Last weekend, I took my daughter to see the new Cinderella movie. Little did I know how closely it would parallel my new book, Connection and Kindness: The Key to Changing the World Through Parenting. I was literally breathless at certain points during the movie thinking about it. This current version goes into much greater detail about the loving, connected relationship that (Cinder)Ella had with her parents than any other version I have ever read or seen. In the beginning, there are scenes of Ella happily playing and running in the meadow with her loving parents. Early in the movie, when (Cinder)Ella’s mother had taken ill, from her death bed she says to Ella “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer: have courage and be kind.” She goes on to tell her “Ella, you have more kindness in your little finger than most people possess in their whole body. There is great power in that.” Later, she tells Ella “Where there is kindness, there is goodness and where there is goodness, there is magic.”
These lessons serve Ella well as her dad remarries the wicked stepmother and then eventually dies, leaving Ella to live with this woman and her two nasty daughters, becoming almost their servant. But remembering her mother’s lessons, Ella continues to be kind and respectful even though they do not treat her the same. And in the end, when the prince fits the glass slipper on her foot perfectly and they get ready to leave her childhood home, she turns to her stepmother and makes a profound statement “I forgive you.”
This young woman was able to endure something far from the fairy tale that she grew up in with her parents, and it was largely because of the deep, loving connection she had with them. When we forge these deep, connected relationships with our children, they will see them through the inevitable storms of life that we all encounter. What a great gift Cinderella’s parents gave to her and what a great gift we can give to our children.