Princess Lessons: Mama Bear

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Merida is quickly becoming one of my favourite princesses – not only because of her amazing hair and cool accent, but because she’s independent and feisty. And I can relate to her as the older sister to three brothers, particularly her comment, “They get away with murder; I get away with nothing.” Perhaps that was why I never really rebelled – I knew there was no point.

Brave, unlike the traditional princess stories, is a mother-daughter love story. There are three suitors for Merida’s hand, but she’s not at all interested. I can’t say I blame her. (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll understand why.) Merida defies tradition and makes it very clear she wants to choose her own path.

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Queen Elinor wants to raise the perfect princess; Merida has other ideas. They love each other but don’t understand each other, and when Merida asks a witch for a spell to change her mother, she doesn’t exactly get what she asked for but the result is a richer mother-daughter relationship.

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One of the lessons here is: be careful what you wish for. Teenagers are a short-sighted species and often don’t consider the implications of their actions. I want my daughters to follow their dreams, but not blindly or foolishly, or selfishly. I hope that I am raising them to be people with consideration for others, and who will weigh the consequences before making decisions.

I found myself taking to heart another of Brave‘s lessons. My daughters are people – crazy, wonderful, amazing people – who have their own lives to live. I refuse to be a mother who tries to shape my children into my idea of who they should be. As they get older, they will choose their own interests and their own friends. I will do my best to guide them and teach them, but I can’t mould them into who they are not.

Watching them grow, watching them become who they were created to be, watching them blossom is a privilege.

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What did you think of Brave?


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