How much can books make or break lives, I often wonder. What role do they play in shaping up who you are? Well if you ask me, I’d say quite a lot.
However, here is what happens. As much as I may want to believe my power and assume my role, my child seems to have a mind much of her own, resistant and in denial of parental manipulation. And she takes on to… hold your breath, the Disney!
Instead, why not help her believe that it is alright to find charming prince, but she doesn’t always need a prince to save her from danger, and that she can be brave and save herself too? Help her believe, to have a good life partner is indeed a pretty nice thing, but that is not the only way to be happy in life?
Tell her the right stories. Select and choose. Filter. Tell them stories but not these. I beg of you!Parents might wonder, “But didn’t we read them as kids? Have we grown up any wrongly? Oh, nostalgia!! Ah, those days…”
I know. I share that feeling, too. But then, dare to stop and think for once, won’t you? So what shall we read them - you might ask?
Well! If you look around you, there are more gender neutral stories than you may guess. What you can do is, pick up animal stories as you find them, or make them. I’ll name a few – The Ugly duckling, The Three pigs, The Country mouse and the Town Mouse! Billy Goats Gruff. And so on.
There are few fairytale stories too. Why, remember Goldilocks, the little girl who ate the baby-bear’s pudding and went off to sleep in its bed? Remember Gretel, that younger sister, who saved her brother Hansel from the witch and then they came back to the father? Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood? I am sure you can think of some more, too. And then there’s the whole bunch of Dr. Seuss, of course!
Tell them anything, make your own stories even. Make her brave in it, and strong. Make her confident and independent. Don’t ask her to wait for a prince in your story. Instead, send her off to save a few poor souls. Make her believe. That, she can! Make her believe, yes. In you, and in her.