What ‘Once Upon A Time’ taught me about family

While you may think that the travel between different fairy tale realms, magical books and daggers and several amnesia enchantments seems a little unrealistic, the spell-binding TV series Once Upon a Time (which has a new episode airing tonight!) still manages to explore themes that are relevant to everyday life. For me, what stands out the most throughout the entire series are the complex family ties and dynamics. If you’ve ever tried to explain who’s related to who and how, then you know what I mean! However complicated, family is at the heart of each and every storyline and there are some particularly important lessons that they have taught me.

Those who love you want to give you your best chance

You might not see it right away and maybe you disagree with their methods, but your family always has your best interests at heart. Your parents probably didn’t send you through a tree portal to another world to protect you from a curse, or killed your true love before you could elope. But when they try to push you towards college, or a job, or relationships, or even tell you what clothes you should wear, they’re just trying to look out for you.

Your parents aren’t always perfect

And that’s okay. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and even Snow White and Prince Charming aren’t crystal clear heroes. Rumpelstiltskin is hardly Father of the Year, but he tries everything in his power to find his son and earn his forgiveness. Remember that your parents are humans, capable of slipping up. Tell them when they’re wrong, forgive them if you can.

Everyone deserves a second chance

Sometimes people even deserve a third or fourth chance, when they’re really trying. Regina has gone from good to evil and back and forth but she endeavours to be good, and to be the mother Henry deserves. She’s given the chance to redeem herself, with Henry by her side the whole way. Believe in the people you love, and never give up on them.

You are not alone

You don’t have to go through the hard times by yourself, your family will always be there to support you and there’s always someone out there, no matter how far away, you loves you. And remember that, when everything seemed to be at its darkest, Snow White found seven dwarves which goes to show that, when all else fails, family can be chosen.

If it’s worth fighting for, fight hard

You’d think the Charmings would get really tired of having to find each other, of battling every other day for their happy ending, but they do it because they know that family is worth fighting for. While you may not often be undertaking epic battles there are metaphorical dragons and beasts that need to be slain, miles that need to be travelled and curses that need to be broken.

Holly Garrow is a literature graduate with a severe tea addiction. She lives in Scotland where she spends most of her time writing and telling people that yes, the Loch Ness Monster is real.

[Image via Warner Bros.]

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