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December 30, 2010

What Santa Forgot to Bring Me .....

In early December, we took DD to see Santa at our local mall. DD asked Santa to bring her a Sparkle Barbie. Personally, I am not a fan of barbies. I can write a long list of the reasons why Barbies are not allowed in our house. To put it simply, I think it creates unrealistic images for young girls that affects their views of themselves once they are grown. Of course, I understand we are bombarded by unrealistic images of women every where and every day of our lives. However, I feel that the less I expose my daughter to that the better it is. Anyhow, so I made the decision to not buy her the Sparkle Barbie. No 4 year old need a doll with a dress so short that it barely covers her behind, and don't get me started on the 5-inch high heels these dolls are wearing....

DD's friends Avery and Whitney both have these dolls, and DD wanted them desperately. She asked for them everyday (several times a day) for the past month. When Christmas came and she did not get one, she was beyond disappointed with Santa. She kept on telling us that Santa forgot to bring her the dolls she asked for.

Christmas came and went, but she was still asking for them. I was amazed by the how badly she wanted these dolls and how persistent she was -- she began to ask if she could have them for her birthday. So... today... we gave in. We took her to Toys R Us and brought her the Sparkle Barbie dolls she wanted.

I clearly lost this battle. I did not want to disappoint my little girl. I am sure at her age she will not understand why I was so reluctant to get her the dolls. In the end, I figure that at 4 years old, I should pick other battles to fight -- like getting her to eat her vegetables and clean up her messes every night before she goes to bed. Maybe I was being too hard on her, after all, she is a pretty good kid. She listens well. Unlike some kids (who DD is no longer permitted to play with because I thought they were bad influences), she does not spit on people (yes, someone's 3 year old girl actually does that), she does not hit other kids and she certainly does not yell, scream or get out of control.

I don't know if I made a mistake buying her the dolls. Or, maybe in the scheme of things, buying the dolls was not a big deal at all. I guess I will not know for sometime. Being a parent is not easy and I think being a good one is even harder. Like everyone else, I am just trying to do the best I can. I am sure there will be other more important battles I will need to fight as she grows up.....


Ginny said...

I think you did the right thing. Honestly, Barbies aren't that bad. I totally get what you are saying about them, but I guarantee you that your daughter will be ok playing with them. Just for you having those issues with them, tells me that you will teach your daughter what she needs to know. A little bit of pretend play will be ok.

Plus the Barbies she picked, aren't even the typical barbie. It is total fantasy, make believe. I bet you, she will make up so many stories and be super creative with those dolls. The tiny dresses won't even be noticed.

Just look at her little smile, so sweet!

My name means Wisdom said...

You know, I played with dolls a lot, for a long time, with all my friends and my one younger sister. I have abso no body issues and I prefer to dress modest, but still stylishly.

My youngest sister, on the other hand, never touched a Barbie and she sadly has dealt with body issues throughout her young life and leaves little to the imagination in her dress-- to my disappointment and worry.

Two major differences, I had my mother for guidance and advice 24/7 and I had a lot of strong female role models in my life and few bad influences in my peers. When my sister was younger my mother was ill and my other sister and I were away at school, so the youngest sister spent a lot of time with her friends unsupervised.

I am not saying that this is always going to be the case, but it goes to show that the dolls can be fine for play as long as their is guidance and a caring mother like yourself around to guide her.

Caroline said...

It is so hard to know what to do as parents! I played with barbies for a short time when I was growing up, but it was never child like play, always barbie and ken getting together to get married, etc. I am not planning on letting my girls play with them, I don't like the clothes, the body images (plus I have two older boys that I don't want to see naked barbies laying around the house), etc. Probably all the reasons that made you hesitate. :-)

And I had a very loving and caring mother to raise me, which is why she took them away after a long talk with me. I think there are many things out there that our children will want, but we will have to say no many times....just adding a different perspective than what has been commented. :-)

Susie B. Homemaker said...

My 5 yr old has Barbies that don't even get played with (and are constantly laying around her room without any clothes on thanks to her little sister). I know we won't be buying anymore for her and the one's she has now I'll probably make magically disappear one day. ;p

I don't think you did the wrong thing tho'- she looks completely happy and like Ginny said the one's she got are fairytale. Your daughter probably associates them more with TinkerBell than an actual person or something she'll look like when she's older.

Crafty said...

I think the Barbie was OK. It is probably "just" a doll right now and not a object she is to emulate. Next year it will be something else. You will know when it is something that will influence her thinking and image of her self worth. Then is when you will rightly stand your ground for her good. But today, the Barbie is OK.

kmogilevski said...

I completely agree that you have to pick your battles. If she eats her vegetables and cleans up her messes, having a few extra dolls won't hurt anyone :)

Kat said...

I think it's good that you tried to stick to your guns about what you believe in, but I agree with the other commenters. It's not the doll that makes the difference. It's the other people in her life that does. DD will certainly have a positive body image and love herself and others if you instill that in her.

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