My daughter handed me a list of things she wanted to do with me over a girl’s weekend. Her brothers would be camping with their dad, so it was just the two of us at home. On that list, she included a movie marathon. Sometimes raising daughters is so easy! The girl loves cartoons and I love Disney, so we settled on watching a bunch of princess movies.
They’ve changed from having limited potential to limitless potential.
The only potential Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty had was to get married. That’s not quite the moral you’re looking for when you’re raising daughters. But as culture has changed, Disney adjusted and began telling stories about princesses who could conquer the world or save lives, and who represent girls who sacrifice for what is best for the people in their charge. Mulan risked her own life to save her father’s and ultimately all of China. Moana knew she had a great purpose and set out to save her people.
I have a responsibility to help my daughter see beyond her own desires and dreams and fight for the good of all people. We can teach our daughters that they can put others first and leave a strong legacy.
They’ve changed from chasing impulsive romance to having thoughtful relationships.
Gone are the days when girls naively choose the first prince that comes along. Some Disney princesses don’t even have the desire to find love. In Frozen, Anna falls for Hans, but Disney makes fun of itself for its history of princesses falling for the only prince in town. At the end of the movie, Anna has actually built a thoughtful friendship with Kristoff after journeying with him to save her sister and their kingdom.
It shows that while infatuation can be fun, it doesn’t always lead down the right path. We can teach our daughters how to be thoughtful and build healthy relationships.
They’ve changed from victims to leaders.
So many princesses waited for a prince or fairies to swoop in and rescue them. As we’re raising daughters, we have to teach them that they have more to offer than to sit idly by and wait for change to happen. Tiana doesn’t settle when it comes to her dreams of opening up her own restaurant. She even says, “I‘m gonna do my best to take my place in the sun,” not wait for someone to move the sun for her!
Our daughters are smart problem solvers who are capable of finding a solution rather than just taking whatever life hands them.
As we’re raising daughters, we have to teach them that they have more to offer than to sit idly by and wait for change to happen.
But they’re still sneaky!
Rapunzel sneaks away to see the lanterns, Mulan sneaks away to fight in the war, Merida runs away to push against the expectation of her getting married, Moana sneaks away and ventures out into the ocean. More often than not, these girls sneak away because they aren’t supported and don’t feel heard. I hate the idea that my daughter would feel like she needs to run away or go behind my back in order to fulfill her purpose. I want to fully support her in her dreams and help her take the next step with courage. We can support our daughters in their big dreams and be their biggest cheerleader.
How will you root for your daughter today?