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Seriously? Princess, already?

My daughter's not even 2 1/2 yet, my husband and I have really, really tried to keep things as gender neutral as possible, we have tried not to even utter the word "princess" around her... and sure enough, she just pranced around the room wearing a pink hat and a floral wreath around her neck, exclaiming, "I'm SUCH a princess. A bee-you-tiful princess!" And if something isn't purple, it' s not worth her time of day. Where, oh where did we go wrong? Isn't this a bit early for this stage?? Especially since she doesn't watch tv and we keep commercial stuff out of our house, and have tried our damndest not to reinforce this gender stuff? What is your experience?

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Asked by EmilySusan at 9:44 PM on Nov. 14, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 5 (79 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Where did you go WRONG?


    You didn't.

    There is no such thing as a gender-neutral child - at least, I hope not.

    Girls like being princesses. Boys like making weapons out of, well, just about everything.

    Not every princess is helpless and stupid, not every warrior is a bully.

    Sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders and quite a personality to boot.

    Good job on raising a girl that knows her mind!

    Answer by Wimsey at 9:46 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • I don't think this is a problem. Whats wrong with a girly girl? Why force her to be a certain way? Its possible she has been around other girls that played pretend and she really got into it. But whats wrong with it?
    Would you be upset if your boy was being very "boyish" playing with cars and going vroom vroom?

    Answer by MamaChamp at 9:59 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • It's called her imagination. Let her be a kid. At her age, there's nothing wrong with it, and eventually she'll grow out of it. My princess-obsessed nieces are almost 9 and have been out of that phase for years.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:19 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • If something isn't green it isn't worth my son's time of day and he loves to pretend to be a pirate, what is the difference? Even at a young age they have preferences to what they like and don't like. You didn't do anything wrong. I agree, she will grow out of the princess phase, just like the pp, my nieces did the same. They are now 12 and 7 and don't pretend to be princesses anymore.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • let her be a princess.

    not too early at all.

    Answer by hypermamaz at 10:59 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • I'm glad you're trying to not gender stereo-type. We are doing the same thing in my home. Even if you've been careful, she could have picked it up from Disney Movies or other kids being princesses.
    It's something you might want to look into.

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 11:25 PM on Nov. 14, 2009

  • I'm confused...Whats wrong with her being a girl? I mean she IS a girl. My daughter is 2 and LOVES Tinkerbell and dressing up. She loves to get hair bows and loved her dresses. BUT she also plays with her brothers cars and star wars toys. I certainly don't stop her but I would NEVER detour her from playing girly games. Shoot, my 5 year old SON loves to play with her My Little Ponies and his favorite color is red. Being gender neutral doesn't mean that they should only play/entourage neutral games it means that you don't lock them into one role. You let your son play with cars and dolls and watch Strawberry Shortcake if he wants to and you let your daughter play princess and pirate and watch Transformers if she wants to. Take there lead and offer many different activities and toys not matter what the gender association is. Buy her dolls and cars and trains and pink hats... I'm sorry but I just don't get it...

    Answer by But_Mommie at 9:06 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • So are you and your husband gender natural as well? I mean do you only wear yellow and green and wear only jeans and t-shirts that are not fitted and never wear lipstick? How about photos in your house? Are all the men and women dressed neutrally? Has she never been out of the house to see other little girls or adults dressed for there gender role? Does she own no dolls or have friends who's parents are not so overwhelmingly obsessed with gender neutrality ... She is 2 not oblivious. She here's people talk she sees toys and other children. I am sure she ask questions and I am positive that at some point someone has called her a pretty little princess whether or not you know it or condone it. I am not surprised at all that she has pick this up. She must be very clever.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:17 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • Woah... interesting responses. Of course there's nothing wrong with "being a girl" and I don't go around wearing tuxedos or slap my daughter's hand for feeding her baby doll... But the idea that the princesses are an innate thing that girls simply, naturally, need to express is b.s. It's all social constructions. But mostly it's the commercial stuff that goes along with it that worries me because the Disney princess stuff is everywhere. I know a lot of this stuff is inevitable and is part of growing up in the culture in which we live... and I know there is no culture that does not construct gender roles and identities... I just thought this was a little soon, and was trying to express my amazement about how powerful these pressures are that they can seep through to a little girl who isn't getting bombarded by the stuff from tv or from her parents and relatives. She has started preschool, and I'm sure that's part of it.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 9:47 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • No different than little boys imagining that they are major league baseball players or race car drivers... not likely to ever happen but it's fun to pretend. Little girls pretend princess and actress and singers also not likely but fun all the same.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:22 PM on Nov. 15, 2009

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