If you are a parent of a preschooler you will be familiar with shows like Sofia the first.
You know the show about a little girl who became a princess after her mum married the king, and now lives in the castle trying her best to do things right and learn how to be a princess.
I caught some of it yesterday while feeding the baby and keeping my boy entertained with the miserable weather we’ve been having.
It went like this. Sofia and her family went to go see the horse racing. The flying horse racing. (The story is about a princess after all.) She wants to enter the horse racing too because it looks so fun. But there is a catch. It’s a boy ONLY sport.
Her family encourages her to give it a go and see if she can make the team. She does. But not without overcoming some obstacles. Like her sister telling her to give up, Sofia getting the smallest “weakest” horse who does not believe it can do it. So she has to have enough belief for the both of them. And of course one of the other racers bumping her off her horse. She almost gives up but with the help and encouragement of her brother she makes it.
In the end she makes the team alongside her brother James. She is the first girl to make the team. Everyone is very proud and happy for her. So the classic happy ever after ending.
The show got me thinking though about the strong and the important messages) it sends to our children.
This is what the show aims to teach:
“Sofia learns that looking like a princess isn’t all that hard, but behaving like one must come from the heart. The stories focus on the idea that what makes a real princess is what’s on the inside. The show highlights character qualities such as kindness, courage, generosity, loyalty, honesty and grace. Subjects such as sincerity and forgiveness are heavily focused on.”
Despite the fact that it encourages girls and boys to give all kinds of activities a go, regardless of whether they are classed as more girl or boy oriented activities, it also teaches kids to work hard and give things a go. To never give up and that if they persevere they can achieve many amazing things.
The show has made an impression upon my boy because he was talking about and asking me questions about it at bedtime that night. He asked about Sofia’s horse not being able to do the obstacle course to start with and how after working hard together they achieved it.
So thank you to the people who writes these shows for showing kids that hard work and perseverance pays off. The kids might not fully understand the lessons now but in time they will and I can only hope that they take it on board.