Being locked away in the tallest tower in a far away place seems the bane of many a fairy tale princess: Sleeping Beauty, Fiona, Rapunzel. For the most part, life in a tower seems like a pretty dismal existence and something from which a princess always needs saving.
Recently, however, we were watching Disney’s Tangled, and as Rapunzel sang about her daily routine of life locked away in her secluded tower, I thought, “You know, part of that doesn’t sound so bad.” Really, aside from complete social seclusion (which, I grant you, is a pretty big problem), her life sounds quite cultured, renaissance, and full of hours of productive self-development: She’s up and working by 7am. She reads. She paints. She cooks, bakes, and plays guitar, not to mention being at the forefront of the revival in knitting. She is also a ballerina and chess master, as well as a ventriloquist and candle maker.
Again, looking past the total isolation, all in all I’m saying she has developed a very impressive daily routine consisting of a wide range of interesting, enlightening pursuits. When life gives you abduction by an evil witch and solitary confinement in a secluded tower, make lemonade. And paper mache.
According to the traditional story, Rapunzel is locked away in her tower around age 12. And in Tangled, she is awaiting her 18th birthday, when she hopes she’ll finally be able to leave her tower. In other words, she’s spent around 6 years following what appears to be the same insanely productive routine day in and day out.
I was curious what such a constructive daily routine would lead to, so I did a little computing. After 6 years of reading 2 or 3 books per day, Rapunzel would have read around 5,475 books. And at a rate of “a few new paintings” per day, she would have painted 6,570 paintings. Neither of those figures includes the fact that she generally circles back in the afternoon for a bit more reading and painting. Playing one game of chess per day, she has played around 2,190 games. Of course, since she only has herself to play against, a la Geri’s style, she has actually played two times that many games, or almost 4,400 games of chess. And we haven’t even looked at the thousands of hours spent developing skills like sewing, baking, knitting, and throwing darts. I should mention, too, that all this productivity is accomplished in the time outside of the endless hours she must devote to brushing, brushing, brushing, and brushing her hair.
So aside from another entertaining, happily ever after ending story, I believe that Tangled offers, to the experienced children’s movie critic (which I consider myself to be:), a great lesson on what happens when we harness the power of a routine. From daily guitar practice to diligent ballet studies, good things happen when Rapunzel establishes a daily routine that includes regularly working on worthwhile endeavors.
At Bookroo, we believe that establishing a regular routine of reading with your children is one of the most important things you can do for their development and growth. The benefits of early childhood reading are well established and something we continually highlight. If you’ve been struggling with establishing a routine of regularly reading with your child, check out the free printables we created to help you get started.
We accomplish great things through constant, routine efforts. We can’t promise happily ever after endings in magical kingdoms, but we are convinced that daily reading with your child sets her or him up for success in life like few other activities can.