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.