Unsplash | Keisha Montfleury

Dad Proves Princess Phase Can Be Educational By Teaching Leadership Skills

Ah princesses. Love them or hate them, pretty much every little girl (and many little boys) goes through a phase where princesses are the only thing they care about.

No matter how much you try to fight it, the princess phase will happen and all you can do is weather the storm of pink and sparkles.

There have been many arguments made about the problematic aspects of the princess phase.

There's the damsel in distress trope, the whole thing where happiness is defined by finding a prince (charming, handsome, rich) to marry, and the whole problem of unrealistic beauty standards. Those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Not to mention the lack of diverse (non-stereotype) princesses both in ethnicity and LGBTQIA+ representation.

Even though things are slowly improving, it's still hard to avoid the 800-pound Mouse in the room and their decades of problematic princess movies.

Oh, I adore many Disney movies, but your faves can be problematic and still be your faves.

Trying to keep your child from ever seeing a Disney Princess movie is a losing battle.

Netflix | She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Personally, I'd try to combat it another way and seek out a wide array of princess-themed media with both diverse casts and diverse personalities.

Remember, Wonder Woman is a princess and a superhero.

By seeing many different types of princesses, they'll find someone they can truly identify with.

Not all princesses need to be damsels, but they don't need to be fighters either. By avoiding toxic princess tropes, you don't need to avoid femininity.

A Tumblr post shared on Twitter has taken the idea even further.

Twitter | @MyDaughtersArmy

The post was shared by @My DaughtersArmy with the caption "How to parent a princess," and contains a screenshot of a story told on Tumblr by user constant-instigator.

The post starts by acknowledging that people aren't wrong to hate on princess culture.

Those toxic messages are in there, but she then goes on to explain how her own father beat the princess phase at its own game.

By creating different scenarios involving her "kingdom" of teddy bears and dolls, he turned tea time into education.

Unsplash | Paige Cody

She learned things about leadership and civic responsibility all through play and imagination.

So if you have a little princess around, consider helping her figure out how to run her kingdom. There's no sense in telling a kid they can't be a leader, or that they can't wear sparkles while they do it.

Another Twitter user shared a similar story in response.

Twitter | @loafingcactus

What I particularly love about this is the focus on teaching the child about government and democracy as part of being a princess.

Not only does it instill civic knowledge early, but it can foster understanding that will come in handy when that little princess is eligible to vote. That's doing things right!