It’s one of those things I said before I had kids–because we all know more about parenting before we actually have kids, right??
I always said my daughter would not be a princess. I also said my kids would never watch Dora (or toddler crack, as my sister calls it!).
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And like all of my other completely arbitrary guidelines on parenting, these were thrown out the window somewhere along the way.
Because I didn’t take into account my child’s personality.
I gave birth to a princess.
She is in love with all things feminine, which I love. If it’s pink and sparkly, she adores it.
I remember picking out a Bible for her last year. I saw a light pink leather Bible with a tasteful rhinestone clasp. I wanted to get it for her. It was my taste, but I knew it wasn’t hers. Instead, we purchased this Bible that looks like sequins vomited all over it. That thing is literally encrusted with sequins. She loves it. This is how God made her.
She’s also the dainty little pixie who wears fairy wings at restaurants and changes princess dresses several times a day. She saves up her birthday money to buy princess costumes
or girly legos. These are the things she loves.
And I can’t change it. Nor should I try.
I love femininity. I don’t have a problem with that a bit, though I’m really not the glam, high maintenance type. No, I’ve got no issue with her being a girly girl–I’m one of those too.
It’s the princess persona that I don’t like, this attitude that says I’m the center of attention, serve. me. now. To me, few things are less Christlike than this princess-like, diva attitude that I see our culture encouraging on our girls. I see it blazoned onto t-shirts and on signs intended for little girls’ bedrooms.
More than anything, I didn’t want a daughter who screamed “serve me,” which is really the essence of a princess attitude. And we’re not even going to talk about the lack of clothes on some of the characters or the ways in which they rebel from their parents. Oh yeah, I’ve got ammo here in my almost anti-princess perspective.
The bottom line for me is that I want a daughter who treasures Christ, not a glittery crown & dress she can wear in this life. I want a daughter who aspires to tell people in Africa about Jesus. Not a diva. I want a daughter who wants to spend her money on sending missionaries to foreign lands, not on another pair of designer heels.
Yet my daughter is completely in love with the Disney Princesses.
She’s also six. Soon, she’ll outgrow this joyful, mirth-filled dress-up stage, and I have no desire to crush her precious personality. I want to work with her God-given personality to and help direct her heart toward Christ and the things that honor Him, but I don’t need to squelch who she is in that process.
Over the years, as I’ve come to know the Disney princesses a little bit better, I see their redeeming qualities. I see the spunk in Anna, Cinderella’s charitable responses to her cruel step-family, the kindness of Belle–and hello, her bookishness! There are sweet qualities of these girls.
So we point them out. We discuss them.
Sophia was super sweet! She adjusted my daughter’s crown and twirled dresses with her.
After we meet princesses at Disney World, I love to ask my daughter about their kindness towards her. Which princess was the silliest? Which was the most kind? When we met Belle at Disney World, the very first thing my daughter said as she curtsied was “I love books, too.”
We also talk about how outward beauty looks like a lot of different things. There’s Aurora’s perfection, but there’s also Merida’s wild red hair and Tiana’s gorgeous black skin. Beauty comes in different colors, shapes, and styles. And we talk about things like true beauty, a gentle spirit.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
We talk about how man sees the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
We discuss sharing the Gospel. We talk about ways we can live out scripture. We talk about missionaries. My next goal is to begin reading missionary biographies with my children. Know any good ones for little bitty kids?
And above all, we talk about ways to imitate Christ in His humility, in the way that he served and humbled Himself to the point of death. And likewise, we want to be serving others and humbling ourselves. We want to love like Christ, loving enough to put others first, even if she is wearing a princess costume while she’s doing it. That love is beautiful.
How do you feel about the Disney princesses? What do you do to discourage your kids from being so me-focused?