Princess Syndrome: Are We Promoting Unrealistic Ideas About Love?
Do you know any little girls that want to dress up like princesses? Whether it’s just to play dress up or for Halloween, little girls look at the cartoon movies and the images thrown at them about a fairytale love life and fall in love with the concept. And sometimes that concept sticks and as they grow up they think that’s how love is supposed to work or at least that’s how they want it to work. There is a cookie cutter image that is pushed from a young age about the magic of falling in love and meeting Mr. Right and living happily ever after. The problem with this cookie cutter image is if love doesn’t fall into place like a little girl has always dreamt, there can be disappointment and sadness of epic proportions.
So moms, how do we avoid princess syndrome? How do we promote a healthy and balanced image of relationships from a young age?
TV & Movies
If your daughter is going to watch fairytale movies about a princess being rescued by a prince, have a conversation about the movie afterwards. You don’t have to shatter her fairytale dreams but just find out what she liked about it. Tell her what you liked about it and try to find a fun and creative way to talk about the difference between real life and fun creative movies.
Conversations About Relationships
Obviously what you talk to your five-year-old and your ten-year old about will be two different topics but having conversations early about healthy relationships is important. Each new birthday you should talk to your daughter about relationships. When she is seven or eight the conversation can revolve around friendships with boys to find out are they nice/mean etc. And as she gets older you can talk to her about how her guy friends or boyfriends are supposed to treat her and offer suggestions on what she can do if she gets her heart-broken. You want her to feel like she can always talk to you about anything.
A Positive Image
Your daughter looks to you as an example of how relationships should be. Let her see that the man in your life treats you with respect even when the two of you aren’t getting along. If she does happen to see you get into arguments with your significant other, then talk to her later about it to see how it made her feel. Remember it takes a village so if you aren’t in a relationship then try to occasionally have her around a couple (old or young) that you think is a good example for her to see.
PROMOTE GOOD SELF-ESTEEM
Throughout her life, find little simple ways to show her that you feel she is beautiful inside and out. You can leave her little notes in her school lunch box that say: “Have a nice day, gorgeous.” You could also make a date night box where she puts all the fun things she wants to do in a box and the two of you reach in and randomly pick one for your monthly date night. The key here is for her to feel special on a consistent basis.