Princess Predicament: Books, Music, Movies, and Advice from PSP Members

Books, movies, music, website links and parenting tips that dispel the myths.

the-princess-knight

 

Books that Dispel the “Princess” stereotype of getting rescued and giving up everything for the Prince.

 

For parents:

 Growing a Girl

 

For younger kids:

  • Princesses are not Quitters by Kate Lum
  • The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke
  • Paper Bag Princess (this got mixed reviews)
  • The Princess Gets New Shoes
  • Princess Smartypants
  • The Practical Princess by Jay Williams
  • Princess Furball
  • The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke
  • Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke
  • Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
  • Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson and Kevin O'Malley
  • The Storytelling Princess by Rafe Martin and Kimberly Bulcken Root

 For slightly older kids:

  • The Princess and the Dragon, by Audrey Wood
  • Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter, by Diane Stanley
  • Happily Ever After, by Anna Quindlen
  • Louise Builds A House (not a princess, but a good read), by Louise Pfanner
  • Don’t Bet on the Prince
  • Tatterhood and the Hobgoblins

Movies:

  • Roman Holiday (B/W, with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck). Shows that being a princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
  • Ever After (strong Drew Barrymore gets the Prince, but it’s based on her smarts, etc.)
  • Kiki’s Delevery Service

 

Music:

  • Free to Be You and Me (Marlo Thomas, mid-70s)
  • Really Rosie
  • Spice Girls

 

Websites with interesting articles:

 http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2004/11/24/princesses/index_np.html?x

 http://archive.salon.com/mwt/wild/1999/08/20/fairytales/

 

Parent tips regarding princesses:

 

Change it Up:

"When your princess starts talking about going to the Ball, ask questions that are counter to the stereotypes. Instead of “What are you going to wear?” ask, “What kind of music are they going to play?,” “Why wouldn’t you tell the Prince your name (a la Cinderella)?” “Why would you want to wear a dress like that…  you can’t RUN FAST in a dress like that.”

 

Discuss it:

"Ask “what do you think it means when it says that they all lived happily ever after?” Let them know that you can be happy some of the time, sad some of the time, and also mad sometimes.”

 

Storytell a Different Princess:

"Make up your own princess stories, with the prince turning out to be a louse sometimes, and the less wealthy by really smart servant that’s fun to hang out with."

 

Get Originals:

"The original women of stories such as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella are much stronger and wiser characters than the Disney done versions. Read a bunch of different versions and use it as a launching point for discussion."

 

Girl Power:

"Look for more Positive role models such as “power puff girls.”"

 

Divert it, Don’t Fight It:

"Don’t say “no” to things that appeal to your princess, just try to divert attention to other things (dragons, fairies, etc. are a good way to keep things fun without I t being about princesses getting married) instead of the princess theme of getting married. Try to avoid it, but quietly so as not to indicate that your princess’s fascination (obsession) is somehow “wrong.”"

 

Fill in the Family

"If it’s really important to you, keep the family from sending the things that you most want to avoid. Having your princess open a Grandma gift of “Sleeping Beauty” when you don’t’ want it is begging for a battle."

 

Ask Questions:

"What does it mean to be married? When I asked my princess why she wanted to get married, she replied, “so we can dance!” The scope of their understanding is different than our beliefs of what marriage is, so don’t assume that they your princess is thinking about marriage as the “happily ever after.”"

 

Is it so bad?

One woman indicated that her daughter’s princess phase was helpful as a social adjustment mechanism.

 

And finally---They DO outgrow it!