Childhood is a magical time. Full of wonder, life-long memories and lots and lots of Disney movies! I don’t know about you, but I have seen every Disney and Disney-like movie ever made over and over and over again. Not complaining, mind you! But with all the wonderful songs, important lessons, goofy characters and mesmerizing storylines, there is the potential for our children to grow up with a skewed view of the world. And while we as parents strive to protect the innocence of childhood, there’s an importance in knowing why we need to teach kids there is no happily ever after.
If you’ve never thought about it before, take a moment to consider why we need to teach kids there is no happily ever after.
No matter your background, no matter what kind of childhood you grew up with you probably, like so many of us, had this vision of what life was going to be like when you grew up. Male or female, we all imagined a better world, a better life where all things would be awesome and goals would be fulfilled and everything would just come together perfectly. Oh, sure, you can say how you are grounded and never had a shiny ideal of what your life would be like, but I would bet money you still have that movie-perfect visualization tucked somewhere back in your subconscious. And that is mainly to thank for the fun-loving movies and stories we grew up with.
Not saying that for everyone the perfect life hasn’t come true. But for most people, they find out the hard way that things aren’t as the movies portray. There isn’t an obstacle that is overcome in some grandiose manner with background music and weird, laughable montages. There is no sudden moment of clarity that magically makes everything right in the world. And there is no happily ever after. Nope, does not exist. Because this is the real world.
I know, this has been very depressing so far, right? That’s the point. As parents, we feed into this imaginary world that others have created in hopes of keeping our kids from knowing the harsh truth about the world. And the harder we try to keep up the charade, the more damage we’re doing to our kids. Not on purpose – we do it with the best of intentions, all the while forgetting how crushing it is when you discover the truth. It’s kind of a vicious cycle. And we need to break it.
Teach Your Kids How to Process Failure
It’s okay to fail. Failing means learning. Teach your kids how to process failure properly instead of making it out to be everyone else’s fault your child didn’t succeed the first time. Hard work helps you reach your goals, not a fairy godmother!
Teach Your Kids to be Independent
99% of the time there will NOT be someone swooping in to rescue you (hey, you can’t be 100% sure it won’t happen!). Teach your kids to be independent and to rescue themselves. No princes or princesses on horseback coming to save the day. Help them learn to solve their own problems.
Teach Your Kids That They’re in Charge of Their Happy Ending
To recap, no such thing as a happily ever after! However, you can teach your kids that they’re in charge of their happy ending. They control their happiness, their success and their lives with their actions, thoughts, and feelings. No villains, no fairies, no quirky little forest animals to change the course of their lives. Only themselves. And though they may not be superheroes, they are still awesome!
Do you have suggestions on how to transition your child into the real world? Have you experienced a good or bad transition? Share your stories by leaving a comment!