About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Friday, July 16, 2010

On Keeping Little Girls Little

We live in the era of “tweens,” Hanna Montana, and kid-sitcoms that talk about very adult topics. I was reading an old college chum, Gretchen’s post for Mommy’s Piggy Tales, and she recounted getting her very first American Girl Doll when she was nine and they were brand new. Nine. Do today’s nine year olds still play with dolls?

I have two girls. I want to keep them young, to let them enjoy childhood. Adult life is hard, although rewarding, and you only get to be a child for a teeny tiny moment. I don’t want to rush them through this quickly at all.

I recently heard a missionary (or maybe my pastor after his missions trip?) recounting how girls in the culture of the country (sadly, I can’t remember which one) played with dolls until well into their teens. They got to be GIRLS.

As a child, I played with Barbies and Ponies into my junior high years. It was a secret my two friends and I kept from our classmates, but I really truly enjoyed the make-believe world we created.

I want that for my children. But is it even possible in this world? I’m not willing to completely and totally shelter them from society like some would advocate. I don’t feel that’s healthy.

Miss N’s imagination is starting to really blossom. Every day she is pretending something new, and her stories become more and more intricate. I don’t want her to lose that prematurely.

So where do you start in an attempt to keep your little girls little girls?

For me, it’s going to start with TV and reading material. We just got a book from the library that was about being fat and dieting. Really? While the end lesson was “be happy with yourself,” I felt it was inappropriate. It was a picture book intended for little girls. I don’t even want my four-year-old thinking about the concept of dieting, even if she were overweight. I am going to start being more vigilant to read through books before she does, even though it takes time, which I have little of.

For TV, we are lucky because we are still in the land of Barney, Clifford, and Mickey Mouse. But someday that will change. I feel we will need to invest in a DVD collection of appropriate viewing material that is age appropriate. Maybe I can turn my girls on to I Love Lucy or other classics like that and avoid the false world of tween pop stars.

I don’t know exactly how to go about battling the premature maturity of today’s young girls. But I sure am going to try!


Janna said...

Agreed! Way too many pressures. A close knit family who lives and example of true values goes a long way. I'm so thankful for my uneventful growing up years!

Gretchen said...

Thanks for the tag! I agree wholeheartedly. Great thinking on the media that comes into the home. Clothes are another big one. I still only have a baby but I'm already looking down that road!

I read an interesting article in Parents Magazine (secular) about the whole "princess push". I won't be able to give you the whole gist, but I thought it rightly pointed out that the whole marketing push to "princess power" for BABIES and PRESCHOOLERS then leads to the marketing push for bling, a rock-star image, etc., FAR younger than the typical "tween" years -- like 5 and 6! Obviously, playing princess is wholesome and natural, but the toys and products out there pushing this are not the same as playing dress up! It's a hard balance to make. . .

PRAYER! Reaching for our daughter's hearts! Teaching them to value their identity in CHRIST alone!!

Shari said...

I just happened to be reading today about legislation aimed at addressing media messages to young girls.


Denise said...

My oldest daughter is 10 & I've really been working hard on this one. Avoiding ALL the tween tv & music has helped a lot & I am very conservative about what she wears. Even popular books have themes that try to encourage young girls to act grown up too soon. I've found it necessary to pre-read books before passing them on to her.

I've nominated you for an award on my blog, plese stop by to claim it.


a joyful nusiance said...

Dada will be 9 in about a week. She still very actively plays with her dolls. She loves to play house and school as well.

I do not allow Hannah Montana or Icarly although she knows who they are ( I mean who doesn't!! )

I even go so far as to limit her "barbie" play. While she can play with Barbies, I do not allow the bratz dolls and the like. I think they just look ugly.

You will find the balance in your home.

I think the best thing is not to borrow trouble from tomorrow. Deal with what you have to deal with today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. :)