I think we have done our kids a disservice reading them fairy tales. The girl is in distress, she kisses a frog and the frog then saves her, and they live happily ever after. This is not realistic. Why do we mislead our kids like this beginning in toddlerhood? Are we setting them up for unrealistic expectations and huge disappointment?
One of my first goals after obtaining my Doctorate on studies of human behavior has been to rewrite the fairy tales, so that they are more in line with reality. I believe I would not be so busy in my private practice, if expectations for our kids were set early in life realistically. Certainly, I will not read my grandkids these fairy tales. They are fairy tales after all. The name itself implies false beliefs but kids don’t know this. They depend on the adults in their lives to teach them well, so they have the proper tools to navigate this thing called life.
If I were to write a better and more realistic version of a fairy tale, it would look like this, she was capable of creating the life she dreamed of, and then she met a partner and together they built a life where she was responsible for herself, and he was responsible for himself. There were hard times, but they supported one another and got through them. Most of the time.
They had to learn to compromise and have mutual respect for one another. They neither expected the other to complete them. They were complete when the union began. They were whole when the union began, and neither unrealistically expected the other to rescue them. They each rescued themselves.
They did not go into their life together with expectations of happiness always. They both knew there would be happy days, and also days with struggle and unhappiness. They knew that what they did with the obstacles they experienced, would either bring them closer together or tear them apart. They chose to tackle the obstacles together and let them be building blocks rather than stumbling blocks.
They were fair regarding the expectations they held for each other. They knew that expecting their partner to be their everything, was an unrealistic responsibility to pass on to them. No one can fulfill that wish. Only we can be our own everything.
Happiness and satisfaction can last, but it must begin in the individual. Looking to another for that is a plan that results in disaster.
When you are being you, and I am being me, then we can come together and be we in a beautiful way. Do you, be you , for you.
Never miss an opportunity to tell your child that they are responsible for their own happiness. Don’t teach them to give that important job to another. Certainly don’t mislead them to believe that they must be two in order to be complete.
You rescue you. No one is coming to do this for you. There is no Prince or Princess. Only you and YOU ARE ENOUGH.