STEP 2: Friends & Family

The play scenarios your barbégés come up with will be based on who they have to interact WITH. For this reason, you need to have characters that drive the kind of play you want to encourage. The So-In-Style line’s mentoring theme that paired Chandra and Zahara, etc is a great start. The scenarios Leah came up with for her SIS & Little SIS sets were based on her adoration of her teenage cousin Payton.

I also wanted older characters – one’s that I could use to model mothers’ relationships with their college and high-school aged daughters. Leah likes to pretend that Trichelle is in college and I like to pretend I am her mother, reminding her to study hard and keep boys in perspective.

Since Leah wants her bavatarbie to have best friends and each of those friends to have boyfriends I try to build out a diverse group of friends and encourage scenarios that have them doing “productive” and not “reproductive” activities like sports and music-related activities.

When Leah wants a doll to get married I immediately shift the focus to children and playgroups. Again, to help her avoid getting too stuck on romantic relationships between the dolls.

Use ebay and Craigslist to find a variety of dolls quickly and somewhat cheaply.

2 Responses to “STEP 2: Friends & Family”

  1. Alrunia November 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I hope you don’t mind me asking, but why is it so important to keep the focus off romantic relationships? Don’t you think that if you and other mothers keep pussyfooting around the subject of romantic relationships it might have the forbidden fruit effect? :) I wouldn’t know from experience but it sort of sounds like abstinence only education and such!

    • kristlsmithtyler November 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

      My thing about the romantic relationships is that I don’t want her to think life revolves around finding a man and getting him to marry you. That’s what Disney movies would have you believe.

      IMO, life is about so much more and I want her play activities to reflect the many activities life has to offer including school, work, hobbies, friendships, other family relationships, etc. With regard to sex itself, I am not about abstinence-only education at all! I am about full disclosure.

      She has wanted two dolls to have sex (yes, at age 5) and I asked her, “Have they finished college?” and she said “Yes.” Then I asked “Are they married?” and she said, “Yes” – then I said, “Here, let’s put some covers on them and give them their privacy.” – As she gets older I will talk to her about sex a little more realistically – I don’t actually expect her to wait until she’s married to have sex.

      The point I want to make here is that, if I let her, Leah would make every single minute of every single play session revolve around “He thinks she’s pretty and he wants to marry her” – there would never be any other scenario!! So, if a parent buys a boy and girl doll and no other characters and no accessories – those dolls are going to be sexing it up during every play session. The parents are going to freak out (I would) and those dolls are going to be whisked away. That’s unfortunate because Leah will play “romance” with Zoobles, Zhu Zhu pets and every other type of toy. It’s not a barbie problem – but it’s a problem that can be avoided.

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