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Little girls and fairy tales

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous in Parenting' started by guesshoo, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. hridhaya

    hridhaya Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Guesshoo,

    Interesting topic and the one running in my head too!

    My DD is now 6 years old and she got introduced to princess stories and barbie dolls only when she was 4 years old. Before that she was hooked to just cartoons.

    In these last 2 years, my daughter has engaged herself in lot of princess pretend play activities which were nice to watch but off late it is beginning to cross the line. I feel she is losing the grip of real world and getting carried away and I find her expressions/behavior artificial sometimes. Attending a birthday party means definitely wearing a fancy/princess gown. I don't like this obsession and am trying my best to pull her out. This hinders her ability to make choices as her choices are either 'pink' or 'princess'.

    I feel awkward when I read princess stories to her because of the beautiful/ugly comparison,mean behavior and the prince kissing the princess. She has little amount of influence from these stories about the concept of having a boy friend etc. I don't have major problems as she is still innocent but am slowly cutting down princess books.

    My DH believes in being real with the child more than me. Hence we don't discuss things like tooth fairy, angel, princess etc. What she learns about these are mostly from friends. Sometimes I feel we are odd when other parents do not have any qualms with it. I never called my daughter or her friends as 'princess' but it happens in the society a lot. Most themes for little girls are all princess oriented. Hence I feel there is no escape from all this.

    Sorry my post is so much of my ramblings I am sure you will find a way through. My suggestion would be let her enjoy everything but not to let anything become an obsession. Drawing a line helps but it is not so easy.

    Thanks for opening this thread.

    I hope you enjoy this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtyOC6ayKoU
     
    2 people like this.
  2. guesshoo

    guesshoo IL Hall of Fame

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    LotusAura, (lovely screen name, BTW) the magic is indeed wonderful. And can't refute your point about comparing it with today's Hannah Montana or should I say Miley Cyrus. (shudder!)

    PT, I'm quite amazed by how all this gets into our children's heads! When my friend complimented her nursery-going 2 year old son saying, "you look lovely" He gave her a look and said, "I can't be lovely. Do you want to say handsome, mummy?" How quickly these gender stereotypes set in..

    Hridhaya, Fantastic link, you have provided, dear. I haven't seen anything like it! I totally love the way "Elsa" critiques the rest of the princesses' choices. Quite catty, yet, spot on! Thank you for pointing me towards that. I am sure that as long as we are aware how far away from reality some of these stories are, we will be able to do something to ground our little girls. Did you see in the news about a man from America who claimed a small piece of land near Sudan so that he could be king and more importantly his daughter could be a real princess?!?!?! :bang
     
  3. guesshoo

    guesshoo IL Hall of Fame

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    Now, my dearest Laks and Rakhii, I can't tell you how much I value your input on this. I totally hold you both and your parenting skills in really high esteem.

    Your pro-barbie, pro-fairytale replies have really changed the way I look at this worry of mine and has brought me a LOT of peace. Honestly! I guess we could just use them to add a bit of glamour, charm and drama, and leave it at that instead of over-analysing it.

    Laks, it really drove the point home to know that your little girl is emulating you more than anything else. When I saw that, I automatically reminded myself to be calm and collected, and am happy to report that I have succeeded from this morning despite the morning pre-school rush :)

    Rakhii - I am awed by your idea of you having a princess costume so you could have a princess tea party with your DD. It is absolutely adorable! I only watched Frozen with my little one because a friend promised me it was different and the princesses were far from helpless. I haven't watched into TinkerBell / Princess Sofea simply because I didn't know it wasn't the usual helpless girl stuff. Now I think I will.

    Thank you so much for helping me understand and stop viewing this from a different perspective.

    xx
     
  4. mriduna

    mriduna Silver IL'ite

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    Thank you GH for opening this thread. This topic and the pink fantasy has been running in my head for long. I loved everyone's view and responses.

    @Laks, I am one of your silent admirers. I love your parenting style and like GH mentioned it really helped put my mind to ease. It is true we undermine our kids learning and observing powers. If we strive to strike a balance and if we explain to them reel vs. real through example, they will understand in time.
     
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  5. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    GH- It is really interesting topic and great discussion.
    My apologies if I am taking it in a different direction. I never watched/ read Cindrella or any of the princess stuff, I don't even recall playing with dolls. I have a 21 months old boy so I haven't thought about it much either. I was obsessed with Harry Potter and when Disney World set up Harry Potter World, it was a must see for me. I didn't stay for the regular disney stuff parade because all the rides were empty at that time and we took advantage of that.

    But, my feeling is- girls grow out of "pink and pretty" phase and parents can help them not get obsessed with things that society might tell "gender appropriate". The bigger issue, however, is- how we as parents talk to our kids and what kind of role model are we? Talking about negative body image (I am fat/ I've put on so much weight/ I am short/This color doesn't look good because you are dark/fair/I am-----whatever negative thing) and comparing with others hurt a kid in long run more than anything. Occassionally saying that- "you look like a princess" in my opinion is not worse than saying- "You are the prettiest of all".
    Pink is okay but everything pink is too much. I have problem with pink legos, why can't little girls play with same legos? Similarly, I don't believe in having everything blue for my son. Pink and blue are just colors so why gender-type. I decorated my son's nursery in brown, green and orange colors and yes, he had a pink blanket and a pink teddy. Now, you can judge me if you like (I know you won't), last week, my son went to daycare with his nails painted in black, white and red nail paint because he insisted on getting his nails painted when mommy was painting hers (just little dots were enough to make him happy). His teachers commented on it but hey, what's wrong with a little bit of color. I call him "Raja beta" sometimes but I won't buy everything on earth for him, not that I can't afford but I would like him to enjoy simple things more than the material things. Just sitting on our porch, catching fireflies and let them go, watch him giggle everytime he thinks he caught one is so much fun.

    I meant Harry Potter world at Universal studios :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
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  6. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    If you haven't, you might want to read- "Cindrella ate my daughter". Also, I would suggest kids books like- Little Pink Pup, this is one of my son's favorites. Minosaures
     
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  7. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    On the influence of dresses, mine is a tomboy. i think she grew out of frills, blitz,bead and frocks by 5. she is now forced to be conservative for college.

    i agree with laks09 gueshoo the kids look at us rather than the fairly tales unless we are going to keep stressing on princes, princesses and happy endings. don't forget the real world and the exposure these kids get by the time they are in high school remedies any sweet residues that they happen to have. very few children do live in their own world of fairlyland, and dreamers who think things will sort out on their own.

    to be honest, when my daughter was small we did not have great moolah to indulge in barbies, and i have never played with toys much, i am more of a books person.
    that said, my dd did get her share of toys like kitchenette and many more. but she left them around 5 years, she was more interested in cycling and running.

    i would say let your daughter enjoy this phase. it is cute. it will not have much residual impact as long as you balance things as she grows. these days when my children talk about the days we had reading in a home made tent, our picnics in the small area of our own livingroom with home made tents and drinks and snacks in playcups and playplates it brings a kind of satisfaction that yes they had a nice childhood.

    my son was lego craze. so it was more legos..but he was crazy about military paraphernalia too. he used to get them, but we did remove the dagger,the guns and he understood that violence was not happening and he started reading by 4/5.

    fastforward to 10 years. my daughter was a brown belt in karate, and completely weaned of frocks and the color pink.(there was a stage when pencil box, the diary, the bag everything was pink.) driving me crazy.

    we slowly made our thoughts understood by the close circle of friends. it was always books, and logic and strategy games that were gifted to our kids. and we always gift books age appropriate or games that kindle imagination, thinking and creativity.
    so the fear of too many barbies can be controlled.

    my daughter and son remember playing cricket, playing basketball, playing football and cycling. yes i did all this with them inspite of issues. and i am happy i did make the effort.

    today my dd is 19.a responsible, mature and capable of handling tough situations and does understand that there is no fairy tale and happy ending unless you create your own through your determination and hardwork. and knows goals set need a lot more than just dreams.
     
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  8. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    fairy tales and cartoon characters are a $$$$ business and they will evolve with new fashion and language but are here to stay

    have you checked everafterhigh.com.

    i will dig that link up.
     
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  9. rose8282

    rose8282 Platinum IL'ite

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    I'm obsessed with fairytales and disney. As soon as I got pregnant, I painted the nursery wall. There is a huge crib covering half of it now...but this shows my soft corner for the fantasy world. Girls grow out of it pretty soon. Right now Im waiting for my little one to enjoy all of this :)



    [​IMG]
     
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  10. han412

    han412 Gold IL'ite

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    @guesswho I too don't like these fairy tales and I made my own version of all of them and my kids would tell tell their grannies that they like mummas version better can they hear that. I did away with the evil stepmom too, I think they were too immature to be listening to that.
    Take the gifts give them to your dd then tell her that this is your doll you can make her whatever you want, lets make our own story about her. Add some funny parts.
     
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