My newest collaboration with DadLabs.com...
Are you a princess parent? Does your baby girl have more princess paraphernalia than you can fit in your mini van? As a parent, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the inevitable onslaught of princess culture. In this episode of The Lab, Daddy Brad and Daddy Clay compare who is the bigger princess parent by adding up their daughters’ princess gear. From Disney games and Disney princess toys to princess costumes and unicorn stuffed animals, the two Dads compare who is the bigger Cinderella father. Author Jeremy Adam Smith discusses the impact that princess mania is having and the steps to maintain a healthy father daughter relationship.
In preparation for this episode, I chatted with a number of psychologists. "Many preschool girls go through a kind of princess phase," said Stephen Hinshaw, chair of the UC Berkeley psychology department and author of the new book, The Triple Bind. "At the 'right' time, this is not deleterious or promoting of narcissism. But if it becomes a preoccupation [i.e., an obsession], and if the 'princess treatment' begins to extend to the girl herself, and if it lasts beyond the 'normative' time, could be problematic." For a solid and interestingly neurotic feminist take on princess mania, see Peggy Orenstein's 2006 piece in New York Times Magazine.
Incidentally, today's USA Today mentions me and DadLabs and an all-star line-up of fatherhood researchers in a piece entitled, "New daditude: Today's fathers are hands-on, pressure off." It's well worth a read.
Thanks to Axel Hausemann for his camera and sound work here at DadLabs West!