Mother Daughter Lessons with Brave

by Elena on June 27, 2012 in Fitness


Scary. Heartfelt. Emotional. Dark. I have heard so many words used to describe the movie Brave, with Disney’s newest spunky and redheaded Princess Merida.

Mother Daughter lessons from Brave | Ciao Mom

Principessa’s rendition of Brave.

And yes, admittedly, my own Principessa was scared at various moments of the movie…but beyond that, this movie is so much more. Watching Brave screamed of the fragility and significance of mother daughter relationships.  The relationship between Merida and her mother the queen was one that I know well, and the themes of wanting someone to be perfect are ones that remind me of why Just.Be.Enough. is so important.

I will confess, that as I watched the movie I thought about my own relationship with my mom and then the relationship I have with Principessa. As I have grown and become a mother myself I have a new perspective on the difficulty of the mother daughter dynamic especially when the mother and daughter have the same (we’ll call it “stubborn and strong willed”) personality.

The truth is that my mom always encouraged me to reach for my dreams. But…(you knew there was a but right?) sometimes it felt like I was never good enough for her as far as my appearance. I know now that these were my own issues of self esteem (or lack there of) and that blaming my mom for having caused those issues is a gross simplification of reality.  I also know that like Merida, my pride often got in the way (it may still) of real communication when our strong willed personalities butted up against one another.

As I listened to Principessa retell the story of Brave over dinner last night, I know that as a mom to a feisty and spunky daughter of my own, I face the daunting task of balancing being supportive of her dreams and trying to help guide her based on my own experiences in life. Merida and her mother share a strong love, but Brave showed us that communication and flexibility are the keys to an even stronger bond.

Mother Daughter Lessons from Brave | Ciao Mom

Watching the Disney/Pixar movie Brave on the first full day of summer vacation with my daughter is a powerful symbol that I hope will help guide us into a summer of a whole LOT of time together, of laughter, love, and relationship building. It probably does not hurt to keep the message of the movie in the back of my head as we prepare to spend over three weeks in close quarters with my own mom (who, I should be clear, I adore—but um….one shared bathroom…lots of time in a car….have I mentioned that we have stubborn and strong willed tendencies?) :) Maybe I should check to see if the Brave soundtrack is on itunes so that when times are tough, the musical reminder of Merida and her mom can help refocus (and distract) us.

(Also? All the people that encouraged me to go see the movie despite the beautiful sun that was out, and my mounting pile of to do items to prepare for our upcoming trip to Italy…those people that suggested I bring tissues…they were not kidding.  Yes it can be a touch scary…but this is a not to miss movie!)

Ciao Mom

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akaLaverne June 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I am so happy you saw this movie. I know from reading and following your posts that we have similar struggles with our daughters. As soon as I heard you were going to see it I knew it would be as meaningful to you as it was to me. It had such a huge impact on me as I watched it with my oldest. The movie had so many fantastic memories and spoke so deeply to me. What a fantastic princess movie that was sooooo much more then a princess movie!! -LV P.S. it’s LV from KindredAdventures

Elena June 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Silly you–as if I could not recognize your kind words. :) I am so glad we went–so very glad.

angela June 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Oh! I wish Abbey was just a little older. I think she would be too scared based on what I’ve heard. I guess I will have to wait for the DVD and tuck it away for when she’s a bit older.

Bridget Kuhlo July 10, 2012 at 5:12 am

Brave is a beautiful and moving new fairy tale that fits seamlessly into the genre; Princess Merida is a wonderfully multi-facted heroine; the film shapes itself around problems that are familiar and understandable and will be well-understood and appreciated by kiddos and parents alike.. the supporting characters that are given the most attention are well-crafted (but too bad for those others that fall by the wayside). The visual effects are flawless, in my opinion, the best of al thel Pixar films.

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