Barbie Update

We have lifted the moratorium on Barbie.  There were several factors, and one of the biggest was kindergarten peer pressure.  Yep.  You read that right.  We just decided our discomfort with Barbie was not worth the tears and stress our daughter experienced over not having some of the same toys as other girls in her class.  Now before some of you go postal on me, let me say: its Barbie.  Not a crack pipe.  We feel that some level of “what everyone else is doing” is actually important to their social lives.  They need to be conversant in certain things like sports, tv shows, music and, yes, Barbie in order to function in their social world.  Just like adults.

Before you cry, “That’s insane!  Adults don’t have to conform!”  I have a friend who loathes sports, thinks most of them are barbaric, and yet knew he needed to keep up with at least 2 major sports (he chose baseball and college basketball) to have conversations with people in his office in order to maintain effective working relationships.  He also knew he had to take up golf because the reality is much of the business he is successful at gets done on the golf course.  Ridiculous?  Of course.  But reality.

Sounds like a crazy parallel, but in reality it is the same thing as my daughter needing to be conversant in Barbie.  Again, we’re not handing her a crack pipe or even a Wii or Nintendo DS.  We aren’t going to give in to her every whim every time she whines about “what everyone else has.”  But Barbie wasn’t a big enough deal for us to take a philosophical stand, like with, say hooker dolls Bratz.

Ok, bring it on.  What are your thoughts?

 

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5 Responses to “Barbie Update”

  1. Chris Says:

    Rarely a day go by that my kids don’t do something during their play time that I am not entirely comfortable with. But they need to do it so that they learn what they are comfortable with. Sometimes it actually helps to let a kid get the “big thing” from school, to only find out once they get it that its really not all that big of a deal.

    Barbie in particular, is just Barbie. Most of us played with one when we were a kid (either our sisters, friends, cousins, etc), and it doesn’t appear to have screwed us all up, so I would say go for it, let her enjoy it.

    Oh and keep the ban on Bratz.

  2. Meagan Says:

    I think it’s a valid point. I don’t have kids yet, but I hope to keep them away from cable tv when I do… Only I worry they won’t be able to communicate with their peers if they aren’t exposed to whatever fills the spot of Hanna Montana in 6 yrs time (or male equivlant). I”m an adult, don’t get made fun of, but I’ve already seen how not being aware of current pop culture can keep you out of conversations. My solution is to make friends with people who aren’t obsessed with American Idol, but that choice may not be clear or even available to a pre-schooler.

  3. Edible Torah Says:

    I agree with Chris – once she gets one the odds are very very good that she’ll stop caring soon after. Especially because there’s no reinforcement in the home. Your not blocking it, but you also aren’t going to talk about it at the dinner table. We do the same thing with movies and comic books – they are fine to watch/read but we don’t really want to discuss them.

    As for sports, I’ve survived my career loathing sports and making no secret of it. But then again, I am relatively safe among computer geeks. I feel bad for your friend.

    From a parenting standpoint, my kids know how I feel about sports, but I don’t stop them from playing or even fail to offer opportunities (summer baseball, school basketball, etc. But they know that the only question I’m going to ask them is “did you have fun?”.

    Stay strong, take a deep breath, and know it’s going to be ooooookaaaaay.

  4. beanie Says:

    Barbie never hurt anybody whose mother wasn’t trying to be Barbie.

    Bratz, on the other hand? Evil, evil, nasty, spoiled, materialistic, ill-mannered hooker dolls. With pouty lips. Glad they’re gone.

  5. homeshuling Says:

    A friend of mine wrote a great piece about Barbie that I posted on my blog-

    http://homeshuling.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/more-about-barbie-my-first-guest-post/

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