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!