Spinning Wheels

Dear Diary,

It was a grand and glorious day in the kingdom of…well, I don’t know. But the day was grand and glorious. There was a new little princess, Aurora. Many years they had waited for this child. No doubt been disappointed time and time again before one day, the Queen announced she was expecting. Certainly the King was tender, loving and full of anticipation. When their daughter was born, they gave a party so that all throughout the land could wish her well. Sounds like a fairy tale beginning, yes?
My kids love to watch “Sleeping Beauty” as do I! It’s one of our favorites. The kids like the singing and dancing and I love the Gothic art and music. We also love the DVD special features that walk you through the making of the movie. The other day while we were watching this, the kids were singing along and quoting along and all I could think about was how Aurora’s father and mother had completely failed her. Okay, okay, yes I know this is just a movie and a cartoon at that! I know. But when you become a parent (and you’ve already seen the movie about a kajillion times) different things just start to stand out. They made a few mistakes that appear glaring to me:

The first mistake was that after Maleficent had bestowed her prophesy on Aurora regarding her demise from a spinning wheel. What did the King do? He ordered that they all be burned. He took control of the situation and decided that instead of educating his daughter on the dangers of spinning wheels, that he would do his best to remove them completely. Obviously, he failed. How could he have thought that he could get ahold of EVERY spinning wheel in the whole kingdom? I think parents have a tendency to try to just control ALL the situations to ensure that their child never comes into contact with anything “harmful”. I’m not just talking about scissors and knives. I’m talking: sex, drugs, smoking, drinking, “friends who aren’t really your friend”, pornography, and loads of other “vices” our kids will encounter. I wonder how the story would have been different had Aurora’s father actually taught her about spinning wheels. She may not have been so easily seduced.

The second mistake was that he put the responsibility of raising her, on somebody else. People say “it takes a village to raise a child.” I respectfully disagree. It takes good (involved) parenting to raise a child. She was raised not knowing who she was, living in naivety and ignorance. As a kid who grew up in Christian schools, there is no better example of parents who want others to raise their kids for them. In every class, there were several (the numbers grew higher with each grade) students who had been “sent” to the Christian school because they were kicked out of public school or just plain out of control and instead of their parents doing their job, they paid $5000 a year for teachers/babysitters for their kids. Parents need to realize the amount of work it takes to raise a child and stop putting it on others. That’s not to say teachers cannot come alongside the parents to help in a child’s development, but the majority of the “work” should be done at home. Not at school.

Of course, I’m not perfect either, but I’m striving for it! I work hard to discipline my kids when they need it instead of expecting others to do it for me. It is a balance trying to figure out when to talk to my kids about the “vices” this world has to offer, and I’m sure there will be plenty of “Uh mom…I heard this in school today…” talks with my kids in years to come. But the most important thing is that I teach my kids that “Yes, the spinning wheels are out there. They look interesting. They spin. But they will hurt you if you touch them.” Also, that I keep those lines of communication open regardless of what it is they want to know or talk about. It may be uncomfortable, it may be shocking, or it may just be funny, but no matter what, my kids have to know that I am their “go-to gal” who brings guidance, not judgement, and kindness, not condemnation.

 

Till Next Time,

Ash

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