Hi all! My four year old is enthralled with the Disney princesses. I love Disney don’t get me wrong but some of the values are a little off and it’s very secular. My daughter adores the princesses but lately I’ve been worried a little to much. She told ms she doesn’t like church because there are no princesses there and she seems to think beautiful people are the nice ones no matter how much I try to negate this. I even bought her a St. Bernadette Princess of Lourdes coloring book and I tell her the Blessed Mother is a queen in heaven. Am I overreacting? I know she’s only four and I don’t want to push her to much. I know she won’t turn 20 and still obsess over princesses but it’s the values I’m worried mire about. Any advice?
Hasn’t she watched Beauty and the Beast or Hunchback of Notre Dame? The very message of those stories is love that sees past ugly or beautiful appearances.
That’s a great point! She has seen Beauty and the Beast and I do remember explaining that to her at the time. I think she has been bombarded with the images overall and that message somehow got lost. I never bought her a beast doll to play with. Haha. But she’s four and only sees beautiful belle singing and wants to be just like her. Maybe we should revisit that movie!
I don’t think it is Disney but you can show her Shrek In the end the princess accepts to be an oger because appearance doesn’t matter.
Like Shrek. You’re right though, it isn’t Disney but Dreamworks. hehe I know much too much about children’s movies it seems. :o
Also asks the question about what truly makes a man and what makes a monster.
Don’t hesitate to point out that Gaston is a very good looking man and widely respected in town as a good-looking man. He’s not a nice man…but he’s still a good looking one.
One thing I love about Belle is that she’s actually a nerd and THAT’S what she wants someone to appreciate in her. She didn’t want to be with the people who just thought she was a pretty face with some weird hobbies.
She doesn’t really care about appearances at all. I think the one time she shows awareness that she’s beautiful is when she offers to replace her father as the Beast’s prisoner. Otherwise she really doesn’t seem to care much.
Even when the Beast finally transformed into the handsome Prince she didn’t get all excited at first. She looked at him funny until she recognized who he was inside (through his eyes).
I never totally outgrew my Disney phase. I certainly criticize the company where I feel it’s due but reading the history of the studio and parks, watching old toons, and keeping up with the new movies is a hobby of mine.
But when I was 4 I though Donald Duck and “101 Dalmatians” were way cooler than princesses. Of course…that was also 2 years before “The Little Mermaid” was released…
Not only do I love that question, but I love the song. I’ve pretty much made it the theme song of all my literary self-inserts (hence, my tendency to make them into half-dragons, half-demons, or simply half-monsters). I guess, given my extensive history of people bullying me for my “poor” sense of fashion and geeky hobbies, it makes sense why it’s one of those questions in life I’ve grown personally attached to.
I actually gotta admit that were it not for Kingdom Hearts miraculously tying my childhood (which I mostly spent adoring classic Disney animated movies) with my older years (which had me delving into Final Fantasy stuff among other anime-related things), I fear that I would’ve ended up neglecting my memories of them. :o
I am only 21, so I might not have the best experience with dealing with children, but I think that since your daughter is only 4 years old this “princess” thing might just be something she will grow out off once she becomes just a few years older and starts going to school. Since she is only 4 she might just try to see the brightest most cheerful happiest way of all things in life, which is great. And maybe once she starts going to school and just gets a little bit older, she might just happen to grow out of thinking that princesses are the best things in the world. I don’t think you should be worried, maybe just watch the Disney movies with her and then at the end have a little talk with her and explain it. :)
My now 18 yr old had a complete fascination with Disney princesses…still does. Cinderella’s So This Is Love will be her first dance at her wedding(long time in the future ). I was worried that all she would want growing up was a boyfriend/husband~you know romance. But she grew out of it…she is still a romantic but she grew up with a healthy dose of reality to go with the fantasy. As long as you give her a well balanced upbringing…which it seems you are doing with the Saint coloring book…she’ll be fine.
I also work with 4 yr olds (7 girls 1 boy) and EVERYTHING they bring is princess related. Im not worried about the princess theme. Im worried about the songs, dances, etc that they come to school with. So not appropriate for 4 yr olds. For that matter, not appropriate for grown ups either
You are doing fine!
… She’s four.
As you said in your post, she’s four.
There’s only so much she can begin to understand now.
Don’t take it as something to be worried about, just laugh at it and move on.
Kids say some silly things, doncha know?
Doesn’t like church? …What little kid does?
Church is boring. Look at it through her eyes… You’re forced to sit down, contain your energy, and do something that at that age you baaarely understand yet. It’s not a big deal that she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t understand it. And she won’t understand it until she’s older, it’s just not something she can grasp entirely at this point.
Don’t try to force this on her.
She’ll grow out of it, this isn’t something you should be worried about.
There is a lot of truth to this statement.
I’ve got some pretty vivid memories of my toddler years and it wasn’t until I was able to read and follow the parts of the Mass in a children’s book that my parents gave me that I could even comprehend anything.
And even then…all that did was make the Mass a little shorter for me because I knew how far along we were in it.
It was long. Five minutes of being quiet and sitting still is LONG to a 4 year old. An hour is an eternity! And at that height it can be very difficult to see what’s going on. All I knew was that when everyone left their pews to stand in line for something that meant Mass was almost over. It just took fooooooorever to get there.
I remember going through a phase when my parents really tried to get me to behave and after Mass we’d talk about things like needing to sit still. Then one Sunday I was finally “good” in Church. Why? Because I was utterly captivated by the baby that was sitting in front of me…I couldn’t stop watching her.
So what I got out of THAT was that I had to find something at Mass to look at. I became more of a people watcher for a while. If that’s what I needed to do to win my parents approval…
Excellent point. Church can be boring even for grown-ups, but it is still important. At four, she’ll have to get used to the fact that some things in life are boring but important nonetheless, like school, for example …
It also occurs to me that when a Mass is designed to be entertaining, it frequently ends up being the most superficial.
This is such a true statement! I know some Baptists and their church is set up so differently from the Catholic Mass, especially for the children. We go to Mass to learn, not to play games and talk with other people. If you want to talk, you can do it afterwards, but the hour we are in Mass isn’t meant to be a social hour, we are hear to listen and learn. And that is what has made me become so upset with protestant teachings!
But I agree going to church can be a little boring for a 4 year old, but at my church they have little one page activity religious related work sheets that younger kids can use while sitting in church.
In his wonderful book, Bringing Up Girls, Dr. James Dobson discusses the “Princess Movement” in detail.
I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to you. Do NOT be put off by the fact that Dr. Dobson is an evangelical Protestant. That does not matter. In fact, in Bringing Up Girls, Dr. Dobson includes a lengthy discussion with Sen. Rick Santorum and his wife, and endorses Santorum, a devout Catholic, for President of the United States.
READ this book.
Dr. Dobson is extremely supportive of the Princess Movement for girls. He believes that girls SHOULD see themselves as princesses, and that they SHOULD give themselves (in marriage) to a prince, not just any male who comes along.
Dr. Dobson is a clinical psychologist, not a pastor or a evangelist. He has been on the faculty of Univ of Southern Calif for 30 years, and worked in the classroom as a teacher for many years. He also has maintained a private practice for most of his adult life. Finally, he raised two children, a boy and a girl.
And he is a CHAMPION of the pro-life movement. I was evangelical Protestant for the first 47 years of my life. To my knowledge, Dr. James Dobson was the first of the evangelical Protestant leaders to go public with a pro-life rhetoric, back during a time when most Protestants were sitting on their hands saying, “It’s a private thing between a woman and her doctor.” Over the years, Dr. Dobson has consistently denounced abortion as great evil and called for Christians to become involved with pro-life work.
Go get Bringing Up Girls. You’ll love it.
I love Disney don’t get me wrong but some of the values are a little off and it’s very secular. My daughter adores the princesses but lately I’ve been worried a little to much.
some of this may be par for the course for 4-year-olds. I’ve heard of studies showing very young children inherently respond more to “beautiful” people. Little girls (well mine at least) seem to really love all the pretty sparkly frilly stuff too.
what bugs me more is that Disney tries hard to keep kids hooked on the princess stuff long past the 4-7 age group. Hence “princess” wedding dresses and stuff.
She has seen Beauty and the Beast and I do remember explaining that to her at the time. I think she has been bombarded with the images overall and that message somehow got lost. I never bought her a beast doll to play with. But she’s four and only sees beautiful belle singing and wants to be just like her.
So what’s wrong with women being fascinated by princesses?
I don’t understand your objection.
Obviously, if a woman or teenager is obsessed, to the point where she is incapable of living in reality and working hard and communicating with regular people in regular settings, there is a problem, and it is called a “mental illness.” The woman needs treatment to find her way back to reality.
Also, of course, if a woman adores herself over the Lord, she is in trouble spiritually and needs counsel.
And of course, if the women spends much more money than she can afford on “princess” paraphernalia, either for herself or for a daughter or other girl, that’s a problem.
But most girls and women keep a balanced perspective. Almost all women love feminine, “princessy” things: makeup, pretty dresses or outfits, flowers, candy, ruffles, parasols, baskets, hearts, kitties, ponies, ceremonies, poetry, castles, and above all, romance! There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these things unless they become obsession or if they usurp the Lord’s place of honor…
There are women who are definite “tomboys” and these women find “princess” stuff objectionable or even detestable. Well, that’s OK, too, unless the interest in masculine things becomes obsession and the women rejects her God-created femininity and tries to become a man.
But most of us gals will admit to wishing that we could live like Princess Kate, in a castle with a handsome prince and servants to wait on us! I admit it. At least I have the handsome prince (my husband!).
ahh, perhaps I should clarify, my objection is more to the hyper-marketing of the Disney Princess ™ brand, defined specifically as Disney-trademarked images & accessories associated with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, et al as opposed to princesses (small p, no TM) and princess-like things which don’t have a big corporate marketing thing behind them. And it’s not so much an objection, as it is something I find just a bit over the top - to me it’s a crass exercise in expanding a brand beyond its original scope and demographic. If someone wants to spend extra money to have the Disney “Cinderella” wedding dress, vs an equivalently pretty and stylish but un-branded dress, I suppose that’s fine, but just seems a bit silly to me.
Then again there’s the whole Disney “Pirates” thing for boys… they have “Princesses” for girls, and “Pirates” for boys. Don’t even get me started on the “Pirates”. Let’s just say, how come they can’t promote “Princes” for little boys. Lord knows we need more boys to behave like princes instead of pirates. Nice charming princes, that is, not the spoiled rich kind.
That’s a really good idea. I would definitely be in favor of promoting princes to boys and their parents. Perhaps the Prince William/Princess Kate wedding will encourage this.
I don’t think it’s likely that little boys will be interested in buying “prince” dolls,clothing, etc. Perhaps the swords would be appealing, but so many people are against little boys playing with weapons. Or perhaps they could sell the horses (plastic versions) that the princes ride.
It does seem that nowadays, the role models that are promoted for boys are troubled, surly, sarcastic, irreverent wags, rather than straight, decent, and plain-speaking manly men. Roy Rogers, we need you!