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#1 of 17 Old 09-28-2013, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 11yo daughter loves playing with her American Girl doll collection. She is in middle school and all her peers are into hair,fashion...and typical preteen stuff. None of her friends play with dolls. Im a horrible mother for telling her maybe she should consider putting them on the shelf...dusting them and changing their outfits every so often? Because the dolls still go everywhere with us! My question is, when is a good age to "wean" them off the toys? Any other advice is welcome!

I am a mother of 4, ages 4-15. My oldest never played to much with toys so it wasnt an issue so to say.
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#2 of 17 Old 09-28-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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It will happen on its own. I was that child. I had model horses and My Little Ponies and I played with them and built them little houses and stables long past the time when most kids did. It was my safe world and I enjoyed going there at times to collect my thoughts. I had a friend who played with me until she was early 6th grade, and then we drifted apart. After I stopped actually playing with them (making them play out scenes) I still enjoyed doing their hair and setting them up just right on the shelf. I think I was about 15 or 16 when I remember not playing with them at all anymore, because I had become so involved in sports and had found a boyfriend and that stuff took over.

 

I have two girls who are similar to me and I think it's fine. My almost 10 year old is still very much into the American Girl doll stuff and has a shelf unit that she has turned into an actual doll house. Both my nearly 10 year old and nearly 13 year old play out Littlest Pet Shop stuff together and often make short films at the same time. It's their private, magical world that they have full control over. Let them do it.

 

In time your daughter will naturally drift away from her dolls. She's still quite young. Let her play with them. :-)


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#3 of 17 Old 09-28-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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I played with dolls consistently until I was 13, when my mom started babysitting an infant and I found the real baby to be more cuddly. :)  I hope my own daughters play with their dolls for a long time too.  There's something wonderfully innocent about a little girl playing "mommy," something I would want to last as long as possible.

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#4 of 17 Old 09-28-2013, 02:56 PM
 
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I stopped at ten but my DD still enjoys playing with dolls. They rarely leave the house and when they do it is a response to stress not a desire to play. I am just letting it go on until she is ready to be done. Her friends also still do toys and imaginitive games so I think ten is young to stop.
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#5 of 17 Old 09-28-2013, 08:18 PM
 
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Don't wean her off toys. Being "typical" is over-rated. She'll let it go when she's ready to let it go.


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#6 of 17 Old 09-28-2013, 08:43 PM
 
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I have a DS but he loves his nascar hotwheel things and legos.  I wouldn't deny him the nascar cars nor the legos.  Every sunday he builds the nascar track, sets up the cars, builds the stands etc.  Yes its quiet elaborate.  Over the years its grown and now he keeps stats etc.  He may eventually out grow the 'cars' aspect of this, who knows.  He may carry on the passion of nascar and those lovely overpriced hotwheel things.  Either way he is happy and enjoys his time.

 

Your DD is fine w. the dolls.  They could be a platform for any number of topics and interests (fashion, history, come to mind)


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#7 of 17 Old 09-29-2013, 06:43 AM
 
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If she has something she enjoys then let her be!  She'll outgrow it when she is ready.

My niece was still doing pretend play (mouse family for example) at an age when her peers where doing typical teen things.  I couldn't believe how weird she was.  She is now a college student and didn't have any of the teen drama through her high school years.  She seemed to go from being a child to an adult while skipping all the angsty stuff.

 

My 13 year old rarely plays with legos, but when I took a bunch out of his room and let his sisters play with them he nearly died with anger.  And then proceeded to play legos with his sisters for a few days.

 

I wouldn't rush it at all but embrace it while it lasts!


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#8 of 17 Old 09-29-2013, 08:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariane911 View Post

My 11yo daughter loves playing with her American Girl doll collection. She is in middle school and all her peers are into hair,fashion...and typical preteen stuff. None of her friends play with dolls. Im a horrible mother for telling her maybe she should consider putting them on the shelf...dusting them and changing their outfits every so often? Because the dolls still go everywhere with us! My question is, when is a good age to "wean" them off the toys? Any other advice is welcome!

I am a mother of 4, ages 4-15. My oldest never played to much with toys so it wasnt an issue so to say.

And who's to say that those other moms weaned their dds too early into hair, fashion, etc.? If her taking the dolls everywhere bothers you (because you don't want her singled out), then gently discuss leaving them in the car and eventually at home.


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#9 of 17 Old 09-30-2013, 05:18 AM
 
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What I've read about these dolls is that they're marketed to 7-12 year olds, so your daughter is in the range for them. Barbie dolls used to be marketed for this same age group, but the age of the kids using them kept moving younger and younger, and the same is happening with American Girl dolls now. I don't know if it's kids in general, or just girls, but they seem to be encouraged to grow up quickly, and I really think that's a shame. I wouldn't discourage it at all. Let her be a kid. She's 10. I know I'm older than average here, but at 10 my friends and I were all playing with Barbie dolls. I remember when I was 7 and my sister was 10 and she wouldn't let me play with her Barbie dolls because I was too young and they were for bigger kids. I don't really know what happened there but it seems odd to me.
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#10 of 17 Old 09-30-2013, 05:26 AM
 
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My DD is 16 and she still sleeps with her stuffed bunny. If she is going to be away for a while, such as a week at overnight camp, she takes the bunny. It's no big deal. No one teases her and she is not the only girl that does it. The dolls are fine. I have five kids and I have never weaned anyone from toys, they just outgrow them. 13year old DS doesn't have any toys anymore other than video games and sports equipment.


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#11 of 17 Old 10-09-2013, 12:37 PM
 
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I played with barbies and baby dolls well past "typical" - as someone else said, it was my private fantasy world, and I am rather introverted, so it helped me.  I don't discourage my kids from anything UNLESS they are too YOUNG for it.  I think barbies are marketed way too young, and they can lead to too mature fashion/beauty behavior too young ...


Mama to 3 girls 12,8,3
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#12 of 17 Old 10-11-2013, 07:27 PM
 
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I hear my children playing right now with My Little Ponies together very much in their own world, and I thought to post again on this thread. As mentioned before my oldest is nearly 13 (December) and my other child is 9 1/2. I love it! :-)


7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#13 of 17 Old 10-11-2013, 09:08 PM
 
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My daughter is ten and her friend, 11, just started a My Little Pony club. They also play with American Girl.  I also love it.


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#14 of 17 Old 10-12-2013, 01:42 AM
 
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This evening, I made my YoungSon, 17, a teddy bear, because he asked me to. Mind you, this boy is 6 feet tall, works out at the gym 5 days a week, takes public transportation all over the city alone, and is super independent and mature (at least in some ways :wink). He has a mustache, for Pete's sake! We even had this conversation this evening as I was sewing. He said he is glad that he feels confident enough to enjoy toys. But he did say that it would be weird if he had more than one teddy bear when his friends came over! He also still loves Legos. His friends don't- they all play basketball or video games together. But he doesn't feel he needs to hide that aspect of himself.

 

I agree - let your daughter enjoy her toys. If it bothers her in public, she will stop bringing dolls out. But if she is content, why try to change her?

 

This might be most unanimous set of replies I have ever seen to a question here on MDC!


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#15 of 17 Old 10-17-2013, 04:19 PM
 
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OP, I think it's wrong to tell your child to stop being a child just because "the world" around her isn't playing with them at her age. Have you been inside the homes of ALL the children her age in your area? Probably not. You have no idea what those little girls are doing in private and are just ashamed to tell the other kids their own age, probably due to their parents making them feel bad for playing with toys. My 11 1/2 year old still plays with her American Girl doll, dollhouses and barbies. I don't encourage it nor do I tell her not to do it. I just let her do what makes HER happy. I'm just thankful she isn't in to sex or drugs yet. And yes, kids this age can be in to those things. I used to volunteer with teen moms and the youngest of the new mommies were 11 and 12 years old. Thank your lucky stars your little girl is still being a little girl as nature intended her to be!


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#16 of 17 Old 10-17-2013, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post
 

This evening, I made my YoungSon, 17, a teddy bear, because he asked me to. Mind you, this boy is 6 feet tall, works out at the gym 5 days a week, takes public transportation all over the city alone, and is super independent and mature (at least in some ways :wink). He has a mustache, for Pete's sake! We even had this conversation this evening as I was sewing. He said he is glad that he feels confident enough to enjoy toys. But he did say that it would be weird if he had more than one teddy bear when his friends came over! He also still loves Legos. His friends don't- they all play basketball or video games together. But he doesn't feel he needs to hide that aspect of himself.

 

I agree - let your daughter enjoy her toys. If it bothers her in public, she will stop bringing dolls out. But if she is content, why try to change her?

 

This might be most unanimous set of replies I have ever seen to a question here on MDC!

 

 

I love this! My son is going to be 18 next month and while he isn't in to teddy bears, Legos or toys anymore he is a very silly, goofy boy at times and he too has a mustache AND a beard right now and he is in his first year of college! LOL! I don't want my kids to rush and grow up and be mature before their time. Let them enjoy life and be happy as long as they can. They have the rest of their lives to live the adult life (and be miserable, lol).

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#17 of 17 Old 10-18-2013, 06:30 PM
 
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I love this! My son is going to be 18 next month and while he isn't in to teddy bears, Legos or toys anymore he is a very silly, goofy boy at times and he too has a mustache AND a beard right now and he is in his first year of college! LOL! I don't want my kids to rush and grow up and be mature before their time. Let them enjoy life and be happy as long as they can. They have the rest of their lives to live the adult life (and be miserable, lol).


That's not hard in my family when it's grandma who gives the toddler grandchild an empty box for Christmas to unwrap and play in (best gift ever) or gives her teen daughter an empty jar filled with 365 pill candy with a "prescription" label saying "take one a day for 365 days" or another daughter (me) a toy watch for Christmas and put the real one in my stocking.  We might mature in age but we never "grow up".


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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