The May issue of Carolina Parent addressed “The Princess Party Debate” and whether these parties (and princess play) are at odds with the independent and creative values today’s mothers are teaching their children.
An edited version of our response was published this month in their feedback section (page 9). Here is the unedited version:
Dear Carolina Parent,
As party planners, we enjoyed reading your article regarding “The Princess Debate.” At All Wrapped Up Parties, we work with parents to create their child’s dream birthday party. Start to finish, we “wrap up” every party detail involved, with a huge (and sincere) smile across our faces.
We value the diversity of those we serve, therefore we appreciate the multiple opinions and perspectives surrounding The Princess Debate. Our vision inspires our point of view. We believe birthday parties are a time to celebrate children, just as they are, in that present moment. So, what defines a child? Personality and temperament, yes, but just as important in understanding a child are his or her interests. Children deserve to explore what makes them happy. Whether it be race cars, teddy bears, soccer, science, pedicures or princesses children develop confidence and a strong sense of self if their interests are acknowledged and encouraged. Best of all, children feel empowered, which is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give.
All Wrapped Up believes in the power of creative play. Our parties incorporate crafts, games and unique experiences that effortlessly engage children and spark their imaginations. In a dress up scenario, for instance, we feel it’s better to ask a child what they want to dress up as, instead of telling them what to be. When a child’s ideas are valued, fun inevitably follows. If a parent asks us to do a custom “Cinderella” party, we suggest broad themes to encourage more original thought (ie: fairy tale or ballet theme).
At the heart of it all are the parents, instilling values they wish to impart on their children through an ongoing dialogue around important issues that surface during play. Keeping lines of communication open helps when your child asks, “Why does the princess never rescue the prince?”
Carolina Parent asks, “Has the princess party lost its magic?” All Wrapped Up declares NO! So long as little girls love princesses (for a multitude of worthy reasons, not just because they’re pretty), there will always be magical princess birthday parties. The true magic, however, is within the child. If we don’t lose sight of this, we can guarantee our children not only a memorable birthday party, but a childhood that molds a life of joy and fulfillment.
Julia Huffman and Alexis Hetrick
Owners, All Wrapped Up Parties
Please share YOUR response or reaction in the comments! We would love to hear your thoughts on this hot topic.