Where were you when Cinderella ate your daughter? I am tired of parents whining about the evils of this world least of all the media. I agree that media is an insidious monster. But, nothing in this world overcomes invested parents.
I had problems conceiving because I didn’t want to have children until I was ready. What does this mean? I wasn’t naïve enough to think that children would not take an enormous amount of concessions; I refuse to call them sacrifices because I waited until they would not feel as such, I knew I had to be mentally and emotionally prepared.
I gave up being a researcher, an exciting and much better paying job than the one I have, to take a job which would allow me to spend time at home, I work between 20 and 25 hours a week. My husband works longer hours so we can keep our middle class lifestyle. However, we gave up a fancy home for a more modest spread so we could have a pool, a large yard, there would be lessons (dance, riding, gymnastics, piano, etc.), private school and traveling. The girls and I have a nice Kia Sedona for our use but my poor husband has a twenty-year-old car and will have to keep it for another year. And, yes, people joke about our “child centered” approach often remarking that we “sacrifice too much!” But, we feel that guiding our children in life quest to become functioning adults is a precious gift.
We monitor what they see on TV very carefully and for how long they get to watch it. They are only allowed to associate with children whose parents are active participants in their lives. We make tough choices, keeping them away from single parent homes, to the detriment of personal friendships. It may seem absurd but primary socialization is imperative to who they will be as adults, and we want our children to have a strong moral compass. And, always, we help them process exposure to the world and its influences such as the princess phase!
Our twins are fully into everything princess. We do not discourage this wonderful, imaginative, creative, fanciful, phase of their lives. However, we divert their attention from the passivity in the classic tales, e.g. Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, by exposing them to the subsequent titles such as the Disney Princess Stories DVD series in which the princesses are active participants in their lives. We encourage also a focus for their fondness of the independent princesses who find themselves in interdependent relationships, e.g. Mulan and Rapunzel. My daughters are not in any danger of being eaten by Cinderella or any other representation of femininity or womanhood because we, their parents, are present in their lives.
It takes time. It takes work. It’s not always easy. It’s parenting… Immensely gratifying.