Disney Princesses Sexualizing Your Daughters? Dr. Robyn Responds

It can be difficult to cope when it seems that our children are growing up too soon. Parents often have a love-hate relationship with much of the media when it comes to their children. Especially their daughters. On the one hand you have the hypersexualization of women and girls in music videos, magazines, internet games and advertisements, and on the other hand you have the classics we all used to love—like Sesame Street and Disney. But as adults, even are old favorites sometimes get on our nerves. Yes, as parents, we have a new perspective.

The following article is a guest post from Vicki, a parent, just like you, who just wants what’s best for her child. As Powerful Parents who know the importance of character education and values discussions in families, we’d love to hear your perspective. You can read her article as well as my response to her regarding at least some ways that she can deal with her frustrations with the Disney Princesses and Barbie, who have clearly gotten on her last nerve.

The Princesses Are Sexualizing My Daughter

Reagan has been “into” the Disney Princesses for years now. INTO them. She’s got reading books, coloring books, sticker books, puzzles, dress-up clothes, regular clothes, CDs, movies, toys, dolls, you name it she’s had one with a princess somewhere on it. We even went to Disney World in conjunction with her sixth birthday so she could enjoy meeting the princesses while she was still in that phase.

There was a time when we tried to ban the princesses. It was a couple years ago and we were idealistic thinking that if we told everyone that we weren’t “doing” the princesses that they would stop giving her things with princesses on them. That did not work. And the ban seemed to deepen her interest. Funny how that works. We couldn’t really express why we were banning them. That would lead to more questions.

“Why can’t I have that Princess coloring book?”
“Because we don’t do Princesses?”
“Why don’t we do Princesses?”
“Because they promote the wrong image?”
“What’s an image?” “What’s promote?” “Why don’t we do Princesses?”
“Here’s the coloring book.”

That’s not how it would end. She wouldn’t get the coloring book. But eventually we gave in and she did start acquiring that stuff again. At some time we thought we could counteract the Princesses. We introduced her to Veggie Tales, Dora, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Hello Kitty (I will never understand why someone finds princesses better than Hello Kitty. She is the best. The. End.), and many other characters. Her desire was always for the Princesses.

Now she knows practically everything about them. What is starting to bother me is that she’s starting to emulate them. Wanting to be more like them. For a while when she would put on a nightgown with a stretchy neck, she’d pull it off one shoulder and walk around with her head tilted towards that shoulder. And look at us with batting eyes. I would promptly ask her to

“Cover your shoulder, girls don’t dress like that.”
“So and so Princess does.”
“You’re not So and so Princess.”

We could live with that because there ain’t no way she’s exiting the house while under my supervision with a shoulder bare like that (visualize me doing the three snap). Unless she’s got a part in some 80s theater production and has on a super baggy sweatshirt and some type of covering underneath.

BUT NOW!!! THE REASON I’M BABBLING ON!!! Just the other night, after her dance recital, she had a friend spend the night. They were getting ready for bed in the bathroom and this is what I heard:

Reagan: “Do you know who my boyfriend is?”
Friend: “Who?”
R: “E****. It used to be S****, and then P****, but now it’s E****.”
F: Crickets
R: “I’d so kiss him. I really would. I really would kiss him.”

WHAT!!??!!??!!?? Where is she getting this stuff from?!?!? It took a couple of days to process. It’s from the freaking Princess characters. And Barbie, she’s not off the hook either. They all are lost in some way. They all need to be saved. They all find their knight in shining armor (or however he may be dressed). And they all kiss in the end with that stupid look of love between them. And what I’m just beginning to realize is this:

You can’t really tell how old the princesses are can you!?!? Or Barbie…

NO, you can’t. The only one, I believe, who mentions her age is Ariel. Disobeying her father at a ripe old age of 16. All of these Princesses look young and girls can totally see themselves playing the part. In fact, mentally picturing all of them, I couldn’t place an age on any of them. Heck, I could see myself playing the part. Girls are learning, ever so subtly, that at their young age they should be finding their one true love and kissing them and getting married.

I don’t think Reagan knows what she means when she says that she really would kiss this boy. She sees Mommy and Daddy kiss and hug, mind you not enough, but I doubt she actually has the moxie to go up and kiss a boy that she doesn’t even have the guts to tell that he’s her boyfriend. How do I know that? Sunday School. You know, the place they’re supposed to go and learn about Jesus? Reagan told a friend that E**** was her boyfriend. So this girl marches right up to him and tells him. His reaction. Nothing. I’m so glad.

So, what’s a Mom and Dad to do? We’re so deep into Princesses and Barbie. Will nightly conversations about this remedy the situation? Will banning the stuff with zero tolerance starting now work? Where is Dr. Dobson when you want to have a heart to heart with him right on the living room sofa? Pray for us please. And seriously, give suggestions.

Dear Vicki,

It’s frustrating to raise girls when media keeps telling them that they need to look a certain way in order to get attention. The Disney princess enterprise keeps growing, it’s not going anywhere, and it’s certainly something that many parents must deal with everyday.

I’ve got several ideas but let’s start here.

  • Ask her about them: What does she loves about the princesses? You may be surprised. There are always things we like and dislike about friends and other people in our lives– but we don’t shut them out even if we don’t agree with them. Perhaps what she likes about them could be something that you like about them to…which leads me to my next tip…
  • Go Positive: Take the Powerful Words approach and build from the positive side. Find something that you like about those princesses– do they have determination and go after something they really want? Do they have goals and dreams? Do they have nice singing voices? Do they show that they’re good friends to their friends? Are they kind? Grateful? Giving? Start focusing on the positive. Praise what you like.
  • Cite the Negative: You can also be very straightforward about what you don’t like about them so that your daughter is clear about your values. In the spirit of “honesty” month, be clear yet age appropriate. Is it their style of dress? Their choices? Their “pinkness?” We want our daughters to get out of the habit of thinking that girls can only look, act, and be one way. Let them know what bothers you and keep it simple.
  • Model What You Want to See: As you know, since I write a character curriculum and advise parents on instilling values in their children, I often talk about modeling and discussing what you would like to see in your children. Your example is stronger than any 2-dimensional character could ever be.
  • Expose Her to Fabulous 3-D Role Models: Have some great friends or local heroes that really show your daughter what a girl can become? Allow your daughter to have “tea” or lunch with them. The more we can expose our girls to powerful, positive women and teens, the more they will see that reality is much better than fantasy.
  • Get Her Into A Positive Activity: Challenge the stereotypes and ensure that your daughter is involved in activities that isn’t all pink and frills. Choose sports that make her feel powerful. Perhaps a martial arts, power tumbling or modern dance class would bring out a different side of her. Any of the Powerful Words Member Schools will also ensure that she’s learning strong character development—not just the physical—which will get her to thrive from the inside out.

If she knows what you like and what you don’t like, is challenging the stereotypes, and is exposed to powerful, positive women, you might be surprised the next time you pass by the bathroom filled with girls– she may just say something like “I like that she’s good to her friends but she doesn’t always make the best choices.”

Let me know how it goes.

Other articles or cites that deal with similar media topics:

Girls Media Maven

Corporate Babysitter:

Final Call

Packaging Girlhood

Shaping Youth

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14 Responses

  1. Dear Dr. Robyn,

    Ah, those Disney days – we remember them well! You are right that Disney and the media will not go away, (which is why, with our middle schoolers, we try to deconstruct media messages and we talk about developing a personal style rather than just automatically wearing what the media – and other girls – may dictate), but reading The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch did help to give my daughters a different perspective on ‘princessdom’. There are probably other great books that have been written by now as well, just in time for summer reading!

    Best,
    Nan Dellheim

    Molly and Nan
    http://www.HowILookJournal.com

  2. You’ve provided some excellent ideas on how parents can and need to talk with their children about the sometimes subtle messages kids are getting through the media.

    The sexualization of children is an important topic that all parents are having to deal with in varying degrees, and it’s much better for our kids to be taught and trained from a young age how to handle the onslaught of sexualized images in the media through toys, magazines and television.

    I appreciate your positive focus on readjusting how children view these products and images by emphasizing the higher value of character and qualities far above what the media is trying to inculcate in our children.

  3. Dr. Robyn to the Rescue Thursday, June 5, 2008

    I wrote two days ago about the Princess (and Barbie) and how they’re sexualizing my daughter. I asked for help. Dr. Robyn was kind enough to comment with some suggestions. Then she went a step further. She reposted my article with a bit deeper guidelines on her blogs (one is called Kiss My Assets. That’s awesome). Cool! And thanks for the help, Dr. Robyn!

    I went over there and reread my post. I “sound” so dull and boring when my words aren’t on my blog. When I read myself on my blog I’m funny, passionate, engaged, intonated. Reading myself on someone else’s blog was worrisome. How am I perceived by readers here, at home? I hope y’all get me. I hope I come across as witty, maybe even funny. Do you read me with the correct intonation in your head? Because I’m pretty animated when I talk. That may not come across in the written word.

    Back to the topic. I’ll be trying Dr. Robyn’s suggestions and others that were left in the comments section. I don’t expect a teetotal swearing off of the princesses or Barbie. I’m determined to make this a positive time for Reagan though; in that it brings out the best for her and doesn’t leave her wanting to dress like these girls:

    Uh uh. What happened to letting little girls be little girls?

    And in case you haven’t noticed, over there in the sidebar is this button:

    If you have a girl/s please go sign up. They do grow up fast enough.

  4. These comments were on Vicki’s Original Article:

    # tori Says: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    I’m so glad I have boys…. 🙂 I don’t think I’d even know what to do with the whole princess thing. Of course, with boys, you have the superhero stuff. Alex goes through phases where he thinks he’s Spiderman, Superman… even Darth Vader and he isn’t even a hero!
    ___________________________________________________
    # Nicole Says: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Don’t worry too much about Barbie and the Princesses. Not when you have frog porn to contend with! 🙂 (Sorry, I didn’t even comment on that one ’cause I couldn’t keep a straight face.)

    Seriously, leverage her interest in the princesses. Why fight City Hall? Just start telling your own princess stories to her. In your stories, she’s not a sex object or subservient or even silly. She is strong, sophisticated and upright (in more ways than one.)

    Go ahead … tell me I don’t have kids. 🙂
    _________________________________________________________

    # Rita Says: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    My 2 1/2 year old has a table and chairs with Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell is so scantily clad my daughter calls her “nakey nake”, which is our term for naked. I agree with you these Disney characters are trouble.
    ________________________________________________________
    # cindyinsd Says: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Disney has never been as family friendly as they like to portray themselves. The sexualizing of 6-year-olds. Wait . . . I have pre-schoolers in my art classes talking about their “boyfriends”. Mind, they think kissing is gross. That, at least, is a relief. Still, I wonder what their mommies would think? I try to explain that boyfriends are not for until you’re, like 30 or thereabouts, but I don’t think they listen to me. (sigh)

    I don’t know. You already homeschool, don’t you? Maybe some serious talk about what is really valuable in a woman. If, God forbid, they grown up not to be drop-dead gorgeoso like Princess So and So, they’re going to be very unhappy. It’s a serious problem. I know that sounds melodramatic, but I really think it is. We have to be careful what sorts of messages we allow society to plant in our children, and this is a bad message. Also very difficult to get rid of.

    Little girls want to be girls (well, most of them). What if you spend some time teaching her girly things, like maybe “fancy” desserts or some simple sewing with frills. If you can find something to distract her, that would be good. Preferably something that doesn’t involve a television. The little girls love my art classes. Maybe you have something similar available in your area–like an after school thing? There are courses available designed for homeschoolers especially for young girls. Something like that might help to get her attention away from those princesses.

    God’s Patience and Grace to you,

    Cindy

    # kelly Says: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 6:45 am

    those freaking princesses. i have nothing helpful. but i hope you get it all worked out.
    _______________________________________________________
    # Leigh Anne Says: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Ditto to what Kelly said. Other than dressing up in the various playclothes/dresses, we have no love for the Princesses in this house. My girls are all into Scooby…which leads directly to the occult (witches, ghosts, etc.–The Mystery Inc. Gang deals with the dark side, you know!), so there you go…if it’s not one thing, it’s the other.

    But seriously…Reagan saying, “I’d so kiss him” cracks me up.
    __________________________________________________
    # notsosahm Says: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Leigh Anne: Don’t forget Scooby Snacks…what were those anyway, really?
    ___________________________________________________________
    # Conni Says: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Hang tough mom, this too shall pass.

    We will pray you through it!!!
    ____________________________________________________________
    # anniegirl1138 Says: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    My daughter is nearly six and loves the Princesses. It is mostly a clothes and accessory thing that dressing her in blues and greens as a baby and toddler did not seem to effect in the least.

    I am more bothered by the skanky clothing choices in the stores than by Princesses though. I don’t think we can stop girls from being girls or from being sexual beings. I can remember being madly in love at the ripe old age of 5 with an adorable boy with huge brown eyes and long lashes (and I am fairly certain I had never seen a Disney princess prior).

    I think the key is balance. Coupling is a normal desire in humans but we need to consciously point out to our girls that the only one who can make life a “happily ever after” thing is them. They must chart their course and not wait for some white knight to do it for them.
    __________________________________________________________
    # Melissa Garrett Says: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    We’ve been in princess mode for nearly nine years. Even though my oldest is growing out of that phase, my youngest is just entering into it. How about focusing on what’s positive about the princesses? Aren’t they all strong, courageous, and independent girls – Mulan? Belle? Ariel?

    I agree with what anniegirl says. There are worse things than princesses (just wait a few more years!). All you can do, though, is try to instill in your children what you believe is right. I don’t think the answer is to ban princesses. I try to ban sweets from the house but at the first opportunity, my children will gorge themselves on cookies and ice cream.

    Everything in moderation.
    ________________________________________________________
    # mommypie Says: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Ugh. I share the SAME frustration. I suppose I’m hoping it will pass, like any other phase.

    Thank goodness Scooby is a close contender for her affection. I’d choose that mutt over a princess any day.
    ___________________________________________________
    # dandelionmom Says: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    AMen Sister!–We used the Princesses to teach “discernment”-although I was told I taught my girls to be “judgmental” when another mom overheard my 4 year-old say that Barbie was dressed naughty! We did things like “which one is dressed the way God would like?” “Why does she bare her shoulder like that?” etc etc–My girl (who loved Esmerelda (shudder)) changed very quickly and began looking at her own clothing w/o prompting–Barbie was also banished to the attic–the conclusions were all their own–I can remember helping them help Barbie dress better-then my 12 yo said-Barbie is all about the clothes anyway mom-why keep this up??

    Now my smallest ones are all boys-and the issues are personal safety-”no-you can’t parachute from the swingset with a wal-mart bag!”

    Great blog–I’ll be back!

    All I can say is I’m glad I’ve got boys and just have to deal with the Power Ranger craze! 🙂

    I do like the suggestion that someone gave of making up your own princess stories!
    ____________________________________________________________________
    # Leigh Anne Says: Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Oh Vicki…you are so gonna be famous. You and your “I’d so kiss him” daughter. I’m still laughing.

  5. These comments appeared on Vicki’s follow-up article entitled “Dr. Robyn to the Rescue”

    # insane mama Says: Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Bless you for supporting the modesty… I am so sick of girls walking around with NO modesty at all!
    ______________________________________
    # kelly Says: Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    dr. robyn’s got it goin’ on. great advice….and so southern-sounding. it’s the secret of a gracious lady to focus on the positive.
    ____________________________________
    # Nicole Says: Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    See … make up your own stories about the princesses. I feel so smart now.
    ____________________________________
    # Lis Garrett Says: Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    While I don’t mind Barbie and Princesses (NO BRATZ – and when I say “Barbie,” I mean “My First Barbie”), I could NOT imagine my girls dressing like those in the picture. EW. There’s just something wrong with that.

  6. Hi Lin-

    Thanks for your insightful comment. Your article on the sexualization of girls on your blog is fascinating. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve all just lost our minds.

    I remember when we all used to wear our Wonder-Woman Underroos in the 70s or early 80s– Wonder Women was the one with the “sports bra-type” top. We thought we were so cool. It made us feel grown up– but still– we were trying to be like Wonder Woman, a very cool superhero, not like Lolita, as many of these new clothes suggest.

    Do you think the girls today would think we were splitting hairs? Was there outrage at the Wonder Woman underoos set? Would the young girls of today cite our “days of the week” underwear as the same as their “eye-candy” underwear?

    As a Child Development Expert and advocate for girls, I don’t like these new developments at all. It’s as if people think it’s as harmless as dressing their dog in a sweater that says “bad to the bone” on it. We can all see why girls love the stuff though– it makes them feel grown up, more like “Mommy” or “Aunt so-and so” or their babysitter– they don’t know, and they need us to guide them to realize that it also makes others look at them as more grown up than they are…and that, most definitely is not a good thing most of the time.

    Dr. Robyn

  7. Hi all, I recognize many familiar names here, (Nan, Lin, et al) so I’ll try not to be redundant for our regular Shaping Youth readers by focusing on posts like Jason’s ‘seeing pink’ http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?p=1263 from a dad’s perspective, or Deesha’s post on breaking the color code of princess power: http://www.shapingyouth.org/blog/?p=1522

    Instead, here are two hilarious ‘princess discussions’ and useful tactics from one of my favorite insightful bloggers who is currently on hiatus while writing a book!

    “Outside the Toy Box” points to the need for “deploying some princess” to defuse their power (which was my strategy with my own girl ) creating active play (in this case voting, so they became little rubberized ‘political princesses’) and deconstructing the ‘princess hierarchy’ of race revealed through popularity of commercial face time, which has always received my cocked eyebrow as well.

    http://outside-the-toybox.com/good-morning-angels-good-morning-charlie/2007/12/10/

    http://outside-the-toybox.com/this-is-not-a-blog-post/2008/03/25/

    I’ll add that last week when I listened to CCFC’s Dr. Susan Linn on “The Case for Make Believe” she had some funny anecdotes (and antidotes!) for princess play, when she described being cast in the role of ‘rescuing prince’ by a wee one flailing in pretend water who needed to be saved. Instead of playing into the stereotype, she quickly shifted the focus and had the prince say he couldn’t swim!

    Then she had him ‘dive in’ via roleplay and start flailing alongside her, patiently screaming the same ‘help, help’ as the little girl, who finally, eventually, 15 minutes later, tired of the game, suddenly ‘remembered’ she knew how to swim, saved prince charming’s keister and moved on to a new storyline. Ah, poetic justice.

    I actually use these ‘what ifs’ a lot in our Shaping Youth counter-marketing to debunk stereotypes, come up with healthier cues, and ‘rewrite the script’ with kids coming up with ‘different’ endings. It’s a lot of fun, and VERY creative and stimulating to see what the kids ‘do…’

    In my daughter’s princess phase I used to create a ‘serial’ story, which continued each night based on her interests at the time, to ‘work through’ some of these fascinations and tweak the content in new directions…little tougher now that she’s a teen confronting the uber-sexualized cues, but still worth a story thread now and then of ‘what ifs’…shifting to my own nostalgic ’embarrassing moments’ to share stories, empathize, and mostly just listen.

    Susan Linn DID make a HUGE global point that needs addressing with the princess posse in that she took the pretend play context and showed how kids judgments can be tied to a Disney-lens…e.g. Preschoolers admonishing peers for the ‘wrong’ princess costume, narrowing the worldview of fantasy overall, because everyone ‘knows’ Cinderella is in ‘blue.’ That kind of thing…

    Really loved all your positive tips, as usual Dr. Robyn, and I’ll try to think of a few more to plop in the comments here, as the whole ‘happily ever after’ bit definitely needs reinforced as a self-driven existential state rather than being a ‘lady in waiting.’

    Great topic…and hey, that licensing billboard issue is a separate post in itself. (what happens when a brand loses control of their identity, why some societal norms find this less offensive than others on a global scale, while others are through the roof with alarm, etc.) ttys, Amy

  8. I think it’s important to note that while much focus is on the sexualization of girls in particular, parents with boys should not be feeling too relieved. I mean, not only do boys have to contend with the violent images and games, but keep in mind that these sexualized little girls are doing their utmost to impress and catch the attention of……your little boys of course. Think about how seeing young girls dressed provocatively affects young boys and how, if they weren’t real interested in girls and the birds and bees before….they will be now with little “Susie Q” showing all her “stuff” as she’s been taught to do through media.

    Thanks Dr. Robyn for presenting my article on the topic. I appreciate it very much.

  9. […] princess posse infiltrating households with baby Belles and all the gender stereotypes and behavioral cues, parents landed their top tier queries ranging from pragmatic (taking a shower sans screen time) to […]

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  11. […] as they go through puberty. That last one often leaves us googling for the proverbial instruction book on kids…or wishing, at least, that it existed somewhere in […]

  12. I think that nobody should be worrying about disney princesses. In the long run if you raise your daughter right she is not going to run off with some boy at the age of 16 like Ariel! A child is not reading into it that seriously. They are more worried if they are getting a yummy yoghurt in their lunchbox than marriage. All kids tease each other about boyfriends and girlfriends but for the most part girls think boys are icky at a young age!

    As a child I wanted to be Belle. She loved reading and was not inclined to marry Gaston when he tried to force her. She said no. Then eventually falls in love with the beast, not because he is good looking or that he is a prince, because he is kind to her and they get on. I think she is the best princess in terms of role models!

    My daughter is one year old and already has princess bed covers, curtains, books and dvds. I do not worry about this at all because it is just her imagination! When she is old enough to get involved with boys she will know right and wrong and when she is 18 I am sure she will not be trying to act like a cartoon character!

    A good parent can balance letting a child make some choices while protecting them at the same time. The more a child is restricted the more it will rebel later on. Talk to them about things and keeping things light and fun is what makes my little girl and nephews happy!

  13. I’ve read all this after posting my own blog in response to an article about the whole princess culture, and not the Disney ones either. Is it possible that we as adult women are conveying our own take on an issue that seriously? To these little girls is honestly just make believe? Don’t most little girls go through a period when they want the plastic “heels” from the drug store and manipulate their clothing to become something more fabulous and glamorous than what USED to be available for young children?

    I remember using my nightgowns to make wonderful dreamy ballgowns and snagging my moms heels from her closet, it didn’t mean I was destined to grow up strutting around half naked looking for Prince Charming.

    As for the clothing choices for the princesses, I personally applaud Disney for getting it right. The characters dress much like the region they’re representing and yes America, we’re a lot more sexually uptight than about any other country around. A gypsy by any other name is still a gypsy right? Do we dress like gypsies? No. Ariel would look downright silly in a buttondown shirt and Levis wouldn’t she? It’s make believe people!

    Children have a right to pretend and escape just as much as we do. Calgon and Disney have a lot in common, only Disney works a MESSLOAD better.

    And yes, I have a daughter who STILL adores Disney Princesses, but she’s 16 now and her adoration is on a level that might shock you. She doesn’t even notice the clothes now. Amazing isn’t it? She respects these girls because they’re all strong and yes independent women. Falling in love does NOT make you dependent on a man and the fact of the matter is they’re basically ALL Cinderella stories. We all need to believe in that happy ending don’t we?

    Let’s all remember that these are little girls and not rob them of their visions of happy endings so soon. Heaven knows they’re hard enough to come by as it is.

    Instead focus your energy on what happens after the Disney Princess stage, the Abercrombie and Aeropostale ideas of what a teenage girl should dress like, the model industry that tells them if they’re not 100 feet tall and weigh less than a head of cabbage they’re not pretty, oh and the show business industry who shows them on a daily basis that anything goes, and the worse the behavior the more publicity it gets you.

    As parents we need to take a long hard look at what goes on in our homes, and no matter how much our little girls love Mulan or Esmerelda or Ariel or Cinderella, Mom will almost always be their hero. Show them that we can be feminine and charming and strong and independent all at the same time, that we can be smart and successful and still be a loving wife and mother, and most of all? Spend time with them, REAL TIME, talking, sharing, exploring together, the secret I think is not in being your daughter’s best friend, but being a Mom when you need to and her best friend whenever you can be.

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