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What to do when the out-laws are buying DD princess dresses?

(78 Posts)
MsBakingCakes Wed 01-Aug-12 22:15:18

DD is 3 on Friday and ExP's parents have bought her ANOTHER princess dress. (Marie Antoinette, Dress up by design, if you need to see it). ExP and the whole of his family seem obsessed with telling her she's a princess and dressing her in pink floaty stuff and shoes unsuitable for moving around in. I'm trying to bring her up as a person who can do things, not to expect people to fall at her feet and worship her because she's wearing pink, ffs! What would you do?

I know that it is good for DD to see two different ways of educating and DP and myself believe we are doing a good job explaining to her how things are but we are not sure how to handle this. It is good for children to dress up and roleplay -but always as a princess?

They always go shock when they see DD playing with the train set or building blocks on skype and there is always a comment about it such as do you play with this? Do you like to do that? angry

Any advice much appreciated. Thanks

UniS Sun 08-Sep-13 21:15:32

Let her wear the pink stuff to the park :-) it won't last long before she chooses to wear trousers and tops again.

Some kids DO like dressing up. DS still does at 7, the other day he was a dog and his friend ( a girl) was a pirate, actually, thinking about it, the girls do tend to end up in pirate stuff when they come to play here.

Doitnicelyplease Fri 06-Sep-13 16:18:06

Oh was going to add, at least they get decent dress up and not just cheap knock off disney, I personally dislike that most girls dress up clothes these days a just disney princess stuff.

Doitnicelyplease Fri 06-Sep-13 16:14:18

Just balance it out by having a variety of dress-up outfits. I have two DD's but our dress up box has pirate stuff, dino costume, knights as well as fairy/princess/wings stuff.

I must admit I am very lucky to have ILs that always buy DD1 whatever she is into whether it is trains, dinos, octonauts, cars etc - they realized early on she was not a girly princessesy type (though she does like a pretty dress on occasion).

Maybe if they keep buying them you could say to DD that she has to choose two or three favourites and the rest have to go to some other little girls that don't have any princess dresses (charity shop)?

exoticfruits Fri 06-Sep-13 06:58:18

It is the first time I have seen the 'old thread' warning- what a good idea- I generally get sucked into them unawares.

Louise1956 Fri 06-Sep-13 06:37:53

Tell her what happened to Marie Antoinette. That might put her off the Princess thing.

MsBakingCakes Sun 05-Aug-12 21:05:45

I don't think it is much about the dress but about the things they are trying to teach her. After she came back from Easter she told us that she couldn't play with mud as she got dirty and she had an obsession with cleaning her hands and her body. It lasted a few weeks and then it when back to normal. What worries me more is the she is associating princess dresses with not very nice things. Today after the bath she used her towel to make a princess dress (perfect imaginay play) and she told me that I had to wait (being the same room) until she said that she was in the room and then stand up for hershock. This type of things are the ones that are worrying me more than just the dress. I don't know what they are telling her about being a princess but for sure having to wait and then stand up for her it is completely wrong. If she wants to wear a princess dress is fine with me but I expect that she behaves properly and be nice.

After that I read again the book "Princess Smartyants" to try to explain her that princess are not like that at all and she seemed to think about it. I will have to wait and see what she comes with next time she is being a princess.

I do not want to imposse anything on her but I do not want her to become a mean person by being a princess. By principles that is wrong, very wrong

matana Sun 05-Aug-12 20:37:41

I really don't want anyone buying my DS super hero outfits, but if he gets into that stuff then i guess i'll just have to deal with it, say thanks and move on. If they buy him a toy gun, however, it will go straight in the bin. It's a question of knowing where and why to draw the line. Do pretty dresses really hurt anyone? Not being arrogant but i'm an intelligent woman and i still like wearing dresses. Even pink ones sometimes wink

worryingwillow Sun 05-Aug-12 20:00:54

I don't see why you'd get annoyed by the princess dresses. As you've said she has access to other toys - what's the harm? Surely by saying you don't want her having princess dresses its kind of like saying they're 'too girly' which is surely the opposite of what you're trying to say, no?

Dd is almost 2, she has a barbie, dolls and a pink buggy. Ds is 5 and he had all of them before her. She also has cars, a garage, bricks, a kitchen etc etc. So?

CockyPants Sun 05-Aug-12 19:54:47

Spot on exotic! The trick is to pretend that you don't give a shit, then after DD goes to bed stamp on Barbie til she squeaksgrin

EvilSynchronisedDivers Sun 05-Aug-12 19:52:49

My DTDs have NASA Barbies. They are v cool. They wear blue overalls and doc Martin style boots.

exoticfruits Sun 05-Aug-12 19:45:23

When I was a DC adults telling me things in a worthy manner was very off putting and likely to make me want to do the opposite- telling you what you ought to want to play with comes under that heading.

CockyPants Sun 05-Aug-12 19:41:37

Barbies are capable of multiple fission grin

EvilSynchronisedDivers Sun 05-Aug-12 19:37:54

I don't really see the problem... Imaginative play is good. IME (6 yr old DTDs who adore dressing up) wearing a princess dress doesn't necessarily mean playing princesses. Mine are still, regularly, explorers, doctors, firefighters, teachers, pirates, gymnasts, basketball players (at the moment) whilst dressed as princesses, fairies, mermaids or whatever. I think the key is not to encourage "dress up as a princess to play princesses" behaviour and to encourage imaginative play for the sake of it.

CaseyShraeger Sun 05-Aug-12 19:30:05

Just make sure she has a balance available to her. DD1's been bought a few princess/fairy outfits and she wears them occasionally, but she's more likely to dress up as a firefighter or a cowgirl. And she got a Barbie for her last birthday that she's never actually played with (although I have no objection to her having one or two Barbies as part of a range of toys - I just don't want her to have dozens of the things). If they are getting sensible influences at home they do seem to rub along OK.

I did have a conversation with DD1 when she was just three where she said that she wanted to be a princess so that she could twirl; I pointed out that princesses generally didn't get to do much twirling as part of their official duties and she could just as easily be a vet or a firefighter or an astronaut and twirl in her spare time.

CockyPants Sun 05-Aug-12 19:22:20

I dunno, I just think balancing is a bit try hard and obvious....I'm just a lazy mum, obvs!

exoticfruits Sun 05-Aug-12 19:17:10

Sensible CockyPants - balancing it makes it much more interesting!

CockyPants Sun 05-Aug-12 19:15:28

I wouldn't waste time worrying. Or even do the balancing thing. These crazes tend to run their course and get forgotten! DD has done the princess thing in a velvet Tudor number! I just thanked god it wasn't bloody Disney shit! Some moron gave her a Barbie for her birthday. I whined like mad cos I hate it, but it just made her want to play with it even more! So I shut up and Barbie is mostly ignored!

perfectstorm Sun 05-Aug-12 09:55:06

Just saw update - yay!

And off topic, but who in the world thinks it's a good idea to call a child's toy after a princess mostly famous for being decapitated?

perfectstorm Sun 05-Aug-12 09:53:56

They have a pretty pink t shirt with the logo: Forget princess, call me president. Which, you know. If you're feeling passive aggressive! grin

Honestly though I wouldn't worry about this one. Your dd has to live in the world, and the world has set ideas about gender. With a feminist mother who brings her up knowing the sky is the limit and she has infinite potential, then a little pink nylon dress is a little pink nylon dress. It isn't what will define her in later life. And frankly, most kids have a well developed sense of fairness, and once you're aware of it sexism is so obvious and so obviously unjust that it will start to reinforce itself.

My mother refused to let me have this stuff, btw. I resented it like mad. I remember she had pretty clothes and I had to be in dungarees (twas the 1970s). Really pissed me off - again with that kids and fairness thing. And I am a proud feminist now, who is otherwise grateful for the instilling of self respect but who still thinks girls should be allowed pink and fluffy, as long as they also get Clever Gretchen & Other Forgotten Fairy Tales etc as ballast. I'd be far more angry if they say things like, "no you have to be a nurse" instead of a doctor, as another poster's FIL did, because there's nothing harmless in that message.

LynetteScavo Sat 04-Aug-12 22:30:53

I bet they'd still buy it, lol.

You can lead a horse to water, blah, blah......DD had a lovely pink princess dress hanging in her bedroom. We both know she will never wear it. She has it because I always wanted a pink princess/bridesmaid dress when I was little. grin

exoticfruits Sat 04-Aug-12 22:27:09

Sorry - I missed it - problem solved by the DD herself!

exoticfruits Sat 04-Aug-12 22:26:26

I can't see a problem- either she likes it or she doesn't. Much better to play and get it out of her system than really want to play and be denied. If she had no interest I'm sure they wouldn't buy it.

bobbledunk Sat 04-Aug-12 22:17:31

Nothing wrong with a princess dress, I'd get her a slingshot, toy sword, toy gun and an eye patch and encourage her to dress up as a pirate princess. Don't compromise on good shoes though.

MsBakingCakes Sat 04-Aug-12 11:12:53

DD has opened her present. Wore it for 3 minutes and decided that it was to ichy and the loop at the botton was a pain as she couldn't sit or play with ther bowling set grin. She has not asked t wear it again smile.

She loves her playmobil with all the rabits smile

LeandarBear Fri 03-Aug-12 23:24:33

I wouldn't worry about it for one moment. Be happy they want to buy her presses and enjoy. I am not a fan of the whole little princess scene either but it wont do her any harm IMO.

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