A Lesson from the Disney Princesses

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I have been VERY leery of those Disney Princesses that I see Ev.Ery.Where. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up enjoying their stories and admiring their dresses.  (I was even The Little Mermaid for my 9th Birthday). But the mass marketing and the combo-packaging and the craze has made me not want my children to have anything to do with them. Until… Tangled.

I confess that I tend to go a bit too much in the extreme. So my husband and I sat down and talked about the things we don’t want to teach our daughter and why I was getting worried about the Princess thing. We listed the dangers and the joys of the Princess craze so that we can figure out what’s what. I’ve shared them with you hear so you can see how we came to having a Disney Princess living in our home.

Here are three dangers we defined surrounding the Princess Craze:

1. “Acting like a Princess” – This is the Diva/entitlement/self-serving attitude that we don’t want to see in ourselves or our children.

2. Materialism – I certainly have had times where I obsess over clothes, shoes, toys etc and though this is something that we will fight just because we live in America, I want my daughter to understand the value of CONTENTMENT and not demanding more and more things (because that beast will always be hungry).

3. Unhealthy Body Image – This of course, is a little debate that’s been around since Barbie (and I’m sure before that). But, like Tracy mentioned here Mom’s Body Image helps to shape that of her daughter.

Here are the joys we’ve experienced with the Princess Craze:

1. An Attitude of Gratitude – Reagan received Princess Rapunzel at Disneyland this past Saturday. Everyday, including the day she got her, she’s said “Thank you for my Princess, Mommy.” Melt my heart and line up the snuggles!

2. Being considerate for others – It’s been tons of fun to watch Reagan taking care of her Princess, asking to bring her everywhere and playing with her ridiculous hair! Does a doll count as “others” – I’m saying yes;-)

3. More Teachable moments – One thing that I can’t stand is the way Rapunzel’s hair becomes a complete nest when it’s down ALL DAY LONG. She gets thrown under blankets and hides under tables and jumps to the ground “so high”. So, each evening I tell Reagan that in order to take good care of “Princess”, we braid her hair at night. So far, it’s been REALLY fun for me (b/c I LOVE to braid and fix hair) and Reagan’s enjoyed seeing Princess cleaned up and ready for bed – just like Reagan does.

It’s been REALLY fun having a Disney Princess in the home. There. I said it. And, childhood is fun. Check back in 20 years and I’ll let you know if the Princesses messed her up or if having parents who love her and try our best to do what we think is right has more influence on how she turns out. 😉

What about you? Have you embraced the Princess thing? Do you stay far far away from it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and what works for your families!!!

Oh, and in case you LOVE Tangled as much as we do, have you seen the Royal Wedding? If not, here’s the Tangled Ever After short. (Special thanks to my hubs for finding this one!)

1 COMMENT

  1. We have fully embraced Disney Princess mania at our house! I’ve decided that the worries people have about princesses/barbie/etc. (some of which you listed in your post) have little to nothing to do with the princesses and EVERYTHING to do with the mother. If you as a mother continually talk about how you hate your body and wish you had nicer clothes and give your daughter a bunch of princess dolls, then yeah, she’s probably going to learn some not-so-good lessons. But if you are a confident, content mother and model that for your child, then no amount of Disney/Barbie merchandise will interfere with that. Bottom line: there’s a huge difference between letting your daughter enjoy her childhood full of princess gowns, dolls, and imagination…and allowing your daughter to be a spoiled diva. I say, enjoy this stage while it lasts! 🙂

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