Who is your favorite Disney princess? There are a lot to choose from! Maybe you like the more “modern” princesses like Moana or Merida; others want to kick it old school with Snow White or Aurora. My college age daughter was never really into princesses, so they didn’t really resonate much in our home. True confession though – I always loved Ariel and Belle. There is one princess I want to talk about today though with a parenting new year’s resolution in mind for you and me.

Over Christmas break I re-read a blog post from Dr. Tim Elmore that has always struck a chord with me as a parent and an educator (read the full post here). He writes about the challenge of battling the “Cinderella Syndrome” in our children. This is the idea that life should be pleasant and fun every day and if it’s not some “prince charming” should swoop in and make it all better. I think as parents we’re all guilty of this some time. We want to shield our children from failure, loss, and the unpleasant experiences of this world. While that’s certainly well intentioned, it doesn’t necessarily help our children become self-sufficient, resilient, and problem solvers.

In a sinful world life will sometimes be difficult and disappointing and we’ll often try and fail when faced with challenging obstacles. We can strengthen and encourage our children when instead of rescuing them from these fates we communicate and equip them to face negativity and loss. We can talk with our children honestly about their losses and failures and share with them about our own struggles and disappointments. We can help them navigate life’s tough realities and teach them to be resourceful problem solvers. That’s a “love first” approach that will help our children be ready to face the world that awaits them.