What I Want My Daughter to Learn From Ariana Grande


ariana grande role model

These days I’m more in the know about the newest playgrounds than I am about the newest bars. My stay at home mom uniform is more about comfort than style. I can’t remember what the last movie I saw in the theater was. But sometimes I do catch wind of something relevant to pop culture. So I don’t know a ton about Ariana Grande’s lifestyle and career, but her latest single “thank u, next” made me stop and listen.

Thought I’d end up with Sean,

But he wasn’t a match,

Wrote some songs about Ricky,

Now I listen and laugh,

Even almost got married,

And for Pete, I’m so thankful,

Wish I could say, “Thank you,” to Malcolm,

‘Cause he was an angel.

She matter of factly reflects on past relationships that didn’t work out. She’s able to laugh and even thank her exes. Amongst other songs of heartbreak or slams, it’s a breath of fresh air.

Looking back, I can still relate a little to songs of heartache. I was nervous when I found out my second child was a girl. I wish I could protect her from the pain of love, but I know I can’t. Mistakes are part of the journey, and she will make some just like I did.

It is with this acceptance that Ariana sings about what her exes taught her, the lessons she’s learned, and being better for it.

One taught me love,

One taught me patience,

And one taught me pain,

Now, I’m so amazing,

I’ve loved and I’ve lost,

But that’s not what I see,

So, look what I got,

Look what you taught me,

And for that, I say,

Thank you, next (Next).

I want my daughter to handle relationships in a way that protects her heart. I want her to love freely, but giving only what is deserved, and when it’s worth it. When it’s time to walk away, I hope it feels like an ending rather than a failure. And I want my daughter to be able to approach relationships with perspective. With perspective, there can be good taken away from an ended relationship. With perspective there is wisdom that a relationship may or may not work out; and if it doesn’t, your story continues with or without someone new down the line.

Ariana goes on to sing about having more time with her friends and ultimately finding and embracing herself. One piece of advice I want to give my daughter when she is a teenager is that although some do end up marrying their high school sweethearts, it’s much more likely that her friendships will last longer than those young relationships. And the advice I hope to give my daughter in her 20’s is that she is at the perfect age to do the things she wants to do, and go to the places she wants to go. Marriage and family life is great when it’s time, but there will never again be that much uninterrupted and dedicated time to pursue herself in the same way.

The song “thank you, next” is about life after heartache and life because of heartache. It encompasses growth, hope, gratitude, healing, and moving on. I hope my daughter will have the same resilience, and with time, also encompass these traits. Well, as she is only three months old, I am first hoping she will learn how to sleep through the night.



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