girly girl, please tell me this is a phase - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 03-21-2005, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My almost 4 year old DD is driving me CRAZY with her desire to wear dresses everyday and to be really "fancy". We have a ton of dress up clothes for her to indulge her fancy need. I try, oh, how I try to keep the Princessess out of our house but somehow they arrive uninvited (if to a lesser extent than more mainstream households). I've read Growing a Girl. I'm not a girly girl. And yet somehow I've ended up with a priss pot!

So I can deal with her wearing a dress every day. Fine. But what is driving me crazy is the constant conversation about how she wants to be "really pretty" and how that dress "isn't fancy enough" or "pretty enough" or whatever. I feel like I *am* saying all the right things. I don't know where this stuff is coming from.

Please, somebody who has BTDT, tell me that this is just a phase. Tell me this is just the preschooler catergorizing their world. Somebody? I'm projecting, I know I'm projecting, but I'm terrified that I've got a complete girly girl on my hands and I don't know how that happened. And why does a 4 year old CARE about this stuff? We don't watch much television in this house...occasionally Noggin or PBS. We don't do many Disney movies and when we do I'm camped out beside her saying "Now, why wouldn't that silly Snow White just try to wake up?" We don't buy commercial toys. I just don't get where this obsession is coming from.
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#2 of 23 Old 03-21-2005, 05:30 PM
 
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Me too! Me too!!!!!!! My dd will turn 4 in a week and has been informing me that she "will not wear pants. I don't like PANTS!!!!!!!!!" she insists upon a dress oh and tights too. I kind of wondered where this came from too though we were once a strictly no Disney family, with other kids and parents it has gotten slowly introduced and she is hooked on all the princesses. The dress up box no longer suffices. She wants a dress every day. If it is warm enough to play out (it is starting to warm up a bit here) I tell her only if you have pants on. That child will take a pants and a dress ON AND OFF 50 x a day if need be.
This is different for us. Dd has NEVER before given me a problem with clothes. She even wants princess nightgowns. Her hair "done" wants to wear her Easter bonnet and all.
I can tell you I don't walk around in tights and an Easter bonnet. GO figure.
It is kinda cute though she was singing Shania's "man I feel like woman" the other day. I thought dh was going to pass out.

:energ y
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#3 of 23 Old 03-21-2005, 06:28 PM
 
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it's normal. it might not be a phase. celebrate who your child is, even if she isn't the child you thought you would have. It drives me nuts that SIL wishes my neice were more girly-girl, so I told her if she wants to put frilly dresses on a girl, she can borrow my DD for a day. I was a total tomboy myself, but I'm not going around wishing my DD were less feminine. That's just how she is. With my DD, whenever I try to push her in any direction, she is going to dig her heels in and go the opposite way. Encourage your child's play, follow her lead, and maybe you'll learn to enjoy it yourself.
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#4 of 23 Old 03-21-2005, 08:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stafl
it's normal. it might not be a phase. celebrate who your child is, even if she isn't the child you thought you would have. It drives me nuts that SIL wishes my neice were more girly-girl, so I told her if she wants to put frilly dresses on a girl, she can borrow my DD for a day. I was a total tomboy myself, but I'm not going around wishing my DD were less feminine. That's just how she is. With my DD, whenever I try to push her in any direction, she is going to dig her heels in and go the opposite way. Encourage your child's play, follow her lead, and maybe you'll learn to enjoy it yourself.

Easier said than done, lol. My mom had to wrestle me into dresses and I have to bribe my older three into pants on the days that all their dresses are in the wash. I've just figured it's something that skips a generation, and it must be coming from Grandma .
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#5 of 23 Old 03-21-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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This is happening at my house too!! DD wants to wear dresses constantly to the point that her daddy and I have declared one day a week as 'pants' day because she had cute pants outfits that could not be returned that I wanted to get some wear out of!!!!
Thank God for the skorts thing this year -- look at the cute skirt mommy got you!!! Oh well - it must be a recessive gene because her mommy wears jeans all the time.
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#6 of 23 Old 03-21-2005, 09:50 PM
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My dd is a girly-girl, as I was and still am to some extent. She usually prefers to wear dresses, but will wear pants a couple of days a week. It is better that she wears pants than dresses when she is playing where she can get dirty or on the monkey bars.
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#7 of 23 Old 03-22-2005, 04:37 AM
 
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She even wants princess nightgowns. Her hair "done" wants to wear her Easter bonnet and all.
I can tell you I don't walk around in tights and an Easter bonnet. GO figure.
It is kinda cute though she was singing Shania's "man I feel like woman" the other day. I thought dh was going to pass out. [/QUOTE]

: I'm sorry that Shania thing is too funny!

Well, my DD (4.5) barely watches any TV, only a few DVD's, we have NO DISNEY and I am always picking books with non stereotype girls and strong women. What does she want to live in? Dresses. What's her favorite dressup? Princess or Bride. Initially it kind of freaked me out but after talking to a couple of more experienced parents, I realized what is so wrong with being super-feminine? By trying to not give our daughters a narrow idea of what it means to be a girl or woman I don't think we should therefore reject everything super femme. That seems to be sending a negative message of another kind about women who choose to express themselves in an ultra feminine way.

I think most of all though it is so much FUN to be femme! Princesses get to wear the brightest most gaudiest OTT stuff in the dress up box. They wear glitter and sparkles, gold, pinks, feathers, sequins. Stuff that rarely anyone walks around in in "real life". I have decided 'if you can't beat 'em join em' and now I enjoy it as much as she does. We all get so much pleasure from adornment - children are no different.

In fact this thread is giving me a great idea for a Grown-Up Princess Party - wouldn't that be a riot!

My dd has also asked me a few times if ther are any "real" princesses so she has no idea whether this is fantasy or reality. And as much as she loves to play those things the most she also joins in with everything else and enjoys just about anything activity out there. We are reading aloud the "Little House" books right now and she asked if Laura and Mary were real too. In fact some days we are forced to answer to Ma and Pa (DH has to constantly give her chores and make her chop wood and stuff) and I have to carry Baby Carrie with me wherever I go so I'm sure its all part of the preschooler fantasy world.
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#8 of 23 Old 03-22-2005, 04:38 AM
 
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Dear seedling,
Please accept my condolences. Your kid is insisting on being exactly who she is despite who you wish she would be. I bet she takes after her mom.

Cordially,
Mom of another girligirl.

PS: Mine is 4 1/2 and has been in this mode for about 8 months. I can't guess how long it'll last. I wish you the best, sister. Now, I need to put a top coat on this kids nails. *sigh*
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#9 of 23 Old 03-22-2005, 04:44 AM
 
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Oh! Get the book "The Paperbag Princess"

Also.. in my house I made a lot of headway by designated particular dresses "church only" and some "anytime you want, play dresses" and really princessy stuff "dress up clothes, at home only". It helps a lot and gives me the opportunity to make nice bargains, like "I know you don't feel like going out but if you come to the grocery store happily you can wear you tiara. I'll wear one too!"

No one messes with you when you wear a tiara.
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#10 of 23 Old 03-22-2005, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, thanks mommas! It is helpful to hear that other girls are doing this too. I mean you start to feel like "Holy cow, what have I done? She MUST be getting this from ME".

And you know, honestly, I don't have a problem with the dress up stuff. I'm the one with the kid in the grocery store wearing cowboy boots, tiarra, and a feather boa. I just want her to have a healthy self image. It bothers me when I hear her say (because we can't wear a church dress to school--Kama'aina Mama we have that designation in our house too) "but I won't be as pretty in this dress". I hear the "I won't be" "pretty" and it hits all my buttons. I mean, I want her to *know* she is pretty and wonderful and smart and powerful etc regardless of what she is wearing. But reading all your posts makes me realize that I'm thinking about this too much and putting my adult spin on her child words.

I'm gonna see if my library has that book Kama'aina Mama. Stafl, I'm going to cut and paste your response on the refrigerator door....or maybe on my DD's dresser! Everybody else who is in the same boat as me, thanks for reassuring me it isn't anything I've done! And now we can all take deep breaths. I hear her door, let the dressing begin.
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#11 of 23 Old 03-22-2005, 04:54 PM
 
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When my oldest was that age she had to wear dresses that "spin" if they didn't "spin" they were not ok, and we had to test them all for "spinability" before they could be worn.
Now ( she's almost 9), she will only wear jeans and black tee shirts. She will barely utter the word pink, accept in the sentence "I hate pink"
So...things change sometimes. Who knows?
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#12 of 23 Old 03-22-2005, 05:45 PM
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Mine is the same way, but I know exactly where it's coming from: I share her with her "Dad" twice a week, but in fact she spends that time at her paternal granmother's house. Nan-nan, as she's called, is a prissy dolled-up Nordstrom manequin, every day of the week. If she wears sweats, they're Juicy Couture (sp?) sweats, with coordinating nail polish and jewelry. My daughter will happily wear pants, but prefers palazzo pants and strappy sandals. She is already a pro at painting her own finger/toe-nails (at 4 years old!). She's also knee-deep in Disney and barbie on her Nan-nan days, and it's all crept into my house so very, very slowly.
Dresses, costume jewelry, charm bracelets, toe-nail polish, up-do's... It's all good. She's been calling herself a woman since she was 2. Any song sung by a girl or about girls is a real hit with her, from Girls Just Wanna Have Fun to What a Girl Wants to Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon... I don't really mind. She has a strong will and at the end of the road, she will be Olivia, no matter what she's wearing.

The only thing that gets under my skin is all this stuff about boys/girls that she's bringing home from pre-school. Those toys are for girls, this color is for boys, et cetera. Ugh. that I could live w/out.
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#13 of 23 Old 03-22-2005, 11:18 PM
 
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We have "The Paperbag Princess" but my dd at 4.5 seems a little bit young for it as she doesn't quite get it. She seems to think everyone is being "mean" at the end.

A couple she really enjoys (and so do I) are:

The Princess Knight (The Chicken House, Scholastic Inc) by Cornelia Funke.

Quote: "What will that prize be, Father?" asked Violetta, wondering which horse she would ride, which of her suits of armor would be the lightest, and which plume she would wear in her helmet.

"The prize," said King Wilfred, "will be your hand in marriage. So put on your finest gown and practice your prettiest smile."

Violetta turned as red as the roses beside the castle moat.
"What!" she cried. "You want me to marry some dimwit in a tin suit? Just look at your own knights! They whip their horses and they can't even write their own names!"

The other is "Tasty Baby Belly Buttons" (Dragonfly) by Judy Sierra
Set in Japan. Uriko (found in a melon) goes to the island of Onigashima to rescue the babies from the terrible oni whose favorite delicacy is baby belly buttons. Fantastic illustrations and a great read-aloud. All the huge terrible oni shout "Belly buttons, Belly buttons, Tasty baby belly buttons!"
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#14 of 23 Old 03-23-2005, 12:01 PM
 
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This is so normal for her age. Supposedly it is at this age that they truly start understanding about gender, and because they are pretty concrete at this age, they get very caught up in the "rules" about being a girl or a boy. It's their way of making sense out of gender differences.

I would let her be as girly as she wants and not make it into an issue. Just try to balance it with books and games and activities that nurture all parts of her and not just the "girly" parts. You can't make her play with blocks instead of princess dolls, of course, but perhaps her princess dolls can pretend to go mountain climbing or something! You get the idea! Read lots of books with strong, well-rounded female characters. I love those fairy-tale spoofs - we have "Cinder Edna" and "The Paper Bag Princess." I also like "serious" books that show girls overcoming challenges - "Players In Pigtails," "Mirette On The High Wire," "Miss Rumphius," and so many others. There are actually books out there that give lists of great books for girls.

I understand how hearing your daughter show concern over being pretty might raise a flag - I've been there! Tell her she is a beautiful person because of how kind she is and so on, and acknowledge that it is fun to wear fancy clothes. Maybe you can try focusing on things other than how the clothes make her look - you know, what a soft, beautiful fabric, it feels so nice on your skin, that sort of thing. Don't worry too much, though, it really will lessen over time. She might always be into "girly" things, but that doesn't mean she will define herself by her looks as long as that is not the message she gets at home.
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#15 of 23 Old 03-23-2005, 04:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Duchess
We have "The Paperbag Princess" but my dd at 4.5 seems a little bit young for it as she doesn't quite get it. She seems to think everyone is being "mean" at the end.

I also like "Princess Smartypants" for my 4-yr old girly girl. Also, I think it has become more than a phase around here - it has lasted from the time she could name the color pink (2ish) until now! Not what this tomboy expected!
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#16 of 23 Old 03-23-2005, 11:09 PM
 
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We have "Princess Smartypants" too, she's likes that one too!
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#17 of 23 Old 03-24-2005, 01:18 PM
 
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i've got a girly 4 year old, too, and i was such a tomboy. all i wanted to do was climb trees and run around in the woods. we do ballerina stuff mostly which i am okay with since it's getting some good physical exercise. she's got on a tutu and leotard and tights right now as i type this.wore a different one all day yesterday.

seedling. where are you in NC? i'm in NC, too, in chapel hill. if you're anywhere near maybei could give you a good dance class recommendation (not too fru fru, but they do pretend to be princesses......)

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#18 of 23 Old 03-24-2005, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Beanma, sending you a pm.
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#19 of 23 Old 03-24-2005, 09:13 PM
 
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DD1 (4.5yo) has been in this mode for almost a year and a half. I've finally decided to just remember how nice it is that she can pick out her own clothes. She is so particular about looking "pretty" and matching that I have no problem letting her choose her own outfits each morning.

Also, apparently skorts are the big thing this summer. It is a sanity saver and a great compromise. Perfect for the playground. She is happy to be "pretty and fancy" and DH and I are happy that she's not wearing yet another dress every day.
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#20 of 23 Old 03-24-2005, 09:19 PM
 
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Ohhhh the things I could tell you about my girly girl. What do you want to be when you grow up? A princess....

Mom, why don't you wear a dress, it makes you look pretty.

My hands are ugly. My hair is long and pretty...I want to wear makeup.

She is four.

She does not wear anything, except dress up. No shirts, no skirts, and most definately no pants. Only dress up. And glitter. And heels.

I can send pictures. Seriously.

Just embrace it. That is who they are.

Oh, and never buy fine glitter.

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#21 of 23 Old 03-24-2005, 09:25 PM
 
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http://share.shutterfly.com/action/s...&x=1&sm=1&sl=1

Did I mention I have three daughters?


She changes her clothing...I mean dress up, at least 4 times a day.

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#22 of 23 Old 03-24-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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She is adorable so is little sis!
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#23 of 23 Old 03-25-2005, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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:LOL Those photos are great. I guess I should count myself lucky that we do wear actual clothing around here (and not just dress up). And Sarah, I remember you! We had babies about the same time.

I'm embracing, I'm embracing. I painted toenails and fignernails yesterday at Isabel's request. Her overall comment was "this takes too long" to which I replied "yes, that's why mommy never paints hers!" But she sure has enjoyed showing them off to everyone today.
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