Do you have a princess obsessed little girl in your house? Is it dresses and tiaras 24/7? Have you heard all the noise about how too much “princess” can hurt your daughters and grand daughters. Do you think there is anything to the accusations?
In an attempt to quiet the princess naysayers. Disney has even jumped on board with a new “Dream Big Princess” campaign.”
So, is a princess passion a bad thing? Does it really hurt our girls? Heather here from FamilyVolley.com and today we are going to talk about how we can balance the princess obsession.
Don’t think that just because your daughter watches Disney movies and wears princess dresses that she is going to have esteem issues and eating disorders. And don’t be naive to the fact that too much “princess” does have the potential to cause our girls to distort the difference between fantasy and reality. Could put unnecessary emphasis on “looks” and make our girls believe that if they don’t look a certain way they won’t have a “happily ever after.”
What can we do about too much princess? Well, instead of thinking we have to get rid of Princess dresses and movies all together, we just need to add some balance. Here are 7 ways that we can balance the Princess obsession with our little girls.
Communicate Family Values
Studies show that if children don’t know what their parents value, they assume their parents believe the opposite of what they do. So, if we believe that girls can and should be more than just pretty, then we have to tell our girls what we do believe, they can become. If you value honesty and hard work and intelligence, tell you girls about those values. Our young girls will identity with us as their parents so make your values clear.
Ability Over Appearance
Instead of always commenting on our daughter’s appearance, we need to focus on their abilities. That means, compliment them on the effort, energy and skill they use to do things. Be specific. Our little girls are SO cute, but when that is the only thing we compliment, we convey that looks are all that matter.
Introduce Your Own Role Models
Instead of your girls focusing on unrealistic role models, like cartoon princesses, teach them about real role models. The best place to start? Go to your family tree. Whenever there is a chance, point out the strong women your girls are related to and explain what makes the women so marvelous! Remember to focus on abilities and not appearance.
Expand the Toy Box and Encourage Sports
Time to offer our girls lots of things to play with. Girls can love blocks and trucks and things that are blue.
Then there are sports. We tend to raise our boys to be brave and our girls to be beautiful. NO more!
Sports teach us that our bodies are strong and that they can be used for so many other things than just the covers of magazines. They teach girls to appreciate their physical strength and muscles and see the body for its abilities. Research shows that girls who play on teams have higher self-esteem, tend to do better academically and have fewer body images. They don’t have to be passionate about sports, but introduce them.
Talk Back to the Screen
A great exercise to do with your girls is to watch their princess movies and shows with them. Then if something happens on the screen that you agree with/don’t agree with, talk back to the screen as a third party narrator and reinforce it. For example, “wow, did you see how she showed courage and told the truth even when her friends told her to lie.” Or “that isn’t how we talk to our friends.” If it aligns with your values, state that, and pretty soon your girls will start picking up on it to. They will actually add balance themselves and start talking back to the screen also.
Go Behind the Scenes
It is important to teach our girls how movies and shows are actually made. Tell them about all the “girls and boys who are really good artists, who draw the pictures and work on the computers” to make the movies. Our little girls tend to think that they could actually move down the street into “princess land.” We want them to understand it is make believe so that they don’t get fantasy confused with reality.
Have a Healthy Media Diet
Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends!
P.S. If you live in Utah, don’t miss this year’s LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER SHOW. May 5th in the Amber Room at Thanksgiving Point. CLICK HERE for TICKETS. What to see this years cast? Click Here.
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Meg Barney says
Tip for raising a well-balanced princess: heavy royal scepter in one hand (signifies the weight and responsibility of leadership, also doubles as hammer to help build), shield in the other (to protect and defend the rights of herself and her people), tiara firmly attached to the helm on her head, decorative flair on the functional armor chased in gold (or silver, as per preference), with a complete library to reference, and the knowledge that nothing comes free — if you don’t earn it, it’s not worth anything.
The Idea Room Assistant says
That is great! Thanks for sharing!