How Disney Helped Me in a ‘Parenting’ Moment

3Today was ballet day. For us that means that our schedule has a little more strain on it. After the victory of getting out of the house on time, I looked over at Princess Bella and asked her where her ballet bag was. Her eyes widen and then her faced scrunched up and I knew then that she had forgotten the bag. Fortunately, she was wearing her leotard. Unfortunately, her ballet shoes were still snug as a bug in her bag…in the house.

By the time this truth was discovered we were already halfway to class, turning back around would mean arriving late to class.

My first reaction was frustration. How many times have we gone over the simple rule of draping your bag across your body so you CAN’T forget it? I loudly said in my head. And just before I opened my mouth to remind her of something she was already aware of (she made a huge mistake), a scene from one of her favorite movies popped into my head and offered me such a powerfully positive parenting perspective.

Our conversation went like this:

{Princess Bella, head hung eyes beginning to tear expecting to get in trouble for leaving her bag}

“Why are you sad?”

“Because I left my bag. Can we go  back home to get it?”I explained to her we couldn’t do that and then tears began to trickle, “But I will get in trouble and will have to sit and observe class. I won’t be able to participate” she explained.

“Well, I think it’s not so terrible at all that you made this mistake!” I responded happily. She turned and looked at me shocked.

“You don’t?”

“Nope, not at all. Remember in Meet the Robinsons when Lewis confessed at the family dinner that his first invention failed?”


“Well, do you remember how everyone reacted?”

“They celebrated and congratulated him.”

“That is right, and that is what I am doing to you in this moment. You made a mistake, that’s all. I forgot things all the time when I was your age: shoes, books, clothes–you name it I forgot it. Sometimes I still make a mistake and forget things. And yes, sometimes I couldn’t participate in things because of my mistakes. The movie showed us it is pretty normal and healthy to FAIL and to make MISTAKES. It is great even to make mistakes because, if we allow it, we can learn all types of really great lessons that WINNING and GETTING IT RIGHT sometimes doesn’t allow.”

“What do you mean, if we allow?”

tumblr_m7ncfxHZn91qb444eo1_500“What I mean by that is if we stay positive, keep a good attitude and keep moving forward, then we will allow ourselves to learn something new. I want you to know that I am not upset with you, actually I am extremely proud of you right now and I am excited because I believe that you are going to allow yourself to have an awesome experience. If the teacher does have you sit out, do it with a respectful and joy-centered heart and know it’s alright to make a mistake.”

With that she gave me a tender hug and  had the biggest smile on her face. After her class was over she ran down the steps excited saying, “She let  me participate in class! I told her I forget my shoes and understood I might have to sit out. I said it with respect and I wasn’t pouting. She told me that because I was honest and had a good attitude I could participate! But mom” she went on to say, ” even if I had to sit out, I would have still been ok.” I was so happy for her.

On the way home she told me, “Mom, I think what I will do next time is put my bag across my body when you give it to me  like you told me to do before, that way I will always have it.”

Wow, I was amazed how she got where I wanted her to go all on her own, in the best way.

I hope I remember this lesson the next time one of my princesses (or anyone in my life) makes a mistake! I know Princess Bella learned a great lesson from her mistake, but I believe I learned the most important one today.

Stay Happy & Be Encouraged!



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