How was your half term? Rain and general gloominess may have stopped outdoor activities, but it wasn’t going to stop fun. I spent a morning with my Niece, Mia at Piglet’s Play Centre where she painted a tile with Ceramica and had her face painted by About Faces. It’s all about being a Princess right now and whether you are 4 or 42 (hem hem), I think we can see where she is coming from!

miaatpigletsfullcollage

We also managed to squeeze in some cuddles, colouring and a Disney film.

Have you seen Tangled?

Positivity 6v2 web-01Disney films are fabulous teachers of life and what’s more I love their rocking tunes and happy endings. Some would say that’s not realistic but I believe in magic even when life dumps poo on my doorstep. Do you have to see it to believe it? Nope. You just have to trust that it is there.

So whilst Mia was caught up in the beauty of Rapunzel’s long locks and getting her ear muffs ready for the scary bits (don’t ask!), my mind was in a completely different space. From a Smiley Coach perspective I couldn’t help seeing the theme of fear which ran throughout the whole film.

Fear is the opposite of love

It usually involves an attempt to control instead of trust. Unconditional love allows, trusts and lets go. It is positive and encouraging. It guides and empathises. Fear is passed on through generations and comes from not feeling safe. If as a child you didn’t feel safe growing up (and there could be lots of reasons for that which were nobody’s fault), you are likely to pass this on to the next generation. Of course, we have a choice to stop it at any point. All it takes is a little awareness, the courage to change and a lot of love.

Rapunzel shows us that control leads to rebellion as she makes her escape from the tower and discovers a whole new world. One which she is ill-equipped to deal with (she needs a Prince to help her *sigh*). Here are 7 more Smiley observations from the film which are true lessons in how not to parent:-

  1. Unhealthy attachment, like the long hair which bound Rapunzel to Gothel, means a child will struggle to find healthy relationships in life. Children who are enmeshed with their Mothers may become dependent and find it hard to separate themselves out as individuals. They may also struggle to believe in their ability and step into their own power.
  2. Power when misused is incredibly damaging. Parenting through fear does not bread happy healthy children. Obedient ones yes but ones who cannot think for themselves and are afraid of getting it wrong and being punished.
  3. Trust is a huge part of parenting – trust in yourself, trust in your child and trust in the process of life. Gothel kept Rapunzel locked in the tower as she saw the world as a scary place and didn’t trust. Consequently she passed that fear on.

gothelandrapunzel“We have to learn to trust that our children really do know what they need to get better. When we stop listening and cease to keep working to meet them where they are, we simply become an interference to their natural process.” ~ Heather Talbert Forbes, beyondconsequences.com

  1. A parent’s Unconscious beliefs which stem from their unresolved childhood hurts manifest in every day actions which are absorbed by children who, let’s face it: are fabulous mimics and live what they learn.
  2. Without Positive Feedback children struggle to see themselves. In coaching I often meet children who have no idea of their greatness. It renders them uncomfortable and embarrassed. They are afraid to shine.
  3. Intuition kicked in every time Rapunzel saw the lanterns released into the sky on her birthday. She knew deep down inside that they were meant for her despite Gothel’s attempts to brainwash her. The song ‘Mother Knows Best’ from the film is quite chilling as Gothel spins Rapunzel around and reminds her how ‘fragile’ she is. If we cut off our inner knowing, life becomes riddled with self doubt and anxiety.
  4. Rescuing is a short term solution to the problem. You do not need to take on the role of Flynn (the Prince) and rescue your child from their tower. They learn better when they work out how to climb out all by themselves. Let them have their worries, their emotions and their opinions. Be their cheerleader whooping them on from the sidelines while they find their way.

Rapunzel Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair

As it turned out Mia had her very first hair cut yesterday. She proudly sent me this video to show me her certificate (and beautiful new hair do). I love it that she asked if her hair would turn brown (this is what happens at the end of the film when the Prince cuts Rapunzel’s hair to free her from the unhealthy ties with Gothel). She also asked if it would hurt. I wonder if she was comparing it to a visit to the dentist? Cutting unhealthy ties can be painful short term but long term they give you freedom. The freedom to be yourself.

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