Parenting 101 - Intervening Between My Daughter and Barbie

When asked what she expected Santa to bring her for Christmas, my four year old daughter would proudly proclaim, "Fashion Fairytale Barbie DVD!" On this Christmas morning, that is exactly what she found. She was so excited. We are blessed that our kids are very thankful and gracious for all the gifts they receive, but she was ecstatic over this gift.

After breakfast, she was ready to watch her new DVD. Mommy popped it in for her, and the Christmas morning cleanup process began to remove the debris left by the tornado of children (and mommies and daddies) ripping and tearing away paper. About 10 minutes in the movie however, we began to hear dialog from the characters that sounded inappropriate for a four year old. When they got to the phone call that Barbie received from Ken stating that they were breaking up, and that she should "just forget about him" and that "things haven't been well between us" is where we stepped in and turned it off. Kaylee was not pleased, but I did learn a few things from this experience.

1. Our daughter was not happy, but she did not throw a fit. Her mommy explained that she needed to watch it first to decide whether or not it was okay for a child. Why didn't she throw a foot-stomping, wailing-and-gnashing-of-teeth level 5 meltdown? Answer: because she has been taught for four years that fit throwing is not accepted. Does she whine? Yes. Complain? Yes? Fits? Nope. Never. She has been trained for all of her four years that fit throwing does NOT produce an outcome that she desires.

2. It was easy. It was really easy. We felt no guilt. Frankly we were proud of ourselves and our child. We intervened at a moment when we perceived a danger to our child, and she accepted our decision.

3. At no time did I feel the need to bring a lawsuit against Barbie. There were comments made that this DVD is likely inappropriate for children that age, and maybe should have been labeled as such. But it's a movie, not Drano. I immediately thought of the woman suing McDonald's. Her primary complaint is that her children throw fits and she can't handle the pressure of McDonald's advertising influencing her childrens' food choices. It seems to me that if your children respect your direction, fit-throwing is not an issue.

It is very likely as I write this that my daughter will never see the Fashion Fairytale Barbie. I believe that she will be just fine.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated.
Posted on December 25, 2010 .