Since I don’t like to use it, I won’t say that I hate the word ‘princess’. But before Grace was born, I sure had a problem with it. Maybe because one of my pet peeves is self-entitled people (and let’s be honest – the crux of the whole princess thing is self-entitlement). Or maybe it was some of the women I’ve dated. I know one that still wears an invisible tiara to this day and while I know blogs are supposed to be quite personal, I don’t want to waste time I could use focusing on the positive to explain that situation. Besides, it was my choice to be with her so I can’t fully blame her.
I get it now. I don’t date women like that anymore. And I’ll even call my daughter “Daddy’s Little Princess” from time to time. (I prefer Baby-Boo.)
But I think we may have an actual princessy-problem on our hands. Here’s why…
I took G to see the doctor for her third annual checkup. (She’s tiny but perfectly healthy). After each of these visits, her doctor’s office has always handed out some really valuable information about where a girl her age should be when it comes to emotional, social, and mental development. That’s one page (and it is my favorite because Grace is usually ahead of the curve).
Then there’s one page on safety, family support, information on what her activity level should be and other information that would help a parent raise a healthy child. It even tells you what to expect for the 4th year visit.
The third page is on diet and how to balance good food with activity. Health info. Good stuff.
The next three pages, the second half of the literature, are entitled “Spoiled Children: Prevention.”
Think about it. 50% of the literature my child’s doctor hands out to educate parents, focuses on one issue that essentially is as big as safety, diet, and all the rest combined. Those last three pages are in small print, mind you. There’s a LOT to read.
What is a spoiled child?
What is the cause?
How long does it last?
How do I prevent my child from becoming spoiled? (That one has 11 tips.)
And the last question floored me: When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
Call Grace’s doctor? And take her in with a case of “spoilage”? Evidently, yes.
When should you call? The first answer… “If you feel your child is becoming spoiled.”
Other times to schedule an appointment… If you and your spouse disagree on discipline and if your child doesn’t improve within 2 months of setting firm limits.
Can you imagine the deluge of doctor’s appointments raining in if those steps were followed? If so, then you agree. We may have a problem.
You may think I’m one of those dads who “spoil their kid” because I like to do nice things for her. Those who know me well know that I discipline my daughter and she’s not always a happy camper about it. But after every Time Out, I have an eye to eye conversation with her to try and teach her good behavior.
Is it falling on deaf “toddler ears”? Probably, but it’s a good habit for us to get into as I plan to have those talks with her until I’m no longer on the planet.
I’m no expert but I’ve witnessed this type of parenting from others and wanted to emulate it. It seemed to be working for them. It just takes patience and consistency.
Is it tricky being a single dad and not seeing her every day? You bet. As of writing this, I’m still not lucky enough to be one of those divorced dads that has an amicable relationship with his ex. (You can always hope). So, consistency is a challenge.
I am fortunate to have a great pediatrician who puts step-by-step instructions on how to help my daughter not turn into a “me-monster” Kardashian-type princess. Out of the 11 preventative tips they provide, my behavior is borderline on one or two so I’m glad I got this information when I did.
I suppose this is where I could go off on a tangent and wax poetic on how the “princessy problem” doesn’t just apply to girls and that our society may be a tad screwed because it seems a whole generation of instant gratification junkies is now hitting their late twenties, but that isn’t what this blog is about.
It’s about daughters… and the dads that are supposed to not just love them but to raise them. I want Daddy Daughter Time to make great memories for those both Dads an daughters and to make it easier for them to spend time together. But don’t get the wrong idea, from time to time I’ll be sharing some thoughts that speak to parenting as a whole and how we could all be doing better.
If you haven’t yet, check out some resources
Here is the information I received from my doctor. CPN: SPOILED CHILDREN PREVENTION
It’s worth a look.