Childrearing

I Regret The Day I Let My Daughter Watch ‘The Little Mermaid’

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My daughter is at an age where she is so easily influenced by things she hears and sees. This story is constantly running through her mind and her young obsession with princesses and marriage just sounds strange to me. A 2-year-old talking about marriage and imitating marriage? I’m just not into it. It doesn’t seem healthy and it kind of freaks me out.

Perhaps it’s because I personally don’t hold the belief that everyone should get married or that marriage is for everyone. Often times, though I am married myself, I wonder if marriage is even for me, or if it’s even a reasonable thing to do. Sometimes it seems an ancient tradition that our society perpetuates out of comfort and I don’t want my child to grow up with the idea that marriage is a necessity, or certainly that you need a “prince” to live “happily ever after.” Her learning about it at such a young age, seeing a movie where a woman (okay, mermaid) sees someone, literally changes herself to be with that person, just flat our rubs me the wrong way. Whether we like to think about it or not, it isn’t a positive message for a child.

While my daughter seemed to fall in love so hard and fast with the story and everything about it, it seems wrong to rip the mermaid from her life now, though I do try as hard as I can to limit this kind of play. But I pray Ariel will be phased out soon enough, if not for my own sanity and my husband’s than for the sake of my child’s imagination. Thank God she goes to a school where no media in any form is allowed because it makes for tons of Ariel-free adventures to be had from 8:30-11, Monday-Wednesday.

I just want my child to have room for plenty of other things in her life that don’t involve being totally immersed in a story about a princess who sets a piss-poor example for little girls everywhere. I wanted to remain blissfully unaware of this princess obsession I kept hearing about but I can only blame myself that it reared its ugly head in my household. Clearly, in this day and age, there are far better role models for little girls.

I just wasn’t thinking this princess thing would hit as hard as it did. I wasn’t thinking about what this movie was teaching my child when I blindly popped it in the old school VCR and hit play. It didn’t occur to me that not only the VCR was old school, but that The Little Mermaid was, too.

(photo: amazon.com)

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