Jun 23, 2009

the princess parent

Princess Pedestal: How many girls are on one? , an article by Martha Irvine, is leaving many asking: Am I a princess parent? Is this princess mania consuming me?
All the pink, frilly and sparkly — from the princess dresses to the four-foot-high pink castle in the playroom — isn't necessarily what Caroline Morris would choose for her eldest daughter.
She doesn't want to stop her 6-year-old from being who she is. But as princess fever has reached a new high with this generation of girls, she and other parents are feeling the urge to rein in the would-be reigning ones, just a little.
"But what happens when our daughters get to adulthood and they realize that the world isn't a fairy tale?" asks Morris, who lives in suburban Atlanta and insists she doesn't mind imaginative play. She just wants her girls to strive for something beyond being "pretty and glamorous."

You can read the article in its entirety here.

Now go watch Dad Labs where Daddies Brad and Clay take on the princess challenge. See how their stash will stack up against each other and maybe even your own. Plus listen in on what Jeremy Adam Smith, author of The Daddy Shift, has to say about going "off-script with the princess dolls" and dealing with this onslaught of pink.

My take on all of this? A little princess fantasy doesn't hurt. But only a little. AND when they're little. I know, i know, easy for me to say. I only have sons. Still, it is something to think about. After all, I'm not too keen on the idea of my boys taking out princesses on future dates. Imagine the expectations hanging over their heads to be the perfect Prince Charmings and give these "royals" their Happily Ever After? Scary thought. Oh, and does that mean MacDaddy will have to cough up the "castles"? An even scarier thought.

Not quite her Royal Highness,


Nona said...

Good post to think about!

True, parents can over-indulge the princess entitlement thing... but I think Martha Irvine takes it a bit too far when she says princess play can easily lead to narcism. Little girls need their fantasies and being a princess is just one of the most common things to spark their imagination.

When they can comprehend - the STORY behind the "princess" is what matters. Like, Mulan defied the odds by joining the imperial army and becoming a war hero. So.. there's still a thing or two girls can learn from some princesses. Forget Bratz or Barbie though. Yikes.

When the time comes, girls should know aspiring to be like Madame Curie or Amelia Earhart is actually cooler (not to mention more realistic).

I like the advice of Jeremy Adam Smith on the video. He puts it all in perspective : )

Nana said...

Yup! Everything in perspective. Now can I borrow your tiara for my dinner tomorrow night? Haha

Nona said...

Tiara? Alas... I was never a princess : P Now I'm feeling deprived! Hahaha!

Cely said...

What a great post! Thanks Nana! It's a treat to read you, as usual.

Above all, I'm sorry: It's difficult to express my opinion clearly in English, but I'll try and hope I won't offend you.

This subject always scares me. Before Emma came along I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to dress my daughter in princess clothes. It was (and it's still) important to me not to encourage a princess mentality.

Two years later, I'm still unwilling to accept. But I think it will be a phase in her "girl" life. I'm realistic and of course, I have alot of limits (no tiara, for example, hahaha). I really think that when they're little it's good to let our children dream. Everything depends of us. We HAVE to explain them that life isn't a fairy tale...

Oh, by the way, the other day, she came to me and said: "Mama, I'd like to do some ironing just like you" - Hmmmm...

Nana said...

And it's a treat to hear from you, as usual.
I am now picturing Emma ironing your clothes in a ball gown. That, my dear, is balance!

Barni Alunan-Escaler said...

Sorry to butt in, but whenever I come across this topic, something in me jumps. I agree with Nona - it's a bit much to equate a little imaginative play with adult tendencies. What will happen when they realize real life isn't a fairy tale? The same thing that happened to all of us, I guess - you learn to differentiate between fantasy and reality. You grow up. But maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. I was always more of a cowgirl, never a princess. I think the more important and disturbing question to ask is - "princess pedestal: how many STAGE moms put their little girls on one?" - a la JonBenet Ramsey.

miri said...

Nana, i invite you to come down the street to A1 to check my daughter's room -- you will have a BARF FEST from all the pink , fluffy and diamond encrusted borloloy that fills her sanctum.

Her favoite color of course is pink, with black ( and shades of purple and white ) :-0 all her stuffed animals and little pets including my poodle are blinginfied and princessified by her too. She was never into dolls btw, just animals. la lang, hindi nya type.

The post modern- princess, the one who builds her own castle one brick at a time with lots of self confidence and very much flair is what i try to impart into her starry hopeful tiared head.

Nana said...

Hi Miri. No barf fest for me. I think I had the "pinkest" room anyone ever had all throughout grade school, high school, and, um, a little of college.