My Daughter Loves Princesses AND Dinosaurs
Ask my soon-to-be 4-year old daughter what her favorite color is and she will squeal that it is pink. She loves to dress up in tutus and wear jewelry. Often she will go through her hairclips and put as many as she can fit into her hair. She loves to dance and sing. She wants to be Elsa as much as the typical little girl. None of these things have been questioned. Her “girley-ness” has been praised by the general public but when she declares that her favorite thing is dinosaurs, the reaction is not quite the same.
I was thrilled to see this article about 8-year old Sophie being upset after she was told while shoe shopping that a pair of dinosaur shoes weren’t made for the “female bone structure.” Sophie bravely wrote a letter to the shoe company explaining her frustration.
Yes, Sophie, you are right. There are other girls who like dinosaurs and fossils, and women who make careers in science and math. Sophie, thank you for not only thinking outside of the box, but for breaking outside of it and encouraging other little girls to express their feelings too.
My daughter, Madalynne, had an Ariel birthday party last year and no one thought twice about it. Next month she will be bringing in her fourth year with a dinosaur-themed birthday party. She and her friends will be finding dinosaur eggs made out of baking soda and then will watch them hatch while they spray vinegar on them. They will also experience a volcano in the same fashion. Science and dinosaurs – why do so many people think that should only be for boys?
It was extremely difficult to find dinosaur-themed party items that included Madalynne’s favorite color, pink. I was looking for a plastic dinosaur for her birthday cake in a large superstore and had to go down the “boys” aisle to find them. I cannot wait for the day when a little girl can have this type of party and passion without wondering eyes and curious thoughts and without having to jump through hoops.
But until that day comes, I can only hope that Madalynne will be like Sophie; That she will stand up for her passions and continue to forge the way for other little girls that love the same things she does, and even for those that do not. I must also be willing to stand up to those who want to make her feel embarrassed for not being the prim and proper girl that they think she should be. It is more important for her to follow and develop her passions over making people feel comfortable.
When people start to feel comfortable around her, she rawrs like a dinosaur. I can only hope that she continues to break the mold.
What do your children do that break the mold? How do you encourage them to follow their passions?