Raising My Son Among Princesses 1 of 7
There's a lot of talk about the effect of princess culture on little girls. But what about boys? What messages is my son picking up, not just from the media, but from the expectations and desires of the girls that he plays with? Despite my best efforts at showing Cole a balanced family with equally yoked parents, one strong savvy mama may not be enough to conquer the glitz of those silver-screen princesses, and I'm worried that my son is learning these five lessons:
Raising My Son Among Princesses 2 of 7
Pretty is all that matters.
The times Ive told my son hes good looking are few and far between, even though I think hes awfully cute. But he tells me Im pretty almost every time I put on eyeliner. I love it — nothing wrong with a charmer — but hate that he notices. How I or anyone else looks is far down the list of things I want my son to care about. Girls primping in preschool, worried about looking just right instead of having fun? Cringe-worthy. Do I really have to start talking about inner beauty at age five?
Raising My Son Among Princesses 3 of 7
Boys have to rescue girls.
I want my Cole to play and climb and dig and build, and I dont mind him playing Star Wars, pirates, even royal family. But the game gets old if one player is always sitting there waiting for the action to come to her. Do movie princesses ever rescue themselves, plotting a cunning plan to foil an evil-doer without a mans help? Its an awful lot of pressure if my boy thinks he has to solve the problems of every girl that comes into his life.
Raising My Son Among Princesses 4 of 7
Girls dont think about anything deep.
Whether were talking cartoon princesses or even adult chick flick fare, women dont seem to worry about the big issues in life. Domestic concerns abound, along with finding a man and the latest shoe sale. I hate to imagine my son thinking that girls focus so much attention on their hair and accessories. How could you have a meaningful relationship with a woman if you thought so little of her intellect? Sure I worry about the house getting clean and finding a man, but theres still about 86% of my brain left to think about other stuff.
Raising My Son Among Princesses 5 of 7
Small guys are evil.
Girls arent the only ones with a dearth of good movie role models. Movie culture would have boys believe that you need muscles to be a hero. Cole is scrawny — upsettingly so. And though were working on it, as far as I can tell, if you are skinny or short in a cartoon, you are the bad guy. Dashing princes on the other hand they seem to spend a lot of time working on their biceps.
Raising My Son Among Princesses 6 of 7
Boys and girls cant be friends unless its romantic.
As a dateless tomboy all through high school, I had a great circle of female and male friends. Thats what I want for my son; I want him to get to know girls and what they are like without all the hormones involved. Some weirdness is inevitable, but Id like him to be able to talk naturally with women.
Raising My Son Among Princesses 7 of 7