My daughter, Nicky, just turned 3 and we had a princess birthday party for her at her request. My little girl loves princesses. And I don’t mind. For all that people criticize them, I think it’s pretty harmless. I’m not too worried that my determined little girl is going to grow up to be one.
In the last few months, her pretend play skills have gotten much better and she no longer just wants to watch princess movies and dress up like a princess, she wants to play with little princess dolls too.
She wants me to play with her too. She grabs a couple and says, “You be ‘punzel” and hands me Rapunzel. Then she takes Ariel and in the high squeaky voice she uses to indicate it is the doll speaking says “What are you doing?” Her imaginative play skills are still in their infancy, so it’s not surprising that she looks to me to take the lead. Mine should be better. But when she has Ariel ask Rapunzel what they should do today, I’m a little stumped. What do princesses do anyway? Dance? Have tea parties? Sleep?
We end up doing a lot of princess dance parties.
One day though, I decided to do something different. I can’t remember what made me do it. I think I was just bored of playing ‘princess’. I decided to see what Nicky would do if I suggested our princess do other kinds of things. Things that seem a little less princess-like. First, Mulan fought a dragon. Then Cinderella and Aurora went mountain climbing up the couch and paraglided back down. Aurora had a bad landing, but not to worry, Dr. Ariel was there to stitch her back up!
Nicky loved it. She particularly enjoyed it when one of the princesses got injured having an adventure and needed medical attention from one of the doctor princesses. Now that she is playing adventure princess she can sometimes even get her older brother to play with her.
I had a lot more fun too and our play was a lot more creative, as it was now literally only limited by our imaginations.
I hadn’t thought too much about why she liked princesses before. But she definitely likes them regardless of whether they are saving the world or having a tea party. It was really eye opening to me to see how much I was limiting my daughter’s play without even thinking about it. It wasn’t deliberate but it was still happening.
In our house now there isn’t much that Princesses don’t do.