Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why I Want My Children To Love Fairy Tales

This is a touchy subject for a lot of people.  The Disney Princesses get a lot of flack, though for good reason when you're old enough to analyze them for the bad examples they seem to be, but in our house, we love them.

I grew up with the Disney Princesses.  I grew up learning about fairy tales, reading books about them, wanting a happy ending so bad that that's all I planned.  Meeting the perfect guy, which I did, getting married, again yes, and I always envisioned having lots of kids without issue, which hasn't happened.  You'd think that would tarnish the way I view fairy tales and happy endings.  I got part of mine, but the other will be forever out of my grasp.

I try very hard not to push my fears and insecurities on my daughter.  I have a lot of them, most having to do with my losses and infertility, and it's hard.  I'm a partial helicopter parent because I'm terrified I'm going to lose her too.

But this won't change the fact that I want my daughter (and hopefully my children) to grow up with the same beautiful view of the world that I had as a child.  Things didn't turn out how I wanted, but that doesn't make the idea of a fairy tale ending any less beautiful and enchanting.  In fact, I think the loss we have gone through has made me realize even more than we need these stories in our lives.

I won't hide the bad parts of life from my daughter since she's already seen more loss than most people by the time they're my age.  However, I will try my hardest to instill in her the knowledge that life can be happy after bad things happen.  I'm in the midst of the bad, so it's harder to see the silver lining, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

Fairy tales for me are a way to escape the tragedies of life and look towards the future.  Yes, looking deep down Belle fell in love with her kidnapper, Cinderella didn't do much to change her surroundings besides getting married, and Ariel lied to her dad and ran away.  But my daughter doesn't see that.  I don't see that.

To her, they're beautiful stories with happy endings.  To me, they're examples of how life can turn around.

They will always be in my house, even if just to show that sometimes life really can end with a "Happily Ever After."


Tara said... [Reply to comment]

I love fairy tales and mythology - but I love the actual Grimm's and Anderson tales, Arabian Nights etc. I hesitate to place Disney in the same category, because of what they've done to the stories and how Disney is mostly about mass marketing and selling merchandise. They're also really good at dumbing things down.

I'm all for happy endings, but perhaps we could find a more empowering way to give this message to our girls? Along the lines that a man doesn't save you - you create your life (and your perspective colors your experience) and find a partner to share it with. (I may be too feminist to see the good in Disney... or too anti-mainstream pop culture-y things..)

Post a Comment