Saturday, October 25, 2008

Peer pressure in kindergarten... oh my!

I am sure I've blogged about similar issues before, but this one is more specific and distressing to me ... I hope I don't bore you before you get to my questions at the end ...

As a child, I had a few Barbies, which mostly sat around neglected unless I decided to take them for a spin in the purple Barbie Corvette.

I did have My Little Ponies, which were somewhat girly, but otherwise I just wanted to watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and She-Ra cartoons after school.

Rainbow Brite? Strawberry Shortcake?? Please. Whatever. I couldn't have cared less about that junk.

And now my daughter, of whom I have been so proud because she is just like me, is bending to the peer pressure of Hannah Montana.

Having only seen one episode, all Lillie really knows about it is that she is a cool rock star who wears a wig when she sings so people won't know it's her.

Having only seen one episode, all I really know about it is that she got a credit card from her dad for 'emergencies' and spent boatloads on 'emergency' clothing items and accessories at the mall.

I am not in favor.

But Shrinidhi, Karis and Molly (all in her class at school) have the backpacks. And the shirts. And they go around singing "The Best of Both Worlds" on the playground. And so Lillie looks at her purple backpack with flowers and decides she doesn't like it because it isn't a cool Hannah Montana backpack.

Now. I don't think that moms who allow Hannah Montana are bad; they are just different from me, and that is okay. But I have my own standards. And, being something of a hippie, I have my ideals that I want to pass on to my daughter. And I don't think they include Hannah Montana. So here are my questions, and I welcome your opinions on these:

1. Am I doing my poor child a disservice by keeping her away from the popular tv shows? I mean, almost every 4- or 5-year-old girl at the preschool has something Hannah Montana that I've seen. Am I alienating her from her peers?

2. Do you think I'm trying to force my own identity onto her? Just because I think it's silly, is it okay for me to tell her that without letting her form her own opinion?

3. Do you think she will rebel against me for this later? I know this is a small thing, but really ... think about it ... all of those 1980s yuppies -- who were their parents? You got it: the hippies. In my efforts to pass on my values to her, am I encouraging her to choose the opposite direction when she is older?

I am sure I am overreacting about this. But these things are really important to me. I want my kids to be able to relate to other kids their age without compromising their standards. I want my kids to share my vision. I want them to say, when they are grown, "I am who I am because of my mother," NOT, "I am who I am despite my mother."
Being a mom is hard! No thank you, Miley Cyrus!
Please comment!!


Britt Family said...

I think you should let her decide while giving her your opinion on the matter! We are here as parents to counsel, guide and tell them what we think, but in the end they have free agency!! Obviously if you think it is inappropriate you should stear her clear of it, but if it is just a pop fad thing YOU hate and want her to hate too because you hate it, then you are taking away her free agency in the matter. We want our kids to be free thinkers and make decisions for themselves, but to do that they have to see both sides as long as it is appropriate. I am very guilty of pushing things on my kids just because I dislike or like them though, so I guess I should take my own advice. :)LOL!!

Tina said...

1) Emilie survived a Disney-banned household. She's thriving (if we do say so ourselves)!! ...and she has the courage to make her own sound decisions within the "straight and narrow path" that is really much broader than the laughing and pointing people in the great and spacious building want us to believe.
2) Nope..and do you think "it's silly"? ...or do you want Lillie to create her own identity? At the risk of now quoting the entity that was banned for so many years in our home, don't you want Lillie to " BEEEE herself?" (Aladdin) You can use the tried and true analogy that parents have been using forever to answer the "everyone has, or is doing it" whine: "If your school friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump off, too?"
3.Nope. Because I know you. You are a free thinker who recognizes and embraces truth when you come across it. You may challenge it when you first hear it, but you embrace it wholly when you recognize it. And that's the mom that Lillie knows. The courageous free thinker. Lillie will be a trend-setter, like her mom. She just needs your help her awaken her own style, and feel confident in it. Aaaand yes, that starts at 5/6 years...usually when we start school and realize that all day long we are struggling to be accepted in the big, big world (spacious building).

Bottom line, trust your instincts. You are a fabulously dedicated mom who makes inspired and well considered decisions.

Whoa! Sorry for the lengthy comment. Haven't changed much, have I?

Camilla said...

Hmmm, I'd have to say that Hannah Montana probably won't damage her for life. So, in my opinion-- of the choose your battles, this might fall under one not to fight.

Having said that, I am 100% not a fan of merchandising in these kids. I've asked Eliza, "Why would you want a picture of someone you don't even know on your shirt?" I also add, "That shirt/backpack isn't even your favorite color." So far, she's with me--but I suppose if she goes nuts over something I might cave--either way, no judgement from me.