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Best Gifts For 4-Year-Old Girls

Katie, 4: All I Want For the Holidays Is . . .

Like any real princess, 4-year-old Katie likes all things sparkly. Her holiday wish list is filled with a lifelike pup, Disney's latest (and last) princess, and a gift her mom and dad know she'll love: Furreal Friends GoGo My Walkin' Pup ($60), "I have two real dogs at home and want one I can take care of myself." Huffy Disney Princess Bike ($90), "My mom and dad want to get this for me, but I'm not so sure about it!" Disney Tangled Rapunzel Costume ($50), "I have long blond hair – just like Rapunzel!" Sketchers Twinkle Toes Shuffles ($45), "I love sparkle on my shoes!" TY Beanie Boos ($6), "I love their big eyes!"

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macneil macneil 5 years
First of all, I assumed the child was fictional. Second, the heading is Best Gifts for 4 year Old Girls. I would not judge one girl's choices. I do judge a culture that constantly steers girls towards puce-pink, sparkle, passive-princesses judged solely by their beauty. I judge the idea that children can be neatly, constantly divided by gender, so that some children think 'oh I can't have that, that's a girl's thing' and so that businesses can sell more products because at parties there has to be a girls' option and a boys' option and any child who is tempted by the 'wrong' option is likely to feel embarrassed and may actually be picked on by their peers for that choice. It wasn't this bad when I was a child. How ridiculous that this view is taken as some kind of direct insult of a tiny child.
Aimeelo Aimeelo 5 years
macneil- I know Katie as if she were my own child. I can tell you personally that when she was little she was a lover of Elmo and as she grew up I started to let her watch the Disney Princess movies and she became all things princess. I will admit that I showed her the princess way, and she liked them so we morphed our actions into things that she liked. Katie is in no way quite and passive. She knows her way and will shout to the world her feelings. Just because there are girly things on her list does not mean that she is prim and proper and quiet. Do you know the other things Katie likes to do? Did you know that Katie is a fantastic story teller and that she loves to have pillow fights? That one of her favorite TV shows is Wonder Pets? That she can ride a San Francisco city bus like a champion? That she likes to do chalk outside and get wet in the hose after? That she likes to get down and dirty baking and making dinner? That she plays with stomp rockets at the park? That Katie was so excited to see 'Monsters VS Aliens' and 'G-Force'? Just because Katie chose some girly things does not make it bad? when did being a girl become bad? We expose Katie to all sorts of things, but if she's not interested in science projects, then so what? We will paint and draw and decorate whatever the hell she wants. I am appalled that you judge the wish-list of a 4 year old.
tawvry tawvry 5 years
macneil: little over-generalizing, don't you think? I was into similar things at that age (dolls, dresses) and I played varsity sports all through high school...plus I'm now getting my PhD in genetics. Just because this little girl chooses "girly" things to play with doesn't mean she's not encouraged to be independent and successful.
macneil macneil 5 years
Honestly, I'm pretty appalled by this selection. My 4 year old daughter likes dragons, dinosaurs, bugs, planets, cars. She likes films like How To Train Your Dragon, Star Wars & Monsters v Aliens, and thinks dolls are creepy. She has a bike with an alien on it. Toys recommended for boys are about science, and finding out about the world. Toys recommended for girls are about being passive, magic happening to you, and having absolutely no eye for colour/aesthetics. I know people say 'it's just what they choose', but honestly, they are affected by everything you say and do as you bring them up. A friend claimed his daughter 'just became obsessed with all things princess' and then admitted it was after he told her to lie on her special 'princess' blanket while he changed her diaper. Why not on her special bug leaf? Why do we reward little girls for being quiet and good and admire little boys for being athletic and gutsy? I honestly don't mean to nag you when you're just trying to recommend toys - my daughter also likes cute animals - but it's so depressing to see things like this. FWIW, I did not steer her tastes in any way. I bought her dolls and doll houses, and her old-fashioned grandparents pressed those things on her all the time, nurse outfits, glittery pink everything. She chose bugs, cars, monsters, aliens, dinosaurs, astronomy. Over and over. She is a very 'girly' little girl, her characters interact in emotional chatty ways, she's in every way just like all of her friends. But she hasn't been told that pink frill is the only option for little girls, and dinosaurs and bugs and science is for boys.
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