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Could you recommend a type of preschool for our feminist, vegan family?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I'm editing most of my posts that contain personal information;  thanks for the responses to this one!


Edited by MrsSlocombe - 3/25/12 at 8:43am
post #2 of 32

I know Waldorf schools discourage most all forms of media for young children, including generic characters on clothing. Your child will hear a bit about princesses through some of the fairy tales though. I have no idea about other families whom attend being vegan though.

post #3 of 32

The right preschool for a child depends on WHO that child is. Since she's not born yet, you just don't know what will be the right fit for her. Waldorf is has some lovely ideas but you may end up with a child who is very academic in nature and that is not supported in the early years of Waldorf. Montessori works wonders for some kids but my own wouldn't have been happy there based on their personalities. We ended up in local play-based preschools with a focus on nature and that spoke to our children as individuals. We are vegetarian which is a bit easier than vegans but it really was never an issue... then again, mine only ever went a few mornings a week... they didn't have meals at school.

 

The "princess thing" has more to do with the individuals personality than anything. I've seen girls raised to be princesses want to be wrestlers. I've seen girls raised with sports and mud pies want nothing more than a pretty dress. Personally, I started trying  to raise my DD with gender neutral environment. Believe me, I do know where you are coming from. I thought I was quite the success as DD LOVED playing with cars more than anything! Then I actually paid attention to how she was playing and sure enough, she had a mommy car, daddy car and baby car off on a picnic.... typical girl play. I left her to her own devices at that point and we found she ended up pretty balanced. She liked some dolls, liked some trains, liked a pretty dress on holidays, preferred denim overalls for daily play. She has never been a slave to fashion, to pop-culture trends. She's won the presidential fitness award multiple times... often being the only girl. She's strong, smart, confident, interested in boys but very open about not being ready for a boyfriend yet (she's 15.) She rock climbs, distance runs... also dances,sings and is loves going shopping. She is just who she is despite any plans I could have made for her.

 

There is a difference between raising your DD with real choices about who she can be and raising her in just another set of predetermined constraints... they might be different from societal norms but they are limitations just the same. If you expose them to depth and quality, much of pop-culture will seem pretty shallow. Certainly, if there is something you can't abide by, like Bratz dolls, don't allow them. However, if Pinkalicious takes over her soul for a couple years lol, just read her the books, let her wear nothing but pink and know that at least she's doing something that she has chosen for herself.

 

Please know this isn't a slam on you! I really do know where you are coming from. I'm just passing on what I learned during my own journey raising an amazing girl. When you have a boy, let me know, I'll share my revelations on toy guns lol. 

 

 

 


Edited by whatsnextmom - 2/25/12 at 3:45pm
post #4 of 32
A lot of that really depends on the kids who go to the school. I prefer the free play based schools where kids learn through play rather than boxed activities that have a right and wrong way to do them. Our university had a wonderful program that was free of a lot if the stereotyping that goes on in some daycares. The kids came in with many ideas but the teavhers did a great job of making a greay job of gently redirecting the kids away frim prejudice of any sort, including sexism. The Montessori programs in our area have a very rigid set of activities kids are allowed to do, dress up not being in that set of offerings, so if you are truly focused on no princess play a setting like this for your family. The kids aren't in boxes though si their ideas are shared with each other as they move around and that is how many kids learn about princess play, current movies, junk food, etc...

You really do have a long time to decide on these things and you may really just not care about the princess issue once your DD is that age. I had a strong aversion to princess stuff, Disney, and Barbie when my DD was very little but I got over it when I realized that I had a bigger impact than the princess stuffl, not having TV helps a lot more than not having princess costumes and Barbie dolls in our family.
Edited by One_Girl - 3/1/12 at 7:42pm
post #5 of 32

I very much agree with whatsnextmom. It depends on who your child is. And if you raise your child without gender stereotypes, while accepting her personality and nature, you won't need to be scared of Disney princesses and Brattz. Draw personal boundaries if you have to, but if your family life is guided by your values, pop culture stuff will flit on and off her horizon without becoming toxic. My girls are now 9, 13 and 18. The older two occasionally wear a little bit of make-up and the younger two take an interest in their clothing -- which is always, IMO, very appropriate. They're not into pop culture. The only line I ever drew was to say that I would not spend my money on licensed products. The rest was just gentle guidance and leading by example. I haven't found the need to shelter them from mainstream influences -- although I have tried to create a family culture of a relatively TV-free life.

 

With my first dd we had the choice of a play-based preschool or a Waldorf-inspired co-op. My dd was very academic (reading at 3, etc.) and was taking violin lessons as a preschooler. We didn't feel the Waldorf situation was supportive of who she was and how she liked to spend her time. The play-based preschool turned out not to be right for her either because she found the large-group free play stressful due to the capricious behaviour of her (quite normal, rambunctious) age-mates. She went for a while but eventually preferred not to attend school at all. That's not what I would ever have imagined back before we had children, or when she was a baby or toddler. But I observed her as a 3- and 4-year-old, what her needs and affinities were, and responded accordingly.

 

For what it's worth, the very ordinary small-town play-based preschool she attended never had anything for snack that was not vegan. They served mostly popcorn with nutritional yeast, fresh cut vegetables, tree nuts and fresh or dried fruit. I don't think they were making any effort to be vegan: they certainly never mentioned anything of the sort. They did stay away from dairy, gluten and peanuts because of potential food sensitivities. But the main idea was just to provide standard healthy food for kids. 

 

Miranda

 

 

post #6 of 32

hmm I am in two minds. I think on the one hand, the single best thing you can do is to be confident in your own parenting and listen to your daughter and what she needs. Of course. And I do agree that if that is the case then pop culture will be of much less importance.

 

What I do think though is that if you send her to a school that conflicts with your ideals, there is a good chance that certain things for her will become normalised, things that you don't agree with, and while your influence will count for a lot, you might have to quite actively promote it. Which, tbh, can get tiring-I really don't like to be in conflict with the people who look after my kids for 8 hours a week, I just don't think its healthy for then. We have at times have had to fight a fairly assertive battle for our kids, who have all been through Waldorf preschool, over certain ideas about gender (while waldorf does discourage branding it is quite insanely, regressively, gendered and it has a fairly earnt reputation as a philosophy that is hard to question). We had certainly had to pick our battles more than if we had kept them at home. As homeschoolers this was pretty much our only part time to 7, holistic, childcare option, and as such it was a bit of a nucleation point for all the local alternative types, but tbh had there been a more progressive place I would most certainly have gone for it, there are a lot of unspoken assumptions about gender that just have me, with my 8 year old who still likes his frilly shirts, banging my head against a wall. When he turned up as a late starting nearly 6 year old with pink slippers with bells on, the other children were not, shall we say, kind.

 

The issue isn't really the school and how it teaches. Very few schools nowadays teach that boys are better than girls or anything, it is the other parents and children it attracts that could be the problem if you are concerned about gender ideas. As far as teaching is concerned, I think what you need to look at is what teachers consider to be a problem, what behaviour they consider to be normal. 

 

I do actually believe that an awful lot of gender is constructed, and that winds me up because I want my kids to be who THEY are, x or y first and foremost, not a boy or a girl. 

 

There isn't one pedagogy that will meet the needs you mention. You need to meet with the teachers and decide for yourself. 

post #7 of 32

I think it's good to wait until you know who your daughter is. She might hate a martial arts preschool, or love it! Alas, much as I tried, I couldn't get my dd to love soccer. Nor could I get ds to play a musical instrument. Those were my ideals, not theirs.

 

When you're looking consider play-based preschools, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf and whatever else you can find. The only kind of preschool that I would actively not recommend is one that is academically focused to the exclusion of play. Actually, any school  that focuses only on one area to the exclusion of others is not good. Personally, I really like the Reggio Emilia philosophy (I'm not a Waldorf person) as it's child directed, exploratory and really works who the children are into their curriculum, as it's an emergent (rather than pre-set) curriculum.

 

Just a gentle query: What are you going to do if your daughter loves ballet? Be careful that your feminist ideals don't mean "anti-feminine". It's possible to love dressing up in Little House in the Prairie costumes and give a rousing speech on the injustices of not allowing women in the 19th centure to vote. I know as my daughter does this all the time!

post #8 of 32

Hi!

 

Well, Im the feminist mama of a boy, so this is importnt to m as well. 

He went to a Waldorf school last year, and while I did love some things, I feel there is a lot of gender stereotyping at Waldorf. The fairy tales, some are wonderful but I often encountered things like princesess in serious distress, only saved by someone else, or characters described as > beautiful and kind> while others were > ugly, with dark charcoil skin and mean> 

I think that Montessori is more neutral in that aspect, since it doesn[t intervene with the children s  play.

But more than the pedagogy, it is very important to see who the teacher is, since these methods can be charming when you read about them but then the human being behind can be very gender biased.

 

Good luck!

 

post #9 of 32
I like the Waldorf "style" of doing things, (I might lean a little more towards earlier academics) but I don't think a standard Waldorf school would work for a vegan. many of the crafts and toys/games involve wool & beeswax. I've looked myself to see if there is maybe soy-based modeling wax available, but I haven't found any. As far as food goes, I think that would be easy to work around, although I read somewhere on here that a lot of Waldorf families are into that diet that's all about butter? My kids have attended Montessori schools, which have been accommodating to me supplying most of what my kids eat, although there were a few slip-ups. They also appear to have seen a lot of Disney films there, which I find somewhat annoying, but that's probably more a factor of being in Kentucky rather than a reflection on Montessori schools, in general.
post #10 of 32

 

I agree with pp that you will need to evaluate potential pre-schools based on the personality, preferences and needs of your child. You can't know what will be a good fit for your child before the child appears. 

 

If there are certain ideals or philosophies that you want to promote, I would start with finding a wider supportive community. If you aren't living somewhere with a significant population of vegans, it's going to be difficult to find a preschool that conforms to the principles of veganism. Similarly, feminism probably isn't going to be a priority in a place with really traditional, conventional attitudes. If you live in certain neighbourhoods, finding a preschool with a socio-economically diverse student population will be a challenge (as an example of an issue that our family faced). 

 

When you visit the pre-schools, it's helpful to have a list of questions to discuss with the administrators and teachers. Most parents ask about things like managing separation anxiety, amount of outdoor play, academics,  music or art instruction, etc. Definitely add any particular questions you have, eg. abiding by vegan principles and avoiding gender stereotypes. When you observe the classes, look for gender-neutral play. I wouldn't be surprised if there are Waldorf schools where the little girls pretend that they are the noble knights fending off the dragons, as well as the rainbow fairies. 

 

 

post #11 of 32

I just add a bit on the vegan thing. You may not want to count on their ever being other vegans in any sort of preschool program. We're just vegetarians and we've only encountered 1 other full family of vegetarians in the school system... and we are in California and have been part of about 4 different schools now. We come across many vegetarian/vegan children and teens within the arts community but full families, nope. To find this, you may look for a community group in your area. Ours has a group that organized playdates, sets-up cooking classes, family functions, ect. We tried when the kids were small but I found it was pretty much for "new" vegetarians who were still in the "live and breath" our decision place. That's totally natural but I'd gone through that when my family turned vegetarian at the age of 9. Still, if you are looking for that sort of connection, check out special groups in your area. If there is one, you may also find good preschool recommendations for your specific area.

 

 

post #12 of 32

My kids go to a Seventh Day Adventist school, which we are not. Only 20% of the school population are that religion. In our area, it is the crunchiest preschool around! Numerous vegetarian families (most of the church members tend to be vegetarian) some vegan here and there, we've had some raw families over the years, no artificial dye is a common request for classroom parties. There are no media, TV to worry about. Anyway, it isn't always the larger preschools or even a "brand name", Montessori, etc... that might be the best fit. As a atheist, I never in a billion years thought I would end up at a school like this, but we did, and it is our third year, the fit is just amazing for our family. 

post #13 of 32

We go to a Reggio preschool in Los Angeles and it is wonderful. There are many vegetarians and a few vegans and the school has no problem with it. Oddly enought though, none of the kids are veg. Just parents.  Snack is provided but I've never seen anything that wasn't veg.. Lunch is packed.

 

You might also look for a philosophy that grows out of REI.
 

A few things that I like about our school that you can look for:

 

a reasonable gender balance between girls and boys

a good ratio of male teachers who work in the classroom- teachers at our school teach in teams of three and there is at least one male teacher in each classroom and the the DK classroom has a male teacher only

clothing and footwear policy is specific; no characters allowed because they tend to be disruptive and promote power plays

strong nutrition policy for home-packed lunches

schools does *not* participate in USDA program

play-based but with activities driven by student needs

some of the older kids have more gendered play but fancy dress up on boys is expected

good quality art program that produces original work rather than matchy-matchy nonesense

natural elements in all classrooms; classroom is rearranged frequently; schools choose natural materials in liue of plastic etc.

some sort of documentation so the parent gets a glimpse of what happense

strong outdoor spaces

birthdays not longer have treats (before it was unfrosted allergen free cake only) but instead the parent come in and the child is presented with a birthday present that the kids worked very hard on that represents something the kid likes

weekly meet-up before school with a couple of kids and a teacher at the farmer's market to buy snack goodies

male teacher's response to my four year old son's new purple and pink tennis shoes was to tell him how much he liked his new shoes i.e. the same thing he would say to brown

 

our schools doesn't have a media policy but it is pretty clear most of the kids have limited tv or none; the kids who watch a lot stick out like a sore thumb

 

In a traditional Waldorf preschool  many activities and toys are made with beeswax and wool... a lot. There will be many wool based activities that may include carding, spinning, dying, weaving, felting etc. Dolls will be stuffed with wool. Kids will have hand-knit wool. Wool underpants. Making beeswax candles. Beeswax based art supplies. etc. Some schools do leatherwork. Toys will be made of leather. Traditional fairy tales are important.

 

To me, Montessori is much more gender-nuetral.

post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

For what it's worth, the very ordinary small-town play-based preschool she attended never had anything for snack that was not vegan. They served mostly popcorn with nutritional yeast, fresh cut vegetables, tree nuts and fresh or dried fruit. I don't think they were making any effort to be vegan: they certainly never mentioned anything of the sort. They did stay away from dairy, gluten and peanuts because of potential food sensitivities. But the main idea was just to provide standard healthy food for kids. 

 

Miranda

 

 


Wow!  An ordinary small-town preschool serving popcorn with nutritional yeast!  Sign me up.  Or, rather, my kid.  Those snacks sound perfect.  Good to have the reminder that very basic-seeming preschools are still worth checking out.

 

post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

 

Just a gentle query: What are you going to do if your daughter loves ballet? Be careful that your feminist ideals don't mean "anti-feminine". It's possible to love dressing up in Little House in the Prairie costumes and give a rousing speech on the injustices of not allowing women in the 19th centure to vote. I know as my daughter does this all the time!


I don't dislike ballet, and I actively like the Little House on the Prairie books (not so much the show).  I feel that I sometimes have trouble explaining my ideals.  Often, when I say that I hate princesses, early or unhealthy sexualization, and/or pointless genderizing (like giving girls separate, pink Legos or Monopoly sets), people assume that I hate all things that girls have traditionally done, e.g. that I must hate dolls or ballet.  I don't.  I like dolls, ballet, tap, Little House on the Prairie, cooking and baking, etc.  I like them for both boys and girls.  I want to make sure I am clear, because if I am not clear to other adults, I definitely won't be to a child.  I feel there are specific values that princess worship (and especially the Disney princesses) embody, that I oppose.  These include elitism (monarchy), a focus on physical appearance, and a too-early focus on romance and marriage.  (Call me crazy, but I think age four is too young.)   Similar things can be said about dolls that are marketed to children as bratty and shallow.  I would also like, in general, for there to be more toys that boys and girls can play with together, pass down to each other, talk about together, etc.  That's why I hate separate "boy" and "girl" colored versions of the same thing.  Do you think my stances make sense?  I am asking honestly, because if not, I am going to need to try to refine them.

 

post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

Do you think my stances make sense?  I am asking honestly, because if not, I am going to need to try to refine them.

 


Yes, I think they make sense. Of course, these are my stances too, so you're preaching to the choir with me. (Even though I have two nieces who are Disney princesses by profession. Seriously. One is Sleeping Beauty, the other Cinderella I think, on Disney Cruise Lines. They say they are living "every girl's dream." crap.gif shake.gif) Anyway, in speaking to people other than the choir I tend to speak about "wanting to avoid cultural stereotyping and early sexualization" rather than getting into the business of gender roles, which everyone has complex opinions about. 

 

Miranda

post #17 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

I just add a bit on the vegan thing. You may not want to count on their ever being other vegans in any sort of preschool program. We're just vegetarians and we've only encountered 1 other full family of vegetarians in the school system... and we are in California and have been part of about 4 different schools now. We come across many vegetarian/vegan children and teens within the arts community but full families, nope. To find this, you may look for a community group in your area. Ours has a group that organized playdates, sets-up cooking classes, family functions, ect. We tried when the kids were small but I found it was pretty much for "new" vegetarians who were still in the "live and breath" our decision place. That's totally natural but I'd gone through that when my family turned vegetarian at the age of 9. Still, if you are looking for that sort of connection, check out special groups in your area. If there is one, you may also find good preschool recommendations for your specific area.

 

 

 

Thanks!  I know chances are slim, but I am trying to gather information now so that I can maximize the possibilities later.  I know a Mom of an 8-year-old who is even stricter about food than I am - they are mostly macrobiotic - and she manages to have her son 100% on board without any classmates sharing the same diet.  Still, the more support we can get, the better.  (We do have a good group in our area that organizes events for children a few times per year.  I should probably contact them for ideas.)
 

 

post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

My kids go to a Seventh Day Adventist school, which we are not. Only 20% of the school population are that religion. In our area, it is the crunchiest preschool around! Numerous vegetarian families (most of the church members tend to be vegetarian) some vegan here and there, we've had some raw families over the years, no artificial dye is a common request for classroom parties. There are no media, TV to worry about. Anyway, it isn't always the larger preschools or even a "brand name", Montessori, etc... that might be the best fit. As a atheist, I never in a billion years thought I would end up at a school like this, but we did, and it is our third year, the fit is just amazing for our family. 


Interesting!  The SDA population is tiny (if it exists at all) around here, but I remember that they were my bright light when I lived in Alabama.  They ran the store that was my main source for vegan specialty foods, and had a good little restaurant for the short amount of time they were able to keep it open.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

We go to a Reggio preschool in Los Angeles and it is wonderful. There are many vegetarians and a few vegans and the school has no problem with it. Oddly enought though, none of the kids are veg. Just parents.  Snack is provided but I've never seen anything that wasn't veg.. Lunch is packed.

 

You might also look for a philosophy that grows out of REI.
 

A few things that I like about our school that you can look for:

 

a reasonable gender balance between girls and boys

a good ratio of male teachers who work in the classroom- teachers at our school teach in teams of three and there is at least one male teacher in each classroom and the the DK classroom has a male teacher only

clothing and footwear policy is specific; no characters allowed because they tend to be disruptive and promote power plays

strong nutrition policy for home-packed lunches

schools does *not* participate in USDA program

play-based but with activities driven by student needs

some of the older kids have more gendered play but fancy dress up on boys is expected

good quality art program that produces original work rather than matchy-matchy nonesense

natural elements in all classrooms; classroom is rearranged frequently; schools choose natural materials in liue of plastic etc.

some sort of documentation so the parent gets a glimpse of what happense

strong outdoor spaces

birthdays not longer have treats (before it was unfrosted allergen free cake only) but instead the parent come in and the child is presented with a birthday present that the kids worked very hard on that represents something the kid likes

weekly meet-up before school with a couple of kids and a teacher at the farmer's market to buy snack goodies

male teacher's response to my four year old son's new purple and pink tennis shoes was to tell him how much he liked his new shoes i.e. the same thing he would say to brown

 

our schools doesn't have a media policy but it is pretty clear most of the kids have limited tv or none; the kids who watch a lot stick out like a sore thumb

 

In a traditional Waldorf preschool  many activities and toys are made with beeswax and wool... a lot. There will be many wool based activities that may include carding, spinning, dying, weaving, felting etc. Dolls will be stuffed with wool. Kids will have hand-knit wool. Wool underpants. Making beeswax candles. Beeswax based art supplies. etc. Some schools do leatherwork. Toys will be made of leather. Traditional fairy tales are important.

 

To me, Montessori is much more gender-nuetral.


Thanks for the detailed information!  That sounds awesome.  I love the no-characters policy, and the nature-themed elements.  I will definitely look into REI.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post


Yes, I think they make sense. Of course, these are my stances too, so you're preaching to the choir with me. (Even though I have two nieces who are Disney princesses by profession. Seriously. One is Sleeping Beauty, the other Cinderella I think, on Disney Cruise Lines. They say they are living "every girl's dream." crap.gif shake.gif) Anyway, in speaking to people other than the choir I tend to speak about "wanting to avoid cultural stereotyping and early sexualization" rather than getting into the business of gender roles, which everyone has complex opinions about. 

 

Miranda



Oh, I'm glad.  Having to be so clear about my policy is new to me, since this is my first (and probably only) child.  Thanks for the advice about wording, too.  That makes sense and would cover most of what I'm going for.

post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

Do you think my stances make sense?  I am asking honestly, because if not, I am going to need to try to refine them.

 

It makes perfect sense to me. But I think you need a way to say it that's not "I don't want Disney princesses/Bratz influence". I think moominmamma had some good ideas for wording it "I'm trying to avoid stereotypes and early sexualization" is less likely to have you be misunderstood. It's also really hard to argue against!

 

From your original post, I wasn't sure how you felt about ballet, sparkles and Little House. There's a difference between saying "I don't want my daughter to dress in pink sparkles" and saying "I don't want my daughter to think the only kind of clothing she can wear is pink sparkles". I'd add to that "I want my son to think that he can wear pink sparkles too." I actually find gender stereotyping for boys much harder to overcome as it's so pervasive. You can find girls' clothes in blue and black. I can find very few boys' clothes in anything other than primary colors, with a heavy focus on blue, black and red. I had to tell more than one girl that it was OK for ds to wear a Dora the Explorer t-shirt (he was THREE, for heaven's sake!).

 

But back on topic. While your child is in preschool, especially, you'll have a lot of control over the media influences in your kids' lives. You can choose whether to do TV or not. You can control the kind of preschool you choose (or whether you even choose preschool) to make sure it matches your values. And if some well-meaning relative or friend gives you a Disney princess something, odds are that your daughter will either use it for more open-ended play (because she won't have seen the movies/tv shows) or she'll ignore it. Dd has gotten a couple of Disney princess things that were very lightly used because she'd never seen the movies and they didn't have any play value. She got one Barbie that she gave away because she never played with it. We've never gotten any Bratz, thankfully.

 

And once you set the stage with strong values and lots of options when they're young, then you're just going to have to have faith in your parenting and on-going discussions with your child as they grow. At some point in time you won't be able to control their media or their environment so much. But it's OK, your values will still come through, sometimes in ways you might never expect. Kids who are wearing sexy clothing at 9 and talking about dieting to be 'thin', didn't come up with those ideas on their own. They saw those ideas and then they were supported by something they experienced within the family. Kids learn a lot more from what their parents and people close to them do, than they do from a single show or a single toy.

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post


I don't dislike ballet, and I actively like the Little House on the Prairie books (not so much the show).  I feel that I sometimes have trouble explaining my ideals.  Often, when I say that I hate princesses, early or unhealthy sexualization, and/or pointless genderizing (like giving girls separate, pink Legos or Monopoly sets), people assume that I hate all things that girls have traditionally done, e.g. that I must hate dolls or ballet.  I don't.  I like dolls, ballet, tap, Little House on the Prairie, cooking and baking, etc.  I like them for both boys and girls.  I want to make sure I am clear, because if I am not clear to other adults, I definitely won't be to a child.  I feel there are specific values that princess worship (and especially the Disney princesses) embody, that I oppose.  These include elitism (monarchy), a focus on physical appearance, and a too-early focus on romance and marriage.  (Call me crazy, but I think age four is too young.)   Similar things can be said about dolls that are marketed to children as bratty and shallow.  I would also like, in general, for there to be more toys that boys and girls can play with together, pass down to each other, talk about together, etc.  That's why I hate separate "boy" and "girl" colored versions of the same thing.  Do you think my stances make sense?  I am asking honestly, because if not, I am going to need to try to refine them.

 


I understand your stances. I used to be more hard core on them myself but I found I had little to actually fear. Sure, Aurora from "Sleeping Beauty" is pretty passive. Snow White, Cinderella... pretty bland. Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" is quite a brave young woman who sacrifices for her father, is not fooled by Gaston's handsome looks, and recognizes kindness in others despite appearances and 1st impressions. Jasmine from "Aladdin" has a backbone and demands a partner who is actually worthy of her despite societal expectations. Mulan doesn't fit female stereotypes in her community at all and ends up saving the day with her wits. Jane from Tarzan is not a princess but she's a scientist out to explore the world at a time when women did not do such things. Pocahontas, Rapunzel... not without some redeeming qualities. 

 

I'm not saying to give up your ideals. I'm just reassuring you that exposure isn't enough to pull your child away from the ideals they learn at home. If you teach in an honest, educated, rational fashion, your kids will really see when something is cool because it's "well-advertised to a target audience" and when something is of true value and something they personally enjoy. That's what my parents did and my brother and I were very selective in what pop-culture items we invested in (yes, I will admit to owning the Thriller CD but my Sondheim collection was much bigger lol.) My kids are the same. DD 15 loved Harry Potter though certainly, a pop-culture phenomena but thought Twilight was total drivel. She was obsessed with Renoir paintings when other girls were into Polly Pockets. DS 11 loves Star Wars but he also loves reading Sherlock Holmes. They have been taught to think and so I don't really worry about exposure. 

 

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