Why I Allowed My Little Daughter to "Play Princess"

Updated on October 25, 2017
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Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and the blog Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.

My Little Princess

My little princess dressed like a princess, just shy of two years old.
My little princess dressed like a princess, just shy of two years old. | Source

The Royal Wedding: Inspiration

All of the hoopla (yes, hoopla) about Kate Middleton marrying Prince William got me thinking about a recent controversy dealing with our daughters and princess play. The controversy, as I read it in several articles, is that princess play, if encouraged too much by parents, could incite little girls to grow up to only be shallow, beauty-is-skin-deep, prince-charming seekers.

It prompted me to ask the question on HubPages: Will you let your daughter pretend she is a princess? I was curious about what others thought about the whole matter. All of the Hubbers who answered felt the same as I do: of course we’d let them play princess! Playing princess or playing firefighter or chef or teacher is all part of creative play, of which the imagination of the little "actors" should be encouraged in this age of TV watching and computer-crazed kids.

Creative play helps them learn about the world in which they live and provides a foundation for the adults they will become.

Little Girls : Playing Freely

But back to the princesses. I played princess as a little girl with my sister, wearing old costume jewelry and dressing up. In fact, I was going to marry Prince William, who is just one year my senior, and my sister would marry Prince Harry, who was her age. We were going to live in the palace and wear pretty dresses, and I was going to grow up to become the queen…

So was my imagination. My Barbies were princesses. We had Ariel dolls, Cinderella dresses, Princess Jasmine accessories, the game Pretty, Pretty Princess, etc. We learned how to play “How Many Steps Before the Queen," playing it almost on a daily basis in our backyard.

My mom simply let us play. She let us be as we were, and didn’t force us to believe that it was a fairy-tale dream that we should chase our entire lives since it might have been preferred to our middle class status. We weren’t “Toddlers in Tiaras” nor were we encouraged to wear makeup or do anything that would make us grow up too fast. We were allowed to be little girls with little daydreams.

And then we grew up. I decided I no longer wanted to wear dresses and that I wanted to play sports. My sister and I played basketball and volleyball. We played baseball in the yard with our younger brother. Again, my mother simply let us play. We were healthy and having fun.

Here Comes Prince Charming

Academics came first above all as we grew up, as it would lead us to better places as we matured, but dating was discouraged until we were at least sixteen years of age. My parents warned us, as many other parents would, not just to look for a Prince Charming who would sweep us off of our feet at first glance. Our dates, who might eventually become our mates, should be kind, responsible, honest, God-fearing, and loyal. Did we get boy crazy at times? Sure. But the criteria my parents encouraged for our dates was always in the back of my mind.

The Prince Charming of my life came right after my sixteenth birthday. He was a friend who came to like me for me—the nerdy, sporty self that I was. And he passed the test: he met all of the criteria. After seven years of courtship, we wed, and I wore a pretty tiara.

Prince and Princess

My Prince and Little Princess
My Prince and Little Princess | Source

Puppy Dog Tails, and Sugar and Spice

When it was time to have children, I decided I only wanted boys. I didn’t much care for pink nor did I want the responsibility of raising a daughter in this day and age. My first baby was a boy, just as I had hoped: a frolicking, bouncing, active, puppy dog tails and snails kind of little boy. I have had so much fun playing with him, pretending to be on safari, finding bugs, building tents, watching the clouds roll by, playing t-ball or just running around playing tag.

And then she came. My second child, my reason for writing this hub, came without notice, three weeks early as if she was already having her say about her little life. My perception of having a girl changed the moment she was in my arms. She was precious, beautiful in pink. She was my little princess.

My little troublemaker
My little troublemaker | Source

My Wish for My Daughter

I knew on the day my daughter was born that she could play princess or any other game that she wants, just as I did. She can pretend she is stuck in a tower while Prince Charming is on his way to save her. She can dress up and pretend she is a queen ruling a land far far away. She can roll around in the grass and chase after her brother as they play make believe in the yard. She can play house with her dolls and kick a soccer ball. She can watch the clouds roll by or stop and admire the flowers. She can build sandcastles and chase butterflies. She can build a tent and number the stars. She can go wherever her imagination leads her.

I’m okay with that. I’m okay that she can grow up as I did, learning through play the way to navigate through life and follow her heart. I want her to find her own version of Prince Charming, one like her daddy who cherishes her for who she is on the inside. I want her to find who she is and be who she wants to be. Someday, when she reads this, I hope she understands that I want whatever becomes the very best for her in her own life.

I want her to live happily ever after, just like me.

"When You Are Old" — One of My Favorite Poems

When you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

William Butler Yeats

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers


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      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        Neetuar, thank you very much for your kind comment! :)

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        ishwaryaa22, thank you very much for your kind comment! :)

      • Neetuar profile image


        7 years ago from India

        Interesting hub! Letting children be creative and bring up their imaginative characters into play is very much children-like. I agree they should be let be their imaginative characters. Your growing up days you have shared give all hopes that your children will also grow up to be like you...ya the practical mommy that you are :) Thanks for sharing!

      • ishwaryaa22 profile image

        Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

        7 years ago from Chennai, India

        I enjoyed reading this wonderful hub! It showed the caring and understanding you as a mother! Like you, I too had played princess dramas with my cousins and did lot of imaginative things. Being imaginative is an integral part of innocent, carefree and happy childhood. Nice to know about your life. Your little prince look very cute and your little princess look so adorable! Thank you for writing this uplifting and amazing hub! Well-done!

        Thanks for SHARING. Beautiful, Awesome and Interesting. Voted up and Socially Shared.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        Peggy W, thank you very much for your kind comment! I did have a wise mother growing up, and I do try to be a good parent, letting my kids be as imaginative as they want. :) Thanks again for reading and commenting!

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        7 years ago from Houston, Texas

        It sounds as though you had a very wise mother when you were growing up, and you have taken up the importance of being a good parent as well. Kids should be allowed to play and imagination is a great part of it. Wishing your little prince AND princess happy days ahead...and you as well! Voted up and useful.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        sunkentreasure, that's absolutely beautiful!! Thank you for sharing that with me! :)

      • sunkentreasure profile image


        7 years ago from RUIMSIG, SOUTH AFRICA


        Bless your children with the power of prayer

        Celebrate their uniqueness

        Feed them encouragement and inspiration

        and let them feel they are greatly loved.

        Teach your children the beauty of kindness

        Enrich them with the wonders of nature

        Fill their hearts with joyful melody

        and always be their friend.

        Clothe your children in goodness

        Make their world full of nice surprises

        Help them to follow their dreams

        and thank God they came into your life.

        © Bernard Levine

      • kenneth avery profile image

        Kenneth Avery 

        7 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        PracticalMommy...you are welcome. I love to associate with talented people and you are that. For sure. Take it easy and dont work too much. Remember, you have a life to life. Peace.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        Thanks so much, kenneth avery! It's nice to hear from you again. :)

      • kenneth avery profile image

        Kenneth Avery 

        7 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

        12/1...PracticalMommy...another winner! Amazing structure. Lay-out is great. Voted up and away. I tried to leave you my note of thanks for following me on your 'contact ThePracticalMommy' slot, but there isn't one on your profile, so with your permission, I am leaving it here for YOU . . .

        A Special Hello to My New Creative Writer Friend, ThePracticalMommy. I am GLAD that you are in my world. And pray that you will not be too bored with my hubs. Write me anytime. I love to hear about what my friends are doing.

        And now, YOUR Note of Thanks . . .I would like to offer YOU a SINCERE THANK YOU for following me. I am very new to Hubs. I TRULY VALUE my followers and I shall NOT take YOUR Warm Gesture for granted. Hopefully, my hubs will be educational, entertaining, a bit dramatic and many times funny. But NOT negative, abusive, or demeaning.

        If at any time my hubs offend or upset you, simply tell ME FIRST, and I will remedy the situation pronto.

        Again, THANK YOU!

        Sincerely, Kenneth.

        PS: Please feel free to send any tips, suggestions, information that you feel can benefit my writing abilities.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        mmm-mama, isn't it amazing how a little baby can change your outlook? :) I just bought an adorable little, very pink tutu for my daughter to wear for her first birthday party!

        Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

      • mmm-mama profile image


        7 years ago

        Sooooo beautiful!! I felt the exact same way as you did, I always wanted to have only boys because I thought it would be so much easier. Then my second child was a little girl too, and I completely changed my mind! Now she's 2 and always pretends to be a princess and a ballerina, and LOVES pink, and I wouldn't have it any other way! Reading this totally made me tear up :) Good job! She is a lucky little girl :)

        PS- Your kids are adorable!

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        KellyPittman, I can't even imagine my baby girl as a nine-year old! I can imagine it is bittersweet to see your daughter want to be grown up already. :)

        Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • KellyPittman profile image

        Kelly Pittman 

        7 years ago from Walker, LA

        Absolutely agree. My daughter is nine now, and starting to get over her princess-ness. Bittersweet. Looking forward to reading more.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        OfTheHeart, thanks for reading and the kind comment! :)

      • OfTheHeart profile image


        7 years ago from New York

        Insightful and meaningful hub. That picture is adorable!

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        rsusan, thank you so much for your very kind comment! I definitely will be there for my princess and my prince through thick and thin. After all, that's what moms (and dads, of course) do. :)

      • rsusan profile image

        Rika Susan 

        7 years ago from South Africa

        Your kids are blessed to have a mom like you, ThePracticalMommy. This is a beautiful hub right from the heart. May your princess get her 'happily ever after', but whatever happens, I am sure her mom will be there for her through thick and thin.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        alphagirl, I do know all too well what you mean about middle schoolers and feeling like you're on a roller coaster with them... ;) I think you're right about how wanting to be a princess is a passage of age, one that gets overthrown by other interests as the kids age. I'm sure when my daughter goes through it all I'll miss it after a while too. :)

        Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • alphagirl profile image


        7 years ago from USA

        I think and from raising my own daughters that UNLESS our kids stop watching Disney, cinderella, princess Diaries, all little girl may want to think and be a princess. I think it is a passage of age. I thought it was cute when they were 2-4. But by 5, I think we hope they grow out of it. My kids grew out of it when they got involved with sports like soccer. Then suddenly being a princess is not cool. I also think toys and other games make it a self fulfilling prophecy when they are young. It is really hard to escape.

        when I look back I kinds miss the princes stuff. Life was simpler and magical! Now mine are middle schoolers and boy I am on a roller coast ride! LITERALLY. You taught that age and so you know what I mean.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        7 years ago from United States

        Ms Louise, thank you very much for your kind and thoughtful words! :)

      • Ms Louise profile image

        Ms Louise 

        7 years ago

        This is a beautiful wish for your daughter. You have the wisdom that comes with age and yet the innocence that remains in the heart of a child. Well written.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        8 years ago from United States

        princesswithapen, I'm glad the hub helped your lousy day day turn good. Thank you for reading and for your very kind words! :)

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        8 years ago from United States

        reena_yadav, thanks for reading and voting up! :)

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        8 years ago from United States

        seriousnuts, I'm glad you agree. Playing superheroes with super powers must have been fun still, even if you were the sidekick. It must have been great to have your sister to play with and learn with. Thanks for commenting! :)

      • princesswithapen profile image


        8 years ago

        Although I'm not a mother yet, the vibes from these words are very strong. I can feel that these words are coming from a true and loving mother.

        Great hub, practical mommy. This read has made a lousy day turn good.


      • reena_yadav profile image


        8 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

        Hi ThePtacticalMommy,

        It was great reading this hub although I am not a parent yet. While growing up, I was never interested in role play, I would just play football or soccer with the guys in the neighbourhood. As they say here, "A son is a son until he finds a wife, however a daughter is a daughter for life." Voted up !! :)

      • seriousnuts profile image


        8 years ago from Philippines

        I am not a parent, but I enjoyed reading your hub. I always imagine how to raise my children if I do become one. And I agree with you. Your hub also reminded me of my own childhood days. I never pretended to be a princess, I don't know why. I would role play all the heroes with super powers I've watched along with my twin. And I'd always get to play the sidekick, not that I wanted to, but just to give in to my twin's wishes.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        8 years ago from United States

        FaithDream, thank you for the nice comment and for reading!

      • FaithDream profile image


        8 years ago from (Midwest) USA

        Your hub is priceless. How precious our children are when they are young. Keep on believing in your children and one day they will grow up & look back and say, Mom you were the best!!

        Thanks for this beautiful article.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        8 years ago from United States

        Thank you, chuckandus6! The picture is this year's Easter picture. :)

      • chuckandus6 profile image

        Nichol marie 

        8 years ago from The Country-Side

        Love the article and picture is adorable

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        8 years ago from United States

        I completely agree with you, glogeousmom. Thanks for the vote!

      • glorgeousmom profile image

        Glo L Bernadas 

        8 years ago from Philippines

        Dreams do come true, even if it don't come true to life in fairytale kingdom. Great hub. Voted up.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR


        8 years ago from United States

        That's quite a kingdom you have there, denise! How blessed you are. Thanks for the comment and for reading. :)

      • denise.w.anderson profile image

        Denise W Anderson 

        8 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

        I agree 100%! We help our children grow to be productive adults by allowing them to experience creative play. I have six "princesses" and three are now queens with their own little kingdoms.


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