I finally made it to see Cinderella with my girls after a major mommy fail in which I misread the start time and we showed up a half hour late and missed ALL of Frozen Fever which was pretty much the entire reason we went to see Cinderella in the first place. And while my girls were understandably disappointed to miss Frozen, I was still excited to see Cinderella.
The original Disney animated Cinderella is one of my all-time childhood favorites and Drew Barrymore’s Ever After was top 5 during my teen years. Needless to say, the latest version had a lot to live up to in my eyes. But I’ll admit I was not disappointed. I thought the nuances in the story that deviated from the animated version (which any and all versions of Cinderella must stack up against for all of time) were well thought out and created a relatable, lovable and cohesive storyline which my girls enjoyed as much as I did.
But the clear point of the movie was one thing: Have courage and be kind and the point was certainly not lost on this mommy! Perseverance, confidence, compassion and respect are things that I value highly and that I am working every second of every day to instill in my children and I love that this movie helped demonstrate exactly the kind of people I want my children to be.
I routinely encourage my children to be courageous and try new things. I expect them to stick with something once they’ve started and I support them in trying new things. I want them to believe in the importance of learning new things and trying their best. And I want them to have the conviction to assert themselves and go after what they want in life (even if it is just asking the lady behind the counter at the ice cream shop for an extra spoon).
But most importantly in life, I want them to be good people. I expect them to be kind towards others but more than that, I want them to respect all other people. I want them to have compassion for every person and try their best to understand the perspectives, situations and feelings of others. I never want them to think it is okay to put someone else down and I want them to feel bad if they accidentally hurt another person’s feelings.
These are certainly not easy things to teach a six, four and two year-old, I’d rather just drill them on their ABC’s and addition facts but I know that these important life lessons are far more important in the long run. I encourage them daily, both at home and away, to be helpful and respectful. I expect them to help each other and strangers who need it by holding doors, picking up dropped things and helping any other way they can. I have taught them to say please, thank you and you’re welcome and they are expected to use them every opportunity they have.
We live in a world where we are constantly put down and it is easy to feel like you can’t do anything right. We live in a world where all too often people are more concerned about themselves than the well-being of others and their community. We live in a world where people no longer have the time or desire to be kind and courteous.
I teach my children to be courageous and persistent because they will need thick skin in their lives and will need to be able to think and fend for themselves. And I teach them to be kind and respectful not because I want to make the world a better place but because I want to make my children better people. I want them to always have confidence in themselves and never doubt who they are and what they stand for.