Making Peace With The Princess Phase

Once upon a time I dreaded the “princess phase” I’d heard so much about from friends with young daughters. To my inexperienced mom-brain, it seemed like a time fraught with opportunities to fail her — a cascade of pink sparkle tulle and non-stop focus on how pretty she was or wasn’t. Which would leave me to the difficult (and somewhat scary) task of teaching her what it does or doesn’t mean to be female. Honestly, I kinda hoped we’d just avoid the whole thing.

But as my daughter has grown, I have come to understand that when it comes to your kids, they are who they are — you can’t control their imagination. Some girls love bugs. Some girls love pink tutus. Some girls love both — and my daughter is one of them. I see that in some ways she’s experimenting with “girly-ness”, attaching herself to things she thinks are feminine as a way of solidifying her identity in her mind. But I also see that she’s just having fun wearing those sparkly jewels and creating an imaginary world in which she is benevolent ruler of the land. So I support her, while trying to guide this play (you are the chancellor! you are a warrior princess!) in my own piecemeal way. And to my own surprise: I am enjoying the princess phase.

Let me show you some things we do to make the princess phase less about beauty and boys, and more about fantasy and fun…

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  • The New Princess in Our Life 1 of 7
    The New Princess in Our Life
    Yes, there are certain princesses I haven't yet let grace the DVD player, but as society has changed, princess myths are changing too. There is one particular princess that has made an impression on my daughter: Rapunzel. Perhaps you've heard of her and her little tale known as Tangled? She's tough, she's funny, and she wears a fancy dress. What's not to like?
  • There’s Many Ways to be a Princess 2 of 7
    There's Many Ways to be a Princess
    We adore this book, in which "some princesses wear their jewels while fixing things with power tools." Check it out here.
  • Dress the Fantasy, Not the Word 3 of 7
    Dress the Fantasy, Not the Word
    Instead of buying a shirt bedazzled with the word "princess," we made her a magical tutu dress-up gown, which she calls "My Water Princess Dress." Get the free tutorial here.
  • Slay the Dragon Yourself 4 of 7
    Slay the Dragon Yourself
    In the book I wrote for my daughter, I included this piece of advice about fairytales, and this piece of advice about what a princess can be.
  • The Real Deal: Historical Palaces 5 of 7
    The Real Deal: Historical Palaces
    Next week we are headed out to London, just the two of us, to watch as Rapunzel becomes an official Disney princess. I hope it's as magical for her as it will be for me. We are looking forward to a tour of the Kensington Palace Archives.
  • Caped Crusader 6 of 7
    Caped Crusader
    A dress up cape fit for a queen, or a superhero, or as we call it, a super-hero queen. Get the free tutorial here.
  • Yup, that’s my princess. 7 of 7
    Yup, that's my princess.
    Do you have a little princess in your life? How do you feel about the princess phase?
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Jaime Morrison Curtis is author of the bestselling book Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Baby Daughter (A Life List for Every Woman) and founding co-editor at Prudent Baby, the premier DIY destination for crafty moms seeking ways to make their lives even more stylish and beautiful.

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