So my daughter, like most girls her age, is undoubtedly given to the fantasy of being a princess. Truth be told, I enjoy a good fairy tale along with her. Since she was about 18 months, she’s loved stories, and especially any story about princesses. I can remember being so excited to introduce her to Disney movies, and sit with her while we watched them. It seemed like a dream to have her undivided attention with me for that long, and for me to revisit some of the movies that marked my childhood as well. But as I began to survey my options, I realized that a lot of the movies that I watched just aren’t age appropriate for her. Wherever you stand on movies and magic, I just like to err on safety.
With only two months until she turns four, my daughter’s mind is mature in so many ways. She memorizes books in about two seconds, is deeply impacted by everything around her and is very sensitive to her environment, not to mention the fact that she becomes immediately absorbed in anything on the TV. Thus, I feel like I have to exercise extra caution when it comes to what I allow her little eyes to see. I used to be a lot more stringent with it, but I know that its inevitable that she’ll encounter Disney movies and their portrayal of princesses everywhere. At the gym, at church on small group nights, at birthday parties, etc. I am not anti-princesses or even anti-Disney. But I am anti-purposefully exposing my daughter to witches, magic, and romance too early. I mean, how many of us can really handle a witch at any age? I digress.
She used to beg me to tell her Cinderella stories, whom she called “Falella”. But even as I began to tell her the story, it seemed so heavy. A young girl works as a slave for her own step-mother, she is hated, she is a victim, and her only escape is marrying a prince she barely knows via a magical fairy godmother. There is no redemption. There is no faith. There is nothing of substance to that story. So I started reinventing them, where Cinderella prays for her family and they get saved and she gets a new daddy and he loves Jesus. You know, just taking creative liberties on centuries-old fairy tales. Oh well. It was fine until one day Eden was explaining to my mom how Ariel prayed for Prince Eric and he was healed. My mom gave me the crazy eyes, “Charis, you have taken this a bit too far.” But once you start redeeming the fairy tales, you’ll see what I mean! You want to get all up in the details and tweak them! It’s so much fun.
Meet the Princess Parables
For Easter this year my Mom, probably in attempt to silence my crazy departures from originals, sent Eden a precious Princess Parables book that has become one of our favorites: Princess Faith’s Mystery Garden. I cannot even explain how grateful I am for this little book and her sister books. This is only one of five precious stories called The Princess Parables by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson. I no longer reinvent Grimm’s Brothers, unless of course we’re out and don’t have a book on hand. This series is about five sisters who are daughters of the King. Each sister has a name that is a characteristic of Believers (Grace, Faith, Hope, Joy and Charity). And they encounter various adventures and trials that actually are allegories for different parables. At the end of every book, the Princess explains how her story reminds her of a Bible story and then lists the story below. It’s a win. On every level. For Eden, she had them memorized within a week.
If you are the mother of a little girl who is over 3, and is remarkably influenced by the color pink and any and every crown available, then these books are for you! (And for her!) It’s such a good way for me to introduce Jesus and princesses in one, and for us to discuss actual words that Jesus spoke. Please go buy this precious series, or check it out at your local library. They all were available at ours, and I am so grateful. You won’t regret it!
Have you heard of the Princess Parables? If yes, what is your favorite story?
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