I recently read a blog post entitled "Keep the Little Girls Little" with which I whole-heartedly agree. I am sick of seeing eight-year olds parading around in outfits that make them look like prostitutes; I am tired of the fact that nine-year olds think they are "too old" to play with dolls. Mostly, I'm ready to pull my hair out about a culture that pushes such twisted expectations on our girls, tricking so many into believing they must forsake a simple childhood in favor of behaving like grown women - and not even nice women at that!
I'm also very thankful we've been able to shelter our girls from a lot of that influence - one benefit (among so many!) to homeschooling. The Lord gave my husband and me our children to protect them from unhealthiness in its many forms and to raise them for Him. So, to the extent that means appropriately shielding them from a sick culture, I stand firmly unapologetic.
We don't watch much TV - mostly the girls watch pre-screened DVDs such as today's afternoon screening of South Pacific - but we sometimes watch Mythbusters or Dirty Jobs and have occasionally caught an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EMHE). I think the makeovers are often "too much of a good thing," but I appreciate how deserving families in dire straits are given fresh starts - and the fact that it's a wholesome show (with not a jiggling part or sassy innuendo to be found!).
Of course, kids imitate in play what they see in real life (yet another reason to guard the remote control!). And so today the girls finished building some cardboard Barbie houses they'd begun putting together yesterday and then hauled them upstairs to start playing what I thought would be another of their well-loved "princess games."
I was minding my own business when I heard, "Move that truck! Move that truck!"
Naturally, I had to smile. Even though they'd last watched the show months ago, they were imitating what they'd seen on EMHE. And I got the backstory - about a downtrodden girl and her mom - when I went up to snap these pictures.
I am thrilled that the girls see absolutely nothing wrong about playing with dolls - whether Barbies, baby dolls, American Girls, or Polly Pockets. They also still enjoy myriad other types of toys - Legos, a horse and stable set, and dress-up clothes, to name a few. Hopefully, they will feel comfortable continuing to use their imaginations in similar, child-like ways for years to come. And I'm so thankful that their imaginative play is wholesome and geared toward the positive - none of which would be the case if we'd allowed them exposure to the Miley Cyruses of the world or to wearing shirts with "sassy" sayings. Instead in their play today, they were people helping a desperate family to get a new start - without a jiggle or an innuendo in sight.
As it should be.