Practice your “Princess Manners”

The intent of the post below is to highlight the “helpful” lessons to be derived from the attraction to the “princess culture.” Girls (and many boys) are drawn to princesses, right or wrong.  We can’t stop kids from knowing about princesses, but we can take the best lessons we can from the phenomenon.  As parents sometimes we need to take advantage of the tools that present themselves to us, such as popular characters like princesses or superheroes, to teach helpful lessons.  

Part 2 of this post, which focuses on the boys, The Superhero Starter Guide, will be posted next week.

We do see the potential drawbacks to the Princess genre, and If your kids are in need of a princess intervention, we highly recommend Princess Recovery: A How-to Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters by Dr. Jennifer L Hartstein

A regal guide to raising your family’s royalty

image of little girl in princess custume

Whether your little one is taking bravery lessons from Disney’s newest princess Merida, or she’s studying to be the next Kate Middleton, princess dreams grace almost every household with little girls. Fortunately, in a generation where “spoiled and rich” threatens to be the new cool, today’s princesses rise to the role-model challenge by teaching daughters to be more like kind-hearted Cinderella and less like her mean and greedy step-sisters.

Use these tips to bring that message out of the movies and straight to your own little queen-to-be:

  • Princesses have princess manners. Any fairy godmother would tell you that they’re called the magic words for a reason: “please” and “thank you” are important because they show the people around you that you appreciate them. A princess also knows that there is a time and a place for everything. Belting out a rendition of “Under the Sea” is perfect for play time, but even Princess Ariel knows better than to splash outside the tub during a bath. If your mini royal needs a refresher in everyday etiquette, try role-playing with her favorite characters, then encourage her “princess manners” whenever you see them being used.
  • Princesses have to work hard to make a wish come true. Tiana, one of Disney’s more recent nobles, learned this lesson in The Princess and the Frog. Help your daughter achieve her own royal goals by encouraging her to create a study plan for the big test coming up or spend some one-on-one time helping her practice her free-throws.
  • A princess isn’t just a character, she has character – and that means being kind, considerate, and helping others. Whether playing with a sibling in her own castle or visiting friends from another kingdom, set the expectation that a true princess shares her toys and her tiaras. Help her give to those less fortunate by volunteering or donating parts of her royal wardrobe and toys that she’s outgrown.

Following these tips will go a long way towards making sure no one mistakes your little one for the evil queen – instead, she’ll develop positive habits and values that will last long after she’s done playing princess!

Be sure to look for our next blog post: The Superhero Super-Starter Guide.

About the Author

Amy McCready
Nationally recognized parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the best selling author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic - A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World and If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. As a “recovering yeller” and a Certified Positive Discipline Instructor, Amy is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids. Amy is a TODAY Show contributor and has been featured on CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey & others. In her most important role, she is the proud mom of two amazing young men.