But I have recently discovered that there is a world of parenting advice in a very unusual – and fun - place. It’s there in the stories I read to my children.
Today I’d like to share the four things I have discovered in that well-loved tale “The Three Little Pigs”.
#1 – be careful of that alluring short cut
So just imagine it. Three little pigs leave home (I wonder if their mom experienced ‘empty nest’ syndrome) and set out to seek their fortunes in the great, wide world. The first didn’t get very far and took the first option he saw. The end result: a hurried building of a straw house with that flimsy raw material.
But by the end of that day, he was kicking back and probably enjoying a mojito…and laughing at his more industrious brothers.
Pig number 2 wandered a little further along the road to his future. Can you picture him building a stick cabin in the woods? It probably took him two days, before he too was lounging in front of the fire and drinking his beverage of choice. And clucking under his breath with false sympathy for his brother who was out there braving the elements, constructing his house by laying brick on excruciating brick.
But, as we now know, the two pigs who took the construction short cuts lived to regret it. And were very pleased that one of them had gone through the pain of laying foundations, making mortar and building the brick house.
The bottom line is this: I’m as pleased as the next person to do less to have more. But there are times when taking short cuts can have adverse consequences. In a world full of headlines advising you how to “hack” anything from your laundry to bringing up your children, choose your short cuts with care.
#2 - Bad things can come out of nowhere
The big bad wolf did not announce his presence beforehand. He just showed up – and started threatening the pigs. Sometimes bad things just show up in our lives.
But we can choose our response – whether to just open the door and let the big bad wolf devour us. Or do we escape out a window and flee, but live to fight another day?
#3 – Family is the ultimate backstop
Isn’t it interesting that both the pig that built the house of straw and the one that built the house of twigs both knoew exactly where they were going once they had escaped. To their brother’s house. – Each of the two piggies knew there was a place of refuge if they could just get there
What a wonderful thought – that there are always people you can rely on just because they happen to share your DNA.
#4 – Your response can get you out of a tricky situation
The last lesson I learnt from “The Three Little Pigs” was how my response to tough situations can mean the literal difference between triumph and disaster.
Imagine if the three little pigs hadn’t been quick-witted enough to put the cooking pot on the fire when they heard the wolf climbing on the roof? It would have been a worse version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
But it didn’t end that way. Thanks to some quick thinking and quicker execution.
What life lesson did you get out of “The Three Little pigs”? Please tell us in the comment section.
And here is a handy Amazon link if you would like to treat your toddler (or yourself) to this timeless story.