Now Beauty and The Beast just came out with a live action version of the story. In it the Beast is a controlling creature who used to be a man and has taken Belle in her father’s stead after he stole from the Beast. Belle is a classic example of someone with Stockholm Syndrome, it’s when you fall in love with your capture. This should end badly like in Once Upon a Time in which the beast is Rumpelstiltskin hungering for power, in it he drove Belle away. Now, I don’t know if she took him back again as I haven’t watched since season four. In other stories non-Disney versions the ending isn’t so fairy tale.
In Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Little Mermaid the mermaid is in love with a prince who doesn’t know she exists. In the Disney version she gets a happy ending but in the original it doesn’t so so well for out intrepid mermaid. In both she is in love with a human prince who is inept in the Disney version and cruel in the original. She Sacrifices her life in the sea and all she has known just for a shot at love with the prince. You can hopefully see where I am going here. Giving up things for hope of love is clearly a sign of codependency.
Another story that is more recent that shows codependency it is entitled The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. In it the tree gives of itself to a boy throughout his life until he grows into a young man. Eventually the tree is left as a stump in the ground with nothing left to give. Maybe in a way this could be spun by parents as a warning against what too many people mistake as love. Giving everything you have could lead one to lose everything even your life.
Now finding stories that won’t teach codependency doesn’t have to be so hard. Read the stories that you have to read to your children. Can you figure out the moral of the story? Is it one that relies on being codependent to marry a prince or is it one in which the princess rescues herself? It’s not that hard and it is important to scrutinize what lessons you may be teaching. You can do this!