or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › Books, Music, and Media › "Princess Boy" and letting our children be proud of who they are
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"Princess Boy" and letting our children be proud of who they are

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

Yesterday I was watching "The Today Show" and saw Cheryl Kilodavis with her little boy.  Don't know if anyone saw this but her little boy likes to dress as a princess and she wanted him to be proud of himself for who he is so she and her husband let him do it and then she wrote the book called "Princess Boy."  My boy is only four months but I am going to get a copy and save it for him.  She has a website and everything.  It just brought tears to my eyes to see the love and acceptance this mother and father showed their son.  Also, the older sibling because it was him that said "why don't you just let him be happy?"  What a lovely family.  I recorded it and watched it with my mom, who also thought it was wonderful.  www.myprincessboy.com

post #2 of 46

I guess what I don't get is...if you don't want it to be a big deal, why make it a big deal by writing a book and a blog and going on tv or whatever other attention getting things these folks are doing. 

post #3 of 46

I don't think they're making a big deal about by writing a book about it.  i think they wrote the book to tell other families that there is a wide range of "normal" and that they love their son no matter what he wears.  talk about the ultimate example of teaching your children, "it's what's on the inside that counts".

post #4 of 46

I think they're looking for their 15 minutes, and I think that making such a big deal about it denormalizes the fact that *gasp* sometimes boys like pink sparklie things, just like sometimes girls like trucks and footballs.  Call the news media!  (Oh wait, that's what they did).  My 22mo basically lives in his big sister's tutus and I don't think that it's particularly remarkable at all.  They're pretty, he looks up to her, he likes that everyone says "Oh how cute!" when he twirls around.  Most kids, both boys and girls, grow out of the princess dress phase.  

 

I think the parents are just looking to make a buck off their kid, and I hope that he's okay with this when he's 15.

post #5 of 46

I also think it's not a big deal... I'd happily write a children's book about whatever subject I liked, and would sell.  But, I don't think I would make such a big deal about my own son wanting to wear princess stuff.  What if, in two years, he wants to wear a football helmet everywhere?  Will he feel pressured to keep wearing his tiara?

 

I think kids all go through stages, and parents can either encourage, discourage, or support.  

 

By the way, one of the best kid's books ever was "William's doll".  Everybody tells him he can't have a doll because he's a boy.  But, grandma understands, and sends him a doll in the mail.  Grandma says he can use it to practice being a good father.  I don't know if that book is still around, and it's very old, and probably not cool anymore.  But, I loved that book when I was young.  (they read it on reading rainbow)

post #6 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfunk98 View Post

I don't think they're making a big deal about by writing a book about it.  i think they wrote the book to tell other families that there is a wide range of "normal" and that they love their son no matter what he wears.  talk about the ultimate example of teaching your children, "it's what's on the inside that counts".



You don't think that writing a book and launching a major publicity campaign is "making a big deal"?  And since the book is about appearances, it does seem that's what counts to the parents.  Without the appearance, they wouldn't have their new career.

post #7 of 46

I think it's a big deal. You can support your child without going to the media about it. My son used to play dress up all the time with his sister and the neighbor girl until he was I guess 5 or 6? I never thought much of it. He is 10 now and it is tough getting him to wear anything besides a t-shirt and jeans. He would be completely mortified if there were pictures of him floating around on the web wearing a princess outfits when he was in preschool.

post #8 of 46

LOL, I think I've posted too much in this thread, but I just have one more thing to say... I think it's really awful to pigeon-hole a preschooler as to "who they are."  If a 15 year old wants to pigeon hole themselves, then I would fully support that, even if in some cases I have a feeling they might regret a choice or two that they make while establishing their identity.  But to say that all this kid is is a kid who likes to wear dresses is really a bit much.  Kids that age go in and out of interests as they try to figure out the world and their place in it.  These parents are saying that their son's only identity is as a princess dress wearer.

post #9 of 46

I guess the message is ok but I sure don't like the medium. I have never been a fan of parents using a child to push a particular message (regardless of how worthwhile it may be)-especially when money is involved.

post #10 of 46

So, I have a daughter who is into a lot of "boy" things.  But sometimes, she also very much is into "girl" things.  You never know which you're going to get from day to day, or even hour to hour.  Which is fine, we roll with it.   She was Yoda for Halloween....and got a princess dress she adores for Christmas.  She's my renaissance girl. 

 

All of that is for this:  I saw this family on another show a month or two ago, and the boy was looking very unhappy - they said it was becasue he had a cold, but I was just thinking, what if it was a day he wanted to just wear jeans and a shirt but he "had" to wear a dress for that day?  Apparently the kiddo likes all different sorts of things, "pretty things" just being among them.  And I just thought about what it would be like trying to convince my daughter to wear her yoda shirt and jeans on a "dress day", and how making this big fuss over this one aspect of his life right now is potentially, as lach mentioned, putting too much emphasis on something that is so fluid at this age.

post #11 of 46

Not quite sure what is so special about this, as my now 15 year old used to do it 13 years ago.  He wore tutus and tiaras every day to preschool for quite awhile.  And now my 4 year old occasionally does it.  Pink and sparkly is fun.  Pink, sparkly tutus are especially fun.  Heck if I could pull them off, I would.  So in my family, it is normal for my boys to dress like princesses.  It is also normal for them to, gasp, play with dolls (even nurse them), play with kitchens, play with barbies, etc.  In fact, it is pretty darn normal in my circle of friends (most of whom are really rather conservative) to allow our children to be who they want to be.  I can't tell you the number of times my son's friends have shown up in dresses or with their nails painted or whatever.  No one thinks twice about it.

 

It always scares me when parents go so far out there to "prove" they are okay with something.  The whole "the lady doth protest too much, methinks" thing I think. 

post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ornery View Post

Not quite sure what is so special about this, as my now 15 year old used to do it 13 years ago.  He wore tutus and tiaras every day to preschool for quite awhile.  And now my 4 year old occasionally does it.  Pink and sparkly is fun.  Pink, sparkly tutus are especially fun.  Heck if I could pull them off, I would.  So in my family, it is normal for my boys to dress like princesses.  It is also normal for them to, gasp, play with dolls (even nurse them), play with kitchens, play with barbies, etc.  In fact, it is pretty darn normal in my circle of friends (most of whom are really rather conservative) to allow our children to be who they want to be.  I can't tell you the number of times my son's friends have shown up in dresses or with their nails painted or whatever.  No one thinks twice about it.

 

It always scares me when parents go so far out there to "prove" they are okay with something.  The whole "the lady doth protest too much, methinks" thing I think. 


And it's not only that someone is trying to package this and sell it, it's that there's obviously a market of people who want to pat themselves on the back for being so enlightened.  But I guess I just don't see how it's particularly enlightened: I think that most preschool boys, particularly those with older sisters who have lots of this stuff around, occasionally like to play dressup in girls clothes.  I'm sure there are a handful of parents who actively forbid their son to play dressup in their sister's dressup clothes... but I don't actually believe that these people are anything but a weird, small minority.  Much larger is probably the number of parents who wouldn't let their sons leave the house like that (to be fair, I don't let either of my kids leave the house in dress-up clothes: they're rarely weather appropriate, hard to strap into the carseat, and most of them a PITA to wash if they get too dirty) or who make an off color joke under their breath, but that doesn't mean they're crushing their child's soul or anything. Even if they're the sort who would be upset if their older son wanted to wear "girl" things, I think that 98% of people wouldn't think twice if their 3 year old wanted to wear "wrong sex" dressup clothes around the house.

 

post #13 of 46

I too, find it sad.

 

They've made a spectacle of him in spite of the fact that what he does is not spectacular. I would never have THOUGHT to write a book about my dress-wearing, tutu-loving, nail-polish-painting 5 year old, for all the reasons the above posters mentioned.

 

Now "Princess Boy" has become his whole identity and what happens when he doesn't live up to it anymore?

 

post #14 of 46

All parents who write use their children as examples. The writers for Mothering are no exception. This mother just has an exceptional understanding of marketing as well. (I'm a copywriter. I'm not saying that from a place of judgment, but she's doing exactly what's taught in learning to ply our craft.)

post #15 of 46

Yeah, I have to say that even when I was growing up (on military bases, not exactly the bastion of liberal "enlightened" thinking in many ways) I did not know a single kid during the dress up years who did not put on dresses and tutus if they were a boy.  When I was a preschool teacher, despite the fact that I invested my own $$ in easy to put on accessories like lab coats and hats and stuff that could be "unisex" boys and girls loved the tutus and dance costumes best.  Hell, I have never seen more adult drag since I grew up and left the military either (I have a ton of pictures of my dad in coconut bras and church lady dresses with big balloon boobs and no, you would NEVER EVER even DREAM that he would do that if you met him.)

 

They're easy to put on (most of them) and are sparkly.  I also can't think of a single younger brother who did not have his hair done/nails painted by older sissy in my extended family (very VERY conservative southern).

 

That being said, I get that this mom wants to make a statement.  I feel bad that apparently she gets a lot of crap from people she knows, so she feels she must react to it.  I don't think there is anything wrong with the book, and I don't see this as her using her kids for fame any more than the paid blogger fad that was all the rage awhile ago (maybe still is).  I do kind of hope though that she is keeping in mind that her cute Princess Boy may not want that title forever, and that she's willing to set it aside when he wants to.  I suspect that will not be a problem for her, nor will this have any lasting impact on him negatively--it's a flash in the pan, and if this kid's most incriminating thing that one can find about him as a teen is that there are some pics of him in a skirt when he was 5 years old, he's doing pretty darn good (and he will NOT be the only one with such pics either).

 

I do agree with other PP that it does get a little eyeroller-y when people congratuate themselves for being so open minded, unlike all those "other" people (name your poison here--people with different religious/political/social values than you).  It's ironic, since the congratulator is closing their own mind in that regard, and is unenlightened to the fact that many many people of all stripes don't care if their boys dress up like whatever, and think it's cute and take pictures.

 

I also find it supremely ironic that if this were a girl, you would have a bunch of people here screaming that playing princess would rot her brain and glitter on the clothing means hooker in training.  :P  In my mind, glitter is glitter, don't care if my kids like it, and I don't think what they choose to play with or dress up as at age 3, 6, 12, 22 defines them--boy or girl.

post #16 of 46
Moved to Books, Music & Other Media
post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

All parents who write use their children as examples. The writers for Mothering are no exception. This mother just has an exceptional understanding of marketing as well. (I'm a copywriter. I'm not saying that from a place of judgment, but she's doing exactly what's taught in learning to ply our craft.)



Yes but I am not trying to make money using my son. That to me is a whole nother ball of wax.

post #18 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

All parents who write use their children as examples. The writers for Mothering are no exception. This mother just has an exceptional understanding of marketing as well. (I'm a copywriter. I'm not saying that from a place of judgment, but she's doing exactly what's taught in learning to ply our craft.)



Yes but I am not trying to make money using my son. That to me is a whole nother ball of wax.



 Yes, but why is writing THIS book different than what parenting books authors do when they're using their own experiences as parents?  It's not okay for SAHMs to write empowering books, because they're writing about being a mom with by necessity will include bits about their kids?  What about all the WAHMs who were inspired to create their diapers/businesses centered around their enjoyment of CDing their kids, who might use their kids as examples on their sites?  Or slings?

 

So no mother (or father) may ever write about their kids if they intend to sell the book?  No one had ever better use any of their kids' pictures if they're selling a product?  Nannies/home day care providers better not use their parenting experience as a way to market themselves?

post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild 


 Yes, but why is writing THIS book different than what parenting books authors do when they're using their own experiences as parents?  It's not okay for SAHMs to write empowering books, because they're writing about being a mom with by necessity will include bits about their kids?  What about all the WAHMs who were inspired to create their diapers/businesses centered around their enjoyment of CDing their kids, who might use their kids as examples on their sites?  Or slings?

 

So no mother (or father) may ever write about their kids if they intend to sell the book?  No one had ever better use any of their kids' pictures if they're selling a product?  Nannies/home day care providers better not use their parenting experience as a way to market themselves?


That is still very different though.  I'm not saying this mom is USING her son to make money.  I think she genuinely thinks it's the right thing to do.  


But, if a Mom wrote a book about her lady-like daughter and her daughter's choice to only wear princess clothes, people here would be very angry.  

 

I think taking this boy out into the media in his dresses sets him up to feel like he's letting someone down if he choses to stop wearing princess clothes.  I don't know... I didn't see the interview, or the story... but, it reminds me a little bit of the father who said his six year old floated away in that homemade weather balloon.  Dad wanted attention, and his son was the perfect person to get it for him.

post #20 of 46

 

Quote:
 Dad wanted attention, and his son was the perfect person to get it for him.

 

Much better stated. I just think she is using her son to "prove" something. To me it is much different than using a picture of your daughter to sell your handmade slings. The focus doesn't seem to be so much of a look how awesome my son is, but rather a look how awesome WE are as parents. Like they deserve all this recognition for not making fun of their kid who wears a tutu.

 

And that is where she loses me.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Books, Music, and Media
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › Books, Music, and Media › "Princess Boy" and letting our children be proud of who they are