“Why can’t boys dream big too mom?”

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This past weekend my 3 kiddos and I were sitting around watching Saturday morning cartoons on the Disney channel.  As we were watching, a Disney commercial came on celebrating little girls and ended with their signature phrase “dream big princess.” As soon as the commercial was over my oldest son who is 6, looked perplexed.  He turned to me and asked ” Momma, why does Disney just want girls to dream big?  Why can’t boys dream big too??”  His question took me by surprise and at first I didn’t quite know how to answer.  Up until this point I had quite liked the “dream big princess” commercials and had never really thought much about them.

Why can't boys dream big too mom

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I realized that he was so confused by this commercial because in his world, there is essentially no difference between boys and girls.  In his mind, both genders already HAVE equal opportunities.  So by this commercial lifting one gender and not the other they are infact having the opposite effect that they intended, at least with my 6 year old son.

You see, I am a mother to 2 boys and 1 girl. My husband and I try very hard to raise them as equals because we respect and view each other as equals.  Now I’m not implying that men and women are the same- not hardly.  Just that we have a mutual respect for one another and don’t value one gender over the other.  My daughter loves all things frilly, sparkly, and pink but she is also encouraged to fish and play outside just like my boys are- and boy does she love it!   My boys love nerf guns, dinosaurs and Star wars but are encouraged to do crafts and bake just like my little girl is.  We encourage each of our children to learn, grow, be kind, try new things, and to follow their dreams.  I feel like in 2019, the vast majority of parents try to raise their children in this manner.  Sexism, much like racism, is something that is taught.  And so far, thank goodness, my children have been taught nothing of the sort.

This whole interaction really got me thinking about what it is that we as a society are teaching our boys these days.  In a post #metoo and #timesup era, do we remember to encourage our boys as much as our girls?  I wonder how society would react to a Disney campaign encouraging only “princes” to dream big.  I have a feeling that it would be wildly unpopular and that many women would be up in arms about it.  

So after a long pause, I finally responded to my 6 year old by saying “You’re right son, boys should dream big too.”  I then tried to explain that Disney was not trying to exclude boys from dreaming big.  Disney just happens to have several recent movies with strong female characters like Merida and Moana and that they were simply trying to let those characters inspire other girls to follow their dreams, just like the girls in the movies did.  He then reminded me that he and his brother both like Merida and Moana too.  And he followed by saying “Mom, the commercial would be much better if it said, dream big KIDS.”  He makes a very compelling argument.  Why shouldn’t both boys and girls be inspired by characters (who happen to be girls) that are brave and follow their dreams?  I must say, after seeing it from his perspective that I now have to agree with him.

So mommas, while we are encouraging our daughters and other women, lets not forget to give just as much encouragement to our sons and husbands.  Let us ALL be inspired to follow our dreams like a Disney princess.  Happy dreaming mommas!

dream big

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Rachel and her family are new to the Coastal Bend. They moved here last fall from a small town north of Austin where they lived for the last 10 years. Rachel is a part time pharmacist and a full time mom of 3! Her faith in Jesus and her love of family are the cornerstones of her life. Originally an Okie, she has a bachelors degree from Oklahoma State (Go Pokes!) and a Pharm D from Southwestern Oklahoma State. She works a few days a month as a relief pharmacist for a retail pharmacy chain and as an author for a company that sells pharmacy study materials. She has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2005 and stays busy with their 6 and 4 year old boys, their 18 month old baby girl, and their 3 dogs. Rachel and her family LOVE the beach and all the activities that come along with it! She also loves to craft, scrapbook, decorate, party plan, on-line bargain shop, travel, and garden. Rachel is a big fan of sunshine, Mexican food, organization, and Diet Coke. She feels very blessed in this life and is excited to be a part of CCMB!

2 COMMENTS

  1. great blog! as a boy mom, i do question whether all this “girl power” stuff is leaving our boys behind. I love how your son sees the world and i agree with him, too!

  2. Thank you for this post. With 3 boys of my own, I have long been angered by the flood of female empowerment. When my middle son told me that there wasn’t anything that a strong, independent female couldn’t do, I about lost it. We need to show our young men that they are worthy, teach them patience for those who disagree, and give them the strength to become men.

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