! It was nice to finally see a curly haired Disney princess!!!

After I was done wiping my tears and Princess A was tucked into bed I started to think about the mother in Brave. She wasn’t mean she was just trying to do what she thought was best for her daughter. Unfortunately, the mother was wrong but in the end was able to change course and help her daughter do what made her happy. Yes, it may have taken her turning into a bear but the scene where she helps her daughter give a speech about how she is going to marry who she wants made me cry. It was so sweet!

I started to think about Princess A and how I always want what is best for her and for her to be happy. Sometimes these two things come into conflict and I have to make a decision. Does what Princess A thinks will make her happy also safe and good for her? Or is what she thinks will make her happy a bad idea and should I steer her away from it?

Right now the answers to these questions are simple. Princess A thinks she will be happy if she never sleeps, puts her fingers into electrical outlets, and then runs into the middle of the street and gets hit by a taxi cab. Since I know that these things will hurt her I decide in these circumstances her happiness is unimportant and I refuse to let her do what she wants even if it means she will through a temper tantrum.

I know that as she gets older the decisions our family will face will be so much more complex. For example, I want Princess A to go to college. But what if she doesn’t want to? I have a lot of friends who are very successful that didn’t go to college but I also have a lot of friends who can’t get jobs because they don’t have a college degree. The reverse is true as well. I know people who went to college, graduated with honors, can’t get a job, and are struggling with student loans. If Princess A doesn’t want to go to college how will I know if she is just being plain lazy or if college actually isn’t a good fit for her.

College is far away and there will be many dilemmas before we reach that fork in the road. So I am still wondering how will I know if what she thinks will make her happy is the best thing for her or if what she wants is actually bad for her. I guess the only thing The Husband and I can do as parents is stick to our guns and always do what we think is right but stay open minded to change if we are proven wrong. Just like the mother in Brave, but without the whole turning into a bear thing.

Any advice?

Stay Glamorous,

Shannon Sutherland

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4 Responses to “THE BRAVE MOM”

  1. Melissa June 28, 2012 at 3:27 PM #

    This is a hard balance to find. My son was just a few months older than Princess A when he taught himself to read. He was in the gifted programs from Preschool on and we pretty much knew that he was going to college, but it’s the little things that will drive you around the bend.

    The best advice I (as a mom who’s kid made it to adulthood) is don’t over think everything. There are some things that are automatically going to be easy “No you may not cliff dive!” for instance, but it’s the smaller battles. You may think that they should take xxx subject to help them prepare for their lives yet they have a completely different idea of where they want their lives to go.

    Listen to them. Even when it sounds like they are being irrational, there are clues in each word that will give you the clue if they are being dramatic and impulsive or if they have given something a lot of thought. Research compromises for everything. I grew up in a “no” household and was not great as a mom sometimes, but I tried not to be the “no” mom. I wanted him to experience as much as possible in life.

    Finally, don’t be hard on yourself if the decision you make is not the right one. You and your child have both learned a lesson from that decision so in a way, it was the right one after all.

    • Shannon June 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM #

      Listening is a good idea melissa but so much harder to do in real life lol. And I will remind myself to not be hard on myself because that is already one of my weaknesses.

  2. Karen Dent June 28, 2012 at 4:39 PM #

    I think learning to “let go” will be hard for me. I see many battles in my future, mainly with Katie, because we are both headstrong and opinionated. I think all we can do as our kids get older is guide them. Help them find all the information they need to make a decision, and then step back and hope we raised them right so they make a decision that fits them.
    I watched my Mom struggle with this with my brother. He is 5 years younger than me and has struggled his whole life. My Mom (my dad had passed away before the worst of the struggles happened), didn’t know what to do. She had to learn how to let my brother make his mistakes and stop bailing him out all the time. He knew my Mom would always be there to listen, and guide him, but she had to stop being his scapegoat. It was a hard lesson for all of us. I kept telling her “as hard as it is, he has to hit the bottom so he can build his way back up. He will come to us when he needs help.” It took some time, but last summer he hit the bottom and is now slowly building his way up with the help of his family. We could see him making bad decisions, we tried to help him (especially me because we are very close), but he was determined to choose his own path. It took a lot of inner strength for my Mom to be able to watch her child make wrong choices and not be able to do anything about it. One of those choices was not finishing high school. He reached an age where legally my Mom could not force him to stay in school. He now tells his nieces and nephews on a regular basis “stay in school, whatever you do, finish your schooling!”
    I think all we can do is try to instill our values and beliefs in our kids and then hope they make they right choices. We also need to hope that they know we will be there for them in whatever capacity we can be. My kids are still young, but I have instilled in them the importance of school. Now David has been saying for about 3 years he wants to be a chef (his favourite channel is the food network), Katie wants to be a teacher and a dance teacher. Hopefully if these remain their dreams they can make them a reality.

    • Shannon June 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM #

      Karen, I like that you used the word guide. I will have to think of guiding more as Princess A gets older because I won’t be able to force her to do or not do things for much longer.

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